June 25, 2024

Chinese scientists achieve nuclear fusion in a cheaper way

3 min read
Chinese scientists achieve nuclear fusion in a cheaper way

nuclear research They depend on billions of dollars to be handled properly – and not everyone has that amount of money. Therefore, the Chinese Academy of Sciences using gold, Develop a new method Which promises to achieve nuclear fusion at a much lower cost, but without sacrificing the capacity found in better-funded projects.

The hack came about with a problem most people with a boss face: a lack of budget. Basically, the Chinese Academy needed funds for its research, but over the course of six years, only $156 million (R$862.71 million) was directed to it by the government. For comparison purposes, a similar project carried out by the Experimental Thermal Reactor Team in France has an estimated budget of between $45 billion (R$248.86 billion) and $65 billion ($359.46 billion).

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The illustration shows the atomic symbol representing nuclear fusion.
Nuclear fusion is a “scientific dream” pursued by countless scientists, but a Chinese team claims to have achieved its principle at very low cost (Photo: Ezume Images/Shutterstock)

Another problem for the Chinese team: the standard procedure involved aiming 100 powerful lasers in the direction of one target. Eventually, however, the mirrors used to fire these lasers got distorted, reducing their power.

The solution to this involved the use of two weaker lasers, firing at two small golden “cones”, causing them to emit hydrogen plasma for each other. With the precise parameters of the test procedure, it was possible to achieve nuclear fusion and, at the same time, benefit from “almost minimal cost in the future operations of the plant,” according to Zhang Zhe, head of the research department behind the experiment who told the newspaper. South China Morning Newspaper.

“[Nós] “We can make thousands of cones with just one gram of gold,” the researcher said.

This is another project aimed at nuclear fusion, which is the name given to an environment where energy production becomes self-sufficient, that is, an energy reaction does not need external catalysts to remain constant and produces more energy than necessary. This is what usually happens in stars, but it is very difficult to reproduce in the laboratory.

Other than that, such a mission has two critical criteria for success: one is It arrives Fusion, the other Keep it This second topic is more complicated.

In August, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the United States, He claimed to have reached the ignition point Which leads to nuclear fusion. Prior to that, in June of this year, Jeff Bezos, then-CEO of Amazon, He announced that he was helping with financing A nuclear fusion plant owned by Canada’s General Fusion.

Complete nuclear fusion is a goal shared by many nations, and it is difficult to say who will reach it first. While the most likely fact is that the end result will be the subject of a joint effort, experts believe that this Chinese advance could pave the way for a cheaper process in pursuing this mission.

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