UK Startup Achieves ‘Projectile Fusion’ Breakthrough
To achieve fusion, First Light used a hyper-velocity gas gun to launch a projectile at a speed of 6.5km per second — about 10 times faster than a rifle bullet — at a tiny target designed to amplify the energy of the impact and force the deuterium fuel to fuse. The design of the target — a clear cube, a little over a centimetre wide, enclosing two spherical fuel capsules — is the key technology and is closely guarded by the company. “It is the ultimate espresso capsule,” Hawker told the Financial Times last year. First Light, which is backed by China’s Tencent, hopes to manufacture and sell the targets to future power plants — built to its design — which would need to vaporise one every 30 seconds to generate continual power. Further reading: So How Close Are We Now to Nuclear Fusion Energy? (August 2021).
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