About This Episode
How did we achieve nuclear fusion? Neil deGrasse Tyson and comedian Chuck Nice learn about human-made thermonuclear fusion, the world’s most powerful lasers, and harnessing nuclear power with operations manager of The National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Labs, Bruno Van Wonterghem.
Can we make fusion happen with less than 300 million jules? Find out about the NIF and the work being done in nuclear energy. We discuss quantum tunneling in the sun and the energy needed to overcome repulsive forces. Is our fusion hotter than the sun?
What are deuterium and tritium? Discover helium 3 and heavy hydrogen. What is the difference between a powerpoint laser and the world’s most powerful fusion lasers? Learn about the physics of lasers and what wavelength of laser is best for nuclear fusion.
Can we make our most advanced lasers better? We explain what plasma is and whether fusion will be scalable. Will we one day have nuclear fusion power stations or portable fusion reactors attached to our cars? What is in store for the future of Lawrence Livermore National Labs? How can fusion be improved?
Thanks to our Patrons Gavin Mallow, Willest74, Isaac Labbe, Allen, and Beefcake for supporting us this week.
NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.
About the prints that flank Neil in this video:
“Black Swan” & “White Swan” limited edition serigraph prints by Coast Salish artist Jane Kwatleematt Marston. For more information about this artist and her work, visit Inuit Gallery of Vancouver.