Thermonuclear Fusion and Society

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Code Completion Credits Range
02TFS Z 2 2P+0C
Garant předmětu:
Vojtěch Svoboda
Vojtěch Svoboda
Vojtěch Svoboda
Department of Physics

While the scientific lecture goes from the simplest to more complicated, from the known to the new, this lecture goes

from the old to the new. It connects the fusion devices and formulas with their authors. It explains the logics behind the direction of the controlled thermonuclear fusion, including the necessary or surprising mistakes, and dead ends. The lecture clarifies the place of fusion in the society, including the role of popularization, and the role of fusion in the future energy resources scheme. The fusion news are included in the lecture.


Knowledge at the level of a basic physics course.

Syllabus of lectures:

1. Basic stones of the thermonuclear fusion (A. Einstein, A. Eddinkton, F. Aston).

2. Beginnings of the controlled thermonuclear fusion research (U.S.S.R., UK, USA). The story of O. A. Lavrentev and R. Richter. Priorities of the U.S.S.R. in the thermonuclear fusion research (Harwell, tokamak, ITER).

3. Lawson criterion. Logics of the evolution of the thermonuclear fusion research (from the pinch to the tokamak).

4. Mistakes in the controlled thermonuclear fusion research (E. Rutherford, J. Peron, ZETA, + dead ends). Fusion breakdown: III. Conference on the plasma physics and the controlled thermonuclear fusion research, Novosibirsk, 1968 (L. A. Arcimovič, tokamak T3, temperature measurements).

5. History of the ITER project (INTOR, ITER1998, ITER2001, venue selection, contract).

6. History of the fusion research in CR (ÚVE, IPP, CASTOR, GOLEM association EURATOM, COMPASS D).

7. Popularization if the controlled thermonuclear fusion in CR (before and after the November 1989, in abroad).

8.-13. Controlled thermonuclear fusion and the society: safety, ecological, political, social, cultural, global aspects of the thermonuclear fusion.

Syllabus of tutorials:
Study Objective:


Basic principles and milestones of the development of fusion technology


Orientation in the history of fusion technology development and in social aspects of the fusion.

Study materials:

Key references:

[1] G. McCracken, P. Stott, Fusion, Second Edition: The Energy of the Universe (2012) ISBN 0123846560

[2] C.M. Braams, P.E. Stott: Nuclear Fusion, Half a Century of Magnetic Confinement Fusion Research, IoP 2002.

Recommended references:

[3] V.D. Shafranov: The initial Period in the history of nuclear fusion research at the Kurchatov Institute, Uspekhi Fitzicheskich Nauk, Rusian Academy of Sciences, 44 (8) 835 -843

Time-table for winter semester 2023/2024:
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Time-table for summer semester 2023/2024:
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The course is a part of the following study plans:
Data valid to 2024-07-18
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