Tracking the Future
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Tracking the Future
Explore the most important technology and science trends! News, Analysis, Interviews, Presentations, Documentaries. All in one place at Tracking the future magazine
Curated by Szabolcs Kósa
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Magnetic behavior discovery could advance nuclear fusion

Magnetic behavior discovery could advance nuclear fusion | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Inspired by the space physics behind solar flares and the aurora, a team of researchers from the University of Michigan and Princeton has uncovered a new kind of magnetic behavior that could help make nuclear fusion reactions easier to start.

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The Nuclear Fusion Arms Race Is Underway

The Nuclear Fusion Arms Race Is Underway | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Scientists today are much closer to creating fusion energy than they were 40 years ago. And while most large public research projects are still decades from producing a reactor that can compete in the marketplace, a number of private companies have jumped headlong into the fusion race. Propelled by advances in engineering and science, changes in public funding, and tens of millions in high-risk high-tech investment dollars, they’re betting they can create a scalable, sellable reactor in less than a decade.

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Nuclear Fusion Within Grasp, Scientists Say

Nuclear Fusion Within Grasp, Scientists Say | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Nuclear fusion, the engine that drives the sun, could potentially transform human society if we could harness it. But researchers at a U.S. government laboratory working toward producing fusion energy are finding that a tiny little component of their apparatus is throwing a very big wrench in the works.

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Solve for X: Charles Chase on energy for everyone

Problem: Energy access & climate change
Solution: A 100MW compact fusion reactor that runs on plentiful and cheap deuterium and tritium (isotopes of hydrogen). 
Breakthrough technology: Charles Chase and his team at Lockheed have developed a high beta configuration, which allows a compact reactor design and speedier development timeline (5 years instead of 30).

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Joel Barker's curator insight, February 14, 2013 12:28 PM

Lockheed Skunk Works has a fusion energy team working on small scale fusion reactors. They believe they can have a prototype operating within the decade. Fusion has been and still is the holy grail of energy. This is an incomplete but useful video about their efforts. I will be looking for online materials to read about this.

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Clean, limitless fusion power could arrive sooner than expected

Clean, limitless fusion power could arrive sooner than expected | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Good news, denizens of Earth: If the findings from two premier research labs are to be believed, commercial nuclear fusion is feasible — and could arrive sooner than expected.

The first breakthrough comes from Sandia National Laboratories (the same engineers who brought us the fanless heatsink). At SNL, a research team has been working on a new way of creating fusion called magnetized liner inertial fusion (MagLIF). This approach is quite similar to the National Ignition Facility at the LLNL in California, where they fuse deuterium and tritium (hydrogen isotopes) by crushing and heating the fuel with 500 trillion watts of laser power. Instead of lasers, MagLIF uses a massive magnetic pulse (26 million amps), created by Sandia’s Z Machine (a huge X-ray generator), to crush a small cylinder containing the hydrogen fuel. Through various optimizations, the researchers discovered a MagLIF setup that almost breaks even (i.e. it almost produces more thermal energy than the electrical energy required to begin the fusion reaction).

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We're One Step Closer to Nuclear Fusion Energy

We're One Step Closer to Nuclear Fusion Energy | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Scientists with the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announced today that they have achieved a critical step in fusion research: For the first time, their hydrogen fuel has given off more energy than it took in.

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Martin Jaime De Alda Earle's curator insight, February 15, 2014 11:52 AM

¿Sería bueno? Sí pero.....

Celest Ybarra's curator insight, March 29, 2014 8:26 PM

Title: We're One Step Closer to Nuclear Fusion Energy

Author: Adam Mann

Main Idea: Scientists have a breakthrough and have discovered a new way to harness power through the use of fusion.

Summary:

1) The National Ignition Facility (NIF) have achieved a critical step in fusion research: hydrogen fuel has given off more energy than it took in.

2) Nuclear fusion is the energy source of the stars., and can now give off as much as 1.7 times more energy than it had taken in

3) Troubles came when scientists found it was extremely difficult to get their hydrogen fuel to compress in the right way, but  NIF scientists learned from their experiments, and tweaked their designs

Opinion: No, this article was based off of facts, research, and assumptions buy scientists.

Questions: How will nuclear energy effect the environment? Can it be used for war?

Is this article important to science?: Yes, because it was such a big breakthrough in science and can one day be a major energy resource.

Source: http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2014/02/fusion-power-not-yet/

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Fusion milestone passed at US lab

Fusion milestone passed at US lab | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Harnessing fusion - the process that powers the Sun - could provide an unlimited and cheap source of energy.

But to be viable, fusion power plants would have to produce more energy than they consume, which has proven elusive.

Now, a breakthrough by scientists at the National Ignition Facility (NIF) could boost hopes of scaling up fusion.

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Cold fusion reactor independently verified, has 10,000 times the energy density of gas

Cold fusion reactor independently verified, has 10,000 times the energy density of gas | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Against all probability, a device that purports to use cold fusion to generate vast amounts of power has been verified by a panel of independent scientists. The research paper, which hasn’t yet undergone peer review, seems to confirm both the existence of cold fusion, and its potency: The cold fusion device being tested has roughly 10,000 times the energy density and 1,000 times the power density of gasoline. Even allowing for a massively conservative margin of error, the scientists say that the cold fusion device they tested is 10 times more powerful than gasoline — which is currently the best fuel readily available to mankind.
The device being tested, called by Energy Catalyzer (E-Cat for short), was created by Andrea Rossi. Rossi has been claiming for the past two years that he had finally cracked cold fusion, but much to the chagrin of the scientific community he hasn’t allowed anyone to independently analyze the device — until now. While it sounds like the scientists had a fairly free rein while testing the E-Cat, we should stress that they still don’t know exactly what’s going on inside the sealed steel cylinder reactor. Still, the seven scientists, all from good European universities, obviously felt confident enough with their findings to publish the research paper.

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Yosef Razin's curator insight, September 2, 2013 7:55 PM

Our compettion - lets see if it pans out

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Lasers, Fusion, Energy Innovation

Ed Moses of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory discusses how lasers and fusion are revolutionizing energy innovation.
Ed Moses Principal Associate Director, NIF & Photon Science, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Interviewed by: Steve Clemons

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Fusion: Maybe Less Than 30 Years, But This Year Unlikely

Fusion: Maybe Less Than 30 Years, But This Year Unlikely | Tracking the Future | Scoop.it

Over the almost 70-year pursuit of the fusionary holy grail, it's been fairly common for scientists working on the problem to say that they're about 30 years away from achieving a power plant based on fusion.

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