The "Hull Collection," several books recommended by Richard over the last decade-and-a-half.

A place to keep track of reference material - any particularly useful books, articles, etc. should be listed here.
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Daniel Firth
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The "Hull Collection," several books recommended by Richard over the last decade-and-a-half.

Post by Daniel Firth » Sat Aug 31, 2019 12:05 am

About 7 years ago, after I entered the Neutron Club, I went through fusor.net's Books & References section and bought a bunch that Richard Hull recommended. Here's my quick review:

"Nuclear Radiation Physics" by Lapp and Andrews. I have the 1948 edition, and agree with Richard that the earlier versions have a bit of charm that's sanitized in later prints. It covers the experiments that discovered X-rays, alpha, beta, and gamma radiation, and has a synopsis of accelerator development.

"Ions, Electrons and Ionizing Radiations" by J.A. Crowther. Similar to "Nuclear Radiation Physics," talks about fundamental radiation properties. It starts off with a more in-depth analysis of creating plasmas and passing currents through gases. My favorite part is chapter XI, in which Rutherford's experiment is detailed, where he discovered the nature of alpha radiation. He allowed radium emissions to enter an evacuated vessel for several hours, then passed a current through it. The vessel glowed as if it was full of helium, which proved that alpha emissions were helium nuclei.

"Introduction to Experimental Physics" by William Fretter. A very nice experimentalist's guide to nuclear apparatus. Covers vacuum technique, particle counters, Geiger counters, nuclear emissions, cloud chambers, particle accelerators, and spectroscopy. Very easy to read; it covers a lot of advanced topics, but you don't need a Ph.D. in physics or mathematics to understand it.

"The Curve of Binding Energy" by John McPhee. A must-have for any of us interested in nuclear physics. It's written by a journalist, so it's slightly sensationalized, but still a good and entertaining story.

"The Radioactive Boy Scout," by Ken Silverstein. Another somewhat-sensationalized tale, but factually accurate. I think all of us have heard of David Hahn at some point. While we may see him as reckless, and would not make the same decisions he did, I think most of us see him as a kindred spirit. I mean, we're building nuclear fusion devices in our homes, after all.

"Building Scientific Apparatus", Moore, Davis and Coplan. Now, THIS is the book to have for most of us. It dabbles in a bit of everything; electronics, glass forming, vacuum technology, optics, power supplies, data acquisition, general shop practices & tool use, etc. Probably one of the best amateur scientist texts.

"Fusion" by Bromberg. Printed in 1982, so it's "out of date" by 40 years. BUT, that's not a bad thing. I read a 1978 DOE publication called 'Plasma Heating, Fueling, and Maintenance: A Technical Assessment," in which several fusion design challenges are outlined, and most are the same challenges still being encountered today. Don't dismiss "Fusion" for it's age; it's a good book detailing everything that lead to the tokamak-centric research of today, for better or worse. :/

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Richard Hull
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Re: The "Hull Collection," several books recommended by Richard over the last decade-and-a-half.

Post by Richard Hull » Sat Aug 31, 2019 6:01 am

Daniel, thanks for the review of those books I recommended long years ago. I am glad you found them informative and some of them entertaining.

A good mix of books should always include the basics to bring the neophyte up to at least a full first year college level gloss over of nuclear physics.
The next group should deal with the real hands-on of lab work and materials the would-be fusioneer will be handling, including some instrumentation technical data.
Once one is underway, time should be set aside for the history of nuclear physics and the log running, Quixotic, unsuccessful history of the fusion energy quest.
Only with a good history under your belt, will you come to know and understand why power ready fusion is so difficult and why fusion, as we practice it, is so very easy.

Very nice review and commentary.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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Re: The "Hull Collection," several books recommended by Richard over the last decade-and-a-half.

Post by Albert Mery » Mon Sep 09, 2019 7:25 am

Daniel, thanks a lot for this helpful array of books.
As a neophyte, I would recommend the book "Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) Fusion" by Miley and Murali. It's a great help (despite, at times, being total gibberish) for the more hands-on approach that Richard was talking about.

Albert

Daniel Firth
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Re: The "Hull Collection," several books recommended by Richard over the last decade-and-a-half.

Post by Daniel Firth » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:10 pm

..I would recommend the book "Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) Fusion" by Miley and Murali...
COMPLETELY agree. I have a few other books I wanted to write about here on a rainy day, and this is one of them, along with a book called "Practical Vacuum Techniques" by Batzer and Brunner. Also a couple other simple plasma physics books.

Each deserves its own review post, something I hope to get to soon.

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Re: The "Hull Collection," several books recommended by Richard over the last decade-and-a-half.

Post by Jim Enright » Sat Oct 05, 2019 1:57 am

Thank you for posting this information about some of the essential books that any fusioneer, or someone striving to be such, should have in their library! As I am just starting this journey, I have a small library of high school and college-level textbooks about chemistry, physics, calculus, electricity, and others, but the list you provided will certainly take the aspiring fusioneer such as myself to the next level of readily-available research references and provide some of the background details that would be beneficial. Thanks!
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't – you're right." Henry Ford

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Re: The "Hull Collection," several books recommended by Richard over the last decade-and-a-half.

Post by Paul_Schatzkin » Sat Oct 05, 2019 4:02 am

When we meet at HEAS to discuss the website, we’re going to find a way to restore of the resources that we have on the front page of the old site. A link to these books will be a good thing to add. Thanks for listing them.
Paul Schatzkin, aka "The Perfesser" – Founder and Host of Fusor.net
Author of The Boy Who Invented Television - http://farnovision.com/book.html
"Fusion is not 20 years in the future; it is 50 years in the past and we missed it."

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