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Plasma physics

Burning plasma surprise

In a burning plasma, fusion-born α particles are the dominant source of heating. In such conditions, the deuterium and tritium ion energy distribution deviates from the expected thermal Maxwellian distribution.

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Fig. 1: Isotropic ion velocity and ion temperature.


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Correspondence to Stefano Atzeni.

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Competing interests

S.A. reports occasional consulting work on inertial fusion for Focused Energy GmbH.

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Atzeni, S. Burning plasma surprise. Nat. Phys. 19, 10–11 (2023).

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