Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

SoylentNews is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop. Only 17 submissions in the queue.
posted by janrinok on Saturday December 03 2022, @01:03AM   Printer-friendly

Fusion power is 'approaching' reality thanks to a magnetic field breakthrough:

Fusion power may be a more realistic prospect than you think. As Motherboard reports, researchers at the Energy Department's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have discovered that a new magnetic field setup more than tripled the energy output of the fusion reaction hotspot in experiments, "approaching" the level required for self-sustaining ignition in plasmas. The field was particularly effective at trapping heat within the hotspot, boosting the energy yield.

The hotspot's creation involved blasting 200 lasers at a fusion fuel pellet made from hydrogen isotopes like deuterium and tritium. The resulting X-rays made the pellet implode and thus produce the extremely high pressures and heat needed for fusion. The team achieved their feat by wrapping a coil around a pellet made using special metals.

The notion of using magnets to heat the fuel isn't new. University of Rochester scientists found they could use magnetism to their advantage in 2012. The Lawrence Livermore study was far more effective, however, producing 40 percent heat and more than three times the energy.

Practical fusion reactors are still many years away. The output is still far less than the energy required to create self-sustaining reactions. The finding makes ignition considerably more achievable, though, and that in turn improves the chances of an energy-positive fusion system. This also isn't the end of the magnetism experiments. A future test will use an ice-laden cryogenic capsule to help understand fusion physics. Even if ignition is still distant, the learnings from this study could provide a clearer path to that breakthrough moment.


Original Submission

 
This discussion was created by janrinok (52) for logged-in users only, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: 3, Touché) by Snotnose on Saturday December 03 2022, @06:07AM (1 child)

    by Snotnose (1623) on Saturday December 03 2022, @06:07AM (#1280992)

    of anything in the past 50 years or so. For all my life (I'm retired) fusion power has been about 10 years away.

    --
    When the dust settled America realized it was saved by a porn star.
    Starting Score:    1  point
    Moderation   +1  
       Touché=1, Total=1
    Extra 'Touché' Modifier   0  
    Karma-Bonus Modifier   +1  

    Total Score:   3  
  • (Score: 5, Touché) by maxwell demon on Saturday December 03 2022, @09:41AM

    by maxwell demon (1608) on Saturday December 03 2022, @09:41AM (#1281001) Journal

    I don't remember a time when is was 10 years away. It was always either 20 or 30 years.

    --
    The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.