(A red herring.)[Up, Down]
|Asking the WRONG question:   Nuclear fusion? Too good to be true?|
The timing is prompted by the publication of this in mid-October:
Aviation Week: Skunk Works Reveals Compact Fusion Reactor Details;
Closely followed by an echo in The Guardian (from a news-wire, but hey):
Lockheed announces breakthrough on nuclear fusion energy;
And a week later by this:
Gwynne Dyer: Hello fusion power, good-bye fossil fuels?
[I'm thinking, "If Gwynne Dyer is taking this seriously then maybe there's something to it."]
(And one I missed first time through:
Audit: Has Lockheed Martin really made a breakthrough?)
Two 'interesting' videos (both quite short):
by Thomas McGuire, principal investigator of the Lockheed Martin nuclear fusion experiment;
and by Michel Laberge, plasma physicist & founder of General Fusion.
[A certain charming boyish arrogance on the part of Michel Laberge gives me pause.]
Gwynne Dyer identifies some of the players:
General Fusion (Canadian);
EMC2 Development Company, Inc. &
EMC2 Fusion Development Corp. (website 'under development');
Helion Energy; and, Tri-Alpha Energy.
If anyone knows anything it may be indicated by investment (I think). Most on Dyer's list are private companies; I can only find stock prices for Lockheed-Martin:
a graph of which is ... inconclusive.A few additional news reports:
Forbes: Lockheed Martin Claims Fusion Breakthrough Could Change World Forever; and,
Washington Post: Nuclear fusion energy in a decade?.
A quick review of some of the science at Wikipedia:
Thermonuclear fusion & Thermonuclear weapon;
Nuclear fusion; and, Fusion power; and
A book from the library, the only one in the list and with curiously un-described authors:
Fusion : the energy of the universe, G.M. McCracken & Peter Stott, 2013.
And I consult an old colleague who graduated in quantum chemistry. He offers nothing substantive, not interested, lets it drop.
[It's a lucky move to spend a few days fossicking about because the penny drops through the molasses and ... eventually the lights begin to come on."]
It may have been back then, reading Amory Lovins' 'Soft Energy Paths' - maybe he mentions fusion somewhere in there (but ... no Index so the only way to see is reading the whole thing again, not today) - or maybe someone talked to me about it at the time; anyway, late 70's, halcyon Architecture School days - and ...
A notion of the sun as a fusion reactor. There it sits, a safe distance away, emitting high-energy rays which we already have all the necessary technology to catch and use. Why develop reactors here on earth then?
Unless it is to stroke human arrogance, get plasma physicists laid et cetera.
It's not an original notion - it's in one of David Brower's books too.
Oh sure, some people just refuse to see a technological 'solution' to the environmental holocaust; defiant nitwits partaking in the ideology of denying the existence or efficacy of silver bullets as they brandish Enoch's solar hammer.
That's funny. Let this end with a smile.
Afterword: (with a smile then, AND a positive recommendation)
Here you go. I'll see your nuclear fusion and raise ya': Occupation Apple Tree.
A-and a few more high & wild cards come on the scene: