#1 By: Maggie Koerth-Baker, February 14th, 2014 13:56
#2 By: mkirkland, February 14th, 2014 15:00
They didn't produce more energy than they used, they produced more than was absorbed. It's still a step forward, but they haven't breached the break even point yet.
#3 By: Patrick Ziselberger, February 14th, 2014 15:02
The best part of the whole thing is the name of the lead fusion scientist: Dr. Omar Hurricane. DR. OMAR HURRICANE!! With a name like that, he could be a Superman Super-villain.
#4 By: Phasma Felis, February 14th, 2014 15:24
Specifically, IIRC, the fuel produced more energy than it absorbed, but the amount of energy used to power the lasers to begin with was much greater than either.
#5 By: fluffy, February 14th, 2014 15:29
One Step closer to the Paradise.
If they would invest the Military Budget in this Research.
#6 By: spejic, February 14th, 2014 15:52
You are also using high quality energy (electricity) and getting out much less useful energy (heat).
#7 By: Cary, February 14th, 2014 16:18
This is military budget -- one of the main reasons that the NIF got funded is that it is useful for the maintenance of our nuclear warhead stockpile.
#8 By: Cary, February 14th, 2014 16:21
Then after that they need to convert the energy into something usable...
#9 By: Stephen Schenck, February 14th, 2014 17:41
The deuterium and tritium are added as a gas to the hollow pellet. Then the sphere is cooled to 18.6 kelvins, or –254.55 degrees Celsius. That cooling causes the deuterium and tritium to form a layer of ice on the inside of the sphere roughly 70 micrometers thick.
Ice? Wouldn't that be a sign that water had contaminated the fuel?
#10 By: Tim, February 14th, 2014 19:36
Apparently the military is really interested in alternative energy research, if only because it's such a logistical nightmare to ship all those fossil fuels to keep machines of war running on the battlefield.
#11 By: Stephen Cowell, February 14th, 2014 20:44
Apparently an eyeblink takes on the order of 10^-8 seconds (really?) and a rugby ball is egg-shaped.
#12 By: Mike, February 14th, 2014 22:44
A name like that, a job in cutting edge science? He's totally going to gain superpowers in a lab accident!
#13 By: Immutable Michael, February 15th, 2014 00:38
I wondered whether it meant solid hydrogen, which is solid up until 14k. A trifle cooler than the 18k mentioned, but the freezing point of these two isotopes might be slightly higher given their higher mass than everyday hydrogen.
#14 By: Pat R x 2, February 15th, 2014 02:05
From a straight practical point-of-view, I'm waiting to see what Aker does with their accelerator-driven thorium reactor - the time frame for development should be much quicker, and the fuel is much cheaper and more abundant (than the tritium, at any rate).
#15 By: awjt, February 15th, 2014 02:34
And they continue to have problems with a functional system for feeding the thing $1million dollar pellets, not mentioned in the article. But, it's great news, an engineering marvel. I'm impressed they've gotten even this far. It's going to be many years before this is viable.
They always say it's 50 years away. That's because people only really work for 30 to 40 years and then retire, so success is off their horizon because they have no clue how long it will actually take. Just like with any project, even washing the dishes. Nobody knows.
#16 By: Maggie Koerth-Baker, February 19th, 2014 13:56
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