Huge, 22-Metre Steel Gun Could Hold Answer to Limitless Energy
A UK technology start-up has come up with a simple, unique idea to experiment with creating limitless energy: fill a massive steel pipe with gunpowder and use it to launch a projectile to simulate nuclear fusion reactions.
According to their official website, First Light Fusion aims to approach fusion power “with the simplest machine possible”, and that’s where the Big Friendly Gun (BFG) comes in to help them achieve a world of limitless, clean power.
On a quiet industrial estate near Oxford, England, the company test-fires their 22-metre-long BFG within the concrete-walled safety of their facility. The device is a large steel gun – filled with gunpowder – and fires a piston down the barrel, compressing the hydrogen gas in the front as it activates.
The result is a projectile launched at seven kilometres per second.
Theoretically speaking, the impact point has sufficient pressure to start a nuclear fusion reaction known as inertial fusion. This is a far simpler technique compared to the more common tokamak approach, in which plasma gas is circulated around a metal doughnut using giant magnets.
First Light Fusion co-founder and CEO, Nicholas Hawker, thinks his company is on the cusp of producing free energy as their method has a “net energy gain”: it doesn’t lose energy due to the absence of magnetic fields, which often cause the sustained reaction to wane and fade.
The company is already working on an improved prototype that will not use gunpowder and launch projectiles at 20 kilometres per second, and they intend getting a bigger bang for their buck.
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