The physics scene is in high spirits today, following the final green light for the ITER experimental fusion reactor project to be built in France. Not everyone is that impressed by the idea of chasing the tokamak model though, most notably Robert Bussard – one of its inventors – who intends to give away a better design to anyone who has $200 million to develop it (form an orderly queue, folks). I just don’t understand what’s taking us so long – after all, if a college student can build a fusion reactor in his basement, it can’t be that tricky, right?
One thought on “Fusion Is Go!”
The article is not very specific, but it sounds like the “high-school kid” has put together a “plasma focus.” I have watched them in operation in the late 1960’s. Bob Bussard is proposing a variation on “electrostatic plasma confinement.” That concept goes back even further, to the early 1960’s. Both are covered accurately in WikiPedia.
I was involved in nuclear fusion research from 1965 through 1981 and have reluctantly come to the conclusion (with the benefit of hindsight), that it was a welfare program for scientists, and presumably still is.
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