Nuclear Fusion Closer Than Ever: Dr. Octo Takes Vacation

This week progress toward a nuclear fusion reaction has gotten closer than ever when researchers at our very own Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory combined 192 massive lasers to produce a single laser with over 1 megajoule of power for the first time ever.

To put this in perspective, that is 30 times the power produced by any other group of lasers ever, and near to the conditions scientists believe is required for nuclear fusion.

For you nerds behind on the theory of nuclear fusion, it’s that same idea that Doctor Octo uses in Spider man to create his very own sun. It’s a process by which by which multiple like-charged atomic nuclei join together to form a heavier nucleus. It is accompanied by the release or absorption of energy, which allows matter to enter a plasma state. This process occurs naturally in stars, and if humans could find a way to control the nuclear fusion ignition, it could be “the ultimate form of clean energy—carbon-neutral with minimally radioactive waste. And there’s certainly no lack of companies trying.”

via [FastCompany]

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~ by K. Ritcheson on February 2, 2010.

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