Nuclear Fusion!


A visualization of MIT’s SPARC, a compact high-field net-fusion machine currently in the planning stages. NBC News

Johnathan Carola, Staff Writer

Nuclear fusion was achieved Dec. 5 by scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. This breakthrough is a huge deal considering how many problems this technology could solve; however, the practical application of the technology is still decades away.

While nuclear fission is the splitting of one atom that causes an atomic explosion, nuclear fusion (its opposite) involves squeezing two atoms together. This process forms enormous amounts of renewable energy that is virtually free. The decades-long energy crisis the world has been facing is one problem nuclear fusion could solve. The energy produced from fusion is nontoxic, so this method would also avert another global crisis by protecting the environment.

According to The Los Angeles Times, the successful experiment “is the most significant milestone yet reached in the decades-long quest to produce cheap, clean, carbon-free energy through nuclear fusion.” In the 1930s a German-American physicist named Hans Bethe introduced the idea of creating energy through fusion-the same way the sun does it, and the scientific community has been working on the method ever since.

Some groups think nuclear fusion could turn into a destructive force wielded as a weapon, but no explosive power is generated by fusing two atoms together. Fusion is a revolutionary method that will change the world!