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One Type of Fusion Accounts For Nearly All Of Sun’s Power, Detector Finds

by Michael Keller

The cool instrument above is what you get to work with if you are on the hunt for neutrinos, the tiny subatomic particles with barely any mass that rarely interact with other matter. Theses pictures all show the Borexino Collaboration particle physics experiment, which is designed to detect a type of neutrino predicted to fly out of the sun due to nuclear fusion of proton atoms at its core. 

The group announced today that their instrument, which is buried nearly 3,200 feet under a mountain to minimize interference from other particles, has detected the so-called pp neutrino. This variety of particle is the result of energy-generating nuclear reactions caused by the fusing of two protons. The team’s results indicate that 99 percent of the sun’s power comes from this type of fusion at its core. 

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Manufacturing Begins For Fusion Reactor Parts 

by Michael Keller

The first components of what will become the world’s largest experimental nuclear fusion reactor are now being manufactured around the world. Once it starts operating in 2020, the multinational ITER demonstration power plant will help scientists understand how to fuse hydrogen nuclei together to make energy, the same phenomenon that powers the sun.

At the heart of the project is the 25,400-ton tokamak, a machine that uses magnetic fields to confine a plasma that burns at 150 million degrees Celsius. The giant magnets used to corral the plasma are now being manufactured at a facility in La Spezia, Italy, as seen in the gifs above and video below.

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Advance Brings Fusion Power Closer

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by Norman Rozenberg

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists announced they have made a significant step towards achieving ignition, a process needed to make fusion energy viable. For the first time ever, researchers say they have gotten more energy out of fusion fuel than what they poured into it to start a reaction.

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Inching Closer To Fusion
This is a room within the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Ignition Facility, where researchers are working to ignite a self-sustained fusion reaction. 
The room contains the preamplifiers for the facility’s 192 lasers that fire billionth-of-a-second pulses onto a tiny target. The lasers deliver 1.8 megajoules of energy and 500 terawatts of power—1,000 times more than the United States uses at any one moment. Their target is a tiny capsule that is heated and pressurized to conditions similar to those found in the sun’s core.[[MORE]]
The product of achieving their objective will be a reaction that produces more energy than that which is put into starting it. They say that experiments in September got them much closer to their goal. If their work is successful, it could usher in a revolution in abundant, clean energy.

Inching Closer To Fusion

This is a room within the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Ignition Facility, where researchers are working to ignite a self-sustained fusion reaction. 

The room contains the preamplifiers for the facility’s 192 lasers that fire billionth-of-a-second pulses onto a tiny target. The lasers deliver 1.8 megajoules of energy and 500 terawatts of power—1,000 times more than the United States uses at any one moment. Their target is a tiny capsule that is heated and pressurized to conditions similar to those found in the sun’s core.

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