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Fusion: Science, Politics, and the Invention of a New Energy Source Paperback – September 10, 1985


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press (September 10, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262521067
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262521062
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,802,898 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Joan Lisa Bromberg directed the Laser History Project from 1982 to 1989 and is author of Fusion: Science, Politics, and the Invention of a New Energy Source, a history of the federal fusion energy program.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Vince Page on February 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ever wonder how we got to where we are in fusion research today? This book covers the first three decades of fusion research, from 1951 to 1982, and is indispensable reading for 2nd generation fusion researchers who did not live through it. The first stellerator, Teller instability and tokamak are all discussed here in wonderful detail. Math is at a minimum and history is at a premium, giving everyone who reads the book a greater understanding of the reasons why fusion research concentrated on certain concepts year by year and decade by decade.
This book is a special order, but serious students of fusion research should order it new, used or any way they can get it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well you've stumbled on a goldmine if you get this for a buck and like controlled nuclear fusion. This book I believe is an actual commissioned report? It does a fantastic job detailing our efforts from the 40s to 1982. From Sherwood to Scylla to TFTR it's pretty much all there. She adds a healthy helping of conceptual physics to an equal share of history and politics. Just excellent. I'll probably get another copy for a back up.
For those fusion skeptics out there...controlling and profiting from nuclear fusion is pretty much the hardest thing humanity has ever tried. Let's consider you have to heat something to 100 million degrees Centigrade (easy) the hard part is keeping it in one spot without cooling (nearly impossible) for an extended period of time (closer to impossible). We've made geometric gains and need to keep fighting. The prize is in sight...ignition. We've spent a paltry amount so far and have had great returns. It's incredibly unrealistic to poorly fund one of man kinds most important and difficult discoveries and expect it done yesterday. Buy the book and take in the hard work that's been done. Great book to read before taking the leap to actual plasma physics texts and journals.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
In the early 1980s I had a conversation with a very angry Fusion scientist from the Princeton lab. He was so mad as he claimed they were so close to getting magnetic confinement of Fusion and the stupid US congress had cut their funding. So close and so far to " clean" power for billions of people.(at 1982 so far 2 Billion dollar spent by the 4 big labs, authorized by the US congress and still decades away from a commercial fusion reactor including the hundreds of millions spent by Great Britain and the USSR).

In the book Fusion we see the events from the early 50's and the race from the US. Britain and the USSR to gain a superiority on fusion research and eventually a commercial fusion reactor. From a trickle of money, to more in the 60's a 70s, to the hundreds of millions in the early 1980s. Lots of different machines stopped, new programs started as new knowledge on fusion, containment and increasing internal temperature.

We see the battle between fission programs, fusion programs, and later solar and coal programs for dollars OK-ed from the US congress. Lots of different government agencies, and new directors. We see the use of mirror, pinch and stellarator technology, and Tokamak technology used from the USSR. We see the battle of Oak Ridge, Los Alamos. Lawrence Livermore and Princeton to gain dollars for their fusion research projects and trying to develop a usable fusion reactor. Princeton eventually becomes the #1 research lab and did not want to work with strong radioactive substances.

The author Joan Bromberg tells us she did not have the clearance to get classified information/ later declassified. So the vast part of the book is Fusion history with some fusion containment, internal heat technology. I'd say 90% history and a mere 10% technology.
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By C. Pennington on March 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
This was a good book overall. It is definitely a science history book with lots of real science thrown in. Well written, but a little difficult to get into. I used the book for some school research.
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