Nuclear fusion is often proffered as the final solution to our energy needs. That well may be, but hardly anyone understands what it means, and almost no one, outside of physicists, knows how it relates to nuclear fission (the power source that we use now).

It all has to do with Dr. Einstein’s simple, but seminal equation, E = mc^{2}. This means that mass can be converted to energy in a huge fashion. Let us take a kilogram of mass, any mass, and convert it to energy. Using the formula, and it has been proved over and over to be correct, one kilogram of mass (think of a big sirloin steak, for example) becomes a LOT of energy.

According to the equation, that kilogram of mass becomes thus:

E = (1 kg)(2.9979 x 10^{8} m/s)^{2} = 8.99 x 10^{16} Joules

This is almost 90,000 billions of Joules. We are talking big energy. But it does happen quite like this. Only in matter-antimatter annihilation does all mass become energy.