Plasma Device Could Revolutionize Energy Generation and Storage

Scientists at the University of Missouri have devised a new way to create and control plasma that could transform American energy generation and storage. Randy Curry, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Missouri’s College of Engineering, and his team developed a device that launches a ring of plasma at distances of up to two feet. Although the plasma reaches a temperature hotter than the surface of the sun, it doesn’t emit radiation.

"Launching plasma in open air is the 'Holy Grail' in the field of physics," said Curry, professor of electrical and computer engineering in the University of Missouri's College of Engineering. "Creating plasma in a vacuum tube surrounded by powerful electromagnets is no big deal; dozens of labs can do that. Our innovation allows the plasma to hold itself together while it travels through regular air without any need for containment." The plasma device at MU could be enlarged to handle much larger amounts of energy, according to Curry. With sufficient funding, they could develop a system within three to five years that would also be considerably smaller. He noted that they used old technologies to build the current prototype of the plasma-generating machine. Using newer, miniaturized parts, he suggests they could shrink the device to the size of a bread box.

“We have a world-class team at MU’s Center for Physical & Power Electronics, but that team will evaporate without funding.”

Article Link: http://www.redorbit.com/news/technology/1112824374/plasma-launched-into-open-air-for-energy-generation-041713/

Additional link: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/04/130416151931.htm

Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2013-04-plasma-device-revolutionize-energy-storage.html#jCp

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