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Download Sun in a Bottle: The Strange History of Fusion and the Science of Wishful Thinking Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample Sun in a Bottle: The Strange History of Fusion and the Science of Wishful Thinking (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Charles Seife
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (206 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Charles Seife Narrator: Bill Weideman Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2008 ISBN:
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When weapon builders detonated the first hydrogen bomb in 1952, they tapped into the vastest source of energy in our solar system: the very same phenomenon that makes the sun shine. Nuclear fusion was a virtually unlimited source of power that became the center of a tragic and comic quest that has left scores of scientists battered and disgraced.

For the past half century, governments and research teams have tried to bottle the sun with lasers, magnets, sound waves, particle beams, and chunks of metal as they struggled to harness the power of fusion. (The latest venture, a giant, multibillion-dollar international fusion project called ITER, is just now getting under way.) Again and again, they have failed, disgracing generations of scientists.

Throughout this fascinating journey, Charles Seife introduces us to the daring geniuses, villains and victims of fusion science: the brilliant and tortured Andrei Sakharov; the monomaniacal and Strangelovean Edward Teller; Ronald Richter, the secretive physicist whose lies embarrassed an entire country; and Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann, the two chemists behind one of the greatest scientific fiascoes of the past 100 years.

Sun in a Bottle is the first audiobook to trace the story of fusion from its beginnings into the 21st century, explaining how scientists have gotten burned by trying to harness the power of the sun. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 1/22/2014

    " I'm not a technical person but found this book to be understandable and enjoyable. A very nice overview of the search for viable fusion generation. The book not counting footnotes is 235 pages long. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Evan | 1/6/2014

    " Covers everything you ever wanted to know about fusion energy, and why we've spent hudreds of billions of dollars over 60 years trying to harness fusion for peaceful purposes, with almost complete failure. The explanation of the physics involved is very simple, and is detailed enough to give a clear understanding of what's happening inside modern tokamaks and laser fusin devices. Also covers the cold fusion fiasco in detail, which reads as a cautionary tale for researchers in any field for complete scientific honesty. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark Janowiak | 12/28/2013

    " The falures to acheive fusion. Nice little portait of Edward Teller as the Mad Bomber that he was, tho "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bridget | 12/26/2013

    " Despite a few points where the theory of evolution is 'vilified', I enjoyed this book very much. It gives a clear, even-handed view of the history and basic science of nuclear fusion. You do have to be of a scientific bent to understand some of the concepts he presents, but overall it is an enjoyable read for anyone who wants to know more about nuclear fusion in all its forms. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Samuel knowles | 12/20/2013

    " Seife actually does a great job in the making of this--the thing that suprises me though, is that after spending some time looking at the reviews made by others, they seem to give it a bad rating because of the Authors tone and writing style. Let me make this very clear, this is SUBJECTIVE WRITING, meaning the writer does take a side in his arguments (antagonistic to fusion, obviously)but puts feeling in his work, making it entertaining. Some may be offended by hearing him talk about how attaining the power of the stars may seem two points to impossible (it actually is), without a doubt it is one of the most difficult things to mankind.I support fusion research, and he does too, but he does indeed have doubts about it as many people do. So personally I don't blame him about using this kind of tone, in this book you will see how many people have literally gone mad because of there pursuits to harness the power of the sun. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 12/14/2013

    " If you want to be able to understand why nuclear fusion is a pipe dream read this book. Or if you just want to be educated and entertained "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David Biello | 11/29/2013

    " that the science of fusion is a long time coming and reporters should never put their own experiences reporting into a book. it's uninteresting, even to another reporter! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fred | 8/12/2013

    " Governments continue to pour billion annually into the scientific efforts to master fusion as a cheap source of energy. Seife makes a strong case for viewing this expensive search as nothing more than "wishful thinking." Very easy read for non-scientists. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 6/30/2013

    " I didn't think I would like this as much as I did. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peter | 5/22/2012

    " A good historical review of fusion science, but ultimately very depressing as the authors conclusion is that "Fusion is too hard and we shouldn't pursue it". "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 BAKU | 4/30/2012

    " Not as good as ' Decoding ' but does give you some idea of what's going on ( primarily chapter 9 , which should have been longer ) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Albert | 11/8/2011

    " Mostly focused on different cold fusion fiascos... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Simon | 7/31/2011

    " This book was great! Learned a lot about the science of nuclear fusion and bombs and related topics. However, it will crush the hopes of the wishful thinker in regards to our world solving an energy crisis. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brandur | 5/19/2011

    " A brief history fusion research starting with the invention of fusion weapons, progressing to attempts at creating sustainable hot fusion, then moving onto the cold fusion scams. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Troy Rockwood | 2/20/2011

    " This is a very interesting book. I'm glad to have read it. He talks about all the things that have happened during man's quest for atomic fusion (including cold fusion.) I feel that I can understand better the problems and controversy surrounding fusion today. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 1/4/2011

    " If you want to be able to understand why nuclear fusion is a pipe dream read this book. Or if you just want to be educated and entertained "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Willow | 9/7/2010

    " I don't agree with his conclusions, but I enjoyed this history of Fusion science quite a bit. Seife's writing is a little casual at times, but it makes a difficult subject easy to digest. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark | 8/21/2010

    " The falures to acheive fusion. Nice little portait of Edward Teller as the Mad Bomber that he was, tho "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Converse | 6/18/2010

    " Fusion research…we're always 20-30 years from successful power production from nuclear fusion. The author covers both the magnetic, & starting in the 1970s, laser approaches, as well as the cold & bubble fusion controversies
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fred | 2/9/2010

    " Governments continue to pour billion annually into the scientific efforts to master fusion as a cheap source of energy. Seife makes a strong case for viewing this expensive search as nothing more than "wishful thinking." Very easy read for non-scientists. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 11/2/2009

    " that the science of fusion is a long time coming and reporters should never put their own experiences reporting into a book. it's uninteresting, even to another reporter! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andy | 8/25/2009

    " A quick read. The book comes on strong but breaks down as it dwells too long on the example of cold fusion as a breakdown in the peer review process. Overall, a good book if you want a quick introduction to the technology and the historical context in which the competing programs begun. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Simon | 6/18/2009

    " This book was great! Learned a lot about the science of nuclear fusion and bombs and related topics. However, it will crush the hopes of the wishful thinker in regards to our world solving an energy crisis. "

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About the Narrator

Bill Weideman has been active in theater since the first grade, and this interest led him to an undergraduate degree from Michigan State in radio and television broadcasting. He helped found the Ionia Community Theater and has performed with Central Park Players, Muskegon Civic Theater, and other regional theater groups. He has narrated and directed for Brilliance for many years. His repertoire includes everything from thrillers to romance to westerns to science fiction. He is also well-known in West Michigan as the patriarch of the Weideman Family Band.