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Centre for Materials Physics

Open Lectures

Fusion Energy (2 lectures) Prof D P Hampshire  + Prof.  R Sharples.

Prerequisities: A good undergraduate degree in Science (Physics, Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Engineering,.... ) 


Prof Damian Hampshire:

Prof Ray Sharples:


Pragmatic low-carbon solutions to the UK energy challenges will inevitably include nuclear energy. With many of the country's current nuclear power stations coming to end of their working lives and Britain having set a 2050 target of reducing carbon emissions by 80 % from 2000 levels, it is clear in the medium term that nuclear technologies will be required - a fact recognised by the Government in its recent announcement to build 10 nuclear standard (fission) power stations in the UK at a cost of ~ £50 B  There are concerns about prolonged use of fission nuclear power stations - associated with toxic legacy; security of fuel supply and proliferation of weapons technology.  Fusion energy provides an alternative nuclear route.  It is a demanding technology that includes holding a plasma burning at 100 million degrees.  However the fuel is derived from seawater (i.e. essentially limitless), the levels of toxic materials are very much less than produced using fission because of the short lifetimes of the materials involved and fusion technology is not a weapons technology.   These lectures will address some of the key issues in fusion energy technology. 

Please note these lectures are available to Materials Physics students in all years but are not part of the assessment for progression to 2nd year.    

You are also encouraged to attend any relevant Level 4 M.Sci. courses including those in Chemistry, Engineering, Biology, Mathematics