Physicists have announced a breakthrough in the creation of thermonuclear energy

(ORDO NEWS) — Researchers at Livermore National Laboratory in California have for the first time obtained more energy from a fusion reaction than was used to ignite it.

The net increase in energy has so far been achieved only on a small volume. According to experts, the creation of a real plant operating on thermonuclear fuel is still very far away.

Researchers working on fusion hope that one day it will be able to produce an almost unlimited amount of energy. It will displace fossil fuels and other energy sources. They just won’t make sense.

Researchers at Livermore National Laboratory in California have for the first time produced more energy from a fusion reaction than was used to ignite it, the Financial Times reported.

Researchers at the National Ignition Facility, a division of Livermore, used 192 lasers to heat a target to several times the temperature of the center of the sun.

The lasers focused a huge amount of heat onto a small metal container. As a result, thermonuclear fusion began in the superheated plasma, that is, a small and completely safe thermonuclear explosion occurred.

All this has been done before. (And our site has repeatedly written about the Livermore Laboratory and its experiments ).

But before, the expended energy of lasers always exceeded the energy received as a result of fusion.

This time, the laser energy spent on heating the target turned out to be less than the energy released during fusion.

The synthesis lasted a fraction of a second. According to scientists, the total energy spent on heating still exceeds the energy released as a result of fusion. But a big step forward has been taken.

What’s next

Physicists have announced a breakthrough in the creation of thermonuclear energy 2

Riccardo Betty, a professor at the University of Rochester and an expert in laser fusion, said the announcement of a net energy gain from the fusion reaction is significant.

But the scientist noted that there is still a long way to go before electricity can be sustainably generated as a result of nuclear fusion.

He compared the Livermore success message to how people first learned that turning oil into gasoline and igniting it could produce a massive release of energy.

“If you don’t have an engine or tires,” Betty said. “You can’t say you have a car.”

For fusion to be viable, it must produce significantly more energy and be much more sustainable.

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