5 May 2017

Specac polarizers used in Nuclear Fusion | Spectroscopy Solutions

Select Science have conducted an interview with Dr. Alexandru Boboc of the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, discussing their extensive and exciting research into Nuclear Fusion. Specac Polarizers were used here for laser monitoring.


Since the 1950s, scientists have been trying to recreate the reactions that take place in the Sun. The burning giant's massive gravity strips electrons from their atomic nuclei and creates plasma. The atomic nuclei all hold the same charge and so repel one another, but the gravity of the Sun forces them to colide. This creates a huge energy surge which, if recreated on Earth, could provide a renewable source of usable energy.

(Left) artist's representation of the tokamak, a vacuum chamber used to create Nuclear Fusion (Right) schematic of the electric and magnetic fields used to create the plasma

Using a donut-shaped vacuum chamber called a 'tomakak', working as part of the Joint European Torus, scientists including Dr Alexander Boboc fuse two hydrogen isotopes and then immerse them in an electric current to create plasma.

To regulate this process, lasers must be used due to extreme conditions. Specac's Wire Grid Polarizers are used to polarize these laser beams.

When asked about the Specac polarizers by Select Science, Dr Boboc said:

Each (laser) beam line has more than one Specac polarizer as it is critical to ensure polarization of the beams at various locations... All the wire grid polarizers on the JET diagnostics were provided by Specac — on standard and custom mounts. Some of them are here from 1987. That makes them 30 years old!

Our experience with Specac has proven to be excellent over all these years. Their engineers always supported us for any requirements we had, such as installing wire grids on complicated custom mounts.

Read the full Select Science interview here.

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