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Thought maybe people want to read something besides politics for a change.  This is REALLY sounding like a breakthrough.  They have been building up to this point for about 13 years now.

The Lawrence Livermore fusion experiment uses a process called laser fusion.  They basically point high power lasers at a small object containing deuterium and uniformly compress it at super high speed.  

Here is the scientific explanation:

In inertial confinement fusion (ICF) experiments on NIF, the energy of 192 powerful laser beams is fired into a pencil-eraser-sized cylinder called a hohlraum, which contains a tiny spherical target filled with deuterium and tritium, two isotopes of hydrogen. Rocket-like compression of the fuel capsule forces the hydrogen nuclei to combine, or fuse, releasing many times more energy than the laser energy that was required to spark the reaction. Fusion energy is what powers the sun and stars.

Only thing was many scientists thought that the plasma created from the process would impede the reaction.  Turns out it is not as big a problem as they thought it would be.  Based on this article, It sounds like they may be able to reach the monumental goal of producing more energy than they put in by some time this year.  That's a huge deal!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/...

More info direct from the source and a nice animation video here:
https://lasers.llnl.gov/

Here is some video from a BBC documentary on the experiments:
http://www.youtube.com/...

Originally posted to thestupiditburns on Thu Jan 28, 2010 at 10:56 PM PST.

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