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Old 05-22-2009, 04:52 PM   #1
Taure
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Controlled Fusion? Yes please.

Not a fusion power plant yet, but still awesome:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8044620.stm
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When the world's most powerful laser facility flicks the switch on its first full-scale experiments later this month, a tiny star will be born on Earth.

The National Ignition Facility (NIF) in California aims to demonstrate the feasibility of nuclear fusion, the reaction at the heart of the Sun and a potentially abundant, clean energy source for the planet.
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Old 05-22-2009, 06:01 PM   #2
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Nice, that reminds me of the BBC's documentary from Horizon series "Can We Make a Star on Earth" a couple of months ago which is was awesome, and it did talk about those lasers which could create conditions similar to inside a star for a tiny amount of time.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00hr6bk

It's easily found on any torrent tracker for those who can't watch it because they don't live in Britain.
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Old 05-22-2009, 06:34 PM   #3
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This reminds me of Spider Man.
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Old 05-22-2009, 08:05 PM   #4
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This reminds me of We're All Going To Die!

No, but really. If they can make this work and harness it, yay, clean energy for the world.

If they somehow kill us all, eh could be worse.
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Old 05-22-2009, 09:06 PM   #5
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It's already been planned for it to go supernova. How more dangerous can it be than that?
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:29 PM   #6
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Well shoot, mad science is trying to destroy the world again. Oh well, here's hoping we can become less dependent on fossil fuels.

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Old 05-22-2009, 10:31 PM   #7
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We need more practical application of apocalyptic events. All this simmering threat of terror gets tiresome. It's like watching porn with all the good bits cut out, then having your aunt visit for dinner. Every. Fucking. Day.

Hate teases.
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Old 05-23-2009, 12:48 AM   #8
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Well, if it goes nuclear, the US West coast is fucked. Hopefully, it doesn't and the scientists somehow manage to harness the physical/nuclear energy released from the bang.
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Old 05-23-2009, 12:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taure View Post
It's already been planned for it to go supernova. How more dangerous can it be than that?
Jesus, wtf? What size is this thing supposed to be?

Unseeable?
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Old 05-23-2009, 01:11 AM   #10
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Well, if it goes nuclear, the US West coast is fucked. Hopefully, it doesn't and the scientists somehow manage to harness the physical/nuclear energy released from the bang.
In order for it to "go nuclear", you'd have to have far more hydrogen/deuterium, and it would have to be more densely packed. The only way fusion bombs (H-Bombs) work is by encasing the fusionable material in a shell of Uranium/Plutonium. The fissionable shell is detonated, creating the pressures and temperatures necessary for a mass, near instantaneous chain reaction.

Fusion is a very ponderous process. It takes a shit-ton of energy input to produce, and once achieved, it needs a constant supply of fuel and energy, at a relatively constant density, to maintain itself. If any one of these conditions falters, the reaction simply stops. Even if containment is breached, all that would happen is an outpouring of rapidly cooling plasma. Without the proper density of materials, the fusion reaction couldn't continue. It would, in essence, fizzle out.

Sure, you'd have a pile of slag where a massively expensive reactor used to be, but there would be no devastating explosion.
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Old 05-23-2009, 01:24 AM   #11
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Where the hell is Perspicacity to explain the inner workings on how (non)dangerous this shit is for us?
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Old 05-23-2009, 02:44 AM   #12
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Well... I guess you can kind of think about it like a car. To start the car (fusion) you have to put a key into the ignition and well... ignite the gas in the cylinders to get that process going. Ie. Set off the fission to set off the fusion. No gas(fuel) no process. The car stops.
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Old 05-23-2009, 03:49 AM   #13
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It's already been planned for it to go supernova. How more dangerous can it be than that?
I'm no physicist but I know that there are definitely situations, especially situations dealing with any sort of combustion, where reactions are not necessarily linear and depending on the materials involved you can have a completely runaway reaction.

So really who knows whats going to happen? This is the kind of shit that people can theorize about all day long, but when it comes time to put it to the test we can never really be sure that its going to happen the way we expect it to.

Fucking scientists and their rancors.
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Old 05-23-2009, 05:50 AM   #14
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Jesus, wtf? What size is this thing supposed to be?
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Originally Posted by The Article
This comprises a 150-microgram mix of deuterium and tritium
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Article
The whole experiment may take just billionths of a second, meaning the explosion has to be monitored in incredible detail by a suite of sensors.
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Well, if it goes nuclear, the US West coast is fucked.
Er, what? The entire point of the experiment is for it to "go nuclear". What they're doing is nuclear fusion. Making a mini-star. You know that a star is pretty much one giant H-bomb, yes?
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Old 05-23-2009, 08:15 AM   #15
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Where the hell is Perspicacity to explain the inner workings on how (non)dangerous this shit is for us?
I've worked in precisely this field for the past eight years. I know it better than most areas of science.

That said...

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I hate you, and I hate Taure for starting up your patting yourself on the back engine.

I'm going to start making movieplots out of all the posts you talk about yourself in, and submit them to SkyNet(fauxion).

Edit: Funny, you implying I talk about myself as much as you do. Those on IRC might know me better than anyone on this board, and if all you know about me is that I'm a "dirty Injun' then I rest my case. Your head's so large, that at this moment, you're orbiting around Earth. I hope you get punched in the face by an asteroid.
Right. I don't think I'll bother. Figure it out for yourselves or ask me in a PM.

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I'm on painmeds, my jaw feels like its being beat with a prybar, and I rather thought it was a good insult. SO KICK ROCKS 8D
Couldn't have said it better myself.
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Old 05-23-2009, 09:48 AM   #16
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This is insanely awesome. The scale they're running it on doesn't make it sound too dangerous (read the article, fags), and the benefit of being able to run the same experiment over and over....

I know science for science's sake is a worthy pursuit, and the NIF scientists are probably slighlty annoyed at the people frothing at the mouth about the energy applications, but I can't help but think of the energy benefit. Too bad it'll take a while to reach us, though.

And metallic hydrogen sounds awesome.
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Old 05-23-2009, 09:59 AM   #17
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Er, what? The entire point of the experiment is for it to "go nuclear". What they're doing is nuclear fusion. Making a mini-star. You know that a star is pretty much one giant H-bomb, yes?
You never know. They might do something wrong that causes a chain of failures. I'm just saying, worst case scenario, it goes fission and booms instead of fusion and star. But, the size does make the damage that might be possible seem very small.
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:16 AM   #18
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You never know. They might do something wrong that causes a chain of failures. I'm just saying, worst case scenario, it goes fission and booms instead of fusion and star. But, the size does make the damage that might be possible seem very small.
A. Worse case scenario involves the reactor getting fried. It does not involve a large detonation because that only happens in movies.

B. If you magically made all the deuterium and tritium fission without trying you would produce almost no energy especially in comparison to the amount of energy generated by the fusion reaction.
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Old 05-23-2009, 03:01 PM   #19
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Rofl, Pers. I lol'd. When has what anyone said stopped you before?

Why do I have the image of Doc. Octavius or whatever from Spiderman. Then I get this image in my head about the largest mirror in the world, which used to be California.
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Old 05-23-2009, 03:17 PM   #20
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Sexiest avatar every Zommie.

Also: All hail the future republic of the mirror! *stakes claim to SFBay area*
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