Here’s the simple recipe for creating a fusion reaction: Take some atoms – for TAE Technologies, it’s safe and abundant hydrogen and boron – and heat them to temperatures hot enough that they’ll fuse. When they combine, their final mass is less than the sum of their separate masses before the interaction. This difference in mass is released as pure energy, and forms the basis for Einstein’s famous equation, E=mc2.
It’s the same process that fuels the sun, produces all higher atomic matter and generates much of the energy that permeates the universe and gives us life. But just because fusion is nature’s preferred source of energy doesn’t mean it’s easy to achieve.
To produce a fusion reaction, we must produce a state of matter beyond solid, liquid and gas. That means heating our hydrogen-boron atoms until they are sufficiently hot enough to form a superheated energetic stew called plasma.
The most significant gatekeepers to successful, sustained fusion are keeping the plasma Hot Enough for Long Enough. We call this the HE/LE (HEE-lee) milestone. In other words, the longer you can keep the superheated plasma in a stable state, the closer you are to clean, perpetual energy.
The journey from fusion theory to practice has been nearly a century long. The challenge of replicating this reaction in a contained, safe and scalable system is one of the great scientific undertakings of our time. Or any time.