Moving between pieces equipment on a work bench and the floor, Sanns
adjusts knobs and turns valves, while a vacuum pump hums and sucks air
out of his creation: a tabletop nuclear fusion reactor.
"I need to get the air inside the chamber down to outer space
conditions," Sanns said. The chemist-turned-banquet hall proprietor
always wears a dosimeter, which measures radiation — just in case — he
Sanns is among about 100 amateur physicists, inquisitive types and
out-of-the-box thinkers, many of which call themselves "fusioneers,"
who swap stories of where to buy power sources, vacuum chambers and
They also pass along the results of their experiments in fusing
hydrogen atoms. The process, if sustained, generates tremendous energy.
Scientists have chased fusion for about 50 years. The problem is not
with creating fusion, the fusing of particles smaller than an atom. The
problem is maintaining the process in a controlled way.
Well, yeah, it's a problem, if you're trying to "maintain the process" the wrong way, like, with giant energy-sucking magnets or lasers.
Read the whole article, it's a comprehensive overview of the topic (even if it doesn't have a link anywhere to this site).