This month, scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announced they had achieved energy gain in a fusion reaction for the first time in history.
The gain occurred for a split second and the energy produced was only greater than that in the lasers used to trigger the reaction, and not the total electrical energy use to power the system, but it was truly “one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind.”
Nuclear fusion — how God powers the sun and the stars — is a limitless energy source that does not pollute or emit carbon or change the planet’s temperature or pose a danger to world peace.
The New York Times writes: “When researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California announced last week that they had achieved the first controlled nuclear fusion reaction to produce more energy than it took to start, they brought humanity one step closer to the decades-long dream of harnessing the power of the sun — not by absorbing its rays from 93 million miles away, as solar panels do, but by igniting, in effect, a miniature star on earth.”
The Times explains: “Like fission, the nuclear reaction that powers today’s nuclear plants, fusion produces emissions-free electricity, but without the long-lived toxic byproducts or risk of catastrophic accidents.” It also “yields several times more energy by weight than fission and millions of times more than the combustion of fossil fuels: A few paper clips’ worth of reactants (isotopes of hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe) could produce enough energy for a person’s lifetime.”
Nuclear fusion could be our secular salvation. How fitting that it was successfully demonstrated two weeks before the anniversary of our divine salvation in Jesus’ birth.
• Fusion will eliminate the need for the wrenching economic and social changes that ending fossil fuel electricity will cause.
• It will end the power of oil and natural gas, that has enabled a new form of imperialism by giving Russia and Iran and Saudi Arabia the power to hold the world hostage. Energy will no longer be a scarce resource to be defended — or conquered — by armies.
• It will expand life expectancy by avoiding the necessity of producing the toxic fumes we all inhale.
Prometheus stole the gift of fire from theta mankind gods and brought it to man. He was punished, the ancient Greeks wrote, by being bound to a rock while his body was attacked each day by a giant eagle.
The scientists at Livermore face no such risk, but their gain is as profound.
For fusion to happen on Earth, the NY Times notes, “fuel has to be heated to more than a hundred million degrees Celsius — hotter than the core of the sun — which poses extraordinary engineering challenges.” The scientists at Livermore bombarded a tiny pellet of fuel with an arsenal of the world’s most powerful lasers. Replicated on Earth to generate unlimited energy.
One scientist said, “Sometime in the next decade or two, we are going to build the first commercial fusion reactor and then humans are going to spend the next 10 million years building better fusion reactors because fusion is really just an amazing energy source, The fuel is infinite, carbon free and extremely cheap . . . you can build it anywhere and scale infinitely.”
Merry Christmas, indeed!
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