Fusion Day 2019 falls on Thursday, March 14th, Pi Day!
Pi Day is celebrated on March 14. That’s 3.14. π Pi! It’s a day to celebrate math in general, and our favorite irrational number in particular. There are many ways to celebrate Pi day. These astronauts are celebrating by lifting off at 3:14 today!
Few people are aware of the many conditions under which fusion can occur. Luckily, Irv Lindemuth and Richard Siemon have written a review of fusion to help the rest of us identify the density-temperature space where fusion gain can be achieved. The analysis offers a general understanding why there is such an extreme difference between the conventional approaches to controlled fusion, MCF (which uses a giant “magnetic cage” and ICF (which uses hundreds of laser beams pointed at a small target). It also helps us see how much of the parameter space of fusion has yet to be explored.
When exploring the idea of fusion, many people invoke the sun, not as inspiration, but as a reason to dismiss the earthly fusion program.
Variants of this phenomenon include Joe Romm who says:
I am a big proponent of harnessing the power of fusion — from 93 million miles away.
Sensible. And yet… let’s visualize.
Imagine two people, standing on a hill.
One is a solar energy proponent, the other a fusion proponent.
Both bask in the sunlight, but they dream of different things.
The solar energy proponent is content to bask in the ample, but diffuse, light of the sun, soaking up second hand fusion. …
A huge ball of nuclear fusion.
Just to twinkle.
How much energy does the sun twinkle away every day?
“In one second, our sun produces enough energy for almost 500,000 years of the current needs of our so-called civilization.” (Boston.com)
Multiply that by seconds per day and you get 43 BILLION years of our energy wants. Daily.
And this is just one average star in a universe full of them. Routinely twinkling billions of years worth of energy into oblivion.
The meager planets that lurk in the fringes catch some energy scraps while struggling to keep their atmospheric coats on.