The Fusion Quest

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9780801854569: The Fusion Quest

A few minutes before midnight on December 9, 1993, a group of scientists at the Princeton University Plasma Physics Laboratory produced the first definitive demonstration of controlled fusion energy. Within the confines of a doughnut-shaped device known as TFTR, a plasma consisting of equal parts tritium and deuterium was superheated by atomic beams--producing a second-long burst of energy that peaked at three million watts. For a brief instant, the power of the Sun had been captured on Earth.

In The Fusion Quest, T. Kenneth Fowler offers a vivid and colorful insider's account of the decades-long search for fusion power--a potentially abundant and environmentally "clean" energy source that could sustain industrial society in the twenty-first century and beyond. Scientists have known for more than sixty years that nuclear fusion powers the sun and stars. But would it work on Earth? To help answer this question, Fowler explains the physical principles on which fusion is based, describes the experiments that have led to the present state of the art, and shows how all these considerations would affect the design of possible fusion-based nuclear power plants.

Fowler describes magnets nearly as cold as outer space surrounding miniature "stars" hotter than the sun; lasers that for the merest split-second produce a blinding flash more powerful than every light bulb in America turned on at once. And he recounts the exciting discoveries of classical physics from Newton to Einstein, from Faraday to Lorentz, that provide the foundation of fusion science today. Ultimately, The Fusion Quest offers an informative and timely look at fusion's potential to provide an environmentally acceptable new energy source in a future more vulnerable to energy shortages and pollution than many of us realize.

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Review:

Fusion as a source of energy has been a long-sought but never-achieved dream of the scientific establishment. The idea sounds simple enough: create cheap, limitless energy by the same processes that fuel the sun. The problem, however, is scale: how to reproduce the continual fusion of hydrogen atom nuclei in a reactor that is much, much smaller than the sun. This is the puzzle T. Kenneth Fowler describes in Fusion Quest, a book that argues passionately in favor of continued fusion research. Though there has yet been little success in the field, Fowler insists that so much progress has been made that fusion power will likely be possible within the next century. He spends most of the book explaining the challenges that face physicists in realizing this dream. The Fusion Quest is more technical than the average popular science book and will probably appeal more to those readers who have some background in physics and mathematics.

Book Description:

A vivid and colorful insider's account of the decades-long search for fusion power -- a potentially abundant and environmentally "clean" energy source that could sustain industrial society in the twenty-first century and beyond.

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Professor T. Kenneth Fowler
Editore: The Johns Hopkins University Press (1997)
ISBN 10: 0801854563 ISBN 13: 9780801854569
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Descrizione libro The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria DADAX0801854563

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Fowler, Professor T. Kenneth
Editore: The Johns Hopkins University P (1997)
ISBN 10: 0801854563 ISBN 13: 9780801854569
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Descrizione libro The Johns Hopkins University P, 1997. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110801854563

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Fowler, Professor T. Kenneth
Editore: The Johns Hopkins University Press
ISBN 10: 0801854563 ISBN 13: 9780801854569
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Descrizione libro The Johns Hopkins University Press. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 0801854563 New Condition. Codice libro della libreria NEW6.0449749

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Professor T. Kenneth Fowler
Editore: The Johns Hopkins University Press (1997)
ISBN 10: 0801854563 ISBN 13: 9780801854569
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Descrizione libro The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1997. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0801854563

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