Thermonuclear fusion

Thermonuclear fusion is a way to achieve nuclear fusion by using extremely high temperatures. There are two forms of thermonuclear fusion: uncontrolled, in which the resulting energy is released in an uncontrolled manner, as it is in thermonuclear weapons such as the "hydrogen bomb", and controlled, where the fusion reactions take place in an environment allowing some of the resulting energy to be harnessed for constructive purposes. This article focuses on the latter.

Temperature requirements

Temperature is a measure of the average kinetic energy of particles, so by heating the material it will gain energy. After reaching sufficient temperature, given by the Lawson criterion, the energy of accidental collisions within the plasma is high enough to overcome the Coulomb barrier and the particles may fuse together.

In a deuterium–tritium fusion reaction, for example, the energy necessary to overcome the Coulomb barrier is 0.1 MeV. Converting between energy and temperature shows that the 0.1 MeV barrier would be overcome at a temperature in excess of 1.2 billion Kelvin.

Latest News for: Thermonuclear fusion


Machine Learning Improves Fusion Modeling

Engineering Times 15 Jan 2022
Researchers at MIT are employing machine learning techniques to better understand turbulent plasma phenomena in fusion devices ... One of the main challenge is developing devices that can heat the plasma to the required temperatures and confine it long enough for thermonuclear reactions to release kinetic energy that sustain new fusion reactions....

Energy from nuclear fusion just got a little bit more feasible

Popular Science 11 Jan 2022
A fusion reactor, or a fusion power plant or thermonuclear reactor, is a device that scientists can use to create electrical power from the energy released in a nuclear fusion reaction ... These trials are preparation for a larger fusion project called the International Thermonuclear ......

Chinese Researchers Claim Fusion Milestone

Engineering Times 11 Jan 2022
EAST is among the nuclear fusion reactors located at the Chinese research institute ... The design allows the reactor to reach temperatures required for controlled thermonuclear fusion, which involves fusing the nuclei of light atoms to extract the resulting energy ... However, nuclear fusion requires astronomically high temperatures....

Fusion finance: could private capital deliver energy’s holy grail?

The Engineer 07 Jan 2022
A massive recent influx of private capital into fusion shows that the sector may finally be ready to deliver ... ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) in France is the biggest project to date, a $25bn reactor due to come online in 2025 and prove that net energy gain from fusion can be achieved on Earth ... The post Fusion finance....