Steampunk Is Teh Future!

1 comment February 28th, 2007at 12:29am Posted by Eli

27fusi4501.jpg
Max Whittaker/New York Times

NYT has an intriguing story about nuclear fusion, including a rather bizarre strategy to use sound waves to make “small-scale desktop fusion” possible – or, more accurately, worthwhile (starting and maintaining a fusion reaction is not the tricky part; doing it for less energy than the reaction generates is the tricky part). The story also covers more traditional, large-scale approaches, like blasting fuel pellets with lasers, and using magnetic torii as containment fields.

I don’t think we’ll get it in time, if at all, but sustainable fusion power really would be exactly what we need right now. Petroleum reserves are gradually running out, are largely located in unstable and/or unfriendly parts of the world, and are contributing to the greenhouse effect, along with coal. Fusion reactions basically run on water, and their waste by-product is… helium. And not even radioactive helium, at that.

Unfortunately, as the Republicans have yet to learn, simply needing something to happen does not actually make it happen. The universe does not grant wishes.

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Energy,Science,Technology

1 Comment

  • 1. Glenn  |  February 28th, 2007 at 7:24 am

    Huh?


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