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Ben Morris Business Technology Writer

photo credit, NATIONAL LABORATORY LAWRENCE LIVERMORE

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Plasma, or ionized gas, is of great importance in nuclear fusion reactions.

At 1:30 am on Monday, December 5th, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, USA, lit the most powerful laser beam on Earth, in an experiment that caused a stir in the world of physics and beyond.

The laser beam hit an energy capsule the size of a black peppercorn, and the resulting temperatures and pressures triggered nuclear fusion – the same type of reaction that takes place inside the Sun.

The National Ignition Facility, which specializes in laser research, has conducted similar experiments before, but this time the energy generated by the reaction was greater than the power of the laser used to produce it.

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