Could special lasers of the near future be the key to harnessing the ultimate clean energy source of fusion power? That is the tantalizing idea put forth by a team of researchers, led by Emeritus Professor Heinrich Hora, of the University of New South Wales Department of Theoretical Physics.
These researchers, in a recently published study, have found through special research that “special fuel ignited by brief but powerful pulses of energy from new high-energy lasers may be the key to a success that has long eluded physicists.” The fuel source in question would be a unique mix of light hydrogen and boron-11, and the lasers that lit up the fuel to create the fusion energy would be largely free of radioactive emissions while easily releasing more than enough energy to generate electricity.
The researchers behind this this study do caution we are a bit off from fusion power. Much work would have to be done to demonstrate this in practice and cost would be a problem as well – for example, the a laser that might be able to do the work for this does currently exists, but it costs around $4 billion a pop to build at the moment.