At the end of the 21st century the state of the world may very well depend on how successfully human beings were in solving the following 21 challenges. Let’s look at each challenge briefly and we will cover each topic in more detail in coming articles:
1. Provide energy from nuclear fusion – the sun is a natural fusion reactor. When two light atomic nuclei fuse to form a heavier nucleus a large amount of energy is released. The heat given off by the reaction produces steam that is converted into steam power. In order to control fusion reaction scientists have developed magnetic or inertial confinement of a plasma which means suspending the reaction in the air. This is the central conundrum for scientists who estimate it will take until 2050 before the problem is solved. While there will be waste management issues, fusion reactions are cleaner than fission reactions.