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Nuclear Fusion

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the history and science of nuclear fusion, the process that powers stars.

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss nuclear fusion, the process that powers stars. In the 1920s physicists predicted that it might be possible to generate huge amounts of energy by fusing atomic nuclei together, a reaction requiring enormous temperatures and pressures. Today we know that this complex reaction is what keeps the Sun shining. Scientists have achieved fusion in the laboratory and in nuclear weapons; today it is seen as a likely future source of limitless and clean energy.

Guests:

Philippa Browning, Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Manchester

Steve Cowley, Chief Executive of the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority

Justin Wark, Professor of Physics and fellow of Trinity College at the University of Oxford

Producer: Thomas Morris.

Available now

43 minutes

Last on

Thu 30 Oct 2014 21:30

LINKS AND FURTHER READING

Philippa Browning at the University of Manchester

Steve Cowley at Imperial College London

Justin Wark at the University of Oxford

Nuclear fusion - Wikipedia

Magnetic confinement fusion

Inertial confinement fusion

National Ignition Facility

Fusion and Ignition

European Consortium for the Development of Fusion Energy

Fusion Future

Stellar nucleosynthesis

 

READING LIST:

Jean Louis Bobin, Controlled Thermonuclear Fusion (World Scientific, 2014)

Francis F. Chen, An Indispensable Truth: How Fusion Power Can Save The Planet (Springer, 2011)

Maxwell Irvine, Nuclear Power: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2011)

Andrew King, Stars: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford University Press, 2012)

Garry McCracken and Peter Stott, Fusion: The Energy of the Universe (Academic Press, 2005)

 

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Melvyn Bragg
Interviewed Guest Philippa Browning
Interviewed Guest Steve Cowley
Interviewed Guest Justin Wark
Producer Thomas Morris

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