Nuclear tests without nukes

An interesting pieces of an article about fusion power that is about to be demonstrated at National ignition facility in the year 2010.  For full article go here

……Next year, researchers at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in California hope to tick that box off Gould’s list. Despite his foresight, Gould could not have imagined the lengths to which scientists and engineers would have to go to bring his prediction to reality. LLNL’s National Ignition Facility (NIF), which was officially completed last month, is a laser on a truly epic scale. The building housing it is 10 stories high and covers an area the size of three football fields; for a very brief instant, its beams deliver a power of 500 terawatts, more than the power-generating capacity of the entire United States.

If all goes according to plan, some time in 2010 the power of those beams will be directed at a small beryllium sphere filled with hydrogen isotopes. The resulting implosion will crush the hydrogen to a temperature and pressure higher than in the core of the sun. If NIF’s scientists get everything right, the hydrogen isotopes will do what they do in the sun: fuse together into helium nuclei and release a huge store of energy. NIF’s principal aim is to reach “ignition”: a self-sustaining fusion burn that gives off more energy than was put in to make it happen–something that so far has occurred only in nuclear explosions and stars……


About Hari Srinivas

I am a PhD student with a major in materials science. My research interests are thin films fabrication for spintronics applications, magnetic materials, TEM, X-ray diffraction.
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