Nuclear science, with its fast growth, seeing some exciting advances these days, as scientists successfully showed how fuel can be heated to the required temperature for the occurrence of necessary reactions.
Scientists worked on nuclear fusion ignition which is a point where nuclear reaction goes on its own due to energy generation during a reaction process. Getting clean energy is the ultimate aim and some amazing results are observed using high-powered lasers.
On Tuesday, Nuclear scientists reported that with the help of lasers the size of approximately three football fields they successfully generated a very large amount of energy from fusion, which makes them more optimistic about getting a new clean energy source.
All this started in 2010 with hitting a target with a megajoule laser and getting control over laser beams but after this, in 2012 a record of 500 trillion watt laser shot was made.
Successfully the NIF team in 2014 focused lasers on small capsules of plastic having deuterium and tritium which gave more energy than what was put in. But now a huge blast of energy is done by experts using a giant array of almost 200 laser beams onto a very small spot.
This blast is eight times bigger than that of the past done by them. The energy remained for a very shorter period i.e for just 100 trillionths of a second. Despite this, scientists are getting closer to generating more energy than that using.
As per scientists, nuclear fusion is the potential energy for the upcoming generation as it produces very little waste and no greenhouse gases. Interestingly in this research scientists used two isotopes of hydrogen which then give birth to helium, which is the same as the process that happens in stars and the sun.
Science magazine reported that the NIF team have since proceeded to experiments that gave 100 kJ, and one even as high as 170 kJ and thus getting more closer to their vision.
Different scientists made different remarks on this research. Professor Steven Rose, co-director of the center for research in this field at Imperial College London said, “This is the most significant advance in inertial fusion since its beginning in 1972.”
While Jeremy Chittenden, co-director of the same center in London said, “For turning this concept into a renewable source of electrical power will have significant technical challenges and it will be a long process.”
For now, the NIF team is looking for improvements in the design which holds the fuel capsule and getting better accuracy of lasers. The next steps are decided and likely to happen in the upcoming months.