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Photo of the Week: What You Needed to Contain 100 Million Degree Plasma for 100 Millionths of a Second… in 1974

April 22, 2013 - 4:59pm

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In the early years of magnetic fusion, there was talk among scientists of controlling nuclear energy to create useful power. To do this, scientists heated plasma to temperatures as high as 100 million degrees Celsius -- ten times hotter than the center of the sun. Controlling such high levels of energy required the construction of large machines that could withstand these extremely high energy levels. 

In this 1974 photo, laboratory scientists are shown working on Scyllac, one of the largest machines used for magnetic fusion experiments, located at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Scyllac filled a 100-by-100-foot building from wall to wall, and used 12 miles of one-inch cables and 3,000 capacitors to contain hot plasma the size of a small garden hose for just 100 millionths of a second. <a href="http://www.fas.org/sgp/othergov/doe/lanl/pubs/00285870.pdf" target="_blank">Learn more about early magnetic fusion experiments at LANL</a>. | Photo courtesy of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

In the early years of magnetic fusion, there was talk among scientists of controlling nuclear energy to create useful power. To do this, scientists heated plasma to temperatures as high as 100 million degrees Celsius -- ten times hotter than the center of the sun. Controlling such high levels of energy required the construction of large machines that could withstand these extremely high energy levels. In this 1974 photo, laboratory scientists are shown working on Scyllac, one of the largest machines used for magnetic fusion experiments, located at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Scyllac filled a 100-by-100-foot building from wall to wall, and used 12 miles of one-inch cables and 3,000 capacitors to contain hot plasma the size of a small garden hose for just 100 millionths of a second. Learn more about early magnetic fusion experiments at LANL. | Photo courtesy of Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Every week, we'll feature our favorite energy-related photo here on Energy.gov, at Facebook.com/Energygov, on Twitter via @ENERGY and on our Flickr photostream. For other photos of the week, view our gallery. If you have ideas for Photo of the Week, send us an email at NewMedia@hq.doe.gov.

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