The first controlled fusion reaction

in Proof of Brain5 months ago

The first controlled fusion reaction.


Shortly before he died, Stephen Hawking was asked what was the most promising idea that could one day change the history of mankind and he said nuclear fusion.

We are living in historic days, it may not be the day that Hawking dreamed of, but without a doubt these days will be part of the first lights of the new energetic dawn, perhaps I am becoming epic and romantic, but energy is what moves civilization and we live today in a critical age.

The energy sources that powered the Industrial Revolution are more controlled than ever, as is nuclear fuel for fission plants where atoms are split to generate power, typically using uranium.


But the great news is that the United States Secretary of Energy declared that what has been achieved will be written in the history books and will also change the world, they have announced that the United States Department of Energy has achieved fusion ignition in Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

It was carried out on December 5 when a team from the National Ignition Installation of said laboratory carried out the first controlled fusion experiment in history, to reach "the energy equilibrium point" more clearly, a positive energy value was produced, They got more energy from the fusion than the energy used to create the fusion and this, although it was expected that they would one day achieve it, is an amazing achievement.


They have been talking about fusion energy for many years, which is the energy that is produced by uniting two atoms, preferably hydrogen. It is, for example, what stars like the sun and its nucleus do, fuse hydrogen and from this process the enormous amount of energy that lights and warms our planet and the worlds of the solar system and beyond.

We humans could manage to do the same. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the Universe, it can be extracted from water, whose molecule is made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen. Here we must clarify something that sometimes leads to confusion, and is that hydrogen can be used as fuel with the advantage that the resulting residue is water because burning something is basically oxidizing it, that is, adding oxygen and if you add oxygen to hydrogen, then you have a water molecule again, it would be a marvelous plan we extract hydrogen from the water we burn the hydrogen we get energy and we have water again, but there is a problem in that marvelous plan to break the water molecules and separate their components we need to apply more energy than we get by burning the hydrogen and this is the problem of the famous water engines that are sometimes announced in the press as a miraculous solution to the energy problem.


These engines are not water, they are hydrogen engines, they extract hydrogen from water through electrolysis, spending more energy in the process than they get with hydrogen. In fact, it would be more profitable to plug an engine into an electrical power source than to waste time and energy. energy in splitting the water molecule.

Something similar happened to us with nuclear fusion, although unlike the water engine we do know that there is a point at which fusion produces more energy than it uses, in fact, we see it every morning when the sun rises over the horizon. Getting to that point is difficult.


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