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An Indispensable Truth: How Fusion Power Can Save the Planet 2011th Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-1441978196
ISBN-10: 1441978194
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Editorial Reviews

Review

From the reviews:

“The ‘indispensable truth’ is that Chen … has written what may well be recognized as the definitive retrospective on the promise of endless supplies of cheap, clean nuclear energy from fusion, offering the prospect of realizing the promise at last. … It is stylishly written, designed, and illustrated to appeal to general readers … . Chen is in his comfort zone as he tells his story, and the indispensable truth is that it is just that–indispensable! Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels/libraries.”­­­ (L. W. Fine, Choice, Vol. 49 (3), November 2011)

"With An Indispensable Truth: How Fusion Power Can Save the Planet, Frank Chen has provided a sweeping perspective on fusion energy. He covers everything from climage change to plasma instabilities. On climate change and energy, the view is best from 30 000 feet: The book provides a good high-level overview of the issues at stake...On fusion plasma physics, Chen's area of expertise, An Indispensable Truth provides an intuitive, up-close explanation of exciting recent advances and future challenges...An Indispensable Truth provides an exciting whirlwind tour of energy issues and technologies, with particular insight into fusion. Chen is correct to emphasize the tremendous progress that has been made in fusion research. ITER will produce hundreds of millions of watts of thermal energy from fusion, for periods of up to an hours. However, it remains for the world, and in particular the US, to decide if we will develop fusion into a practical energy source. We will need it." (Physics Today, Volume 65, Issue 2, February 2012)

From the Back Cover

Both global warming and oil shortage can be solved by controlled fusion, a clean power source that will serve mankind for millennia.� The idea of hydrogen fusion as well as its difficulties are presented in non-technical language to dispel the notion that fusion is always 50 years away.� This book also summarizes the evidence for climate change and explains the principles of both fossil and "green" energy sources to show that fusion is the best alternative for central-station power in the near term as well as the far future.

Praise for An Indispensable Truth: How Fusion Power Can Save the Planet:

"In this study Professor Chen outlines the underlying physics, recent progress in achieving advanced plasmas and magnetic confinement, and hopes for the future. He recognizes the difficulties that remain in engineering a fusion reactor, but he remains optimistic regarding ultimate success, yet fearful of the consequences were we to fail."- James R. Schlesinger, former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission; Director, Central Intelligence Agency; Secretary of Defense; and Secretary of Energy

"With lots of detail and examples, Chen brings the technical topic of fusion to life, making the book a great read for scientists and nonscientists alike."- Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ)

"Professor Chen has opened the door to energy survival for our globe. His insightful analysis makes the case for fusion energy, and he conveys both its complexity and its promise. This book is a must for all those who are concerned about the energy future of our species."- Raymond L Orbach, former Undersecretary for Science, U.S. Department of Energy

"This is an important book for anyone who wishes to understand the greatest challenge we face. Frank Chen makes the science of fusion and energy clear, compelling, and hugely enjoyable."- Steven Cowley, Director and CEO, Culham Centre for Fusion Energy, United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 433 pages
  • Publisher: Springer; 2011 edition (April 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1441978194
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441978196
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,336,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By avocet on May 31, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book avoids mathematical language almost exclusively. I am a research physicist and found the book both informative and straight-forward for the general reader. The book can serve to dispel common notions (and fears) which lump fission and fusion processes as simply "nuclear". There are areas which are not easily understood to an untrained reader but for the most part the author does a commendable job of either leading to other explanations through references.....or not making too much of an issue over those items which are not technically necessary for a general reader to grasp his point.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By l.o.u.i.s on June 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a jewel of a book! It is written in a sober manner by one of the experts in the field, with a research career spanning many decades and the whole of the magnetic confinement fusion energy program, who still has managed to keep his enthusiasm alive for the field and is deeply aware of the cost we'll have to pay if commercial fusion energy is not realized in the next decades.

The level is one of popular science and yet it can still be useful even for an experienced plasma physicist working in the Fusion Energy area as a refreshing course of the main concepts, as well as being filled with lots of amusing anecdotes (why do bananas matter so much for fusion? what about doughnuts? "When is a Megawatt not a Megawatt?"). For the non-expert it is a highly readable and insightful account of the main candidate to solve the energy problems of our technological civilization for centuries to come, as well as a clear explanation of why it has taken so long to fulfill this vision. For the sake of completeness, Prof. Chen dedicates more than one third of the book (the first part) to surveying the actual nature and urgency of the problem. Although by his own account he is no expert on climate change issues, the result is one of the most sober and insightful accounts I've read on the subject, full of no-nonsense logic and calmly debunking some well entrenched myths ranging from the true cost and efficiency of existing renewable energies to the radical revamping it would entail to our current existing energy grids. As stresseed throughout this book, "Replacing the power core of a coal or nuclear plant with a fusion reactor would retain the electric generators, transmission lines and real estate already in place.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Aristarchus on December 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book Is the only book on fusion power that I have seen for the lay reader that conveys the difficult scientific and engineering challenges of making fusion power a reality. I feel that this book does not give an overly optimistic assessment of the chances for success, nor a gloomy and negative outlook as was portrayed in the book "Sun in a Bottle".
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