This is the process by which the sun generates its energy, and which proponents hope may form part of the earth’s energy mix as the world moves towards net zero. It has proven difficult to reach the very high temperatures needed to create fusion reactions but scientists in the UK made a major breakthrough. The experiment at the Joint European Torus (JET) facility near Oxford, England, set a record of generating 59 megajoules of sustained fusion energy in a five-second period — well over double the previous amount. They succeeded in producing energy equivalent to 14kg of TNT, in an experiment that pushed plasma gases to about 150 million °C.
US annual inflation reached its highest level in 40 years in January, with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) up 7.5% from a year earlier. Month-on-month the CPI was up 0.6%, driven by electricity, food and rents. Rising prices have unsettled the pandemic recovery and worried central bankers keen to stop economies overheating.