Hi everyone, I am Haley Hunsucker and I am here, on May 6, 2016, working with my lab learning about nuclear fusion! I've recently learned that you can use nuclear fusion for energy in heat engines! In a heat engine, the kinetic energy of fusion products is converted to heat, then converted to mechanical energy and then to electricity.
Nuclear fusion is a nuclear reaction in which atomic nuclei fuse together to form a heavier nucleus with the release of energy.
Fusion vs. Fission
Nuclear fusion is when the atoms fuse together. Nuclear fission is a nuclear reaction where a heavy nucleus splits spontaneously with the release of energy. They are similar because they are both nuclear reactions that produce energy, though the way they go about doing it is not the same. Unlike nuclear fission, where a uranium atom is split, giving off enormous volumes of energy, nuclear fusion is when two hydrogen atoms are slammed together, this gives a vast quantity of energy and makes it the most ideal source of energy.
Fusion power offers the prospect of an almost inexhaustible source of energy for future generations but also presents scientific and engineering challenges.