Nuclear Fusion Comes Down to Earth

A promising new method to harness the energy source of the stars.

RELATED TAGS: ENERGY, SUSTAINABILITY, PHYSICS
the-sun
Deep inside the massive Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M., a tiny cylinder of beryllium, no bigger than a pencil eraser, awaits its big moment. The capsule holds a smidgen of neutron-rich hydrogen gas, hardly enough to make a small pop if you burned it. But the physicists at Sandia have in mind a grander plan than combustion, one that will release kilowatts of power from this tiny capsule: thermonuclear fusion. It’s the same process that heats the sun, and the ...
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