From television to nuclear fusion
In 2005, a small team, headed by Robert Bussard, built a nuclear fusion reactor. The design was a descendent of a fusion reactor invented by the same man who invented the television. The program was chronically underfunded. Though they were able to build two more models after Bussard’s death, they never quite had enough resources to follow up on their promising results.
Here’s an article on Philo Farnsworth, the inventor of television and the fuser.
Here’s an article on the history of television.
Here’s a link to Farnsworth’s patent on his nuclear fusion reactor.
Here’s a talk by Robert Bussard about his research.
And here’s a link to EMC2, the company Robert Bussard founded that built the reactor prototypes.