Sun Close-up Showing Solar Surface Activity and Corona, 3D Image. Credit: DrPixel/Getty Images

Technology USA20. December 2022

Major Milestone: We Created Energy from Nuclear Fusion (Like the Sun!)

Scientists have been trying to replicate nuclear fusion – the process that gives the Sun its energy – for 60 years… and they have just made a major breakthrough.

In order to create energy via nuclear fusion, two identical elements must combine. In the Sun, this process happens thanks to extremely high temperatures and pressure. For the first time on planet Earth, the United States’s National Ignition Facility (NIF) has announced that it successfully used a 192-beam laser to create energy from nuclear fusion like the Sun, yielding more energy from a fusion reaction than the amount of energy put in.

Nuclear fusion itself does not rely on fossil fuels nor generate greenhouse gases. It could, in theory, provide huge quantities of clean energy for the world. The successful NIF experiment is an important one, but a larger-scale operation is still many years away, physicists explain.


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