View Full Version : Scientists Say Their Giant Laser Has Produced Nuclear Fusion

02-12-2014, 10:15 PM
Researchers at a laboratory in California say they've had a breakthrough in producing fusion reactions with a giant laser. The success comes after years of struggling to get the laser to work and is another step in the decades-long quest for fusion energy.

Omar Hurricane, a researcher at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, says that for the first time, they've produced significant amounts of fusion by zapping a target with their laser. "We've gotten more energy out of the fusion fuel than we put into the fusion fuel," he says.

Strictly speaking, while more energy came from fusion than went into the hydrogen fuel, only about 1 percent of the laser's energy ever reached the fuel. Useful levels of fusion are still a long way off. "They didn't get more fusion power out than they put in with the laser," says Steve Cowley, the head of a huge fusion experiment in the U.K. called the Joint European Torus, or JET.

The laser is known as the National Ignition Facility, or NIF. Constructed at a cost of more than $3 billion, it consists of 192 beams that take up the length of three football fields. For a brief moment, the beams can focus 500 trillion watts of power more power than is being used in that same time across the entire United States onto a target about the width of a No. 2 pencil.

Read more: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/12/275896094/scientists-say-their-giant-laser-has-produced-nuclear-fusion

02-13-2014, 02:15 AM
Read more: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/12/275896094/scientists-say-their-giant-laser-has-produced-nuclear-fusion

Simple physics would make this seem to be a lie. With the input power being so large and the output being of equal size how the hell did they cool such a large heat impulse without melting the reactor and the building it was in? The numbers cannot be correct so something must be going on here. Perhaps the real input from the lasers is a tiny fraction of the energy actually used in the reaction. I suspect that there is a hugh PR effect here after spending billions of dollars and getting so little in return. What if we had spent this in cold fusion research instead as have other countries?

02-14-2014, 11:14 PM