How are we trying to make fusion work?
Since fusion needs a hot plasma held tightly together for long enough for the fusion reaction to occur, and since the plasma is so hot it would melt any container you could put it in (like trying to boil water in a pot made from ice!!) we need to use one of 3 methods for confining the plasma: Gravity, Magnetic fields, or Inertial.
- The Sun and all other Stars use gravity to keep the hot plasma from flying apart - that is, to confine the plasma and allow the fusion to occur
Since we can't use gravity (the reactors would need to be too big - sun sized) we are trying 2 other ways
- Magnetic Confinement
- Inertial Confinement
NIF, the National Ignition Facility is an experiment designed to test the feasibility of laser driven inertial confinement where powerful lasers are used to implode a small pellet of fuel and make the fuel undergo fusion.
This was last changed on 11 Nov 1998
This page is maintained by David Newman