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Author: Alantis Green, Student Technology Consultant

In honor of the spooky season, let’s talk about aliens. Particularly the television show on Showtime, The Man Who Fell to Earth. A television show about an alien who comes to earth and learns to be human. He is searching for the tenth design, which is the key to saving his planet. The tenth design is also the blueprint for achieving and controlling quantum fusion. But that begs the questions:

1 . Can quantum fusion be controlled?
2. What can that look like in the future?
3. Would companies such as Tesla, Amazon, Microsoft, or Meta try to monetize it?

First, let’s begin by defining What is quantum fusion? Well despite what the show says all fusion is quantum. Fusion is basically the combination of two deuterons (proton plus neutron), to a He4 nucleus (two protons and two neutrons) with the release of 22 MeV per fusion. Normal chemical binding is around an electron volt. So, this is 10 million times greater. But if it’s achieved at this level it would be one of the most powerful energy sources. But no studies have been able to achieve and control this type of reaction. Mostly due to the fact that it probably isn’t possible on earth. The temperature to produce fusion has to be more than 100 million Celsius. No materials on earth can withstand direct contact with this heat.

So, quantum fusion became something of the past until an MIT project called the Commonwealth fusion. The MIT-founded project has been trying to achieve what they refer to as the “ultimate clean energy source.” “The challenges of making fusion happen are both technical and scientific,” says Dennis Whyte, director of MIT’s Plasma Science and Fusion Center, who is working with CFS to develop SPARC. 

That demonstration device, called SPARC, is targeted for completion in 2025. This project spokesperson claims that the group doesn’t want to win anything. Their goal is to make the planet more livable.

Now that we are living in a time where projects are getting funded for such objectives but that begs the question of whether companies will try to monetize quantum fusion and alienate others in the process. What the MIT spokesperson of CFS didn’t mention is that the project is funded by Bill Gates. It makes the possibility of fusion being profited off more likely. But to profit from quantum fusion is like profiting off the sun or other resources. While I can’t predict if quantum fusion will be monetized, I can educate the public on quantum fusion and its ratifications. 

So, the answer to the first question. At the moment,  no, quantum fusion can not be controlled but it is getting pretty darn close. So, a few steps to not fall for a trick in the near future.

  1. Stay up to date on any scientific research findings.
  2. Before you purchase anything that was stolen from the earth? Which are most things. 
  3. If you would like to learn more about quantum fusion, spend one of your nights watching The Man Who Fell To Earth with a pumpkin spice latte.