August 14, 2012
British chemist Martin Fleischmann, 85, who stunned the world by announcing that he had achieved nuclear fusion in a glass bottle, has died after a long illness. His son Nicholas said he died Friday at his home in Tisbury, England. He suffered from Parkinson's disease. Mr. Fleischmann was one of the world's leading electrochemists when he and partner Stanley Pons proclaimed in 1989 that they had sparked fusion, the nuclear process that heats the sun, in an experiment at the University of Utah.
June 25, 2012 |
THE NEWSROOM. 10 p.m. Sunday, HBO. TOWARD THE end of the first season of "The West Wing," there's an episode in which President Jed Bartlet (Martin Sheen) and his staff decide it's time to stop being the kind of ineffectual power players Ed Rendell would call "wusses. " "Let Bartlet Be Bartlet" became a rallying cry not just for the characters but for their creator, Aaron Sorkin, who wasn't so much interested in making a drama about how things worked in Washington as he was in showing how they could work.
April 12, 2010 |
LIVERMORE, Calif. - By the end of 2010, scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory may be celebrating the realization of a decades-long dream: re-creating the reaction that powers the sun and causes hydrogen bombs to explode. Or they'll be sitting on one of the biggest failures in the history of science. The project, called the National Ignition Facility, or NIF, takes up most of a building the size of two football fields. Inside, 192 of the world's most powerful lasers are focused to concentrate unprecedented power into a target of hydrogen atoms, coaxing them to fuse into helium.
March 29, 1999 |
Some of the world's most advanced lasers can focus energy so sharply that, for a split second, they can create a pinpoint of light of a million billion watts. That's the equivalent of all the sunlight hitting the Earth at a given moment. At Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, scientists have wielded razor-sharp lasers to split the atom. They've also managed to heat a thin beam of hydrogen to a temperature that duplicates the nuclear power source of the sun. Both feats, long thought to require huge reactors or bombs, were achieved safely in experiments that fit on the top of a table.
December 10, 1993 |
A world record for the production of nuclear fusion power was set last night by a team of physicists at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. The record was set about 11:10 p.m. when an experimental fusion reactor produced at least three million watts of power - far exceeding a European record set in 1991. "Congratulations on a job well done," said Richard J. Hawryluk, head of the experimental project, as a crowd of physicists applauded. The world record came on the first night of a landmark series of experiments that scientists said could play a crucial role in determining whether nuclear fusion becomes a key source of energy in the 21st century.
January 15, 1991 |
America's effort to produce unlimited amounts of cheap energy through nuclear fusion is falling decades behind schedule because of cuts in federal support. The cuts have triggered layoffs and the postponement of key experiments, at precisely the time European nations and Japan are accelerating efforts in this area. Since 1985, the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, the nation's leading nuclear fusion research center, has had to fire 138 scientists. An experimental machine has been mothballed.
May 5, 1989 |
Scientists at the nation's largest nuclear fusion program have found no evidence to support claims of room-temperature fusion, the director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory said yesterday. Harold Furth, director of the Princeton lab, said physicists seeking to duplicate the controversial claims of cold nuclear fusion have been unsuccessful. Details of the Princeton efforts are expected to be announced later this month at a symposium in Santa Fe, N.M. "Nineteen eighty-nine will go down in the annals of energy as the year we didn't have April Fool's Day - we had April Fool's month," Furth said at a two-day symposium on "Global Interdependence in Science, Medicine and Technology" held at Saint Joseph's University.
May 2, 1989 |
Scientists at the California Institute of Technology said last night that they could find no evidence to support controversial claims of room- temperature nuclear fusion after they performed the most extensive series of tests on the process so far. Nathan Lewis, an associate professor of chemistry at Caltech, said the findings by his 17-member team "place serious doubts" on claims made March 23 by two researchers who said they had produced room-temperature...
April 30, 1989 |
Some of the nation's leading scientists are worried that the public credibility of science will be damaged by the way in which controversial claims of room-temperature nuclear fusion have been made. They note that the traditional, genteel ways of science have been thrown into turmoil since the announcement last month by two chemists that they had achieved nuclear fusion, the same process that powers the sun, in a glass jar. "If the manner in which they announced their findings is taken as a role model by others, the overall public view of science will be damaged," Frank Press, president of the National Academy of Sciences, the nation's most prestigious honorary science society, said during an interview Friday.
April 16, 1989 |
Charles A. Barnes is a highly respected physicist at the California Institute of Technology, and like others in his field, he believes he understands the basic laws of physics that govern such fundamental processes as the melding of two atomic nuclei into one through nuclear fusion. Many of the best minds in science have studied fusion extensively over the last four decades, and the laws that govern it are among the most elemental in science. And that is why people such as Barnes are having trouble sleeping these days.