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Fusion: A Possibility?


DRC21USAF

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blog-0825541001384195750.jpgFor years, physicists and scientists have worked at this problem, a solution to the limited resources of energy we have; So just how close have we come to bringing fusion to Earth?

Well, researchers at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) have been collaborating with the Department of Energy's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on the project, and believe that while there is at least one (if not potentially a few) significant obstacle to achieving controlled fusion, they have overcome many of the challenges since experimentation began in 2010, bringing their efforts evermore closer to achieving their goal.

To reach ignition, or the point at which the fusion reaction produces more energy than is used to initiate the reaction, the Facility focuses 192 laser beams, pulsating every billionth of a second, simultaneously inside a cryogenically cooled hohlraum (German word for "Hollow Room") a hollow cylinder the size of a pencil, which carries a capsule containing two hydrogen isotopes. The lasers deliver 1.8 megajoules (MJ) of energy and 500 terawatts (TW) of power, which is, according to phys.org, "1000 more times than the United States uses at any one moment." This energy and power then implodes the capsule to temperatures and pressures similar to those at the core of the sun (hence the experiment has been likened to 'generating a miniature star on Earth')

How long do you think it will take to stabilize fusion here on Earth? Comments and questions below!

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