Fusion is, basically, the smashing together of atoms so the ‘fuse’ and release (theoretically) nearly-unlimited clean power as a result. There’s no nuclear waste, like with fission. And the reaction only needs water to start, which we have in abundance on our planet.
So why aren’t we all driving fusion-powered flying cars already? Well, unless you want to live at the center of the sun – where it’s clearly too hot, too radioactive, and the gravity alone would crush every cell in your body if you weren’t already incinerated and irradiated – the science is a little complicated. And it’s hard to create the right conditions here on earth. But it is theoretically possible. And according to some, all we lack is the will, and the funding, to have a perfectly clean, virtually free, totally clean energy source for all.
But, as they say, don’t take my word for it – check out this really informative 7 minute video from artist and scientist extra-ordinaire Jorge Cham, and then click over to his PHD comics site to create your own animated fusion experiment!