Newsletter #8 - We Have Ingition

Hi friends, Fantasy/Sci-Fi/Horror author Paul James Keyes here with another newsletter.

I call you friends, because last time I trauma dumped on all of you about the nature of life and death. [LINK TO NEWSLETTER 7 - 'WHAT ARE WE?'] I apologize if that was uncomfortable, but I can’t not write about these big moments when they happen. I wouldn’t be being genuine otherwise. Today, I really want to stay cheery, so I’ve picked a topic that truly is one of the greatest and also most recent feats of mankind: Fusion.

That’s right, nuclear fusion. We’ve done it for the first time ever. US scientists at the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California successfully produced a nuclear fusion reaction that resulted in a net gain in energy after accounting for all the energy used on the lasers that power the reactor. This happened back in December.

We are officially living in a post-fusion world. It will go down in history books as the beginning of a new era in infinite clean energy once the technology can be tested and scaled up (which will take years from now, but still!). It’s genuinely one of the biggest achievements of all time, and I can hardly believe we are all getting to live through this era of such technological advancement. It’s astonishing. If someone told me a decade ago that successful net energy creating fusion would be a reality today, I would probably have said they were delusional—maybe in a hundred years!

The reactor uses an array of 200 lasers to contain a series of explosions started out of a pellet of hydrogen fuel. At a rate of 50 explosions per second, the energy is bounced back in on itself until it grows hot enough to fuse the atoms back together, creating clean, heat energy as a byproduct of the fusion.

Things aren’t going to change overnight. The reactor is only powerful enough to boil about 10 kettles of water currently. This will need to be scaled up substantially to run a power station, but the groundwork has been laid. A world filled with cheap and clean energy, here we come!

Until next time, stay safe out there!

Freebie: Into the Beyond - Part 1: Fated - A Fantasy Horror Series


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