[ExI] Fusion breakthrough

Stuart LaForge avant at sollegro.com
Fri Dec 16 03:07:27 UTC 2022

Quoting Spike:

> ...> On Behalf Of Stuart LaForge via extropy-chat
> Subject: Re: [ExI] Fusion breakthrough
> Quoting Dave Sill:
>> We interrupt this conspiracy theory discussion for some interesting
>> science news.
>> -Dave
> Right? You would think that people would be dancing in the streets, knowing
> that their children wouldn't have to fight to the death over the last barrel
> of oil, eat each other, or hold hands singing Kumbaya while the lights went
> out forever. This is huge. This gets Malthus off of our backs for the
> foreseeable future and moves us much closer to becoming a space-faring type
> I civilization. I literally cried when I heard about this.
> Stuart LaForge
> Stuart don't literally cry yet.  Reaching fusion breakeven is cool, but that
> in itself is insufficient to indicate our children will not fight to the
> death over the last lump of coal, over which to grill their neighbor.  It is
> progress, but before you strike up the band, consider the mechanism for
> recovering the energy is in that fast neutron, and what potential that
> process has for improvement.

The fact that we now have something real to improve rather that a  
theoretical thing to vaguely aim for is of importance. The scientists  
were aiming for breakeven and they got 150%. Now it becomes an  
optimization problem rather than a mere theoretical possibility.

> I get a good feeling that reaching breakeven is an indication that humanity
> might be within a few decades of making fusion a practical energy source,
> but it isn't entirely clear that will be in time to prevent the neighborhood
> barbecue scenario.  Let's hope we can make fusion pay before then.

> Breakeven will likely attract funding for more research however.  If a
> solution exists, we will find it.  Getting more people into the field is a
> good thing, because nuclear physics requires the study of stuff which is
> real.  Science and math rule that world.  So if there is promise there, it
> helps drain the silly and foolish stuff that too many students squander
> their college years studying and fill the seats in the physics and
> engineering classrooms, where they teach reality.
> Maintain hope Stuart: dynamic optimism in our times is perhaps best
> expressed by studying physics.
> spike

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