EDUCATION: Fusion Fundamentals

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Science  30 Sep 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5744, pp. 2141
DOI: 10.1126/science.309.5744.2141c

Nuclear fusion could unleash 100 times more energy than nuclear fission and some 10 million times more than burning coal. Scientists haven't yet achieved a sustained fusion reaction, but students who want a quick introduction to this potential power source should check out FusEdWeb from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. A six-chapter primer explores everything from the main fusion reactions to different methods for creating the extreme temperatures necessary for atoms to merge. Stars depend on gravity, for example, but earthbound reactor designs use lasers, x-rays, and magnetic chambers. A glossary covers fusion and plasma terms.

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