This book discusses the fun side of the quest to develop fusion energy-a modern equivalent of the hunt for the Holy Grail. After more than 70 years of research, despite great progress, the goal has not been realized. Do you have to be crazy to love quests like this? Not really, but you do have to have an unshakeable optimism. Through humorous anecdotes, and accessible yet detailed scientific discussion, this book illuminates the enjoyment of scientific research through an account of fifty years working on fusion energy development. The anecdotes bring out the human side of research, in which innovative and sometimes egocentric scientists create both clever and nutty experiments. Among the many stories within are witchcraft at Harwell, shocking experiences, entertaining talks, and the wit of top scientists such as Marshall Rosenbluth. Above all the book highlights the significant advances made in developing practical fusion energy and the promise for an exciting future with the National Ignition Facility and International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor. This book will be of interest to physicists as well as other students and researchers in the scientific and wider communities.
- Shows the exciting and fun aspects of science research
- Author has spent 54 years working in the area, offering key insights on the history of fusion
- Clear, detailed explanations of fusion energy are supplied, helping non-science readers understand the area
1. The Fusion Dream
2. Harwell Heydays
3. Stick with Spiders--TARANTULA
4. PhD Experiment and Security
5. Culture Shock
6. Talks Can Surprise Us
7. Culham Again
8. JET: Larger and Larger
9. JET Design: Do It Again and Again
10. Back in the U.S.A.
11. Conferences in Erice
12. The Winding Stellarator Road .
13. Fusion's Prospects
14. Fear and Flying
15. The Oscillating Fusion Program
16. What About Fusion Energy?
17. Fusion and the Universe
Reflections on Fifty-three Years in Fusion Research
John Sheffield PhD is known worldwide because of his involvement in numerous multi-national fusion energy projects for the U.S. and Europe. In the 1970s, he was on the design team for the 16-nation, Joint European Torus project at Culham in England; in the 1990s, he served as a U.S. representative on committees that defined and then gave technical advice to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER)-China, Europe, India, Japan, Korea, Russia, and the United States.
He served on the US-DOE's Fusion Energy Sciences Advisory Committee for over a decade, chairing it from 1996 to 2000. From 1988 to 1994, he was director of Fusion Energy at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. From 1995 to 2003, he was director for Energy Technology Programs at ORNL, and from 1997 also director of the Joint Institute for Energy and Environment at the University of Tennessee. There he remains as a Senior Fellow in what is now called the Institute for a Secure and Sustainable Environment.