CNN.com - Study: Nuclear fusion created in lab - Apr 27, 2005
: "In fusion, light atoms are joined in a high-temperature process that frees large amounts of energy. Fusion produces virtually no air pollution and does not pose the safety and long-term radioactive waste concerns associated with modern nuclear power plants, where heavy uranium atoms are split to create energy in a process known as nuclear fission.
In the UCLA experiment, scientists placed a tiny crystal that can generate a strong electric field into a vacuum chamber filled with deuterium gas, a form of hydrogen capable of fusion. Then the researchers activated the crystal by heating it.
The resulting reaction gave off an isotope of helium along with subatomic particles known as neutrons, a characteristic of fusion. The experiment did not, however, produce more energy than the amount put in -- an achievement that would be a huge breakthrough."