Sunday, February 22, 2009

Fusion vs. Moore's law
The victor may surprise you

It is a commonplace that "fusion is the power source of the future, and always will be". It's fashionable to knock fusion, so it's time to wheel out a graph that you seldom see:

[This version is nicked from here, but anyone acquainted with plasma physicists has probably had it stuffed down their throat]

The "triple product" - of the temperature, the energy density, and the time for which they are achieved - has doubled every 1.8 years. The equivalent in the semicon industry - transistors per unit area - is shown for comparison. 

Now, as a condensed matter/lasers bloke, I don't hold a brief for fusion, but I think the assumption - that fusion is a fantasy and that the plasma jockeys are spending their grant money on slow horses and fast women - should probably re-examined.

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