Streams

Sun in a Bottle

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Fifty years ago, scientists predicted that fusion would provide the world with an endless supply of energy. That hasn’t turned out to be true. Charles Seife, author of Sun in a Bottle, talks about whether or not nuclear fusion will ever be a viable energy source.

Guests:

Charles Seife

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Comments [6]

PL Hayes from Aberystwyth

Is this book an honest and realistic assessment of current progress in and prospects for commercial fusion energy generation? I have my doubts. I wouldn't expect to see irrelevancies such as the cold fusion debacle or weapons research even mentioned in such a book. Nor would I expect to have to skim over a lot of sneering in hindsight at the over-optimism of early researchers.

Is the author going to write a book about the slow and expensive progress in and perhaps futility of cancer research next?

Jan. 06 2009 02:34 PM
Peter Bonanos from East Brunswick, NJ

The review of this book by F. N. von Hippel in Science magazine says it is "technically mostly correct". I'm reading it now and it has not only factual errors but misconceptions of the science and progress of the research. He is simply unqualified. I'm a retiree of the Princeton University Plasma Physics Laboratory and spent 35 years on this project. My own views of progress and prospects for success are much more skeptical.

Jan. 06 2009 02:28 PM
Jaime from Queens

WE ALREADY HAVE THE LARGEST FUSION REACTOR WE COULD WANT CALLED THE SUN> FUSION POWER WILL COME FROM HARNESSING IT RATHER THEN RECREATING IT> SATELLITE COLLECTORS BEAMING ENERGY DOWN TO RECEIVERS>

Jan. 06 2009 12:57 PM
Dinu Iovan from NYC

The attractive prospects of cold fusion have more to do with creating larger atoms by "fusing" smaller ones (ie. fuse scandium and cadmium to make gold) than using it for energy. It's hard to turn a turbine with neutrons.

Jan. 06 2009 12:56 PM
Dinu Iovan from NYC

The primary reason a fusion bomb is radioactive is because it has to use a fifion bomb as a detonator.

Jan. 06 2009 12:46 PM
The Truth from Atlanta/New York

Sounds like this is just the amount of energy I need to keep my solar lights on more than a couple hours per night!

Jan. 06 2009 12:43 PM

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