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NIF achieves important step towards generating fusion energy using ultra-powerful lasers

from Physics World

By focusing NIF's 192 laser beams onto hollow gold cylinders that contain beryllium spheres that contain hydrogen isotopes, researchers have achieved the temperature and compression conditions that are needed for a self-sustaining fusion reaction. The laser beams generate X-rays that cause the beryllium spheres to explode and, due to momentum conservation, the deuterium and tritium to rapidly compress. Due to the shock wave the hydrogen isotopes eventually overcome their mutual repulsion and fuse, releasing about 17 Mev. more


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