More Fusion Education
On Monday August 2, after switching gears and working on my "Energy & National Security" and "Tennessee Coal Ash Spill" stories (stand by for those) Jevan and I headed back out for more fusion education.
I drove from DC to NJ, picked him up in Trenton, and we headed to the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab where we met up with Director Stewart Prager.
We talked to him at length about the potential of fusion.. quite exciting to hear him describe the vision of enabling power for the planet. He also gave us his take on amateur fusionists... about three dozen of these folks around the country have built their own homemade fusion experiments, and are trying to achieve a breakthrough.
Prager knew we were headed next to Brooklyn to visit one of these guys..
We also saw ongoing fusion experiments with equipment used in the real world of fusion.. no animated movies here. There was ac control room full of people that looked more like NASA. These guys actually work with the Oak Ridge folks on these experiments, and both are involved in the ITER project. (more on ITER at www.iter.org)
I shot a stand up here, in front of a fusion experimental reactor-type thing. If it sounds like I'm yelling it's because it was LOUD.
We also met up with Laura Berzak, a cute young grad student working at the lab in Princeton, who is getting her PH.D. in plasma physics. We were intrigued with her, and interviewed her about her interest in fusion, and in working in this environment, and her aspirations, which turn out to be surprising. You wont see her in the piece, but my interview with Laura is here on the site.
Here's a tidbit:
33 55 (that's a time code) Laura: "Here we have the lithium tokomak experiment. We're a small scale spherical tokomak. Essentially we have a plasma inside of this vessel, a very hot gas.. So essentially, if you have a solid and you heat it up, you get a liquid.. If you have a liquid, and you heat it, you get a gas. Well, if you get a gas and you keep heating it up? Eventually you rip off electrons and you form a plasma. 34 17
She's talking about the substance inside which fusion reactions happen, it's also called "the fourth state of matter."
As an aside.. i chatted with Laura about working with so many male scientists.... (I wasn't seeing many women around.)
So I said, "It must be a decent place to meet men?"
"Well.. we have a saying down here in the lab.. the odds are good...... but the goods are odd." LOL.
After a fun day in Princeton, Jevan and I packed up and headed in my station wagon to Brooklyn.. to wait for our amateur fusionist to finish his day job, at Gucci.
Last Wednesday was a big milestone for people who care about public health and a livable climate. Two utilities announced the planned closure of nine coal plants.Read more ...
Today, in the UK, the world's oldest nuclear power plant shut down.Read more ...
The U.S. led the world in clean energy investment in 2011, but China retained the top spot in the latest Renewable Energy Country Attractiveness Index from Ernst & Young.Read more ...
- EPA- Greenversations
- Energy Information Association
- Department of Energy
- NY Times Environment
- Huffington Post- Green
- Alternative Energy News
- Politico- Energy
- Politico- Morning Energy
- The Hill- Energy & Environment
- Climate Progress
- Dot Earth
- The Energy Collective
- The Oil Drum
- Compete Coalition
- Green Business
- David Roberts
- Bipartisan Beat
- NRDC- Switchboard
- American Wind Energy Association
- Solar Energy Industries Association
- American Petroleum Institute
- American Gas Association
- Coal Tattoo
- Solar Panels UK