You probably didn't notice, but a few hours ago, the world took a huge step towards the goal of achieving clean, limitless energy through nuclear fusion.
Physicists in Germany announced that they've just fired up one of the world's largest nuclear fusion machines for the first time – and it was successfully able to contain super-hot blobs of helium gas, otherwise known as plasma.
The 16-metre-wide machine is the Wendelstein 7-X (W7-X) and it's a type of nuclear fusion device called a stellarator. Scientists have been talking about the enormous potential of stellarators for decades, but this is the first time a team has shown that it can produce and control plasma just as well as other fusion reactor designs.
On 10 December, the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics tweeted out this incredible image of its new machine's first plasma:...MORE