Science and technology: flying taxi … what we seek to achieve by 2023

Ben Morris Enterprise Technology Writer

image credit, LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY

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Plasma, or ionized gas, is of great importance in nuclear fusion reactions

At 1:30 a.m. on Monday, December 5, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, USA, ignited the most powerful laser beam on Earth in an experiment that caused quite a stir around the world of physics and other fields.

The laser beam targeted an energy capsule the size of a black peppercorn, and the resulting temperatures and pressures triggered nuclear fusion—the same type of reaction that occurs inside the Sun.

The National Ignition Facility, which specializes in laser research, had previously conducted similar experiments, but this time the energy generated by the reaction was greater than the power of the laser used to produce it.

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