Sunday, July 24, 2016
Contact us    |    Advertise    |   Help   RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon
    Home  ·  News  ·  Forum  ·  Stories  ·  Image Gallery  ·  Columns  ·  Encyclopedia  ·  Videos
Find: in

Scientists report nuclear fusion milestone


Posted on Tuesday, 8 October, 2013 | Comment icon 17 comments

Achieveing fusion is a complex task. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Lawrence Livermore National Security
Researchers have passed a crucial milestone in their ongoing efforts to create sustainble fusion power.
Nuclear fusion, the process that takes place within the sun, has long been sought after as the holy grail of power generation. If an effective self-sustaining nuclear fusion reactor could be built then it would be one of the greatest scientific achievements of the modern age, providing clean and limitless power to everyone without any of the dangers associated with conventional nuclear fission power plants. Unsurprisingly scientists have been pursuing this dream for decades.

Now researchers at the National Ignition Facility in California have managed to pass a major milestone in the creation of sustainable fusion by conducting an experiment in which the amount of energy produced by the fusion reaction exceeded the amount of energy absorbed.

To accomplish this, scientists used 192 beams from the world's most powerful laser to heat up a pellet of hydrogen fuel to the point at which fusion occurs. The team hopes to eventually achieve what they refer to as "ignition", the point at which the fusion reaction is able to produce as much power as the lasers supply.

Source: BBC News | Comments (17)

Tags: Nuclear Fusion


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #8 Posted by Imaginarynumber1 on 8 October, 2013, 18:59
The implications if they can finally make this work are staggering.
Comment icon #9 Posted by StarMountainKid on 8 October, 2013, 23:03
What exactly would be the result of contained fusion as an energy source? Heat. Heated water to produce steam. So, whatever machines that would use fusion as an energy source would be steam powered. Electrical generators, mainly, I think. So, what are the advantage of fusion power vs. fission power?
Comment icon #10 Posted by DieChecker on 8 October, 2013, 23:22
To accomplish this, scientists used 192 beams from the world's most powerful laser to heat up a pellet of hydrogen fuel to the point at which fusion occurs. The team hopes to eventually achieve what they refer to as "ignition", the point at which the fusion reaction is able to produce as much power as the lasers supply. ONLY 192 of the worlds most powerful lasers concentrated on one tiny pellet of hydrogen??? And how do you make a pellet of hyrdrogen? A step forward I suspect, but still miles and miles till we have fusion power plants. I case anyone is confused by the wording... This experimen... [More]
Comment icon #11 Posted by Timonthy on 8 October, 2013, 23:25
The lasers used more energy than was output. The energy produced by the hydrogen pellet was more than was absorbed by the hydrogen pellet. Eg. The pellet does not absorb all the energy output from the lasers. So overall the system is still at a loss. But having more energy output than absorbed is the milestone here.
Comment icon #12 Posted by DieChecker on 8 October, 2013, 23:28
What exactly would be the result of contained fusion as an energy source? Heat. Heated water to produce steam. So, whatever machines that would use fusion as an energy source would be steam powered. Electrical generators, mainly, I think. So, what are the advantage of fusion power vs. fission power? In fusion, you just take hydrogen and transform it into helium, like the Sun does. The problem is delivering enough energy to the hydrogen in enough of a density to get it to change into helium. And then of course there will be the problem of scaling it up. Not radioactive that I know of. In fissio... [More]
Comment icon #13 Posted by Sundew on 9 October, 2013, 0:56
If fusion ever becomes a common way to generate "free" energy it will change the geo-political structure of the planet and cause the rise and fall of empires.
Comment icon #14 Posted by sepulchrave on 9 October, 2013, 14:30
I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist (but I guess this is the appropriate site for it...), but I tend to believe the stories that the National Ignition Facility was primarily designed as a model for the dynamics inside a nuclear weapon - in other words, to study the dynamics inside a thermonuclear weapon without having to break the ban on testing actual thermonuclear weapons. While it is possible that some of the science will be useful for fusion power, I personally find it very hard to believe that this is a credible avenue for fusion power. Even if a hydrogen pellet achieves true ignit... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by Big Bad Voodoo on 9 October, 2013, 15:33
I wish that I understand what you were saying, Sepul.
Comment icon #16 Posted by DieChecker on 9 October, 2013, 21:52
I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist (but I guess this is the appropriate site for it...), but I tend to believe the stories that the National Ignition Facility was primarily designed as a model for the dynamics inside a nuclear weapon - in other words, to study the dynamics inside a thermonuclear weapon without having to break the ban on testing actual thermonuclear weapons. That is not a conspiracy, it is what happens there on a daily basis. From my earlier link.... http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24429621 In 2009, NIF officials announced an aim to demonstrate nuclear fus... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by Chooky88 on 13 October, 2013, 8:56
Looks like I won't be powering my DeLorean with a Mr Fusion any time soon. However this "dream" is one worth pursuing and could save this planet. What's worse than fission? Coal. Australia is addicted to the filthy 19th century tech stuff :-(


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


  On the forums
Forum posts:
Forum topics:
Members:

5729239
259926
161398

 
Has 'Beast of Bodmin' mystery been solved ?
7-24-2016
A zoo owner has come forward with information that could help to explain the alien big cat phenomenon.
New metal is four times tougher than titanium
7-24-2016
Scientists have created a brand new type of super-metal by melting together titanium and gold.
Defense firm buys out hoverboard company
7-24-2016
The jet-powered Flyboard Air hoverboard may soon be seeing use in a range of military applications.
Da Vinci's scribbles reveal hidden knowledge
7-23-2016
Sketches demonstrating the laws of friction have been identified within the margins of Da Vinci's notes.
Featured Videos
Gallery icon 
Real-life Pokemon
Posted 7-24-2016 | 1 comment
Are there any animals in the real world that could be considered actual real-life Pokemon ?
 
Trans-Atlantic solar powered flight
Posted 7-23-2016 | 0 comments
A look at Solar Impulse 2, the aircraft that crossed the Atlantic using the power of the sun.
 
The Earth from space
Posted 7-22-2016 | 0 comments
A view of our home planet as seen through the EPIC camera on the NOAA's DSCOVR satellite
 
How are Oreos made ?
Posted 7-21-2016 | 2 comments
A look at the manufacturing processes involved in the creation of Oreo cookies.
 
Extreme landscapes: Death Valley
Posted 7-20-2016 | 0 comments
A look at Death Valley where, in 1934, temperatures soared to 134 degrees fahrenheit.
 
 View: More videos
Stories & Experiences
Light in Orion
7-23-2016 | Tampa, Florida
 
Girl with the broken neck
7-23-2016 | Mississippi
 
Holes in cotton clothing
7-23-2016 | Somerset, UK
 
Three knocks in the night
6-28-2016 | Cedar City, Utah
 
Mr Button and laurel leaves
6-28-2016 | Unknown
 
Knocking on the door
6-28-2016 | Virginia, United States
 
Not in our jurisdiction
5-2-2016 | California, United States
 
Zippers and headlights
5-2-2016 | Raleigh, United States
 
Spinning, voiceless and breathless
5-2-2016 | Garland, Texas
 
Paralyzed
4-15-2016 | United States
 

         More stories | Send us your story
 
Top   |  Home   |   Forum   |   News   |   Image Gallery   |  Columns   |   Encyclopedia   |   Videos   |   Polls
UM-X 10.7 Unexplained-Mysteries.com 2001-2015
Privacy Policy and Disclaimer   |   Cookies   |   Advertise   |   Contact   |   Help/FAQ