In a recent conversation I had with my son, he told me that he was considering taking a job offer working in the field of nuclear fusion research after his current project ends. This conversation took me back to the day when I first explained the difference between nuclear fission and fusion to him, and how I felt that an isotope of helium (he3) just might be the key in making nuclear fusion reactors work. I explained to him how heilun3 is rare here on earth, but quite abundant on the surface of the moon – in fact it is believed that there is enough he3 on the moon’s surface, to supply all of our energy needs for the next 6000 – 10,000 years; however, he told me that wasn’t what stuck the most in his head. Back then I was working on a theoretical idea of producing he3 from plain old helium, and in the process of liberating one of the neutrons, creating energy in the form of heat, which could be converted into electricity while making he3 for fuel. Back when he asked me for my research papers into this concept, I had no idea where he was going with this – he used my research to develop his own concept, and after he published a paper on the subject, he received many letters of interest from intuitions that are already involved in he3 fusion research.
For the past week I have been thinking about and reviewing my son’s concept, and having delusions of him winning a Noble Prize for his work. One of the things that he told me which came as a shock to me was his lack of inertest in financially profiting from his work – he’s always been like that?
Back when I was his age, I dreamed of solving the world’s energy problems by creating a new clean, unlimited source of energy – today that dream just might be closer to becoming a reality than I ever dreamed it could be. The sad thing about all of this is the United States is dead last in this field of research. This comes as no surprise at all to me – over half of Americans believe some very stupid stuff – we are a nation of highly deluded people – it’s hard to express the importance of developing clean energy programs to folks who believe that their space-daddy, is on his way back to save them – so why even care how bad we fuck-up the planet.
I believe my son is on to something good – both of our ideas involve producing energy from converting helium into the isotope he3 – his is more complex in concept. If nothing else, I hope his ideas inspire others in this field.
Just think about the ramifications of a program like this working – cheap unlimited clean energy. I’d bet the right-wing Christians would want nothing to do with it – they would say it came from Satan or something stupid like that.