Oxford startup promises fusion gain by 2024: Page 3 of 3

June 05, 2019 //By Julien Happich
Fusion has long been viewed as the ultimate goal for energy generation. Smashing together deuterium and tritium atoms releases energy as they combine and is the reaction at the heart of the sun. With no dangerous waste products and a virtually limitless supply of these atoms from seawater, billions have been spent on fusion research.

Inertial confinement fusion

One of the founders of FLF was inspired by the pistol shrimp that clicks one of its claws in such a way as to create cavities in the water that heat as they implode forming plasma, resulting in a shockwave that stuns its prey. The precise mechanism of the collapsing is inertial confinement and is the only naturally occurring example of this phenomenon. FLF is using this to remove the complexity of needing huge containment mechanisms and focuses on managing the complexities of the implosion phenomenon to create the temperatures and pressure that match those at the heart of stars for fusion to occur. Inertial confinement means that the plasma is held together by its own inertia rather than by magnetic fields or lasers, both of which require large amounts of energy to maintain, making fusion gain much harder to achieve than FLF’s system that uses a fraction of the energy to operate. Effectively, FLF has dramatically lowered the energy produced threshold that needs to be reached for fusion gain.

First Light Fusion - https://firstlightfusion.com

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