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Science & Technology

Scientists aim to replicate the Sun

By T.K. Randall
March 18, 2009 · Comment icon 27 comments



Image Credit: PD Clipart
Scientists aim to replicate the power of the Sun in a new nuclear fusion experiment involving laser beams being fired at a tiny pellet of hydrogen. The set up is capable of generating 500 trillion watts, and if successful could pave the way for a future where clean energy is available in almost unlimited quanitites to everyone.
Scientists in California say they're trying to replicate the power of the sun by firing laser beams at a tiny pellet of hydrogen. Physicists at the National Ignition Facility in Livermore say the nuclear fusion experiments may offer the world a clean source of energy, The Times of London reported Sunday. The hydrogen pellet will be hit with 192 laser beams capable of generating 500 trillion watts -- 1,000 times the power of the U.S. national grid, said the scientists."


Source: UPI | Comments (27)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #18 Posted by Samuronin 14 years ago
"The Power of the sun, at the palm of my hand" Doc Oct
Comment icon #19 Posted by MysteryVy 14 years ago
"The power of the sun...in the palm of my hand"
Comment icon #20 Posted by BaneSilvermoon 14 years ago
Fusion would be great , but I doubt the power would be very cheap . A few government taxes and corporate profit margins and were back to where we were before . If they work that out, even if it wasn't a cost saving for the consumer it would still be a far better choice than what we're doing now.
Comment icon #21 Posted by Blueguardian 14 years ago
"clean energy available in almost unlimited quantities"? I don't trust these Scientists. It'll probably work about as well as that Hadron Collider thing. It shall work much better, this time half the world will probably be destroyed. In other news Scientists are trying to create something that will help the world, but will probably just create another problem.
Comment icon #22 Posted by REBEL 14 years ago
Scientists aim to replicate the power of the Sun in a new nuclear fusion experiment involving laser beams being fired at a tiny pellet of hydrogen. The set up is capable of generating 500 trillion watts, and if successful could pave the way for a future where clean energy is available in almost unlimited quanitites to everyone. "Scientists in California say they're trying to replicate the power of the sun by firing laser beams at a tiny pellet of hydrogen. Physicists at the National Ignition Facility in Livermore say the nuclear fusion experiments may offer the world a clean source of energy, ... [More]
Comment icon #23 Posted by magickaldan 14 years ago
Unless there's some new way of converting heat to electricity this wont be any more efficient than a Normal Fission Reactor Nuclear Power Plant. Which are at a best of 33% efficient at converting heat into electricity. Every system has losses and there's no way around that. You can decrease the losses but never get rid of them fully. The goal should be trying to increase Efficiency of the current systems.
Comment icon #24 Posted by qkrtjddnr0_0 14 years ago
They say in the article: If not then it is not a energy producer, it is a energy loss. And how exactly is that going to happen? Throw a balloon in the water and it fills with hydrogen? No. Just collecting the hydrogen could eat up any small amounts of energy produced. its probably because its in an experimental phase. if it got to be commercialized of course it would be operated at a bigger scale and more effectively. and the energy comes from nuclear fusion, and compared with the energy needed to extract hydrogen... isn't a comparison really...
Comment icon #25 Posted by Archosaur 14 years ago
Workable fusion always seems to just into the future. We've been working on this since the 70's: the technical hurdles are immense. Sure, we fusion explosives, but going from an uncontrolled explosion to a reliable power source is a big step. We had gunpowder explosives a long time before the internal combustion engines, and Heron's steam engine is a long long way from a steam powered electric dynamo. I wouldn't be suprised if we don't get fusion power for a half century. That said fusion would be great. Deturium, while not free, is very abundant, and the amount of energy produced would be eno... [More]
Comment icon #26 Posted by Torgo 14 years ago
The wattage reported in the article is the wattage required BY the lasers to operate, not the wattage put out by the fusion. It can get away with that much energy usage by pulsing the lasers for tiny fractions of a second. Experiments of this type have been done many times before. This is nothing new. Laser driven pulse fusion has a relatively long history. Honestly... I can't see fusion utilized as an energy SOURCE for quite a while.
Comment icon #27 Posted by Paracelse 14 years ago
"clean energy available in almost unlimited quantities"? I don't trust these Scientists. It'll probably work about as well as that Hadron Collider thing. The Hadron Collider is out of bus right now but something to worry about is that it's going to be turned back on by................ Tom Hanks... the one and only who plays some religion Ph.D. on Da Vinci code and up coming Demons and Angels (or vice versa) Don't believe me? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechn...n-Collider.html


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