Nuclear fission is the process by which atoms are split apart to release energy, the process which powers modern nuclear reactors. But fission also has a more powerful, more efficient, cleaner cousin; nuclear fusion. In nuclear fusion atoms are fused together to release even greater amounts of energy.
After the nuclear fission bombs of the Second World War scientists started to experiment with much more powerful fusion bombs. However it wasn’t until 1951 that fusion was considered for peaceful endeavours. A Princeton University scientist by the name of Lyman Spitzer Jr. founded a laboratory where he designed a new machine which could harness the vast energy levels released in fusion reactions. Sptizer called his invention the stellerator, and dreamed that it could one day power tens of thousands of homes.
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