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Energy: Laser Fusion

Please provide a short paragraph on fusion progress.

Please read over the Nature paper (perspective) on laser fusion and present your thoughts with regard to the viability of this approach and if it is better or worse than solar, wind, biomass.

"Laser fusion on the horizon"

NATURE PHOTONICS | VOL 6 | MAY 2012 | www.nature.com/naturephotonics

On 15 March 2012, researchers at the National Ignition Facility fired all 192 laser beams at once to deliver 1.875 MJ of energy in 23 billionths of a second. This demonstration generated 100 times more than any other laser in operation. However, ignition was not achieved nor is it likely to be any time soon. A recent article dated 7 November 2012 in Scientific America entitled ?World's Most Powerful Laser Facility Shifts Focus to Warheads? states ignition will be unlikely as funding and direction is to shift away from ignition to warheads.

The laser has several major issues that must be addressed ?One problem seems to be that too much of the laser light is scattering back out of the capsule. Another is that the pellet is being squeezed asymmetrically, which lowers the pressure at its center. The asymmetry also causes the isotopes to mix unevenly, lowering the temperature in the pellet? (Scientific America). The new plan is to provide more slowly in a methodical manner as man figures out nature.

Still not sure how to address laser as compared to other forms of energy like wind and solar or biomass.



Solution Preview

- Fusion processes require tremendous amount of energy for the process to take place. The energy for a fusion process usually comes from fission processes (energies equal to those released from nuclear bombs like atom bombs..).
- Fusion processes release much more energy than the energy required to start a fusion reaction. This energy can then be used for a variety of processes.
- Problems with fusion processes are ? source of energy required to start the process (like the laser fusion experiments), control of energy released (can cause much damage if not controlled), control of ...

Solution Summary

The following posting provides a brief description of last fusion.