With his knack for translating science into understandable, anecdotal prose and his trademark dry humor, award-winning science writer Charles Seife presents the first narrative account of the history of fusion for general readers in more than a decade. Tracing the story from its beginning into the twenty-first century, Sun in a Bottle reveals fusion's explosive role in some of the biggest scientific scandals of all time. Throughout this journey, he introduces us to the daring geniuses, villains, and victims of fusion science. With the giant international fusion project ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) now under construction, it's clear that the science of wishful thinking is as strong as ever. This book is our key to understanding why.
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Charles Seife is the author of five previous books, including Proofiness and Zero, which won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for first nonfiction and was a New York Times notable book. He has written for a wide variety of publications, including The New York Times, Wired, New Scientist, Science, Scientific American, and The Economist. He is a professor of journalism at New York University and lives in New York City.
Nuclear weapons were invented and deployed to end the U.S. war with Japan, but Edward Teller began a series of studies after WWII to discover peaceful uses for atomic energy. Fusion--the energy of the sun--showed the most promise to Teller but proved elusive in propagation and containment. Using plasma, magnets, and lasers, many men searched for the secret they called cold fusion. Narrator Bill Weideman disarms the potential intimidation of this complex topic by making the ideas conversational. His scientific vocabulary never falters, and his ability to sound like a teacher describing the historical parts of discovery make one want to keep listening. Without any complicated formulas or structures, the story of the taming of hydrogen's energy adapts well to a spoken experience. J.A.H. © AudioFile 2009, Portland, Maine
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