Reply to post: Wishing it were true, but doubtful...

Scientists skeptical of Lockheed Martin's truck-sized fusion reactor breakthrough boast

Minor league tech player

Wishing it were true, but doubtful...

The Skunkworks guys are good but not as brilliant as they used to be sadly (see the failure of the X-33 programme - great concept, but they couldn't build it). And their core competence is building prototypes of high-performance military aircraft, rather than revolutionary energy production systems.

So I am sceptical. I want them to be right but they don't provide details of how far they have got, so I have to assume they are being more than a little optimistic and don't have enough physicists in-house to challenge this guy (who may also have a great concept which is unbuildable, too). As someone else has said, containing plasma at those temps is really, really hard (someone once compared it to caging a hypersonic serpent hotter than the sun - that gives a sense of the challenge) and a lot of very very smart people have been trying to solve this problem for decades. It may be this guy is on to something but I'm afraid I find it more than a little unlikely.

I hope they release more details because although JET and at some point ITER have and will succeed through the brute force of throwing huge sums of money at the problem - as well as time, I am not convinced that the TOKOMAK design is ever going to be economically attractive, even if it proves to be viable.

I suspect in the end we will find that the best source of our future energy needs is output of the closest fusion reactor we have available: the sun (the star, not the paper).

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