Our New Discovery: Nuclear Fusion
The Fusion Lab and Dr. John Smith on 5/8/16
Who is responsible?
How does it work? How is it different?
Fusion is the process which powers the sun and the stars and that makes all life on earth possible. It is called 'fusion' because the energy is produced by fusing together light atoms, such as hydrogen, at the extremely high pressures and temperatures which exist at the center of the sun. At the high temperatures experienced in the sun any gas becomes plasma, the fourth state of matter. In order to replicate this process on earth, gases need to be heated to extremely high temperatures of about 150 million degrees ºC. The fusion reaction that is easiest to accomplish is the reaction between two hydrogen isotopes: deuterium, extracted from water and tritium, produced during the fusion reaction through contact with lithium. When deuterium and tritium nuclei fuse, they form a helium nucleus, a neutron and a lot of energy. More simply fusion produces energy when two nuclei collide to form one nucleus and some energy which is different from how nuclear fission produces energy, one nucleus splits to form multiple nuclei and some energy.