After years of waiting, It was really satisfying yesterday to see the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) come online to an amazing amount of media coverage and be successful. However, that was only the first test for the LHC and the really interesting stuff we are still waiting for. So while we wait for the ‘big-bang’ experiments, I thought it would be a good time to talk about a couple of other projects which arguably are just as important as the work being done at the LHC.
The fist is ITER project, a joint international research and development project that aims to demonstrate the scientific and technical feasibility of Fusion energy. Fusion is the energy source of the sun and the stars. On earth, fusion research is aimed at demonstrating that this energy source can be used to produce electricity in a safe and environmentally benign way, with abundant fuel resources, to meet the needs of a growing world population. ITER is very early in its development and its likely we won’t see anything like the spectacle surounding the LHC for 20+ years. This is partly due to the enormous amount of energy it takes to start a Fusion reaction and the extreme temperatures (think the Sun) it produces.
Site – http://www.iter.org