We learn in “Fusion The Ultimate Fire” that the energy we use today comes from the fires that burn fossil fuels and release chemical energy. The fire that powers the sun releases nuclear energy. Inside the sun, at temperatures of millions of degrees, light nuclei move fast enough to overcome their electrical repulsion and collide to form heavier nuclei. In the process, enormous amounts of nuclear energy are released.
No material container can contain a fire such as that produced in the fusion reaction. Instead, magnetic containers – containers of pure energy – must be used to control the fire, or lasers must be used to crush and heat small amounts of fusion materials resulting in a blast that can be contained by a metal reactor. A number of experiments today may result in usable fusion energy in the future – energy from water, our most abundant resource.
14 Minutes • Color