But there was also a news report that stood out for being so ambitious and positive not driven by the simple reaction to world events but shaping the future for the better.
At the university of Greifswald an ambitious team of researchers have built “Wendelstein 7-X” the largest fusion stellator (weight over 725 tons) over a period of 12 years with at peak 480 experts involved in the construction phase.
In this 16 meter long ring shaped structure gas (helium) is heated to the temperature of 100 million degrees Celsius (x7 the heat of the Sun’s core) kept in shape by 50 magnetic fields as no material could withstand this temperature. At this amazing temperature electrons strip from atoms leaving a plasma of electrons and ions thus making the ions travel fast enough to overcome their mutual repulsion and fuse.
Such ongoing clean fusion would create immense heat that constantly boils water and power’s turbines = creates infinite clean energy without the danger of an atomic meltdown. Infinite clean energy would be great game changer for the world. Like with the computer that went from huge to absolutely tiny, it’s only a question of time that small fusion reactors may power cars’ ship’s airplane’s etc.
Governments will no longer be depending on oil and the political tension this brings, it would also create a whole new industry and finally change the mobility challenges his world faces. Fusion creation units that are rather compact and can be produced on an industrial scale are 10 – 20 years away according to scientists. Lockheed Martin claims in 5 years they’ll have a reactor that fits on a truck so it can go quicker.
It’s great that my native Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is home to this daring experiment, it’s an excellent display of German engineering and long term vision.
I am looking forward to witness the effects this brings in the next years.
See this futuristic video by Max Planck Society how how the future generation may experience this technology.