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.
Science-Math, Astronomy-Space-Science, Astronomy,