Laser Creates Sun; Destroys Tokyo

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Not really, but this is still an impressive feat:

A laser in Oxfordshire has heated matter to 10 million Celsius, hotter than the surface of the Sun, marking a major landmark in research.

Previously only ultra-thin layers of matter (less than one hundredth of a millimetre in thickness) had been heated to similar temperatures and this milestone, where 20 times greater volumes have been heated, takes scientists one step closer to laser fusion, the process that powers the Sun.

The Vulcan laser concentrated power equivalent to 100 times the world's electricity production into a tiny spot for a fraction of a second as part of an effort that will also help scientists to explore many astronomical phenomena in miniature, such as mini-supernovas and tabletop stars.

Writing in the New Journal of Physics, Prof Peter Norreys of the Rutherford and Imperial College London described how the Vulcan laser focused one petawatt of energy (one thousand million million watts) on a spot about one tenth the size of a human hair.

It only lasts for less than 1 picosecond (one millionth of a millonth of a second) but during that time, it is possible to heat materials above their normal melting point - allowing conditions that are found in exotic astrophysical objects such as supernova explosions, white dwarfs and neutron star atmospheres, to be created.

This is the key to the laser's power - it delivers modest energy in a microscopic unit of time. "This is an exciting development - we now have a new tool with which to study really hot, dense matter" says Prof Norreys, whose work is backed by a research council called the STFC.

The Vulcan team has been racing against the $14m Texas Petawatt laser which a few days ago reached greater than one petawatt, making it the highest powered laser in the world, the Titan laser at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the OMEGA EP facility at the University of Rochester, New York.

The UK has proposed an even more powerful laser facility, known as Hiper (High Power laser Energy Research), which will study the feasibility of laser fusion as a potential future energy source.

The scientists hope to use the effort to use lasers to fuse together isotopes of hydrogen, deuterium and tritium, to release a vast amount of energy. The process naturally occurs in the core of the Sun where huge gravitational pressure allows this to happen at temperatures of around 10 million Celsius.
Source:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/main.jhtml?xml=/earth/2008/05/29/scilaser129.xml
 
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That's pretty cool, hotter than the Sun!:shocked:
 

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Extremely interesting stuff. I love science.
 
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An alternative to nuclear reactors?
Hopefully scientist will dedicate more resources into laser fusion as an energy producing alternative than to use it as a means of astrological research.
 
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An alternative to nuclear reactors?
Hopefully scientist will dedicate more resources into laser fusion as an energy producing alternative than to use it as a means of astrological research.
Understanding the latter makes the former easier to achieve.
 
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Problem with nuclear fusion is that you either need extremely high temperatures, or an extreme high pressured zone. The more pressure, the easier it is to fuse to atoms, or the more heat there is, the easier it is fuse them. (Pressure and temperature are linked together in case you didn't know) Anyway, a high powered laser would make it a lot easier to fuse to atoms, and blows new life in nuclear fusion. Still, the laser is probably not hot enough to begin the fusion, if I remember correctly, deep inside the core of the sun, it's over 100 million degrees. That and the laser consumes so much power, that you might not gain any energy in return fomr the nuclear fusion.
 
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Wow that's amazing. I didn't even know they could do it in the first place. Awesome find :)
 
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Awesome. It reminded me of Iron Man's power source.

Pffft, if everyone had their own mini-star to power their homes\cars? Good bye oil revenue.
 
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Awesome. It reminded me of Iron Man's power source.

Pffft, if everyone had their own mini-star to power their homes\cars? Good bye oil revenue.
And hello end of Spiderman 2...
 
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And hello end of Spiderman 2...
Technically that could never happen because the second you stopped trying to maintain it the whole thing would just collapse and vanish.
 
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Technically that could never happen because the second you stopped trying to maintain it the whole thing would just collapse and vanish.
Looks like Hibiki is Doc Oc. Who's going to stop this madman?
 
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Well I did study high energy physics...
Please tell us how to beat you without having to go through the "Oh no, you took my girlfriend hostage" stage.

It's always interesting to see how far we've come technologically, even when you're only considering the short-term. I remember when laser pointers were just little red lights that blinded children across the world. Then they became powerful enough to blind pilots, and then powerful enough to set things on fire. Now look at us. Crazy lasers that are hotter than the surface of the Sun for less than an instant. In 10 years we'll look back on this day and wonder how we went from that to satellite lasers capable of taking down entire buildings.
 
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Awesome stuff ^_^

Though id like to point out to StealthSudaka, you mean to say astronomical research. not astrological. Theres no place for horoscopes here :p

Also, the issue of oil is not just about energy as a fuel, its also about maintenence and construction. Machines need oil to collect the resources to be built, the process of construction, transported, and to maintain functionality. Investing in this means of energy production does not make oil redundant, only that its use as a fuelsource is limited (once the infrastructure is in place). Theres a lot of oil and energy required to build this form of infrastructure imo, and thats not gonna be cheap. Im kind of skeptical that the energy input and output of this research equals a feasible profit (in terms of energy and the dollar). Its interesting stuff in terms of science, but as a method to sustain this consumer based society without it collapsing in the next century or two, is a bit optimistic.
 
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Its pretty cool we had a demonstration and they talked about the laser and the reaction in my physics class.

They have a compound thats like 4 or 6 footballs fields worth of mirrors or lenses or something that focus the beam onto a bit of deterium.

the deterium is burned up in the process but it yields a crazy ammount of energy.
 
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I want to know how they generated enough electricity to power this behemoth... From what it sounds like, this thing needs a ****load of electricity.
 
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They showed pictures of the compound. its massive.

You know how a laser pointer and most lasers focus the energy into a tiny spot, like the end of a pencil?

The beam from that place is like a meter in diameter.
 

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