Saturday, February 15, 2014

National Ignition Facility claims break even hydrogen fusion

National Ignition Facility is the laser fusion project.  Zap a hydrogen or deuterium droplet with very powerful lasers and maybe it will fuse.  Article here.  They are only claiming laboratory break even, where laser energy actually delivered to the fuel droplet is counted.  Practical breakeven is where fusion energy is enough to power all the equipment, lasers, magnets, whatever.  Needless to say, prectical breakeven is a higher bar than laboratory breakeven.
  However this is the first time anyone has claimed to reach laboratory breakeven. 
  It's the first step toward realizing the Mr. Fusion device from Back to the Future.  Long way still to go, but we seem to have accomplished that first step. 
  Much druther have Mr. Fusion than a clean burning wood stove.

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