♫ Music: Duke Ellington - Jubilee Stomp
Vikki Dougan (said to be one of the inspirations for Jessica Rabbit) on Hollywood & Vine by Ralph Crane, 1957
Close some doors not because of pride, incapacity, or arrogance, but simply because they no longer lead somewhere. - Paulo Coelho
The many faces of the graceful figure skaters
Something funny to end my night on. I have a bit more serious queue that will be posting for a little while. Goodnight friends!
New Experiments Are Another Big Step Toward Nuclear Fusion Power
In each trial, 192 laser beams briefly fired into a half-inch-long gold cylinder. The cylinder held a tiny ball that contained the fuel, which was a mix of two kinds of hydrogen, called deuterium and tritium. 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, says Debbie Callahan, an author of the paper.
That created the extremely high pressure and temperatures needed to get the hydrogen atoms to fuse. It was all over in the blink of an eye, with the reaction confined to a space smaller than the width of a human hair.
Nuclear fusion would be worthwhile only if it produces more energy than it uses, and the results were far from that. The hydrogen fuel did emit more energy than it absorbed from the lasers, an experimental goal. But the fuel took in only about 1 percent of all the energy produced by the lasers. So the apparatus is still far short of producing more energy than it requires to operate.
Another key finding was evidence that energy created by the fusion reaction was going back into the remaining fuel, a “bootstrapping” process that is key to boosting the energy output.
"Seeing that kick in is quite exciting, and it does show that there is promise" for increasing the energy output, says Omar Hurricane, lead author on the Nature paper. It’s not clear when researchers will be able to get more energy out of the reaction than the lasers pour into it, he said, but "we are working like mad… in that direction."
The sign of bootstrapping is “really a wonderful result,” says fusion expert Robert McCrory of the Univ. of Rochester, who was not involved in the research. “There’s a lot more that needs to be done” to reach the point where the reaction produces more energy than the lasers deliver, but “this was absolutely necessary.”
The fascinating world of liquid crystals.
Good to know
(Source: rishikajain.com )