Author Topic: Scientists achieve world-changing nuclear fusion breakthrough — twice  (Read 362 times)

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Offline Kamaji

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Scientists achieve world-changing nuclear fusion breakthrough — twice

By Alex Mitchell
August 7, 2023

American scientists have for the first time managed to reach — and then improve on — a longtime goal of nuclear research.

Twice in under a year, researchers at California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have managed to trigger a fusion reaction resulting in a net energy gain, or producing more power than was used to fuel the experiment.

Their accomplishment represents an unprecedented “ignition” of the zero-carbon energy source that physicists have been trying to tap into since World War II.

As a power source, nuclear fusion far surpasses its controversial counterpart, nuclear fission. The latter produces as a byproduct dangerous waste that lingers for thousands of years.

The US Department of Energy described the laboratory’s work as “a major scientific breakthrough decades in the making.”

The laboratory first reached ignition in December of 2022 and again — even more powerfully — this July by shooting ultra-powered lasers into a centimeter-sized capsule “oven,” called a hohlraum.

The capsule contained variants of hydrogen gas called deuterium and tritium, which acted as fuel — like gasoline in a car — for the reaction.

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