HomeSpace News'Burning' hydrogen plasma in the world's largest laser sets fusion records

‘Burning’ hydrogen plasma in the world’s largest laser sets fusion records

The secret behind a record-breaking nuclear fusion experiment that spit out 10 quadrillion watts of power in a split second has been revealed: a “self-heating” — or “burning” — plasma of neutron-heavy hydrogen inside the fuel capsule used in the experiment, according to researchers. 

Last year, scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Northern California announced the record release of 1.3 megajoules of energy for 100 trillionths of a second at the National Ignition Facility (NIF), Live Science reported at the time. In two new research papers, NIF scientists show the achievement was due to the precision engineering of the tiny cavity and fuel capsule at the heart of the world’s most powerful laser system, where the fusion took place.

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