Nuclear fusion is the process that powers the Sun and all other stars. During fusion, the nuclei of two atoms are brought close enough together that they fuse together, releasing huge amounts of energy. Replicating this process on Earth has the potential to deliver almost limitless electricity with virtually zero carbon emissions and greater safety, and without the same level of nuclear waste as fission. But building what is essentially a mini star on Earth and holding it together inside a reactor is not an easy task. It requires immense temperatures and pressures and extremely strong magnetic fields. Right now we don’t quite have materials capable of withstanding these extremes. But researchers like me are working to develop them, and we’ve found some exciting things along the way.
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