The truth about nuclear fusion power – new breakthroughs
A team of researchers showcases a new nuclear fusion method for generating clean energy, based on the relativistic effect of superintense laser radiation.
Modern nuclear power uses the decay of heavy isotopes into lighter elements, but thermonuclear fusion is a more efficient and environmentally friendly option, in which hydrogen isotopes fusion to form more complex helium atoms. The problem is that for such an interaction to start, extremely high temperatures and pressures are required, like inside the Sun.
A team of scientists led by physicists from Osaka University has proposed a modified method for inertial confinement of a mixture of deuterium and tritium atoms using double high-precision laser pulses. The second pulse acts as a super-penetrating igniter, as it generates fast electrons in dense plasma, which heats up the core during compression, causing fusion. In this case, the delivery of energy to the fuel bunch provides the relativistic behavior of a high-intensity laser.
According to the research participants, the technique is effective, since the energy released during the fusion exceeds the energy expended in the fusion. They also say that this the technology can be applied in other areas of high energy physics, including medicine.
We also previously reported that physicists are one step closer to creating a gamma laser.
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Osaka University, TASS