World’s largest laser produces nuclear fusion!*

No, that’s not giant pencil. It’s the inside of a fusion reactor, where lasers are focused onto a tiny pellet of frozen hydrogen gas (image courtesy of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory). Those photos at the bottom show the capsule that contains this fuel. Here’s a video that explains how the giant laser system (housed at the National Ignition Facility) works:

*Have we harnessed the energy of the stars? Not quite. 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. The process still used a lot more energy than it generated.

Read all the details, from NPR’s Geoff Brumfiel, here.

Notes

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    Hot damn love me some fusion
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    Clean future is coming!
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    World’s largest laser produces nuclear fusion!* No, that’s not giant pencil. It’s the inside of a fusion reactor, where...
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