# Fusion power success

#### Helio

More power has been generated by fusion than the power needed to produce it. Per article here.

This has been a goal for about 6 decades or more. It is only a step, but a big one, toward fusion power plants for replacing fossil fuel plants and for future spacecraft engines.

It still needs confirmation as this is early, but exciting, news.

Joe Finch and rod

#### rod

More power has been generated by fusion than the power needed to produce it. Per article here.

This has been a goal for about 6 decades or more. It is only a step, but a big one, toward fusion power plants for replacing fossil fuel plants and for future spacecraft engines.

It still needs confirmation as this is early, but exciting, news.

Hopefully this is more reliable than cold fusion reports

Helio

#### Helio

Need to improve the magnet cooling if they overheat after 5 seconds.

Here is an interesting fact, the core of the Sun, where the fusion occurs, has a power density of 274 watts per cubic meter, less than that of a human or even a compost pile. What it lacks in power density it makes up for in volume.
Yes. I was amazed when I first learned this.

it’s also interesting how stars are self-regulating to produce equilibrium. Although mass is the key, opacity also plays an important role.

#### billslugg

And it takes about a million years for that energy to travel to the surface of the Sun and escape. The total output of the Sun is 4e26 watts. Multiply by 3e7 seconds in a year and 1,000,000 years and get 1.2e40 joules. Divide by the speed of light squared and get 1.3e23 kilograms. The Sun weighs 2e30 kg thus the trapped photons account for about one millionth of one percent of the Sun's mass.

#### Helio

And it takes about a million years for that energy to travel to the surface of the Sun and escape. The total output of the Sun is 4e26 watts. Multiply by 3e7 seconds in a year and 1,000,000 years and get 1.2e40 joules. Divide by the speed of light squared and get 1.3e23 kilograms. The Sun weighs 2e30 kg thus the trapped photons account for about one millionth of one percent of the Sun's mass.
It's also gotten brighter, which I guess I would too if I could lose that much weight.

The Random Walk seems to have a host of random time value estimates. There was one paper that gave something like 18,000 years, but it made density a constant instead of a variable. So, a million years is likely a closer number.

But light reaches the upper photosphere, perhaps about 200 km from the "surface", then it finally launches into space.

Getting back to a week ago... I assume, once again, this is because of the amount of molecular hydrogen granting passage. Is this likely?

Also, notice that the Sun does have something close to a blackbody profile even though it is comprised of mainly hydrogen. So this also may help us see how we can still get a blackbody from a single element (mostly), though highly thermalized, I suppose.

#### billslugg

The FIRAS instrument on COBE was able to characterize the CMBR within 0.005%.
COBE | Science Mission Directorate (nasa.gov)

The deviation of CMBR from a perfect black body is well below the distortion limit of FIRAS.
Deviation of CMBR from a Perfect Blackbody Caused by Non-Equilibrium Radiation of Fractal Dust Grains. - NASA/ADS (harvard.edu)

Here is a solar spectrum showing a considerable deviation from the black body spectrum mostly in the visible spectrum.
View: https://imgur.com/a/zd8347l

Something is not adding up here.

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#### Helio

The FIRAS instrument on COBE was able to characterize the CMBR within 0.005%.
COBE | Science Mission Directorate (nasa.gov)

The deviation of CMBR from a perfect black body is well below the distortion limit of FIRAS.
Deviation of CMBR from a Perfect Blackbody Caused by Non-Equilibrium Radiation of Fractal Dust Grains. - NASA/ADS (harvard.edu)

Here is a solar spectrum showing a considerable deviation from the black body spectrum mostly in the visible spectrum.
View: https://imgur.com/a/zd8347l

Something is not adding up here.
There are at least a couple of factors that alter stellar spectrums that may help explain this.

1) Metal composition, non-existent in the CMB. (So the first stars should be much closer to bb profiles).
2) The CLV (Center to Limb Variation). The range of temperature from limb to center is a whopping 1300K. Thus, what we see may be a composite of a range of bb (somewhat) profiles.

I’m guessing more on the second than the first point.

In my quest for the Sun’s color, I was surprised how many scientists used a peak bb temp of the Sun’s eff. temp. (~5778K, IIRC) to argue their color choice. (see Wien’s law). But your graph accurately shows a definite blue peak.

#### billslugg

Looks like part of that peak is the Aqua Balmer line at 486 nm, brightest of the molecular hydrogen lines. Also the bright sodium lines at 589 nm.

Also note: When they say it returned more power than went into it, they are drawing a box around just the holhram and the output of the lasers. The lasers are only about 1% efficient. Draw a box around the building and their return is about 1%.

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#### Helio

Looks like part of that peak is the Aqua Balmer line at 486 nm, brightest of the molecular hydrogen lines. Also the bright sodium lines at 589 nm.
There are a number of "peaks" in the solar spectrum. SORCE is a site that gives daily sp. irr. data (space scopes), which is where this comes from, but years ago. These peaks do change daily, but not that much.

Also note: When they say it returned more power than went into it, they are drawing a box around just the holhram and the output of the lasers. The lasers are only about 1% efficient. Draw a box around the building and their return is about 1%.
Yesh! That's pertinent information that's missing from all the articles I saw.

billslugg

#### jason storm

Hope their work continues to be successful and unqualified bureaucrats like granholm do not impede it.

#### Helio

Hope their work continues to be successful and unqualified bureaucrats like granholm do not impede it.
Yes, money is very important here. This may be a key reason why it is announced a bit prematurely.

But this is still a big step since demonstrating that a lot more energy is generated than it took to produce means that this extra energy can be used to power not only the laser beam but also some of the energy necessary to produce the laser beam, with all its inefficiencies, as well. As Bill notes, there is still a long way to go to produce a respectable plant overall thermal efficiency, as is needed, but they at least have been able to demonstrate a greater chance that this could someday be reality.

Climate activism, as I understand, has moved from #13 to #1 on the list. Fusion power, and the prospect that it might work, might help mitigate activism due more to fright than science.

#### Ken Fabian

More power has been generated by fusion than the power needed to produce it. Per article here.

This has been a goal for about 6 decades or more. It is only a step, but a big one, toward fusion power plants for replacing fossil fuel plants and for future spacecraft engines.

It still needs confirmation as this is early, but exciting, news.

Most of the reporting, prompted by statements from those involved, is highly misleading - yes, they got more energy out than the energy of the lasers going in. They did not get more energy out than it took to power the lasers - which it appears are very energy inefficient. From Washington Post -

However, that 2.05 megajoule input did not represent all the energy that went into the ignition process — just the amount that inefficient lasers managed to get to the hydrogen pellet. It took far more energy in total — on the scale of 300 megajoules — to produce that 3.15 megajoule result.

Those are different numbers than mentioned in the article you linked to, which looks even worse - (Tony Roulstone, University of Cambridge) -

That’s because they had to use 500 MJ of energy into the lasers to deliver 1.8 MJ to the target – so even though they got 2.5 MJ out, it’s still far less than the energy they needed for the lasers in the first place. In other words, the energy output (largely heat energy) was still only 0.5% of the input.

It is a notable achievement, yes, but to say there is a long way to go is understatement.

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#### Ken Fabian

Fusion power, and the prospect that it might work, might help mitigate activism due more to fright than science.

Activism is a reasonable, even a necessary reaction and response to failures of mainstream politics to treat the climate problem with the seriousness it deserves.

When every top level science based report on climate science for more than 3 decades tells us - most of all tells governments, that called for the expert advice in order to make informed decisions - that it is an extremely serious problem with not just potential for frightening outcomes but approaching certainty of them it isn't mitigating activism that needs to be a priority. Fusion offers no climate solutions but it can be spun into justifications for delay doing the things that actually can be done - an ideal solution but "oh, too bad, we'll have to keep burning fossil fuels until then".

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#### Helio

Activism is a reasonable, even a necessary reaction and response to failures of mainstream politics to treat the climate problem with the seriousness it deserves.
My concern is balance is being ignored. It's not that we shouldn't transition off fossil fuels, but how steep of a transition do we really want to have that balances the gain in environmental benefits with standards of living, here in the US and abroad. Rich countries have demonstrated more environmental improvements than poor countries.

When every top level science based report on climate science for more than 3 decades tells us - most of all tells governments, that called for the expert advice in order to make informed decisions - that it is an extremely serious problem with not just potential for frightening outcomes but approaching certainty of them it isn't mitigating activism that needs to be a priority.
"Every top level science based report..."?

I favor honest interviews (e.g.: this Youtube presentation with Judith Curry) and debates.

I also favor the implementation of "red team" science to help governments get the best science story. (Red team the science used for radical policies.) Has this been done?

I don't like alarmism when unjustified.

But to stay on topic...

Fusion offers no climate solutions but it can be spun into justifications for delay doing the things that actually can be done - an ideal solution but "oh, too bad, we'll have to keep burning fossil fuels until then".
Agreed. But there is certainly reason to fund the science as the gain would be enormous. When Faraday was asked by a government finance official what benefits would come from his work, Faraday responded that he didn't really know but was sure the government would be able to tax it.

#### karlp295

More power has been generated by fusion than the power needed to produce it. Per article here.

Isn't this against the laws of physics?

I am extremely happy to see the breakthroughs in Nuclear Fusion Power Generation. Our future could depend on it becoming reality.

#### billslugg

Fusion power is not against physics. Physics says that there are two forms of mass, matter and energy and the two are interchangeable.
The equation that relates them is E=mc^2.
E = energy in joules
m = mass in kilograms
c = speed of light in meters per second

1 kilogram of matter = (3e8) ^2 = 9e16 joules of energy
The energy still weighs one kilogram. The mass did not go away, it is just in a different form.

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Helio

#### Helio

Applying the e-mc^2 equation to the fusion process in the core of the Sun reveals that the Sun converts about 0.7% of the mass of each hydrogen fusion event.

#### billslugg

Applying the e-mc^2 equation to the fusion process in the core of the Sun reveals that the Sun converts about 0.7% of the mass of each hydrogen fusion event.
Yes, fusion of hydrogen/helium gives 0.7% of the matter as energy. Continue on up the ladder to the endpoint - iron and the total take is 1.0%. Not much better but still ten times that of fission which only yields 0.1%. Any chemical rocket is even worse at a ten millionth of a percent.

Helio

#### karlp295

Converting mass into energy, OK I get it. The laws of physics are intact!
Just kidding.

Helio

#### billslugg

Actually, mass is not converted to energy, matter is converted to energy. Both matter and energy have mass. Matter is a condensed form of energy. Both have mass.

Helio

#### Ken Fabian

"Every top level science based report..."?

I favor honest interviews (e.g.: this Youtube presentation with Judith Curry) and debates.

I also favor the implementation of "red team" science to help governments get the best science story. (Red team the science used for radical policies.) Has this been done?

I don't like alarmism when unjustified.

So 3 decades of IPCC reports - that every science agency that does climate science appears to find correctly summarises the state of climate science - are wrong because Judith Curry (and a very tiny minority of climate science credentialed others, who's arguments have been repeatedly shown to lack substance) say so? Every State of the Climate report is wrong? The multitude of satellites observing the state of our climate - that confirm global warming and observe impacts - are wrong? The "Red Team" thing is what climate science does as everyday practice - the calls for it are for calls for it to be decided by popular opinion, not expert knowledge.

The problem is real and very serious and failure of governments to take the formal expert advice they commission - in order to be well informed - seriously is what is unjustified. Being alarmed by global warming is entirely justified, but it is made much more alarming by the determination of so many people to believe it is not serious and oppose effective action; solutions are within our capabilities, but not when they are systematically opposed.

#### Helio

So 3 decades of IPCC reports - that every science agency that does climate science appears to find correctly summarises the state of climate science - are wrong because Judith Curry (and a very tiny minority of climate science credentialed others, who's arguments have been repeatedly shown to lack substance) say so? Every State of the Climate report is wrong? The multitude of satellites observing the state of our climate - that confirm global warming and observe impacts - are wrong? The "Red Team" thing is what climate science does as everyday practice - the calls for it are for calls for it to be decided by popular opinion, not expert knowledge.
You’re off-base on each of these. The IPCC itself has lowered the max. temp. increase. This is due to improved modeling, of course.

Ken, please calm down because your tone is offensive. Quit twisting my comments into foolishness. I doubt anyone here things global warming isn‘t happening, especially me.

#### ImmortalMelvz

How about trying the following formula from the Periodic Table of Elements!

Fluorine F
Uranium U
Silicon Si ======> FUSION
Oxygen O
Nitrogen N

With these we can make a sun or a star!

#### Joe Finch

More power has been generated by fusion than the power needed to produce it. Per article here.

This has been a goal for about 6 decades or more. It is only a step, but a big one, toward fusion power plants for replacing fossil fuel plants and for future spacecraft engines.

It still needs confirmation as this is early, but exciting, news.

Are they still trying to use magnetic containment or have we found a better way to constrain the reaction?

ImmortalMelvz

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