Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

A Piece of the Sun: The Quest for Fusion Energy 1st Edition

4.4 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1468304930
ISBN-10: 1468304933
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$7.78 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$20.22 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
29 New from $16.28 22 Used from $7.78
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student


2016 Book Awards
Browse award-winning titles. See all 2016 winners
$20.22 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. Only 16 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • A Piece of the Sun: The Quest for Fusion Energy
  • +
  • PRINCIPLES OF FUSION ENERGY: AN INTRODUCTION TO FUSION ENERGY FOR STUDENTS OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
Total price: $56.22
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

In the ancient myth of Prometheus, Clery finds a metaphor for the labors of twenty-first-century scientists now striving to bring heavenly fire down to earth. In the U.S., Europe, and Asia, these modern Prometheans are building bold new technologies to create energy the same way the sun does: by fusing hydrogen atoms. Explaining cutting-edge science with remarkable lucidity, Clery probes the subatomic dynamics of fusion, clarifying both the reasons that the world’s best physicists have repeatedly failed to harness these dynamics and the reasons that, with new tools, they now believe they can succeed. As readers contemplate the size of the new tools, they will recognize why a single fusion project—such as the Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) currently under construction in France—involves difficult international negotiations over costs and personnel. Above all, Clery illuminates the reasons for large investments in fusion as an energy alternative the world desperately needs as oil reserves dwindle and global temperatures rise. A timely perspective on truly urgent science. --Bryce Christensen

Review

“Daniel Clery's A Piece of the Sun is "an excellent history of fusion." ” (Lev Grossman - TIME Magazine, cover story)
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

China
Engineering & Transportation Books
Discover books for all types of engineers, auto enthusiasts, and much more. Learn more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: The Overlook Press; 1 edition (June 27, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1468304933
  • ISBN-13: 978-1468304930
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1.1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #611,710 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Clery's new book captures the "can-do" spirit of early fusion researchers and explains how we've come to construct the $20 billion international ITER experiment. His writing style is captivating, clear, and at times "inspiring". Clery organizes his narrative into eight chapters and each chapter is a self-contained story relating fusion's history, politics, and many technical issues.

I noticed Clery took a few "liberties" with how the sequence of events evolved. There are a couple of places where the book could have better explained the scientific reasons behind program decisions and could have better explained the implications of scientific discoveries. Fusion scientist have accomplished a great deal of physics in 60 years of fusion research. If there is a weakness to "A Piece of the Sun" is that Clery did not explain fusion's important scientific ideas as well as it related the history of big science politics and personalities along fusion's road to bigger and bigger machines.

The book is an exciting read, and I couldn't put it down.

Spoiler alert: Fusion's story is still unfolding, and Clery's final chapter ends abruptly with about as many questions left hanging as when he began with Chapter 1. No one knows today how fusion energy research will unfold. in a decade or so, Clery will need to write a sequel...

Summary: A terrific and well written introduction to one of the world's greatest scientific efforts.

I highly recommend this to everyone interested in science, technology, and politics.

Mike Mauel
[...]
1 Comment 19 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
The curve of nuclear binding energy is very revealing: split a heavy nucleus into smaller ones (fission) and excess energy is produced; combine light nuclei together to make heavier ones (fusion) and excess energy is also produced. Controlled fission has been with us since the 1940s, however, controlled fusion still eludes us to this day. In this excellent book, the author recounts the tumultuous history of humanity's quest for controlled nuclear fusion.

In his narrative, the author details the many breakthroughs, the disappointing setbacks, the joy of discovery and the agony of defeat - and of course the many brilliant minds that have tackled so many seemingly intractable problems in this elusive quest. On the technical side, the basics of how fusion works are discussed clearly as are the nature and behaviour of plasma and how it can be confined. Over the more than six decades that work has progressed in this field, and billions of dollars later, there has been some progress - steady but slow. Funding is also shown to have played an essential role and how dependent it has been on the social/political/economical climates over the decades.

I found this book to be lively, fast-paced, accessible, captivating and difficult to put down. The only less than positive comment that I have is that the book could have had a few more adequately detailed diagrams to illustrate the technical descriptions in the text. This book can be enjoyed by anyone, but science enthusiasts and those interested in the recent history of science and technology should be in for a treat.
Comment 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
XXXXX

"We owe everything to [nuclear] fusion. Our own Sun and every star that shines in the night sky are powered by fusion. Without it, the Cosmos would be dark, cold, and lifeless. Fusion fills the Universe with light and heat, and allows life to happen on Earth and probably elsewhere. The Earth itself, the air we breathe, and the very stuff we are made of are the products of fusion."

The above comes is the first paragraph of this informative book by Daniel Clery. He studied theoretical physics at York University in the UK. For more than two decades, Clery has edited and written for some of the world's top science magazines such as "New Scientist" and "Science." He has covered many of the biggest science news stories of our time.

So, just what is nuclear fusion? The best way to answer this question is to compare nuclear fusion to nuclear fission (which is what occurs in the nuclear power plants of today). Nuclear fission occurs when a heavy atomic nucleus (such as that of the element Uranium) captures a neutron and then fragments into two lighter nuclei. Sustaining this process to other heavy nuclei, we are able to get a chain reaction which releases large amounts of energy.

Nuclear fusion, on the other hand, occurs when light nuclei reduce their energy by combining to form a heavier nucleus. Before they are able to unite, the light nuclei must travel at high speeds (that is, they must have large energies) in order to overcome the repulsion between their like charges. There is a net release of energy during the nuclear fusion process only when a dense mass of light nuclei is maintained at a very high temperature.
Read more ›
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Clery has provided an excellent synthesis of the history of controlled fusion research, reviewing the most important milestones. It helps the reader to understand the hurdles found on the road to the design of a fusion reactor, and gives an updated account of the problem, without going into the technical details. I also found some of his "behind the scene" anecdotes quite amusing.
Comment 4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

A Piece of the Sun: The Quest for Fusion Energy
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
This item: A Piece of the Sun: The Quest for Fusion Energy