High-Powered Lasers Deliver Fusion Energy Breakthrough

by Christopher Paul on February 14, 2014

We’re a little closer to achieving sustainable energy production from nuclear fusion:

The power of the sun has edged a little closer to Earth. Under x-ray assault, the rapid implosion of a plastic shell onto icy isotopes of hydrogen has produced fusion and, for the first time, 170 micrograms of this superheated fusion fuel released more energy than it absorbed. Experimental shots of the 192 lasers at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have reproduced such fusion at least four times since September 2013. The advance offers hope that someday in the far future scientists might reliably replicate the power source of the sun and stars.

This is one of those achievements I hope to see humankind reach in my lifetime. It’s like getting to the moon was to those in the ’60s.

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