Talk #94, 4/1/15

Status and Prospects for Fusion as an Energy Source

George Tynan
Associate DeanJacobs School of Engineering
ProfessorMechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Faculty, Center for Energy Research
UC San Diego


Controlled fusion has been under study for decades as a potential energy source.  In this talk we briefly review the motivations for fusion energy and the two main approaches – inertially confined fusion and magnetically confined fusion.  We will then summarize the current status of both approaches using published results from recent experiments, and highlight a few recent science advances that provide deeper insight into the underlying processes that govern the performance of these experiments.  We will then look forward to expected next step experiments currently in preparation, and identify what remaining physics and technology issues must be resolved to enable the development of fusion energy.  We will close the talk with some personal reflections on the programmatic and political challenges of fusion energy in the US and the World.

The following is a link to the presentation (pdf file extension), which emphasizes magnetic confinement fusion:

MCF Presentation

Here is a related presentation regarding inertial confinement fusion:

ICF Presentation

Finally, here is a link to a website that Prof. Tynan recommended for those interested in  the fusion program around the world: