'A surprisingly sprightly tour d’horizon of the pursuit of fusion energy... Clery negotiates the hard science with aplomb... A compelling case for continued, even increased, fusion research' – Kirkus Reviews
A Piece of the Sun
New realms of chemistry and physics. Nuclear tests without nukes. Power generation on a gigantic scale...
Nuclear fusion is what powers our sun and other stars. If perfected, controlled fusion should generate a hundred times more energy than is used to spark the nuclear reactions. It’s not only powerful but clean and green as well: it doesn’t produce long-lasting nuclear waste, and it’s potentially carbon free. And although fossil fuels, such as oil and coal, and nuclear fission fuels, such as uranium, are limited resources, there’s enough nuclear fusion fuel around us to power the Earth longer than the lifetime of the Sun.
In A Piece of the Sun, Daniel Clery recounts the epic tale of how fusion works, its history and its promise for the future. It’s a story of science, politics, diplomacy and historical serendipity, peopled by the legions of scientists who have spent their whole careers in pursuit of burning plasma. We are now entering a decade where it’s imperative that we make fusion happen, he says. Scientists and engineers are closer than ever to triggering nuclear fusion in a controlled setting and confirming that fusion energy is real.
With nations collaborating on massive scientific facilities, the main strands of fusion research are beginning to get noticed: as well as Europe’s programme, which has produced the best fusion reactor so far, there is the US effort and also newcomers in the East – Japan, China, South Korea and India. If, in the next few years, their giant machines make the expected breakthrough in achieving ignition, fusion will be catapulted onto front pages across the globe. A Piece of the Sun aims to be the first book to tell the whole story for people wanting to read more.