Sun in A Bottle

Sun in A Bottle

The Strange History of Fusion and the Science of Wishful Thinking

Book - 2008
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Penguin Putnam
The author of Zero looks at the messy history of the struggle to harness fusion energy .

When weapons builders detonated the first hydrogen bomb in 1952, they tapped into the vastest source of energy in our solar system--the very same phenomenon that makes the sun shine. Nuclear fusion was a virtually unlimited source of power that became the center of a tragic and comic quest that has left scores of scientists battered and disgraced. For the past half-century, governments and research teams have tried to bottle the sun with lasers, magnets, sound waves, particle beams, and chunks of meta. (The latest venture, a giant, multi-billion-dollar, international fusion project called ITER, is just now getting underway.) Again and again, they have failed, disgracing generations of scientists. Throughout this fascinating journey Charles Seife introduces us to the daring geniuses, villains, and victims of fusion science: the brilliant and tortured Andrei Sakharov; the monomaniacal and Strangelovean Edward Teller; Ronald Richter, the secretive physicist whose lies embarrassed an entire country; and Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann, the two chemists behind the greatest scientific fiasco of the past hundred years. Sun in a Bottle is the first major book to trace the story of fusion from its beginnings into the 21st century, of how scientists have gotten burned by trying to harness the power of the sun.

Baker & Taylor
Chronicles the last half century's haphazard attempt to harness fusion energy, describing how governments and research teams throughout the world have employed measures ranging from the controversial to the humorous.

Baker
& Taylor

The author of Zero chronicles the last half century's haphazard attempt to harness fusion energy, describing how governments and research teams throughout the world have employed measures ranging from the controversial to the humorous, in an account that also summarizes the ITER international fusion project. 30,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Viking, 2008
ISBN: 9780670020331
0670020338
Branch Call Number: 539.764 SEI
539.764 Se426s
Characteristics: vi, 294 p., [8] p. of plates : ill., map ; 22 cm

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mexicanadiense
Jan 14, 2013

I found the opening chapters to be a fascinating and balanced history with enough quirky facts and asides to keep it entertaining for a a general audience. My opinion declined precipitously once the author had to include a lot of autobiographical content detailling his own involvement, as a journalist, in the table fusion controversy which made it a very different kind of book quite suddenly. Still, an intriguing subject well worth learning mroe about.

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