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Corning Inc. plays major role in ‘breakthrough’ nuclear fusion reaction

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  • Staff Report 

Earlier this month scientists made a major breakthrough in nuclear fusion.

This is the process that powers the sun. Scientists were able to create more energy in a fusion reaction than was used to ignite it.

Corning Inc. announced this week that it played a role in that breakthrough. The glass company’s fused silica components manufactured in Canton served as laser transport optics at the heart of the process.

In simple terms, fusion is the process of pressing atoms together so forcefully that they become a new, larger element. As result, they release massive amounts of heat and energy.

Scientists hope that this could play a role down the road in helping power things humans use.

“Corning’s advanced optics technologies play an essential role in moving our world forward,” said John Bayne, senior vice president and general manager, Corning Mobile Consumer Electronics. “From our optical components that enabled the awe-inspiring James Webb Space Telescope photos, to our leading solutions in cutting-edge semiconductor manufacturing, to our proprietary glass making augmented and mixed reality devices possible, Corning’s innovations are vital to progress. We’re thrilled to have contributed optical components for LLNL’s fusion experiments, which could ultimately lead to cleaner energy sources that prolong the health of our environment.”