Apr 12, 2019
In the late 1960s, scientists crossed the Iron Curtain. Their
mission was to investigate whether the claims of Russian scientists
about their new nuclear fusion device, the tokamak, were really
true. Their findings would change fusion research
Apr 5, 2019
Taking a break from our nuclear fusion odyssey this week, I have a very special episode for you today. This week, our guest is Dr Kate Devlin. She’s a senior lecturer in computer science who studies artificial intelligence and human-robot interaction, and she wrote a magnificent book: Turned On, Science, Sex and...
Mar 22, 2019
After the first generation of nuclear fusion reactors had profound instabilities, and couldn't confine the plasma for long enough to achieve their aims, the world began to realise that fusion might not be just ten years away from reality - and the whole field sank into the doldrums... until a very...
Mar 15, 2019
In 1958, to great fanfare, the ZETA experiment at Harwell announced that they had achieved thermonuclear reactions, controlled in the lab. It was considered a huge breakthrough along the road towards nuclear fusion, and tabloids at the time trumpeted the experiment as allowing "limitless energy from sea water",...
Mar 8, 2019
In the early 1950s, optimism surrounding the potential for nuclear fusion in devices like the Stellarator, the pinch devices, and the magnetic mirror were frustrated by plasma instabilities. It turns out that you cannot treat plasmas like charged particles whizzing around in magnetic fields - instead, the complex theory...