Life Of Navin

Random Musings, Random Bullshit.


Boost for Laser Aided Fusion

The Vulcan laser is an 8-beam 2.5 kJ per 2 nanosecond pulse infrared neodymium glass laser at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory's (RAL) Central Laser Facility.It is the world's most powerful laser and now it managed to heat matter to 10 million Celsius, hotter than the surface of the Sun!!

The laser concentrated energy equivalent to 100 times the world's electricity production into a spot measuring just a few millionths of a metre.In proper terms,the Vulcan laser focused one petawatt (1,000 trillion watts) of power into a spot about one tenth of the width of a human hair.
The pulse lasted for one picosecond (one trillionth of a second), heating the target to 10 million Celsius, one tenth of that required for nuclear fusion.

A special high-speed camera probed the fleeting moment.

Scientists now say they could create the conditions required for Fusion for fractions of a second.

The experiments demonstrated concepts which could be key to building a future nuclear fusion reactor.

Scientists have proposed an even more powerful laser facility, called Hiper (High Power laser Energy Research), which will move one step forward in the studies of the feasibility of laser fusion as a potential future energy source.

Nuclear fusion ,which uses deuterium and tritium, two heavier forms of hydrogen, as fuel, is looked on as a panacea in a world that demands ever increasing amounts of energy.

When these isotopes are combined at extremely high temperatures, a small amount of mass is lost and an amazingly huge amount of energy is released. By-products are barely radioactive.

We do know that the process of fusion occurs in stars such as the sun where huge gravitational pressure allows this to happen at temperatures of around 10 million Celsius.

At the much lower pressures on our planet, temperatures to produce fusion would need to be much higher - above 100 million Celsius.

Ultra powerful lasers like Hiper, have been proposed as one method for reaching these extreme conditions, although many remain sceptical about the technique.

National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California is expected to demonstrate energy production from laser driven fusion between 2010 and 2012.

If proven, the technology could rival the current favoured technique for initiating fusion which uses superconducting magnets to contain and fuse the hydrogen nuclei.

This technique will be used in the 10bn-euro International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) currently being built in southern France.

Here is the method the scientists at RAL have described for laser aided fusion.
1. Powerful lasers irradiate a fuel capsule causing the outer layer to rapidly expand.

2. The fuel capsule's core increases in density, converging at the tip of a gold cone.
three men

3. An intense ignition laser is fired into the gold cone producing energetic electrons.
a ship at sea

4. Electrons bombard the fuel raising its temperature to 100 million Celsius, initiating fusion.

We wanted to understand the basic interaction of matter with these laser pulses-- Professor Norreys (RAL)




Finally after all these years, here's to the beginning of what was there, what is there and hopefully what will remain!! So here are my thoughts & words -Online!!

Blog Archive