Periodicals>Magazine Article:  Khatchadourian, Raffi (March 3, 2014), A Star in a Bottle, The New Yorker, Retrieved on 2014-02-25
  • Source Material [www.newyorker.com]
  • Folksonomies: science history fusion public policy

    Memes

    25 FEB 2014

     The ITER Project

    Years from now—maybe in a decade, maybe sooner—if all goes according to plan, the most complex machine ever built will be switched on in an Alpine forest in the South of France. The machine, called the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, or iter, will stand a hundred feet tall, and it will weigh twenty-three thousand tons—more than twice the weight of the Eiffel Tower. At its core, densely packed high-precision equipment will encase a cavernous vacuum chamber, in which a s...
    Folksonomies: technology energy fusion
    Folksonomies: technology energy fusion
      1  notes

    Description of a multi-national effort to produce a fusion reactor. Something some refer to as a "non-optional" technology for the human race to survive.

    26 FEB 2014

     tokamak

    It is called a tokamak—old Soviet shorthand for a more precise and geometrical name, toroidalnaya kamera s aksialnym magnitnym polem, or “toroidal chamber with an axial magnetic field.” Sakharov’s rough sketch depicted a doughnut-shaped vacuum chamber, or torus, ringed with electromagnets, and that is how iter’s core will look, too, once it is completed. In myriad ways, the project is a fragment of the Cold War stranded in the present day. Sakharov had predicted that a reactor base...
    Folksonomies: physics technology fusion
    Folksonomies: physics technology fusion
      1  notes

    “toroidal chamber with an axial magnetic field.”

    26 FEB 2014

     The Physics of Fusion

    The basic physics of thermonuclear energy is seductively simple. Fission produces energy by atomic fracture, fusion by tiny acts of atomic union. Every atom contains at least one proton, and all protons are positively charged, which means that they repel one another, like identical ends of a magnet. As protons are forced closer together, their electromagnetic opposition grows stronger. If electromagnetism were the only force in nature, the universe might exist only as single-proton hydrogen a...
    Folksonomies: physics energy fusion
    Folksonomies: physics energy fusion
      1  notes

    And why it's so difficult to accomplish on Earth.

    26 FEB 2014

     Science is Growing Bigger and Bigger

    The history of physics is littered with unrealized grand experiments: old blueprints buried in file drawers, half-built machinery packed in crates, excavated earth filled with pooling rainwater—the detritus of Big Science. As the frontier of human knowledge pushes forward, so, too, does the cost and the complexity of further exploration. Telescopes grow larger. Space is probed at greater depths. Atomic particles are smashed more forcefully. Many scientific questions now demand resources tha...
      1  notes

    And in order to keep expanding it is requiring more and more collaboration between countries and more resources to build more and more epic experiments.

    26 FEB 2014

     A Small Contribution to a Large Project

    That evening, at a café near the work site, I had a drink with an iter physicist, who was despondent, fearing that the machine would never work. Why he was staying with the project he couldn’t say. But a few weeks later, after thinking about it, he told me that his mood had lifted. He had come to see his role in both small and sublime terms—akin to a stonemason toiling for years on the York Minster cathedral (begun 1220, finished 1472) without witnessing the work being completed. “I no...
      1  notes

    What's it like to be a single individual working on a project that takes many lifetimes? Perspective.