Science  26 Oct 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5543, pp. 751
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5543.751a

Scientists have long dreamed of building a fusion reactor that could harvest the energy released when hydrogen atoms merge. For information on efforts to harness the reactions that power the sun, try these two government sites.

At the fusion Web site of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, you'll find a mixture of technical and general offerings. Researchers can access papers and reports dating back to 1995 or get the lowdown on experimental reactors at the authority's Culham facility. For novices, there's a primer on fusion history and science, a glossary, and an “Ask the Expert” feature. You can also peek inside a working fusion reactor during a 1998 run that set the world record for efficiency. High-speed footage captures a ghostly globe of high-temperature plasma as it swells and seethes.

Focused on researchers, this U.S. Department of Energy site provides information on grants, a calendar of upcoming conferences, and a directory of workers at 25 organizations involved in fusion studies, from government labs and universities to private companies. A roster of more than 50 links allows you to follow the progress of fusion projects worldwide, such as the work at General Atomics in San Diego, where a technician checks out the DIII-D tokamak reactor.

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