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Sun in a Bottle: The Strange History of Fusion and the Science of Wishful Thinking by [Charles Seife]

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Sun in a Bottle: The Strange History of Fusion and the Science of Wishful Thinking Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 85 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

It’s the energy source of the future, and always will be; that’s the rap on nuclear fusion. Reviewing its development—which at present is embodied in two big-science installations in California and France—Seife clarifies the devilish complexities of containing a fusion reaction. The idea’s tantalizing physical simplicity and the allure of earning unbounded riches from unlimited power has repeatedly tempted scientists, whose excess optimism, hubris, and self-deception propel the technical side of Seife’s account. A seasoned science author (most recently, Decoding the Universe, 2006), Seife shines in explaining how hydrogen’s behavior at solarlike temperatures has so far defeated the two conventional devices for taming it: magnets and lasers. With high-energy physics at an impasse, eccentric claims of room-temperature fusion gained a hearing. Remember the cold-fusion nondiscovery of 1989? Seife writes up two other claims of low-temperature fusion that similarly could not be replicated, the sine qua non of scientific proof. Informed and perceptive, Seife ably melds physics and public policy (fusion has consumed billions of dollars) into a fine presentation for general-interest readers. --Gilbert Taylor --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Fifty years ago scientists and futurists glowingly predicted a future in which cars would run on little fusion cells and the world would extract deuterium from the oceans for an inexhaustible supply of energy. Like all too many shining visions, fusion turned out to be a mirage. Award-winning science journalist Seife (Zero) takes a long, hard look at nuclear fusion and the failure of one scheme after another to turn it into a sustainable energy source. Many readers will remember the 1989 cold fusion debacle, but Seife explains why tabletop fusion isn't all that difficult to achieve. The problem, as with all fusion devices except the hydrogen bomb, is to produce more energy than the fusion process consumes. The two most promising approaches today use plasma and lasers, but again, Seife reports, scientists have been repeatedly frustrated. The United States and several other industrial nations recently agreed optimistically to sink billions of dollars into a 30-year fusion power project. Seife's approachable book should interest everyone concerned about finding alternative energy sources. (Nov. 3)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B001IH6WOM
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin Books (October 16, 2008)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ October 16, 2008
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 864 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Sticky notes ‏ : ‎ On Kindle Scribe
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 324 pages
  • Page numbers source ISBN ‏ : ‎ 0670020338
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 85 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
85 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 23, 2012
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on March 2, 2010
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 21, 2021
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on April 25, 2013
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Top reviews from other countries

Evolutionary Artefact
5.0 out of 5 stars Why we're still waiting for fusion
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on April 17, 2014
Marc Vermeir
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good overview of the history, challenges, politics and future outlook for fusion research
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on September 27, 2018
George R.
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting read, keeps the tension on. Very informative too.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on November 26, 2017
Mr Robert Ingram
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an amazing book and even for someone who has very little ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on October 22, 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars Very interesting topic
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on October 12, 2018
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