A new science show on BBC1 entitled “Bang Goes the Theory” went to the circus to demonstrate how vital kinetic energy is for fusion reactions to occur. Presenter Dallas Campbell, dressed up as “superman hydrogen nucleus”, together with a professional trapeze artist, tried to overcome their “repulsion” by moving higher and higher up on their trapezes until eventually they were able to grab each other and “fused”. Culham scientist Melanie Windridge bravely climbed up to the trapeze platform to explain the theory to Dallas, making sure both “Fusion Boys” build up enough kinetic energy. Dallas also explored the JET facility accompanied by Maximos Tsalas of the EFDA-JET Close Support Unit, and concluded that the day fusion electricity powers our homes “is a day worth waiting for”. “Bang Goes the Theory” was broadcast in the early evening, giving fusion research primetime exposure to around two million viewers.

Jennifer Hay, CCFE