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Photos of the Day: Bootstrapping Holds the Key to Nuclear Fusion

Fri, 02/14/2014 - 10:20am
Malcolm Ritter, AP Science Writer

This undated image provided by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory shows a deuterium and tritium capsule, sphere in window at center, inside a cylindrical hohlraum container about 0.4 inches tall. In research reported Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014 by the journal Nature, scientists say they've taken a key step toward harnessing nuclear fusion as a new way to generate power, an idea that has been pursued for decades. In tests, 192 laser beams briefly fired into the small gold cylinder which held the two kinds of hydrogen. The energy from the lasers kicked off a process that compressed the ball by an amount akin to squeezing a basketball down to the size of a pea, said Debbie Callahan, an author of the paper. That created the extremely high pressure and temperatures needed to get the hydrogen atoms to fuse. (AP Photo/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Eddie Dewald)

Read: Nuclear Fusion Project Takes Key Step in Lab Test

This undated image provided by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory shows a deuterium and tritium capsule, sphere in window at center, inside a cylindrical hohlraum container about 0.4 inches tall. In research reported Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014 by the journal Nature, scientists say they've taken a key step toward harnessing nuclear fusion as a new way to generate power, an idea that has been pursued for decades. In tests, 192 laser beams briefly fired into the small gold cylinder which held the two kinds of hydrogen. The energy from the lasers kicked off a process that compressed the ball by an amount akin to squeezing a basketball down to the size of a pea, said Debbie Callahan, an author of the paper. That created the extremely high pressure and temperatures needed to get the hydrogen atoms to fuse. (AP Photo/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Eddie Dewald)

 

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