WRITER FUEL: Fusion Experiment Yields Record Results

Fusion - Deposit Photos

We’re launching a brand new feature on Liminal Fiction – “Writer Fuel – cool real-world stories that might inspire your little writer heart. Today:

Scientists used an unconventional method of creating nuclear fusion to yield a record-breaking burst of energy of more than 10 quadrillion watts, by firing intense beams of light from the world’s largest lasers at a tiny pellet of hydrogen.

Researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Northern California said they had focused 192 giant lasers at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) onto a pea-size pellet, resulting in the release of 1.3 megajoules of energy in 100 trillionths of a second — roughly 10% of the energy of the sunlight that hits Earth every moment, and about 70% of the energy that the pellet had absorbed from the lasers. The scientists hope one day to reach the break-even or “ignition” point of the pellet, where it gives off 100% or more energy than it absorbs.

The energy yield is significantly larger than the scientists expected and much greater than the previous record of 170 kilojoules they set in February.

Full Story From Live Science

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