Laser-initiated fusion reaction in test chamber

Laser-initiated fusion reaction in test chamber

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

Caption: A flash of light from a nuclear fusion reaction, in the test chamber of the Nova laser fusion experiment. 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, the World's most powerful, 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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