Naked Scientists Podcast

Naked Scientists episode

Sat, 18th Oct 2008

Fusion - The Power of the Sun

JET vacuum vessel (c) EDFA-JET

We discover the source of solar energy this week - Nuclear fusion. But how can the process that keeps the Sun burning be harnessed here on Earth? We shed light on the physics of fusion, pay a visit to JET, the Joint European Torus, and greet ITER, the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, the worlds best fusion bet yet. Also, we find out how reading brain activity might mean a new lease of life for paralysed people, why the colour of your childhood TV set may affect your dreams and how a 50 year old experiment has been brought up to date to tell us about the origins of life on Earth. Plus, in Kitchen Science, Ben and Dave whip up a plasma storm with a bunch of grapes and a microwave!

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In this edition of Naked Scientists

Full Transcript

  • 20:40 - The Physics of Fusion

    Electricity from fusion could be a great alternative to traditional coal-fired power stations, supplying cheaper, cleaner power. But how does it work? Steve Cowley joins us to explain the physics of fusion...

  • 28:01 - Fusion Power at JET

    The Joint European Torus, or JET, is the biggest fusion experiment in the world right now - but how does it keep fusion reactions going? Meera went along to explore the technological challenges...

  • 35:53 - ITER and the Future of Fusion

    So what's the next step towards making fusion power a reality? Steve Cowley explains the plans for the International Thermo-nuclear Experimental Reactor, better known as ITER...

  • 38:43 - Fusion Power with Lasers

    How could lasers be used to achieve fusion? Kate Lancaster joins us to explain all...

  • 54:59 - How will ITER work?

    The techniques you’re talking about in terms of using lasers to ignite and sustain fusion – is that what’s going to happen in ITER?



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