News Brief


America’s multibillion-dollar, laser-blasting fusion machine has gotten more energy out of a smidgen of fuel than was put into it — but the most significant thing is how it was done.

The latest experiments, reported in this week’s issue of the journal Nature, marked a first for the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. They’re the first laser shots to produce a net gain in energy under any definition, and they’re also the first to show evidence of a mechanism that’s essential if controlled fusion is ever to become a reality.

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