2022 Scientific Breakthrough

The ‘Holy Grail’ for scientist has been the search for ‘fusion’ reactor and the 2022 big news is that finally a breakthrough by some brainiacs in California….

But is it all that and a bag of chips?

There was great hoopla—largely unquestioned by media—with the announcement this week by the U.S. Department of Energy of a “major scientific breakthrough” in the development of fusion energy.

“This is a landmark achievement,” declared Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm. Her department’s press release said the experiment at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California “produced more energy from fusion than the laser energy used to drive it” and will “provide invaluable insights into the prospects of clean fusion energy.”

“Nuclear fusion technology has been around since the creation of the hydrogen bomb,” noted a CBS News article covering the announcement. “Nuclear fusion has been considered the holy grail of energy creation.” And “now fusion’s moment appears to be finally here,” said the CBS piece.

But, as Dr. Daniel Jassby, for 25 years principal research physicist at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab working on fusion energy research and development, concluded in a 2017 article in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, fusion power “is something to be shunned.”

Fusion. Really?

Some are saying do not believe the hype.

In a dramatic scientific and engineering breakthrough, researchers at the Bay Area’s Lawrence Livermore National Lab recently achieved the long-sought goal of generating a nuclear fusion reaction that produced more energy than was directly injected into a tiny reactor vessel. By the very next day, pundits well across the political spectrum were touting that breakthrough as a harbinger of a new era in energy production, suggesting that a future of limitless, low-impact fusion energy was perhaps a few decades away. In reality, however, commercially viable nuclear fusion is only infinitesimally closer than it was back in the 1980s when a contained fusion reaction – i.e. not occurring in the sun or from a bomb – was first achieved.

While most honest writers have at least acknowledged the obstacles to commercially-scaled fusion, they typically still underestimate them – as much so today as back in the 1980s. We are told that a fusion reaction would have to occur “many times a second” to produce usable amounts of energy. But the blast of energy from the LLNL fusion reactor actually only lasted one tenth of a nanosecond – that’s a ten-billionth of a second. Apparently other fusion reactions (with a net energy loss) have operated for a few nanoseconds, but reproducing this reaction over a billion times every second is far beyond what researchers are even contemplating.

Nuclear Fusion:  Don’t Believe the Hype!

So my question is….was this the ‘big’ story that it was hyped up to be?

Any thoughts?

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

 

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The McCarthy “Limbo”

Kinda looks like the heir apparent is not so apparent….Kevin McCarthy has lost his bid for speaker for the last 6 votes……

Wednesday’s fourth vote for House speaker ended up with Democrat Hakeem Jeffries in the lead, as did the fifth vote—and then the sixth. With 201 votes in the fourth, fifth, and sixth votes, Kevin McCarthy ended up some 16 votes shy of the 217 votes that are needed (down one from Tuesday because Republican Rep. Victoria Spartz, who voted for McCarthy in the first three rounds, has voted “present” on Wednesday). GOP Rep. Byron Donalds of Florida garnered 20 votes in the fourth, fifth, and sixth rounds. Jeffries had 212 votes all three times. All three were nominated in the sixth round. In nominating McCarthy, Rep. Kat Cammack called it “Groundhog Day, again.” The House has now adjourned until 8pm Eastern, which will give McCarthy a few hours to try to make deals, the Guardian reports.

In nominating Donalds, Rep. Lauren Boebert called on former President Trump to urge McCarthy to pull out of the race; earlier in the day, Trump told the GOP to get behind McCarthy. “The president needs to tell Kevin McCarthy that sir you do not have the votes and it’s time to withdraw,” she said, per the Hill. Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports former congressman Justin Amash, a Republican who later decamped for the Libertarian Party, “is wandering around the House side of the Capitol and just offered himself as an alternative candidate for speaker.”

Damn this seems like a long process…..longer than normal, right?

Not really…..in the past it has taken a lot longer (yep one of my famous history lessons)….

The vote to elect a House speaker in the new Congress is in its second day — the first time that has happened in a century — as Republican leader Kevin McCarthy struggles to get a majority of votes to wield the gavel.

The House can conduct no other business until a speaker is chosen. But the current limbo is nowhere near the longest-ever speaker vote, which occurred in 1855 and 1856.

The record for most rounds of votes, according to the Office of the Historian of the House, is the 34th Congress, when Rep. Nathaniel Prentice Banks of Massachusetts was only elected speaker after 133 rounds and some two months of voting.

(abcnews.com)

The good thing is that no business can happen in the House until a leader is found….that means our social programs are safe for now.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”