Fusion - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780124818514, 9780080492711


1st Edition

The Energy of the Universe

eBook ISBN: 9780080492711
Paperback ISBN: 9780124818514
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 31st January 2005
Page Count: 224
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Unraveling the role of fusion in the universe has taken almost a century since Einstein's proof of the equivalence of energy and matter in 1905. The discovery that fusion reactions are responsible for the building of the light elements in the "Big Bang" and the subsequent development of the heavier elements in the stars and in exploding supernovae is one of the field's most exciting successes. In this engaging book, McCracken and Stott reexamine these discoveries in astrophysics and discuss the possibility that fusion reactions are not only our sun's source of power, but may also be induced for our use on earth.

Key Features

  • Details the initial discovery of nuclear fusion, all related research, and today's concern over future energy supply
  • Examines current attempts to create nuclear fusion here on earth
  • Enhanced with color illustrations and examples
  • Provides a non-technical treatment of fusion using straightforward language
  • Includes technical notes for aspiring physicists


Professionals and undergraduate students in Physics and Engineering, especially Nuclear Engineering. Also appropriate for general science enthusiasts.

Table of Contents


Foreword Preface Acknowledgments

1 What Is Nuclear Fusion? 1.1 The Alchemists’ Dream. 1.2 The Sun’s Energy 1.3 Can We Use Fusion Energy? 1.4 Man-Made Suns 1.5 The Rest of the Story

2 Energy from Mass 2.1 Einstein’s Theory 2.2 Building Blocks 2.3 Something Missing

3 Fusion in the Sun and Stars 3.1 The Source of the Sun’s Energy 3.2 The Solar Furnace 3.3 Gravitational Confinement 3.4 The Formation of Heavier Atoms 3.5 Stars and Supernovae

4 Man-Made Fusion 4.1 Down to Earth 4.2 Getting It Together 4.3 Breaking Even

5 Magnetic Confinement 5.1 The First Experiments 5.2 Behind Closed Doors 5.3 Opening the Doors 5.4 ZETA 5.5 From Geneva to Novosibirsk

6 The Hydrogen Bomb 6.1 The Background 6.2 The Problems 6.3 Beyond the “Sloyka”

7 Inertial-Confinement Fusion 7.1 Mini-Explosions 7.2 Using Lasers 7.3 Alternative Drivers 7.4 The Future Program

8 False Trails 8.1 Fusion in a Test Tube? 8.2 Bubble Fusion 8.3 Fusion with Mesons

9 Tokamaks 9.1 The Basics 9.2 Instabilities 9.3 Diagnosing the Plasma 9.4 Impurities 9.5 Heating the Plasma

10 From T3 to ITER 10.1 The Big Tokamaks 10.2 Pushing to Peak Performance 10.3 Tritium Operation 10.4 Scaling to a Power Plant 10.5 The Next Step 10.6 ITER

11 Fusion Power Plants 11.1 Early Plans 11.2 Fusion Power Plant Geometry 11.3 Magnetic-Confinement Fusion 11.4 Inertial-Confinement Fusion 11.5 Tritium Breeding 11.6 Radiation Damage and Shielding 11.7 Low-Activation Materials

12 WhyWe Need Fusion Energy 12.1 World Energy Needs 12.2 The Choice of Fuels 12.3 The Environmental Impact of Fusion Energy 12.4 The Cost of Fusion Energy

Epilogue Units Glossary Further Reading Index


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© Academic Press 2005
Academic Press
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"This book is a delightful account of the role played by nuclear fusion in the universe, and of man’s attempt to harness it...It describes a broad spectrum of fusion nuclear physics and plasma physics topics...unique in its coverage." - George C. Vlases, University of Washington "The coverage is excellent—-the authors know this field...This is a very readable insider’s account of an important area of science." - W.M. Stacey, Georgia Tech University

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