Scientists at the National Ignition Facility in Livermore, CA announced Tuesday the first-ever successful nuclear fusion reaction that resulted in a net energy gain, an achievement with the potential to reshape energy production. The Onion tells you what you need to know about the nuclear fusion breakthrough.
Q: What is nuclear fusion?
A: A novel form of energy not yet used in doomsday weapons.
Q: What’s the primary benefit of nuclear fusion?
A: We can finally declare victory over the sun.
Q: When will nuclear fusion be commercially viable?
A: Five to 10 years too late.
Q: Does this mean we can give everyone electricity for free?
A: That’s adorable.
Q: Is it the most efficient form of green energy?
A: Second only to the potato battery.
Q: What are the potential downsides?
A: If left unchecked, it could lead to another confusing three-hour Christopher Nolan film.
Q: Why is this breakthrough announcement important?
A: It’s nice to see scientists succeeding for once.
Q: Does this mean gas prices will go down?
A: Changes in gas prices are unrelated to any actual events.
Q: Will we live to see widespread nuclear fusion in our lifetime?
A: Given the rapidly reducing U.S. life expectancy, probably not.