The Search For Endless Energy
by Robin Herman
Fusion: The Search For Endless Energy is the story of the international race to build an atomic fusion reactor and of the fraternity of scientists whose mission to create safe, clean, inexhaustible energy from the elements of seawater, transcended political boundries. These scientists included such greats as Andrei Sakharov and Edward Teller.
The book abounds with fascinating anecdotes about fusion's rocky path: the spurious claim by Argentine dictator Juan Peron in 1951 that his nation had built a working fusion reactor; the rush by the United States to drop secrecy and publicize its fusion work as a propaganda offensive after the Russian success with Sputnik; the fortune the Penthouse magazine publisher Bob Guccione sank into an unconventional fusion device; the skepticism that met an assertion by two University of Utah chemists in 1989 that they had created cold fusion in a bottle.
Aimed at a general audience, the book describes the scientific basis of controlled fusion -- the fusing of atomic nuclei, under conditions hotter than the sun, to release energy. Using personal recollections of scientists involved, the book traces the history of this little-known international race that began during the Cold War in secret laboratories in the U.S., Great Britain, and the Soviet Union, and evolved into an astonishingly open collaboration between East and West.
Robin Herman, a former reporter for The New York Times, is a science and health writer, contributing regularly to The Washington Post. Her articles have also appeared in the InternationaI HeraId Tribune.
She was born in New York City in 1951 and attended Princeton University in the first coeducational class, graduating in 1973. She was the first female sports reporter at The New York Times and went on to cover government affairs, health and social issues.
The Search For Endless Energy is her first book. lt
was written in Paris and Princeton, N.J., where she lives with her
husband and two children.