Here’s how scientists reached nuclear fusion ‘ignition’ for the first time

The experiment, performed in 2022, also revealed a never-before-seen phenomenon

Two workers stand in front of equipment at the National Ignition Facility.

In December 2022, scientists at the National Ignition Facility (pictured) achieved nuclear fusion “ignition,” in which the energy produced by the fusing of atomic nuclei exceeds that needed to kick the fusion off.

Jason Laurea/LLNL

One of nuclear fusion’s biggest advances wouldn’t have happened without some impeccable scientific artistry.

In December 2022, researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California created fusion reactions that produced an excess of energy — a first.