Controlled nuclear fusion just got a whole lot closer to reality. This week, researchers at the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory fired up 192 gigantic lasers to a mind-boggling level of 1 megajoule for the first time, approaching the hellish situation needed to ignite a controlled nuclear fusion reaction for the first time.
Now that they've broken the megajoule barrier, when will they reach that illusive goal of creating the first human-controlled sun?
After being stalled by a catastrophic leak, a speck of bread and alleged time travelers, CERN has brought the Large Hadron Collider successfully back online with the full orbit of a proton beam. The 17-mile ring of the facility should continue to see particle beams pulsing through it in both directions over the weekend as it prepares for collisions, though the real Big Bang-style tests probably won't happen until January, as that's when the LHC will be at full strength.
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