The nuclear fusion is the very same process that energizes the Sun. This occurs when specific nuclear reactions happen between the lighter elements within the Sun, a process which creates heavier elements. Recently, a study’s report has been published and shows that nuclear fusion reactions similar to those happening inside the Sun have been reproduced in the laboratory by a science team from the Colorado State University, in the United States.
Scientists built their own super-fast laser to serve for the experiment’s purposes
With a small and very powerful laser prototype, the researchers heated up a target made of a pattern of nanowires.
Such experiments of controlled nuclear fusion employing lasers usage are commonly conducted with very costly lasers that can top up the investments to hundreds of millions of dollars.
Instead of investing millions in lasers, the Colorado State University’s team of scientists designed their own super-fast prototype laser which has been specifically created for this study.
Nuclear fusion experiments are commonly targeting the development of new methods of creating clean energy.
Scientists obtained a nuclear fusion reaction in the lab but only at a microscopic scale
The researchers used their super-fast laser beam to irradiate the before-mentioned target.
When this laser’s beam hit the target, there were produced, instantly, plasmas of very high density and temperatures, almost mimicking the reactions that occur inside the Sun.
These plasmas trigger nuclear fusion reactions
As I’ve already said, the laser was set to hit a target produced of a pattern of nanowires. Those nanowires were made of a material that presents deuterium in its composition. Thus, this experiment made it possible to effectively produce Deuterium-Deuterium nuclear fusion reactions, which are scientifically known as D-D fusion.
In other words, the Colorado State Univerity’s team of researchers was able to reproduce nuclear fusion reactions similar to those happening inside the Sun.