Monday, October 26, 2015

Fusion Whack-a-Mole

Article in the Times today on the new wave of private fusion ventures that I have written about. The author, tech journalist Dino Grandoni, seems as confused by the whole business as I am. On the one hand there are all these ambitious engineers with tens of millions in start-up money from famous investors, promising to save the world. On the other, their promises sound exactly like the ones we have been hearing for forty years. As to whether these guys really have new ideas:
Critics in the nuclear physics field say it is unlikely start-ups will succeed with these alternative approaches.

“They just keep pounding on the same dead horse,” said Edward C. Morse, a nuclear physicist at the University of California, Berkeley. “What happens in fusion is that the same ideas pop up every two decades. It’s like a game of whack-a-mole.”

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