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Convectron experiments at KEMA High Power Laboratory, Arnhem, The Netherlands, 1987
Nuclear fusion, uncertain large-scale option versus promising alternative
Nuclear fusion far off
The Sun and the stars radiate energy from nuclear fusion. Fusion reactions merge atomic nuclei of light elements into nuclei of heavier elements. A small amount of matter disappears and turns into energy by Einstein's formula E=mc2 for the mass deficit. Explosive power of hydrogen bombs also comes from nuclear fusion.
Efforts to harness fusion power for commercial energy production started in the mid-1950's. Fusion energy taps fuel sources that are inexhaustible by human standards and spread world-wide. Despite multi-billion dollar budgets in half a century, magnetic and inertial confinement schemes still face many uncertainties. Commercial exploitation is currently not expected before 2040, a time horizon of 30 years that remained remarkably constant over the past decades.
Nuclear fusion at hand
As natural phenomenon ball lightning has defied physical explanation for two centuries. These luminous spheres usually appear during thunderstorms, and last several seconds. But some well-documented events lived one minute, ionised ambient air, dressed in coloured halo's, and released energy at calorimetric levels. Man-made fireballs like ball lightning arose on board of submarines upon interruption of accidental short-circuit currents of their propulsion batteries.
Self-confinement, lifetime and energy of ball lightning challenge basic laws of classical physics. Convectron's boson model treats ball lightning as sponge-like plasma threaded by hollow vortex cores circulating at the quantum limit. Co-rotating ions enter fusion regimes by large ion-electron mass ratios. Deuterium in moist air fuels fusion reactions extending lifetimes of ball lightning. Reported blue and purple halo's visualise charged particles emitted by deuterium fusion.