University of Missouri engineer Randy Curry has developed a plasma generator that can send a ring of plasma out a couple of feet into open air, instead of the normal requirement of vacuum tubing and magnetic fields.
Energy research is ongoing, and scientists and technicians are working hard to discover new ways to generate and store more energy more efficiently.
Plasma is the fourth state of matter after solid, liquid, and gaseous states, and is most likely familiar to us in the form of lightning, neon lights, and the surface of the sun. Researchers believe harnessing the energy contained in plasma could revolutionize energy generation and storage in the future.
Austerity measures taken by the US federal government, referred to by many as The Sequester, has cut some $85 billion in funding for many programs to reduce the national debt, which is currently around $16 trillion. This includes funding for Department of Defense [DOD] programs, such as the plasma energy research being performed at the University of Missouri.
Curry is concerned and says, “Department of Defense funding for basic research led to our plasma innovation. The sequester’s funding cuts threaten America’s ability to compete in the future of energy technology. Not only will research not be advanced, a new generation of Americans won’t be trained to take the reins of American engineering leadership.”