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5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for 2nd generation fusion researchers
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...
Published on February 1, 2002 by Vince Page

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3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of early Fusion history, no confidential later declassified info, Little detailed technology
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...
Published on March 25, 2011 by Thomas Erickson


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for 2nd generation fusion researchers, February 1, 2002
By 
Vince Page (Brookshire, TX USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fusion: Science, Politics, and the Invention of a New Energy Source (Hardcover)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent historical and conceptual recount, January 15, 2014
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This review is from: Fusion: Science, Politics, and the Invention of a New Energy Source (Hardcover)
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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3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of early Fusion history, no confidential later declassified info, Little detailed technology, March 25, 2011
By 
Thomas Erickson (Lutz Fl and Felt Oklahoma) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Fusion: Science, Politics, and the Invention of a New Energy Source (Hardcover)
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. I certainly would of liked much more technology and less boring history.

The reader does not need a Nuclear Physics degree to understand this book. It took me a long time to read this book to slowly plow through INMO a lot of boring fusion history( not all the history was boring ... about 75%) to get to the interesting meat and potatoes of the difficulty in trying to magnetically contain fusion and raise the temperature to 100 million degrees C. Lots of leakage and spurious spikes as temperatures increased. Not an easy job. Really wanted more information on the efforts of what was actually done for fusion confinement and raising the temperatures to eventually 100 million degrees C.

For those thinking we will have commercial fusion reactors in a few years dream on. At least this book shows a little of the extreme difficulty to trying to get magnetic confinement of heated plasma and the difficulty in trying to achieve the needed 100 million C temperature. Extremely expensive and scientifically difficult work and so hard to develop long range programs with different Presidents and Congressmen with different ideas of the need for fusion power and what they wanted to pay to achieve commercial fusion power. I'm sure there is more current information on fusion confinement and heat generation. Probably 5 stars if you are mainly interested in early fusion history and the political policies of different agencies and battles for money appropriations for the 4 big labs. 3 stars for Fusion containment theory and raising plasma heat with less leakage.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fusion History, March 30, 2008
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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Fusion: Science, Politics, and the Invention of a New Energy Source
Fusion: Science, Politics, and the Invention of a New Energy Source by Joan Lisa Bromberg (Hardcover - September 29, 1982)
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