DEC 17, 2018 8:16 PM PST

Are We Any Closer to Harnessing Fusion to Generate Electricity?

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Electricity is essential to our everyday lives, but the way we generate electricity with the burning of fossil fuels isn’t particularly suitable for the environment. That’s why scientists are working toward breakthroughs in clean energy generation.

While we could use solar panels and windmills to power the things, we use every day, a more effective means of powering our lives would involve harnessing the power of the Sun, not by collecting its sunlight, but rather by reproducing the reaction inside the Sun known as fusion.

Fusion would be the ideal way to generate power because it doesn’t create harmful byproducts and it would be sustainable. But this also means creating an artificial star, and that’s much harder than it sounds.

We’re a long way from replicating the power of the Sun here on Earth, but with specialized machines called tokamaks, we’re getting closer. These machines harness the power of magnetic fields to generate super-hot temperatures inside, and this can lead to fusion.

In a recent experiment, China fired up its Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) machine and produced fusion for up to 10 seconds, and the plasma inside reached temperatures up to 6 times hotter than the Sun’s core.

Albeit a captivating proof of concept, we’re not any closer to sustaining the world’s power grid via fusion. Doing so will require a much larger unit, longer sustained fusion, and extreme power efficiency breakthroughs.

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
MAY 24, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
Plasma jets observed interacting with magnetic fields in far-off galaxy cluster
MAY 24, 2021
Plasma jets observed interacting with magnetic fields in far-off galaxy cluster
New observations from radio telescopes and supercomputer simulations show plasma jets interacting with magnetic fields i ...
JUN 13, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
How to 3D print customizable artificial body parts and medical devices
JUN 13, 2021
How to 3D print customizable artificial body parts and medical devices
Researchers from the University of Nottingham have figured out a new 3D printing process technique that allows for the m ...
JUL 28, 2021
Earth & The Environment
Melting Arctic Ice Carries High Levels of 'Forever' Chemicals
JUL 28, 2021
Melting Arctic Ice Carries High Levels of 'Forever' Chemicals
Everything in our world, including us, is made up of chemicals. But some of those chemicals are very harmful to the natu ...
JUL 30, 2021
Plants & Animals
Massive fossil Bonebed Discovered by a Ranger in the Foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains California
JUL 30, 2021
Massive fossil Bonebed Discovered by a Ranger in the Foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains California
Paleontologists gain another piece of California's past
SEP 09, 2021
Clinical & Molecular DX
A Drug Test for Synthetic Cannabis Use
SEP 09, 2021
A Drug Test for Synthetic Cannabis Use
Designer drugs are synthetic analogs of prohibited substances such as cocaine and LSD made in clandestine laboratories a ...
SEP 09, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
DNA in the Nucleus Observed In a Surprising Formation
SEP 09, 2021
DNA in the Nucleus Observed In a Surprising Formation
In diagrams of cells, DNA is usually shown as a mass in the cell's nucleus, like a bowl of ramen noodles. But researcher ...
Loading Comments...