Episode 20: Dr. Bruce Lipschultz and Daniel Brunner on Fusion Research

Kelly and Zach talk to MIT’s Dr. Bruce Lipschultz and Daniel Brunner about fusion, Alcator C-Mod, and the future of fusion research in the United States.

LINKS

ROFLcon – May 4th and 5th in Cambridge, MA

Fission and nuclear power

Plasma

Fusion

Tokamak

Magnetized target fusion

Fusion start-ups

Tri Alpha

General Fusion

Polywell fusion

Cold Fusion

International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER)

FusionFuture.org - sign the petition to save Alcator C-Mod!

Show correction: The amount of energy gained in fusion verses fission was stated incorrectly. The ‘energy per nucleon’ is ~ 10x larger in fusion than for fission. For more information, visit this site.

2 comments

  1. Rodger says:

    I am 25, so it was interesting to hear about the cold fusion scandal. It is such a standard in different scifi genres, I had not realized that people have claimed to have done it. Of course, making energy not a scarce resource might make an economist cry, and our military resemble the one from Red Alert. One small upside would be using rail-guns as mass transit.

  2. Sam says:

    The comments about NIF funding coming from DOD ‘because they just want to look at the reactions in a H-bomb’ are slightly one sided. I got the feeling that this was meaning they were at cross purposes and irrelevant. It’s the _same_ reaction they are trying to control. The military are going to be a big part of fusion. The task is akin to getting an atomic bomb to go off slowly, so, yeah it’s really really hard but intrinsically linked to the military. Unfortunately.

    It’s a real shame Cmod is closing, but fusion has a litany of projects that have taken lots of money and provided complicated intangible results. The whole field works towards such a monolithic goal that it’s hard to show the fruits of anyone’s labour, and it makes it very difficult to reliably fund. Compared to most modern fields of physics it provides few other spinoffs to drive it. Lets hope in this day and age they can figure out a way to better sell their craft to senators and committees worldwide, not just for the US.

    Also replying to Rodger, rail guns already exist ;)

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