Thermonuclear fusion

Thermonuclear fusion is the process of combining two atomic nuclei to form a heavier nucleus, releasing a vast amount of energy in the process.

  • There are two forms of thermonuclear fusion:
    • Uncontrolled fusion is the process in which the atomic nuclei combine spontaneously, releasing an enormous amount of energy uncontrollably. It occurs naturally in most stars and is the principle behind thermonuclear weapons.
    • Controlled fusion is the process in which atomic nuclei are combined in a controlled environment to release energy for constructive purposes.
  • The energy released during fusion can take various forms, including light.
  • During fusion, gamma rays are released, which are high-energy photons that belong to the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • These gamma rays can interact with matter and produce other forms of light, such as visible light, which we can see with our eyes.
  • In stars, fusion occurs at their cores where hydrogen atoms combine to form helium, releasing a large amount of energy, including light.