How would we create a probe that could bridge the distance to the stars? Project Icarus was one design for a nuclear powered "rocket". Here is a quick video showing the basic idea. From the authors:
Project Icarus is a theoretical design study of an interstellar starship. This movie illustrates how a Fusion Pulse Propulsion system works, which was the engine used for the 1970s Project Daedalus. Fusion releases, on average, about a million times from energy than traditional chemical rockets, and so would be perfectly suited for interstellar propulsion. To learn more, visit http://www.icarusinterstellar.org
If you have an extra hour you can watch this presentation on interstellar travel from the British Interplanetary Society (love that name!).