Bring up the prospect of fusion power, and often eyes glaze over. It’s not that it’s not a thrilling prospect--cheap and inexhaustible energy would solve a lot of problems here on planet Earth--but it’s been such a pipe dream for so long that it’s often hard to make people care. But at least one person with a proven track record in recognizing potential when he sees it has taken an interest in a fusion-powered future: Amazon founder and gazillionaire Jeff Bezos has thrown $19.5 million to Canada’s General Fusion to fund further research.
Need a weekend project around the house? Mark Suppes, web developer by day, has built his own nuclear fusion reactor in a Brooklyn workspace. It kind of makes that project car you’ve got rusting in the garage seem lame by comparison.
In what the BBC is calling "a claim that is likely to be met with some scepticism," North Korea has announced that it has made huge strides toward developing thermonuclear power, going so far as to claim that the nation's scientists have built a "unique thermo-nuclear reaction device."
It’s amazing no one thought of it before: nuclear fusion from a levitating tire-sized magnet surrounded by 10-million-degree plasma. But that’s exactly what a joint project between MIT and Columbia University are tinkering with over at MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center on the MIT campus.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.