Science: High-Powered Claim

Even though it came from a small company competing against the giants of the field, there was nothing modest about the announcement made last week by KMS Industries Inc. of Ann Arbor, Mich. The firm claimed that its scientists had briefly sustained a laser-generated fusion reaction and called its work a "definitive step" toward taming thermonuclear fusion—the same process that produces the explosive power of the hydrogen bomb and the vast heat and radiation of the sun.

As expected, the claim caused widespread excitement. It promised that fusion plants might some day supply mankind with practically unlimited energy. Indeed, an AEC spokesman...

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