Penn State

Gary Weisel - professor of physics, Penn State Altoona

Book Title: An Indispensable Truth: How Fusion Power Can Save the Planet

Author: Francis F. Chen

Book Description:

This book is a fine example of a world-class physicist communicating to a general audience. Frank Chen describes the difficult plasma physics underlying research on controlled thermonuclear fusion energy in understandable language, and reviews the progress that has been made during the last fifty years. He also surveys concerns about global warming and possible energy shortages, to further underline the importance of fusion research. Of course, it is hard to be certain about Chen’s optimism regarding affordable fusion energy, somewhat in the way that it is hard to be certain about the pessimism of many climate scientists regarding global warming. Nevertheless, both cases show that human society must engage in public discussions, research, and planning that extend beyond the relatively short time frames of the business and political worlds. This book, by one of our greatest scientists and teachers, makes an excellent contribution to such discussions.


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