A nuclear bomb is a bomb that makes explosions by changing the nucleus of an atom in a way that releases a lot of energy.
A technician conducting a review at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif.
(Damien Jemison/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory via AP)
While the nuclear fusion scientific breakthrough is indeed historic, it’s important to pause and reflect on the way ahead for fusion energy.
NIF’s target chamber, where a powerful laser is used to start nuclear fusion reactions.
Photo by Jason Laurea/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL)
A US national lab has proved we can the fusion process can be used to produce energy, but it’s just the first step in a very long process.
Laser energy being converted into X-rays inside a box, which compress a fuel capsule until it implodes.
Huge challenges remain before working fusion reactors are possible.
The target chamber at the National Ignition Facility has been the site of a number of breakthroughs in fusion physics.
U.S. Department of Energy/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
The promise of abundant, clean energy powered by nuclear fusion is one big step closer thanks to a new experiment. The results are a historic scientific milestone, but energy production remains a ways off.
Artist’s depiction of ions in the inertial confinement experiment.
John Jett and Jake Long/LLNL
The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the US has reached an historic milestone – producing more energy from a fusion experiment than they put in. Here’s what you need to know.
Mega Ampere Spherical Tokamak in Oxfordshire, UK.
Courtesy of MAST
A fusion of public and private investment appears to herald a new push towards developing the ultimate clean, limitless energy source.
Magnetic fusion reactors contain super hot plasma in a donut-shaped container called a tokamak.
dani3315/iStock via Getty Images
In January 2022, the JET fusion experiment produced more power over a longer period of time than any past attempt. Two physicists explain the engineering advancements that made the result possible.
Fusion seems nearer than ever - but it won’t be the silver bullet to stop climate change.
Nuclear fusion is what generates the energy of the sun: scientists are getting closer to controlling a sustained fusion reaction on Earth.
Plus, the social pressure some people feel to be happy in the world’s happiest countries. Listen to The Conversation Weekly.
Fusion could create more energy than any other process that could be produced on Earth.
Fusion produces more energy per gram of fuel than any other process that could be achieved on Earth.
The interior of the nuclear fusion reactor at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
A US laboratory has announced an exciting new leap forward in nuclear fusion, but it may be several decades before we see this form of energy come to fruition.
Fire a set of high-power lasers at a tiny speck of hydrogen isotopes and you can initiate nuclear fusion, the process that powers the Sun.
National Ignition Facility
Scientists are working on ways to make lots of energy by converting matter into energy. The trick is keeping the process under control. One possibility is nuclear fusion – the Sun’s power source.
Inside a tokamak fusion reactor.
Building a mini star on Earth, and holding it together inside a reactor, is not an easy task.
Artist’s interpretation of the inside of the Sun.
James Josephides, CAS Swinburne University of Technology
If you could go right into the middle of the Sun, everything would be incredibly bright - and perhaps a little bit pink.
CCFE / JET
Despite recent reports, nuclear fusion-powered energy isn’t mere years from solving our clean energy needs. But physicists are making encouraging strides nonetheless.
Inside a fusion reactor tokamak.
Nuclear fusion may power post-carbon societies – but it won’t save us from climate change.
A nuclear reaction is under way inside the Sun.
Emily Nunell/The Conversation CC-NY-BD
It’s true that here on Earth, if you want to burn something you need oxygen. But the Sun is different. It is not burning with the same kind of flame you would have on Earth if you burned a candle.
New heavy nuclei are constantly generated in stars and other astronomical bodies.
People long assumed all the elements we see now were created during the Big Bang. But on May 2, 1952, an astronomer reported spotting new elements coming from an old star and changed our origin story.
The coils winding facility building in France, where a global effort to build the ITER fusion energy reactor is underway.
As fusion becomes more technically viable, it’s time to assess whether it’s worth the money because breakthroughs in the lab don’t guarantee success in the marketplace.