Fusion Energy is produced like this: we get some nuclei to fuse and produce one nucleus but with less mass than the total mass of the original nuclei. The lost mass is converted to energy as described in the most famous equation in history (E = mc2)
You can see a very nice flash animation illustrating the idea here Deuterium-deuterium reactions.
Fusion Energy research still in its early stages. There are billions of dollars spent on its R&D every year around the world. So, why bother? Is it so special?
Fusion Energy has many advantages:
- Abundant Fuel Supply: because we can get its supply from sources like seawater.
- Less Nuclear waste: unlike its cousin fission, which is currently used in nuclear power plants, fusion produces little radioactive waste, and what it does produce can be recycled by the reactor
- It requires no carbon drawn from the ground
- It emits no gases that warm the planet
“WOW, Great” you might feel, right? So, why is it taking so much time? Fusion power research started in the 1920s. What is the problem here?
The problem as The French Nobel laureate in physics Pierre-Gilles de Gennes described, “We say that we will put the sun into a box. The idea is pretty. The problem is, we don’t know how to make the box.” That is the problem. The amount of energy produced by the fusion is so large that no known material on Earth can be used to contain it. The reactor will not be able to hold for a long time because it cannot contain a sun. Yes folks, it is like we have a mini-sun here on Earth. We can power our cities, scientists say, with miniature, vacuum-sealed stars.
Scientists are trying to contain the energy using techniques like magnet confinement
So, my dear reader, imagine our world with almost infinite, clean, safe and HUGE power sources. Do you know that the main reason of nearly all the Middle East wars and conflicts especially with US are because of power sources? Do you know that oil and gas prices nearly control the price of everything else?