Fingers crossed that this is just the first step on the road to effective treatment
And relatedly, quite a clear article:
On the question of how long before we could see fusion being used in power stations, Dr Budil, the LLNL director, said there were still significant hurdles but that: “with concerted efforts and investment, a few decades of research on the underlying technologies could put us in a position to build a power plant”.
Come on humans, get a wriggle on.
And always will be.
Man on the news just said at the moment they are doing one experiment a day.
To scale it up to power station level they need to be doing an experiment every second.
So a long way to go.
If they went at it like a Covid vaccine and funded it like a war this could be jollied along surely?
Who are ‘they’?
Leaders of the free world?
We need Pete and Graham on the case if it’s going to be done before Rabski finishes his amp.
We’ll all be living on Mars by then
There seems to be the odd mention over there of a built and rebuilt and rebuilt again amp. I think it may have been built. Possibly didn’t go well mind.
I had lunch today with a guy who is much brighter than me and was also much closer to this field when he was still at work (he’s now retired). His response, pretty much, was ‘More fusion energy out than laser light put in ? Well, that is real progress given the decades and billions of dollars they’ve already spent without managing to achieve it. But there’s still miles and miles and miles to go and if it’s been this hard to get even this small distance then I wouldn’t bet anything I cared about on it.’.
The BBC article mentions that they’d like to run at 1 bang per second, not one per day. In fact it will probably need to be 10-20 bangs per second per reactor chamber, and they’ll need to be making those extremely challenging targets at that rate (or some simpler target which works as well, which has so far eluded them, and they have been trying). I’ve already mentioned the astronomical target cost reduction that’s required.
Then they need to work out how to capture the released energy and convert it into electricity. There are a few concepts, but nothing tried and tested. To give some idea of the scale of the problem, the 3MJ of energy that the latest experiment yielded is roughly the energy you get out of a modern hand-grenade. So your power converter has to be wrapped around a space, at the centre of which 10-20 hand grenades per second are going off. Day and night. And it has to survive that. Somehow I can’t see npower operating a thing like that.
The fact is we already have a perfectly good nuclear fusion reactor. It runs maintenance-free, 24/365 at zero cost. Its expected lifetime is billions of years. It’s 150 million kilometres away and our planet orbits it. We just need to sort out the politics of buying our energy from people whose countries contain sunny deserts. However hard that is it has to be easier than making fusion work cheaply and reliably and repetitively on the earth.
So…… Would you like your hand grenade laser machine in green or yellow?
But… but… muh flying cars tho’!
Your neighbours will complain about their noise.
Notwithstanding the fact I’m on the wrong side of a massive hangover, I’m watching a thing on black holes.
“A black hole where gravity is so strong that even light can’t escape”.
The emphasis on “even” when talking about light would imply that light is the most powerful thing apart from the black hole.
My IPA addled brain wants to know what makes light move.