NIF at start

26/05/2009

National Ignition Facility started this year at Lawrence Livermore Laboratories. This project has the ambition to give an answer to our quest for nuclear fusion as a reliable source of energy.NIF_homeFunded by US government, it has implied delays and cost increase during its realization. But the aims are so relevant that this is worthwhile spent money. The approach for this experiment is that of inertial fusion. This technique uses power lasers to hit a pellet of fusion material. Pressure of light, when applied uniformly on the target, will push nuclei so near to win the effect of the Coulomb barrier and so they start to fuse each other relaxing a large amount of energy. This is our dream of a sun on earth. I think people is also aware of the other way research is pursuing through tokamak where a plasma is heated through different means to achieve the same goal. For this track, ITER is still at very start of its realization.

As usual,  there is a very good article on the New York Times about NIF (see here).  The hope is to solve one of the most difficult problems of humankind. So, we can only wish the best of lucks at NIF.


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