Watch as Susan and Ned Sauthoff of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory become shadows, in the glow of an animation of an actual fusion reaction.
They imagine they're the plasma inside the reactor chamber as it approaches an antenna shooting out high-voltage bursts of electricity. They heat the plasma, to hundreds of millions of degrees - ten times the heat at the core of the sun. When it gets hot enough, the subatomic particles break off, start fusing together and release energy.
The energy is captured when an alpha particle, a positively charged ion, is contained inside a magnetic chamber. This creates a self-sustaining reaction.
This is a chamber like the one at the International Thermonuclear Energy Reactor being built in France. The goal of ITER is to produce a fusion reaction that emits more energy than it uses.
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