The development is a historic step towards “limitless” clean energy, with the potential to significantly impact the trajectory of the climate crisis, driven by the planet-heating emissions created by burning fossil fuels.
“This is game-changing, world-improving, lives-saving history unfolding in real-time,” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm told reporters at a news conference in Washington DC alongside scientists from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. “It will go down in the history books.”
For over 70 years, hundreds of scientists and engineers have attempted to replicate the energy process of atoms fusing together that powers the sun and other stars. It is an incredibly complex and expensive process that is highly unstable due to the high temperatures and pressures involved.
Now, for the first time in history, the California lab team used lasers to achieve a “net energy gain”, producing more energy in a fusion reaction than was used to ignite it.
Scientists lauded the breakthrough but said it will still take years of work before fusion would be powering our everyday lives.
Read more on CNN.