Fusion power has seemed like science fiction — a boundless energy source that would light up the world forever, if only we could figure out how to contain it. And yet we’re always about thirty years away from solving that mystery. Until now.
Recent advances in magnet technology have brought fusion a little closer to the present. MIT researchers have just unveiled designs for a compact, tokamak (donut-shaped) fusion reactor that uses new, barium oxide-based superconductors to produce powerful magnetic fields capable of confining a fusion reaction. The reactor, which is about half the diameter of current models, could in theory produce enough electricity for 100,000 people.
Best of all, the researchers say the concept could be realized in a decade.
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