A 72-foot steel gun that shoots at a whopping 4.3 miles per second could change the world by producing a limitless supply of clean energy, boffins say.
The incredible creation, based in Oxford, has been dubbed “the Big Friendly Gun” by excited inventors who think they’re close to cracking nuclear fusion.
Scientists at First Light Fusion use more than six pounds of gunpower to fire a high-velocity piston to enter a cone segment that crushes gas, causing it to shoot from a metal seal.
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A projectile then hits a nuclear fusion target and temporarily produces conditions that allow the nuclei to fuse.
For over 100 years, researchers have been trying to harness the technique – which is the same process that provides energy to the sun – in order to use the power on Earth.
It could signal the end of a reliance on traditional energy sources that wreak havoc with climate change and leave the world vulnerable to evil tyrants like Vladimir Putin hogging natural resources.
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Brainy researchers at the company say they banged out the project in just 10 months at a cost of over £1million – and claim there is nothing else like it in the world.
CEO Nick Hawker told Newsweek he hopes the First Light Fusion reactor will be generating usable electricity by the 2030s, with power on the grid in the following decade.
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He explained how a major challenge in the past had been ensuring more energy was produced in the process than was used up by it, but he thinks the new approach could overcome that.
"Net energy gain has been demonstrated with inertial fusion,” he added.
“But the driver, instead of being a laser, was an underground weapons test.
"So there is that empirical proof there that you can get to high energy gain with inertial fusion.”
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