The universe is very complex and there are many different paths between states. I had done some research about 40 years ago on a specific magnetic effect and realized there was something odd about the whole process that could be applied, but it would require too much of my time to make it economic. My only goal is to resolve the physics of the universe to a single process model. That doesn't mean that I can ever know all the ways that it can interact, but it gives me the tool to apply matter and energy in an effective way.
The image is from some Python based simulations that model complex atomic interactions like boiling in a realistic way. I have combined it with the sound ( BTW some O'Reilly sound tools in Python ) of a 100T magnetic field being established and it would seem that if I was going to make a science fiction show, that this sound / imagery and others like it would be catchy intros. Not that I plan to make a science fiction show, but in a way the speculation and refinement in science is a science fiction to fact reality show that I find far more entertaining than that which is predictable and static. It was the Foundation Trilogy by Asimov that introduced the walnut sized nuclear reactor IIRC. I don't think that is out of the question to be developed. The reason it hasn't been done yet is the nature of economics itself. It isn't a thing that has continuing economic advantage like a limited resource with a fungible speculative price. Creations that enhance the power of individuals over collectives must be devised by the individual because they are the ones who gain from its creation.
As time goes by the structure and action of the universe becomes more clear in detail and it is obvious that vast amounts of energy exist in the structure of the atom, which is the composition of virtually the entire universe. It is too complex to have become an element of biological random design as it would require too many simultaneous changes. Biology floats on the surface of the physics of the universe and mines what it can from the virtually unlimited energy. What makes it dangerous is the fact that it is not well understood and able to be controlled with precision. I would say that fire would have been one of those things that was at one time considered to be somewhat magic in its effect.
In a way the operation of a biological organism is a fire that burns without flame. In the same way it is possible with the proper "catalyst" and "receiver" to burn the energy of the atom in such a way that it collects the majority of the energy in a form that can be used without damaging waste energy or product.
Much is made of educating and training to enhance the technical skill of the population, but I suspect that such efforts are producing a different result and in fact is destructive in its effect. Some interesting studies from MIT on the nature of memory discovered by using light sensitive molecules, implies something about the mind that may not be immediately obvious. It shows that a specific locality can be a memory and thus it happens inside the cell. At least that is the presumption and I would say that is not true at all. From what I understand of AI and the simulation of human or biological intelligence, it verifies something very different for me. Many things can be used as interpolation tools for structures and one that interests me is the observation of the change in transverse energy through the space of a star that is in the process of collapsing to a neutron star. There is a very odd thing in the relationships of a black hole and matter in general that predicts a new kind of matter that is more bizarre than dark matter as well as providing the key to molecular like level nuclear chemistry. It is easy enough to combine H and O to get water and it is very predictable and the reaction is not really very complex. The combination of N0 and N0 is however a vastly more complex process. It doesn't mean that it is impossible to modulate, it just means it is a science that requires far more subtle control. The tools like this simulation of boiling do go some distance to that purpose for me. I have a suspicion that in the data of neutron stars and blacks holes is the clue that I need to model the construction of a device system which can combine H to D and thus to He without the unnecessary thrashing that comes from a gross process of nuclear fire, however induced. It would be cool fusion in name only. The methods and knowledge would just as well be applied to process or transitions that require energy toward more complex organizations of neutrons , electrons, and protons. I suspect that something more useful and akin to ( this space is intentionally blank ) exists there. I suppose this is the old dream of alchemists to transmute matter using the "Philosopher's Stone". So I suppose that the general idea of power from atoms is at least 2,000 years old.
If the process of my body continuance was driven by the genetically transformed energy released by nuclear process instead of oxidation-reduction , would I be a star?