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When Dr. Salvatore Cezar Pais, an aerospace engineer at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD), filed a patent for a" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:" aria-label="“Plasma Compression Fusion Device”">“Plasma Compression Fusion Device” in 2019, it was either a giant breakthrough – or mad science. According to the" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:" aria-label="patent application">patent application, the miniature device could contain and sustain fusion reactions capable of generating power in the gigawatt (1 billion watts) to terawatt (1 trillion watts) range or more. A large coal plant or mid-size nuclear powered reactor by comparison produces energy in the 1–2 gigawatt range. The revolutionary invention by Dr. Pais, if real, would produce near unlimited clean energy from something no larger than a sports utility vehicle.

Dr. Pais’ fusion device is among a handful of outlandish technologies dubbed “" data-ga-track="ExternalLink:" aria-label="The UFO patents">The UFO patents” that have, in some shape or form, been pursued by the U.S. Navy.

I’ve" data-ga-track="InternalLink:" aria-label="written before">written before with some skepticism on the implications of Dr. Pais’ purported compact fusion reactor for U.S. energy independence. The physicist appears to have bona fide credentials including a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon, and published some of his work, while much is presumably classified.

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