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Laser experiment at threshold of fusion ignition


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EHW News Editor
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On Aug. 8, 2021, an experiment at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL’s) National Ignition Facility (NIF) made a significant step toward ignition, achieving a yield of more than 1.3 megajoules (MJ). This advancement puts researchers at the threshold of fusion ignition, an important goal of the NIF, and opens access to a new experimental regime.

 

The experiment was enabled by focusing laser light from NIF — the size of three football fields — onto a target the size of a BB that produces a hot-spot the diameter of a human hair, generating more than 10 quadrillion watts of fusion power for 100 trillionths of a second.

 

These extraordinary results from NIF advance the science that NNSA depends on to modernize our nuclear weapons and production as well as open new avenues of research,” said Jill Hruby, DOE under secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA administrator.

The central mission of NIF is to provide experimental insight and data for NNSA’s science-based Stockpile Stewardship Program. Experiments in pursuit of fusion ignition are an important part of this effort. They provide data in an important experimental regime that is extremely difficult to access, furthering our understanding of the fundamental processes of fusion ignition and burn and enhancing our simulation tools to support stockpile stewardship. Fusion ignition is also an important gateway to enable access to high fusion yields in the future.

WWW.LLNL.GOV

On Aug. 8, 2021, an experiment at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s (LLNL’s) National Ignition Facility (NIF) made a significant step toward ignition, achieving a yield of more than 1.3 megajoules...

 

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One step closer to an ignition device that can some day start a fusion reaction that will give clean and cheap (not counting the research to get there) energy to the world. As I understand it, what Lawrence Livermore Labs is working on will someday be the 'on switch' for something like the massive ITER experiment currently under construction. More about that here: 

 

Edited by UltraMega
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  • UltraMega changed the title to Laser experiment at threshold of fusion ignition
EHW News Editor
885 286
1 hour ago, GanjaSMK said:

Pretty interesting - isn't there a version of fusion being researched for aerospace as well?  I can't remember his name but a previous astronaut built a company focusing on cold fusion and/or non-nuclear propulsion for spaceflight/inter-solar-system travel?

 

I've heard a little about it this idea, I don't know much about it but I'm not sure there is much to know yet for us laymen. 

 

https://www.nasa.gov/directorates/spacetech/niac/2012_Phase_II_fusion_driven_rocket/

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EHW News Editor
885 286
17 hours ago, GanjaSMK said:

Pretty interesting - isn't there a version of fusion being researched for aerospace as well?  I can't remember his name but a previous astronaut built a company focusing on cold fusion and/or non-nuclear propulsion for spaceflight/inter-solar-system travel?

 

Sorry to quote you twice but I remembered I happened to see this video not too long ago: 

 

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