The Secret Of Fusion Reaction

Is Nuclear Fusion the Energy of The Future?

Energy runs the world, literally. Every electric item in your house runs on electricity, which is a form of energy. Turning on a light uses energy. Harnessing energy is one of Earth’s greatest powers, and learning how to use it for our gain has been humanity’s goal for hundreds of years. Unfortunately, this pursuit has often devasted the environment, with burning coal creating smog, hydropower destroying underwater ecosystems, and windmills killing birds. The Earth has been on a track of pollution and global warming for years, but we’re always trying to slow, stop, and even reverse this descent. One way scientists have been doing this is with fusion reactions.

A fusion reaction is pretty simple. When you take two atoms, which makeup everything, and push them together into one, you’re left with a single atom slightly smaller than the two that made it up. The change in size is because of the energy released in the process. Pushing together the atoms releases a huge amount of energy, and scientists have figured out a way to harvest that energy. 

A fusion reaction is how the sun works, with atoms pushed together, generating heat and light. We actually already use this energy, through solar panels. But if we can recreate that reaction on earth, not letting as much energy disperse into space, we can gather so much more power.

Another good thing about fusion reactions is the lack of pollution. Not even steam or smog is let out. Fission reaction is similar, pulling one atom into two instead of the other way around, and we already use it. It’s called Nuclear Fission. The big problem with that is the amount of radiation left over after the reaction. It can be deadly, and extremely dangerous. Accidents with nuclear fission can be devastating to entire countries. Nuclear fusion doesn’t have this issue. There is some radiation left, but it’s much less and fades quickly. This makes fusion a lot safer than fission.

So why aren’t we already using fusion all the time? If it’s so great shouldn’t we use it all the time? Well, eventually we probably will. Currently, nuclear fusion is a work in progress. The amount of energy it takes to fuse two atoms is SO great, it’s always been more than the amount released by the reaction. It’s always been a net negative. But, just recently, the National Ignition Facility announced that they’ve created a fusion reaction where the energy gathered is more than the energy spent on creating it. This is a huge leap for fusion technology, and a giant step towards completely clean energy. Although it will be a while until fusion is a common source of power, now the future is closer than ever before, and it looks beautiful.