Ah, fusion. Long promised, both on Do the Math and in real life, fusion is regarded as the ultimate power source — the holy grail — the “arrival” of the human species. Talk of fusion conjures visions of green fields and rainbows and bunny rabbits . . . and a unicorn too, I hear. But I strike too harsh a tone in my jest.
Fusion is indeed a stunningly potent source of energy that falls firmly on the reality side of the science fiction divide — unlike unicorns. Indeed, fusion has been achieved (sub break-even) in the lab, and in the deadliest of bombs. On the flip side, fusion has been actively pursued as the heir-apparent of nuclear fission for over 60 years. We are still decades away from realizing the dream, causing many to wonder exactly what kind of “dream” this is.