Nuclear fusion: Ignition confirmed in an experiment for the first time

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A 2021 experiment achieved the landmark milestone of nuclear fusion ignition, which data analysis has now confirmed – but attempts to recreate it over the last year haven’t been able to reach ignition again

Physics



11 August 2022

The National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

We have ignition. An analysis has confirmed that an experiment conducted in 2021 created a fusion reaction energetic enough to be self-sustaining, which brings it one step closer to being useful as a source of energy.

The fusion ignition took place on 8 August 2021 at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) in California, but NIF researchers haven’t been able to reproduce this landmark achievement since. They have spent the past year analysing the experimental conditions that …

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