~~~~NBCNewsScience1
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America’s multibillion-dollar, laser-blasting fusion machine has gotten more energy out of a smidgen of fuel than was put into it — but the most significant thing is how it was done.

The latest experiments, reported in this week’s issue of the journal Nature, marked a first for the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. They’re the first laser shots to produce a net gain in energy under any definition, and they’re also the first to show evidence of a mechanism that’s essential if controlled fusion is ever to become a reality.

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A closeup from the National Ignition Facility shows a cutaway view of a gold cylinder known as a hohlraum, with a spherical fusion fuel capsule gleaming inside. The hohlraum measures about half an inch (1 centimeter) in height, and the capsule is about a tenth of an inch (2mm) in diameter. Beams of light from 192 lasers are directed at the capsule to cause an implosion.
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