Fusion is the focus of this section of a tutorial about plasma, one of the four states of matter. This section deals with plasmas on Earth. There is little naturally-occurring plasma here because of the Earth's relatively cool (by universe standards) temperature, but human-made plasma is produced for industry and research purposes. The section explores the use of plasmas in experimental fusion reactors, pointing out three categories of significant unresolved issues that stand in the way of fusion becoming a viable energy source. The use of electromagnets to confine plasmas is discussed. Enlargeable images of fusion reactors are provided, and an explanation of the difference between fission and fusion is supplemented by animations of the two reaction types. Copyright 2005 Eisenhower National Clearinghouse


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