Se­cret of in­fi­nite en­ergy ex­plained

Australian T3 - - RADAR -

in the SMALL town of Liver­more, Cal­i­for­nia, sits the Na­tional Ig­ni­tion Fa­cil­ity. In­side, sci­en­tists are busy con­struct­ing an ar­ti­fi­cial sun. Why? To en­sure you need never worry about the elec­tric­ity again.

It’s all pos­si­ble thanks to Doc Brown’s favourite pas­time: nu­clear fu­sion. Op­ti­cal lenses am­plify a weak laser pulse (a bil­lionth of a joule) to cre­ate a 500 tril­lion-watt laser to be di­rected through 192 beams and aimed at this Cere­bro-like cham­ber. Sit­ting ca­su­ally in­side is a fuel cap­sule no big­ger than a pea, warm­ing up to 100 mil­lion de­grees – that’s hot­ter than the sun’s cen­tre – and be­com­ing highly com­pressed, fus­ing its atoms to­gether.

Fu­sion’s ma­jor flaw in the past has been that it re­quires an in­put of more en­ergy than it cre­ated. But no more, ap­par­ently, as the NIF will deliver 100 times the en­ergy needed to ig­nite it when op­er­a­ble. Race you to the plug…

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