Interior of Nova laser fusion test chamber

Interior of Nova laser fusion test chamber

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Credit: LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY/ UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA/ SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Interior of the Nova laser fusion test chamber. The Nova laser is the world's most powerful, and is being used to initiate nuclear fusion reactions. Nuclear fusion is the joining of the nuclei of deuterium and tritium (heavy isotopes of hydrogen). The reaction produces vast amounts of energy, but requires an initial temperature of 100 million Celsius. To achieve this, a pinhead-sized pellet of fuel is placed in the chamber. The Nova laser is focused onto the pellet before a full- power burst is fired. This lasts only 50 picoseconds (trillionths of a second), but gives sufficient energy for fusion to occur.

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Keywords: energy, fusion, fusion laser, industry, laser, laser fusion research, nova, nuclear fusion research, technology

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