Nuclear Fusion


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Nuclear Fusion
Nuclear Fusion is a process in which two or more atoms join together to form a single, heavier atom. The process releases a tremendous amount of energy, and is the same process that powers stars, including our own Sun. During the process, the nuclei of the atoms combine to form a new, heavier nucleus. This process releases energy due to the mass difference between the original nuclei and the new nucleus. The temperatures and pressures needed to achieve nuclear fusion are extremely high, and are currently only achievable in a laboratory setting. For example, the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a facility which uses lasers to achieve fusion. The energy released from nuclear fusion is much greater than that released from nuclear fission, which is the process used in most nuclear power plants. Nuclear fusion could provide an efficient and clean source of energy for the world. Fun Fact: Nuclear Fusion powers the Sun and all other stars in the universe!