There are many forms of energy generation at the moment, but one of the ideal forms of energy generation that has been pursued by the scientific community comes in the form of nuclear fusion. This is because unlike nuclear fission, fusion, at least in theory, is thought to be safer. It is also thought to be cleaner as it does not produce any radioactive waste.
However, due to the requirements needed to create nuclear fusion, it continues to remain out of reach. But could the US Navy be close to figuring it out? In a patent filed by the US Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, it seems that they have come up with an idea for a compact fusion reactor, one that if made a reality, could be used to replace the fission reactors used in naval vessels, and it could also be used to replace nuclear power plants.
Now, before we get too excited, it seems that some skepticism and doubt has been cast on whether or not this patent is even viable to begin with. One of the reasons is due to the size of the device which measures 0.3m to 2m in diameter. It also uses conical dynamic fusors that spin at extremely high speeds versus the superconducting magnets found in more traditional fusion plants.
This has led to doubts that such a small device could produce energy gains, although at the same time, perhaps a different approach is what we need. After all, many scientific breakthroughs have happened sometimes by accident or by looking at the problem in a different way. Whether or not we will see this patent made a reality remains to be seen.
Filed in. Read more about Patent and Science. Source: forbes