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They Created a Star. Now What?

So, the biggest news this week other than someone talking trash about some politicians was the announcement of successful positive energy from a fusion test. It sounds like the biggest significance is as an option other than nuclear power, and hopefully safer though the announcers didn’t say anything about the safety of it.

A picture I generated to illustrate what lasers might look like pointing to a center fuel nugget.

The biggest challenge I see moving forward is the same you might see from other government agencies, big budgets, a lot of moving parts and the only incentive is government funding to pay people and their families. Politicians nudging the departments to hit a certain goal is important but may only help a little.

Within a short conversation, the announcers said it could be decade before the technology is scalable but the current government administration wants to see something within “ten years.”

Hopefully we will see energy production alongside other technologies for storing the energy in high capacity safe batteries that could eliminate the need for people to burn gas, oil and use electricity from the grid to power homes and offices. I can see a time when a large office complex might even have their own fusion reactor and distribute that energy to nearby battery owners once a year and the only need for the current energy companies would be as backup.

When asking the AI about what fusion could do for us, this is what it said.

“Fusion is a process in which atomic nuclei combine to form a heavier nucleus, releasing a large amount of energy in the process. It is considered a potentially limitless and virtually pollution-free source of energy, as it does not produce greenhouse gases or other harmful emissions.

There are several approaches to harnessing fusion as a source of power. One promising approach is magnetic confinement fusion, in which a plasma (a hot, ionized gas) is contained and heated using magnetic fields until the temperature and pressure are high enough to sustain a fusion reaction.

Another approach is inertial confinement fusion, in which a small fuel pellet is compressed and heated to extremely high temperatures and pressures using lasers or particle beams.

Both of these approaches have been demonstrated in laboratory settings, but there are still many technical challenges that need to be overcome in order to make fusion a practical and economically viable source of power. These include developing materials that can withstand the extreme conditions of a fusion reaction, improving the efficiency of the fusion process, and developing a reliable and cost-effective way to generate electricity from the heat produced by the reaction.

Despite these challenges, researchers and engineers are actively working on developing fusion as a source of power, and it is considered a promising area of research with the potential to provide a clean and virtually limitless source of energy in the future.”

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