Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee claim that, for an instant, they created a star in a jar. Unlike today’s nuclear reactors, which take heavy, rare elements such as uranium and split them in a process called fission, the fusion at work in stars “fuses” hydrogen together under immense pressure – releasing far more energy than fission.

Researchers in Tennessee filled a small tube with a specially prepared fluid then shot neutrons through the liquid to generate bubbles. The final ingredient added to the mix were high frequency sound waves. They moved through the fluid, oscillating its pressure between high and low some 20,000 times a second. This, in turn, put pressure on the bubbles.