Fusion, not fiction

Iron Man exoskeletons
Credit: HarshLight

Scientists at MIT are working on an ARC reactor. Could an Iron Man suit be far behind?

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Dick Tracy used a two-way wristwatch to communicate; smartwatches have been available to the masses for years now. Star Trek replicators were used to create both objects and food on demand, a role that 3D printers are now starting to fill.

Life imitating fiction is hardly new. 

But technologists and scientists keep taking this to the next level, bringing technologies that were previously only imagined ever closer to reality. And now researchers are working on creating Iron Man’s ARC fusion reactor.

Well, maybe not exactly Iron Man’s ARC reactor, but let’s not squabble over the details. The fact is, scientists at MIT are getting close to actually creating an ARC reactor (sadly, not one that will likely power a super-suit donned in order to fight the evils of the world). Luckily for researchers at MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center, creating a smaller fusion reactor is meant to yield clean energy, not something they have to do to keep shrapnel from reaching their hearts.

Despite federal funding being cut to the project, the MIT scientists are continuing to make progress. Maybe they should call Tony Stark for a loan -- I hear he has deep pockets.

To see even more awesome videos on topics like fusion reactors, head over to our IT insights channel on IDG.TV.

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