OT: Scientists achieve nuclear fusion with giant laser

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A typo or two, but this is tremendous news!
Scientists achieve nuclear fusion with giant laser
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9246307/Scientists_achieve_nuclear_fusion_with_giant_laser
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On 2/13/2014 5:39 AM, Lab Lover wrote:

I wanna know how they get 192 beams "300 yards long" lasting only 30 femtoseconds to reach the target at the same time.
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With lots of money, patience and practice?
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wrote:

LOL! Good reply, Lab. :)
--
Jax

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On 2/13/2014 8:34 AM, Lab Lover wrote:

Years ago (like about 35-40 now) spent a fair amount of time as consultant at the Rochester Laser Energetics lab. Much of the preliminaries for the NIF were developed there.
The overall system control at the time was some very elegant Forth code running on HP-1000s that then triggered a set of optics of similar objective as those described but much more primitive and experimental given the state back in them days...
I still have my doubts on fusion as a commercial system, but who knows, it's been 25 yr away for about 50 or 60 now; a hundred more and it'll probably still be about that... :)
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It says they focus on the targe, Not that they actually get there at the same time. Maybe that's why they didnt' ignite the fuel.
"The laser, known as the National Ignition Facility (NIF), uses 192 beams 300 yards long that focus on a fuel cell about the diameter of a No. 2 pencil."
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On 2/13/2014 7:39 AM, Lab Lover wrote:

In the past, it's taken more fraking energy to produce fusion that the energy produced by the fusion. If the boffins can get it to put out more energy than is put in, you can have nuclear explosions in your neighborhood. ^_^
TDD
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On Thu, 13 Feb 2014 08:21:21 -0600, The Daring Dufas

Of course you are referring to confined fusion reactions. It doesn't take much (relatively) energy to detonate a 20 mt thermonuclear weapon, which would release a tremendous amount of energy compared to the amount required to initiate the reaction.

Yeah, no.
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On 2/13/2014 8:33 AM, Lab Lover wrote:

In the past, it's taken more fraking energy to produce fusion that the

I was being fecesious(sic) which is something people say about me with regularity(no pun). ^_^
TDD
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On Thu, 13 Feb 2014 09:02:45 -0600, The Daring Dufas

I wondered but wasn't positive.
In actuality, I do think you are pretty bright and have a good sense of humor.
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On 2/13/2014 9:29 AM, Lab Lover wrote:

In the past, it's taken more fraking energy to produce fusion that the

Unlike a lot of overly sensitive poasters(sic), I have no delusions that anything I write is world changing or important. I don't take myself seriously so no one else should. Besides, my college major was physics and I'm still sore that I was never able to finish college and get my degree but I never lost my love of science and I try my best to keep up with and learn anything I can about what's going on in the world of science. I wish the educational system would encourage and foster children who have an interest in science and medicine. That way, "The Dumbassification Of America" may be somewhat mitigated. ^_^
TDD
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On Thu, 13 Feb 2014 13:23:25 -0600, The Daring Dufas

I'm curious. Maybe a bunch of us are. What happened?

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I thought it strange that the article ignored H-bombs. None used in combat but how many were tested. Dozens?

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On 2/13/2014 12:38 PM, micky wrote: ...

...
Why? They have essentially nothing in common. An H-bomb isn't really a fusion bomb primarily at all--it's a fission implosion trigger device that causes a relatively small amount of fusion to occur but the actual object of the fusion isn't to be the destructive energy release mechanism but is simply a prompt neutron source to initiate a secondary fission reaction. It's that secondary fission explosion that gives the thermonuclear device it's extra bang, not the fusion reaction itself...
That ain't exactly what one would want to do for a controlled, sustained fusion reactor from which one could, hopefully, eventually build a power plant.
As said above, my doubts remain very high that it will ever become a practical replacement energy source but there's always things to be learned in basic research and development and who know?--maybe one day a breakthrough could actually happen. But, any conceptual idea to date makes the complexity of a conventional fission power plant pale by orders of magnitude...
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On 2/13/2014 1:26 PM, dpb wrote: ...

And remember, for it to be practical it has to not only be economically feasible to build initially but be able to operate 24/7 for something like 95%+ reliability on a continuous annual basis between (relatively short) outages. I can't imagine any of the aforementioned technology being up to that task of any time _real_soon_now_ (tm) even if they were to get a 100:1 return on input energy on their next shot. :)
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On Thursday, February 13, 2014 2:26:45 PM UTC-5, dpb wrote:

Plus if you're hoping to make people think this step in fusion research is going to result in clean limitless power plants, it's probably better not to talk about bombs.....
You know what I was thinking the other day. Those Iranians must be one dumb bunch. Seventy years ago, in 5 years the US went from the just the concept of an atomic bomb being possible, when no one had even produced a fission reaction yet, to working bombs. The Iranians have been working on a bomb now for what 15 to 20 years? And today the physics is proven, the essential ideas seem to be fairly well known, it's far easier to separate uraniumisotopes, guys like A Q Khan are selling DIY plans, etc. Even North Korea and Pakistan have figured out how to make them. So, what's up with those Iranians?
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On 2/13/2014 2:40 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Good point...it's still a fear point w/ current technology the anti's use with the ignorant/gullible.
...

I wouldn't go so far as to underrate their unrevealed abilities too much...having met a significant number of Irani engineers working in US commercial nuclear power, they're _not_ dummies by any stretch.
My alternative hypothesis is that there's some collusion going on in the upper echelon technical community that secretly isn't all that thrilled with the idea of becoming the bullseye of an Israeli preemptive strike if they let the cat out of the bag as to how far they really may be.
It's been a while since I've had personal contact with any of these folks I know well since having retired and returned to the farm, but they and many like them at home were and are not radical fanatics and the intellectual class in general isn't so much so there may also be some foot-dragging going on behind the scenes as far as actually producing hardware.
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They have fusion in common.

But it includes a fusion bomb. That counts whether it's primary or not.

The object of the fusion doesn't matter. The object of fusion in any future use of fusion for consumer electricity will also not be destruction.

"Extra bang" does not matter. It's the fusion reaction that is similar.

Of course. but when they created a nuclear chain reaction in power plants, they didn't claim that there was no nuclear chain reaction in atomic bombs.
On rereading what their claim was, "Researchers .... said they've achieved a first: A nuclear fusion system has produced more energy than it initially absorbed.", I can see now that it was tailored to exclude H-bombs and while you raised lots of extraneous points, you did come close to the distinction I now think they're relying on. That is, I presume, that the H-bomb's initial fission reaction produces more energy and more energy is (initially, they say) absorbed by the fusion "system" than is produced by it.
But this presents a new problem. In their own experiments, they used at least one quadrillion watts. If the fusion system produced more energy than that, where did it go? "The laser has not yet been able to ignite the plasma fuel", so what did it do, what produced the more than a quadrillion watts and how did they dissipate all that energy without using it in another laser?
I followed the link to the Nature article http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/nature13008.html but they want $32 dollars for the article. Oh, well. Maybe it will be public knowledge some day.

Maybe so.
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On 2/13/2014 3:35 PM, micky wrote:

...

I didn't claim there wasn't in a thermonuclear device, either.
I simply pointed out that the technique used for creating the fusion reaction in such a device has absolutely no use in the posited application of developing a controlled fusion reactor.
Hence the reason there was no mention thereof in the article and that I say they have nothing in common...it's the technique of creating same that is the issue, not that there is fusion.

No, you're missing the entire point of the neglect of a weapon in comparison -- the manner in which the fusion portion of the device is ignited is simply not a feasible solution for the problem at hand. Whether it did or didn't produce more energy than the input is immaterial for the contained-fusion folks cuz' they can't use the mechanism so there's no point in bringing it up.
What you're forgetting is that they didn't (at least I didn't see it if did) mention how _much_ more energy they got out than they put in (it only says they reported a ratio "greater than one". The actual generated heat is only that difference, not the total cuz' the other was absorbed and is "eaten up" before giving up the excess.
What they achieved was enough of the fuel undergoing fusion to release that fraction>1 but what they didn't achieve was enough input to actually cause the entire fuel target to undergo fusion -- iow, become a self-sustaining reaction aka the sun.
It's a step on a _very_ long road indeed despite the continue optimism. The folks in Rochester and at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab back in the 70s and 80s had the same sureness it was "just 20 yr away"...it's endemic in the field and one has to remain optimistic despite the reality that they'll be retired and long gone before it ever happens...imo it's unlikely their grandchildren will see fusion-generated power on the grid.
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On Thursday, February 13, 2014 5:23:19 PM UTC-5, dpb wrote:

.
Have you followed any of what's going on with cold fusion, or low energy nuclear reaction, LENR as it's called today? From what I've seen over the last few years it looks like there are more and more credible researchers around the world who have stuck with this, reporting that they are seeing excess heat. You even have two professors at MIT that are believers that something unexplained is going on. Their experiments have produced more heat than can be explained. Ironically, it was MIT 20 years ago that played a major role in discrediting the work of Fleischmann and Ponns who claimed they had discovered cold fusion. The problem was that because whatever they had seen was not reproduceable and was inconsistent with known science, most everyone wrote the whole thing off. Even today, mainstream science thinks the scientists left are nuts, but it sure seems more and more of them are reporting results that produce excess heat and can't be explained.
My bet would be that if some new miracle energy source does emerge in our lifetime, LENR has a better chance of being it than conventional fusion. If there is indeed excess heat being generated and we can figure out the mechanism, it would seem that it's something that can be readily scaled without huge hurdles. And if it's real, it must be safe, no one has killed themselves from any radiation, byproducts, etc.
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