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Laser Fusion Project Takes One Small Step Toward Energy Leap

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~~~~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.

.!!!!!LaserFusion1
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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Massive laser inching closer to mastering fusion power

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~~~~FoxNews1
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Researchers have reportedly taken one small yet giant step towards “perfect power” — fusion, the process that powers the sun and may ultimately solve the world’s energy problems.

Fusion is similar to fission, where atoms are split releasing massive amounts of energy. But instead of being torn apart, fusion welds atoms together. It’s a perfect power because more energy is released than used, and a sort of holy grail for physicists.

To attempt it, scientists at the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore Labs in California use an ultrapowerful laser system, which melds 192 laser beams into a single incredible burst of energy that heats and compress a capsule of hydrogen fuel to the point at which fusion take place. 

The result of a late September test: the amount of energy released through the fusion reaction was greater than the amount of energy used, the BBC reported.

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  • National Ignition Facility Precision.jpg

    Before each experiment, a positioner precisely centers the target inside the target chamber and serves as a reference to align the laser beams. (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory)

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‘Oldie But Goodie’ Posts

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Fusion Power a Step Closer After Giant Laser Blast

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FROM NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC DAILY NEWS

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Using the most powerful laser system ever built, scientists have brought us one step closer to nuclear fusion power, a new study says.

The same process that powers our sun and other stars, nuclear fusion has the potential to be an efficient, carbon-free energy source—with none of the radioactive waste associated with the nuclear fission method used in current nuclear plants.

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Nuclear fusion plant possible within a decade, physicist says.

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http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2010/01/100128-nuclear-fusion-power-lasers-science/

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World’s Most Powerful Laser Fired By American Scientists In Pursuit Of Fusion Ignition

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We’ve just come one step closer to a fully-operational Death Star.

Scientists at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have fired the most powerful laser shot in the history of the world, setting the record with 1.875 MJ of energy. The historic March 15 firing was just 23 billionths of a second long, but generated 411 trillion watts of peak power.

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Worlds Most Powerful Laser

Target Positioner: Before each experiment, a positioner precisely centers the target inside the target chamber and serves as a reference to align the laser beams.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/22/worlds-most-powerful-laser-fired_n_1372897.html?ref=science&icid=maing-grid7|myaol|dl10|sec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D146057

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