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Science & Technology

Massive laser to trigger nuclear fusion reaction

By T.K. Randall
February 1, 2010 · Comment icon 11 comments

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Later this year the world's most powerful laser will attempt to achieve a self sustaning nuclear fusion reaction.
Often regarded as the holy grail of clean and reusable energy nuclear fusion could one day power the world. Scientists in the US are preparing to test the technology that they hope will be capable of producing a sustainable nuclear reaction by firing a laser the size of three football pitches at an object the size of a peppercorn.
Scientists in the US are preparing for the dramatic moment when the world's most powerful laser unleashes the nuclear force that lights up the sun and achieves ''ignition''. At that moment, 192 laser beams housed in a building the size of three football pitches will focus on a target the size of a peppercorn to trigger a self-sustaining fusion reaction.

Source: Telegraph | Comments (11)

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by realmcutter 13 years ago
yep everyone into the bunker, its gonna be a long cold winter...
Comment icon #3 Posted by Nerupe 13 years ago
If all goes according to plan Well, California's screwed.
Comment icon #4 Posted by zenfahr 13 years ago
Nah the Govenator will save the day. But seriously, I hope it works.
Comment icon #5 Posted by DieChecker 13 years ago
At the new National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, scientists are closer to overcoming this hurdle than anyone has been before. The name is kind of ominous... National Ignition... The facility that ignites the nation. Seriously, I hope it works. I'm going to be watching this story.
Comment icon #6 Posted by storminateacup 13 years ago
More potentially apocalyptic stuff to worry about? Great.
Comment icon #7 Posted by ROGER 13 years ago
This will be one of the most innovative ideas in energy production in quite a while. and IF all goes as planned the next step is to use the 'Spent Fuel Rods" from other reactors as a fuel for this unit. Most people don't know, Or care, that currently the U.S. has no way to get rid of old fuel rod's, so they sit in Pools of storage ponds usually in the open at nuclear Plant sights. Yes a small amount is used for metal works and some other uses, but it's a very small amount. A possible "TERRORISTS" play ground! With the new system we use up all most all of the left over rods, and what's left is ... [More]
Comment icon #8 Posted by AndromedanStarChild 13 years ago
yeah tell me about it Nerupe, even though if it gets such ways we all know California's screwed. It seems Scientists in the US don't have much and too much on there hands as well, play with big toy's that is likely make things worse and yet the tech likely who knows what well it do as well. It seems on top of it all the tech like that is an two sided sword that can go either way... How lovely it is when people make destitute toys to have around lol..
Comment icon #9 Posted by TheResearcher 13 years ago
I really can't wait to see the results of this. If all goes to plan this could completely change everything. This type of research is where all the green funding should be pumped into.
Comment icon #10 Posted by HerNibs 13 years ago
All I can think about is the scene in "Real Genius" with the laser and the popcorn. *too lazy to go find it* Nibs
Comment icon #11 Posted by The_Griffin 13 years ago
If this project work it could be the world's salvation in one way or a doom in another. Every new technological advance has its plus and minuses.

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