In earlier days, the question "For how long will the fossil fuels last?" was often raised, but now we rather ask "When can we free ourselves from the dependence on fossil fuels?".
In this course, a background is given to the problems concerning future energy provision that we are realizing today and that will become critical towards the mid-century unless new energy sources are developed. We will also discuss the alternative energy sources that are known today.
Within fusion research, the goal is to produce a sustainable energy source for large scale generation of electricity. By using the surplus energy that is released when light atomic nuclei merge (fusion), the final benefit comes from an endurable and environmentally friendly "Sun on earth". Since the early 1960's, the Alfven Laboratory at KTH has been part of the international collaboration in this field.
This introductory course will provide the physical and technological basics and give a picture of the state of present day fusion research. We may now say, with some confidence, that fusion power will indeed be realized. In the course, different solutions to this "the greatest technological challenge ever pursued by man" will be presented.
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