Scientists Creating Star to Solve Energy Woes

Giant laser will zap mini-sun into existence
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 29, 2010 5:07 AM CDT
A precision optics manufacturer takes a photo of the target chamber in the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory in Livermore , Calif.    (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

(Newser) – Scientists are planning to use the world's largest laser to zap a tiny star into existence on Earth. The project at California's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory aims to create nuclear fusion by firing the giant laser at hydrogen isotopes. This would, theoretically, cause a miniature sun capable of filling all the world's energy needs to blink into existence for an instant, CNN reports.

The star would be microscopically small and only exist for 200 trillionths of a second, scientists say. The controlled fusion experiment poses no danger whatsoever to the public, according to a laboratory spokeswoman. If the experiment, set to go ahead this summer, is a success, scientists say that nuclear fusion plants extracting vast amounts of energy from seawater could be just 20 years away,

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