|Manu||Date: Wednesday, 25-August-2021, 4:41 AM | Message # 1|
|Fusion experiment breaks record, blasts out 10 quadrillion watts of power|
By Tom Metcalfe
Damien Jemison, photographer at the National Ignition Facility (NIF), captured this image of the NIF laser beam lines entering a part of the target chamber. Jemison needed five exposures to capture the range of light in the dimly lit spot. He also converted the resulting image to monotone, saying "The end result is my artistic view of how I feel when standing face-to-face with the highest-energy laser in the world." (Image credit: Damien Jemison/NIF)
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.
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