Review by Davide Castelvecchi
Fusion is the source of energy that’s 30 years away, and always will be, skeptics quip.
In principle, the energy released when light atomic nuclei are fused to form heavier ones is much greater than the energy required to coax the light nuclei into fusing in the first place.
That’s how the sun has been shining for billions of years. And ever since the first hydrogen bomb tests in the 1950s, scientists have hoped to reproduce the sun’s magic in a controlled fashion, unlocking an unlimited source of energy. But the dream has been elusive.
With great explanatory skill, Seife, a journalism professor at New YorkUniversity, explains how fusion works and why it is so hard to get power out of it. Seife reviews the