"Laser Fusion Experiment Unleashes an Energetic Burst of Optimism"

"Even scientists who were skeptical of work at the National Ignition Facility called the results a success."

"Scientists have come tantalizingly close to reproducing the power of the sun — albeit only in a speck of hydrogen for a fraction of a second.

Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory reported on Tuesday that by using 192 gigantic lasers to annihilate a pellet of hydrogen, they were able to ignite a burst of more than 10 quadrillion watts of fusion power — energy released when hydrogen atoms are fused into helium, the same process that occurs within stars.

Indeed, Mark Herrmann, Livermore’s deputy program director for fundamental weapons physics, compared the fusion reaction to the 170 quadrillion watts of sunshine that bathe Earth’s surface.

“This is about 10 percent of that,” Dr. Herrmann said. And all of the fusion energy emanated from a hot spot about as wide as a human hair, he said."

Kenneth Chang reports for the New York Times August 17, 2021.

Source: NYTimes, 08/18/2021