Scientists have come up with the best human invention since the discovery of fire… eternal free energy

A recent breakthrough by US energy scientists has raised the world’s hopes for clean energy, as it will enable what is known as “net energy harvesting”, a technology scientists have access to, to ensure an abundant and carbon-free alternative to energy production. .

This comes after scientists in US government laboratories made a breakthrough in the search for unlimited carbon-free energy by achieving for the first time a net increase in energy in a nuclear fusion reaction, according to what was reported by the Financial Times, citing sources, and viewed by Al Arabiya. net”.

Since the 1950s, physicists have been trying to harness the fusion reaction that powers the Sun, but no group has been able to produce more energy from the reaction than it consumes—the famous “net energy gain,” which would help provide a reliable alternative. Abundance on fossil fuels and conventional nuclear energy.

Fusion energy

Today’s nuclear power plants work through fission – splitting heavy atoms to create energy. During fission, a neutron hits a heavy uranium atom, splitting it into lighter atoms and thus producing a lot of heat and energy at the same time.

Fusion, on the other hand, works the other way around – it involves joining two atoms (usually hydrogen) to create a new element (mostly helium) in the same way that stars create energy.

In this process, the two hydrogen atoms lose a small amount of mass, which is converted into energy, and since the speed of light at which the process takes place is so fast, even a small loss of mass can result in a large amount of energy.

The FT’s sources said the federal Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California had made a net energy gain in fusion testing over the past two weeks. Although many scientists believe that fusion power plants are still decades away, it is hard to ignore the potential of this technology.

Advantages of fusion energy

Fusion reactions emit no carbon, there is no long-lived radioactive waste, and a small cup of hydrogen fuel could theoretically power a home for hundreds of years.

The US breakthrough comes as the world grapples with rising energy prices and the need to move quickly away from burning fossil fuels to prevent average global temperatures from rising to dangerous levels.

Through the Inflation Reduction Act, US President Joe Biden’s administration will award nearly $370 billion in new subsidies for low-carbon energy in an effort to cut emissions and win the global race for the next generation of clean technology.

Sources familiar with the results said the fusion reaction at the US government facility produced about 2.5 megajoules of energy, compared with an estimated energy consumption of 2.1 megajoules, while the data is still being analyzed.

Laser experiment

On the other hand, the US Department of Energy said in a statement yesterday, Tuesday: “This historic achievement and the first of its kind will provide unprecedented capacity to support the NNSA Inventory Stewardship Program and will provide invaluable insights into the prospects for clean fusion energy, which would change the rules of the game for efforts to achieve the goal.” net zero carbon emissions.

On the other hand, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said: “We have had a theoretical understanding of fusion for more than a century, but the journey from knowledge to action can be long and arduous.”

However, FT sources have made it clear that an exact return is still a long way off and that it cannot be confirmed at this time that it has exceeded the threshold. Sources said the energy output during the test was higher than expected, leading to damage to some diagnostic equipment, complicating the analysis.

The $3.5 billion Lawrence Livermore facility was originally designed to test nuclear weapons by simulating explosions, but was later used for further fusion energy research.

At the unveiling of the new fusion energy strategy at the White House this year, Congressman Don Baer, ​​chairman of the bipartisan Fusion Energy Caucus, called the technology the “Holy Grail” of clean energy, adding, “Successful fusion testing has the potential to lift many citizens from of poverty.” More than anything since the invention of fire.”

a big handicap

Currently, researchers can trigger the fusion reaction only once a day, to allow the device that produces the laser beam to cool down, replacing the fused atoms with fresh, unfused hydrogen atoms.

For the process to be commercially successful, scientists must be able to perform the process several times per second.

Lasers compress hydrogen atoms to about 100 times the density of lead and heat them to about 100 million degrees Celsius, more than 6 times the temperature of the sun’s core.

What are the benefits of integration?

Nuclear fusion technology is safer than fission, because fusion cannot cause rapid reactions or risk major catastrophes, nor does it produce radioactive by-products that need to be safely stored or harmful carbon emissions.

You’re unlikely to run out of fuel because fusion fuels are just heavy hydrogen atoms that can be found in seawater.

US Secretary of Energy

US Secretary of Energy

parallel experiments

Most fusion research has focused on a different approach known as magnetic field fusion, in which hydrogen fuel is held in place by powerful magnets and heated to such extreme temperatures that the atomic nuclei of atoms fuse.

In the 12 months ending in June, merging companies raised $2.83 billion in investment, according to the Fusion Industry Association, bringing total private sector investment to date to nearly $4.9 billion.

Nicholas Hooker, chief executive of Oxford start-up First Light Fusion, which is developing an approach similar to that used at NIF, described the potential hack as a “game changer”.

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