Scientists worldwide gather for fusion energy research in Auburn

Scientists worldwide gather for energy research in Auburn
Updated: Apr. 23, 2018 at 7:11 PM EDT
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AUBURN, AL (WTVM) -  Scientists from all over the world are gathering in Auburn today.

This is part of an effort in developing fusion energy, a new energy source that researchers say is crucial to the people of East Alabama and across the world.

"Energy needs across the country are critical in maintaining our standard of living in Alabama or wherever," said Auburn University Physics professor, David Maurer.

According to researchers, fusion energy is an energy made up of a nuclear reaction similar to what powers the sun and stars in the sky.

"To make a 'mini-sun' here on earth, we can somehow come up with ways to harness that same type of reaction," said Maurer.

Scientists say they know they can't make something the size of the sun, but they're using magnetic bottles to scale things down and create a similar reaction.

You might be familiar with renewable energies like solar and wind. Researchers say those sources are great but fusion energy would be less harmful to our environment.

"They wouldn't create all these greenhouse gasses, CO2, and they would not put all the particulates up in the air," said Maurer.

To create this new energy, gases are heated up to 100 million degrees. Researchers say it takes time and they are about 50% done with what could be the first use of fusion energy.

"This really qualifies as basic scientific research with a longer term energy goal," said Maurer.

Scientists say we could potentially see this energy in use in 2035 which is many years from now, but  Auburn University is playing a key role in this development and research of new energy for the future of our world.

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