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Surprising Science

One Step Closer to Fusion Energy

French physicists have successfully prevented instabilities from developing in plasma needed to run a fusion reactor, a potential source of endless and clean energy for the planet.

What’s the Latest Development?

French scientists have succeeded in preventing the development of instabilities in plasma needed to run a fusion reactor, which is a potential source of endlessly clean energy for the planet. “By adjusting an antenna that emits electromagnetic radiation, Jonathan Graves and his colleagues from EPFL’s Center for Research in Plasma Physics were able to quench the instabilities when they appear, in the precise region where they are forming, and without perturbing the rest of the installation.”

What’s the Big Idea?

Nuclear fusion attempts to reproduce the energy of the sun by heating gas to millions of degrees, turning it into plasma. This contrasts nuclear fission, which splits atoms, releasing energy and radioactive decay. The ITER fusion reactor is currently in development in Southern France and, were it to become operational, could supply clean and theoretically endless amounts of energy.


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