• Saturday, Dec 03, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Nuclear scientists hail US fusion breakthrough

  • Published at 11:48 am August 18th, 2021
Nuclear Fusion
Representational photo of Nuclear Fusion Bigstock

Nuclear fusion is considered by some scientists to be a potential energy of the future

Nuclear scientists using lasers the size of three football fields said on Tuesday they had generated a huge amount of energy from fusion, possibly offering hope for the development of a new clean energy source.

Experts focused their giant array of almost 200 laser beams onto a tiny spot to create a mega blast of energy -- eight times more than they had ever done in the past.

Although the energy only lasted for a very short time -- just 100 trillionths of a second -- it took scientists closer to the holy grail of fusion ignition, the moment when they are creating more energy than they are using.

"This result is a historic advance for inertial confinement fusion research," said Kim Budil, the director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which operates the National Ignition Facility in California, where the experiment took place this month.

Nuclear fusion is considered by some scientists to be a potential energy of the future, particularly because it produces little waste and no greenhouse gases. 

It differs from fission, a technique currently used in nuclear power plants, where the bonds of heavy atomic nuclei are broken to release energy. 

In the fusion process, two light atomic nuclei are "married" to create a heavy one. In this experiment scientists used two isotopes of hydrogen, giving rise to helium. This is the process that is at work in stars, including our Sun. 

"The NIF teams have done an extraordinary job," said Professor Steven Rose, co-director of the center for research in this field at Imperial College London. "This is the most significant advance in inertial fusion since its beginning in 1972." 

But, warned Jeremy Chittenden, co-director of the same center in London, making this a useable source of energy is not going to be easy.

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail