Episode 1: Fusing STEM Communities with Stephanie Diem
If you take an atom that’s just floating through space, spin it around at a really high temperature, and – pow! – smash it together with another atom to make a big nucleus, you end up with a bigger, more powerful, and stronger atom. In the meantime, there's a big release of energy that we can theoretically capture and turn into electricity. The problem is, it's really hard to keep the reactions going while capturing the energy that this powerful punch produces.
This is the essence of fusion power, the elusive carbon-neutral energy source that researchers have been trying to harness for almost a century. Today's guest, Stephanie Diem, assistant professor of engineering physics, is at the forefront of this research at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. While she uncovers the clues to turning this technology into a viable supply for society’s energy needs, she’s working on ways people like her - women in the nuclear energy research – can sustain themselves, and grow to constitute more than just the current 10% of the field.
Today's episode was hosted by Michelle Chung, assistant editor and former Wisconsin Energy Institute communications intern, and Mary Riker, Wisconsin Energy Institute communications intern.
Editors: Mary Riker, Mark E. Griffin, Wisconsin Energy Institute Communications Specialist
Producers: Michelle Chung, Mark E. Griffin, and Mary Riker
Music written and performed by Mark E. Griffin