Life at the Center of the Energy Crisis: A Technologist's Search for a Black Swan describes the story of the author's work and struggles in the field of energy research. The author's experience in the field spans from work with Admiral Rickover and the Nuclear Navy to research with NASA designing propulsion for spacecraft to travel to Mars. The book provides insights into the differences between nuclear research done during the Cold War by the two superpowers, and offers a commentary on the flaws in each system with hope for change in the future. The book also provides a look into the development of the nuclear engineering program at the University of Illinois from the author's years as a professor and an administrator.
Contents:Why a “Black Swan”?Living at the Center of the Energy CrisisTimeline and ApologyEarly Days and Searching for a Starting PathBurnable Poison Control for Nuclear Submarine ReactorsNuclear Pulse Propagation and Fission Reactor KineticsNuclear Pumped Laser (NPL) ResearchDirect Electron Beam Pumped LaserAdvanced LasersAlpha Particle Effects in Thermonuclear Fusion DevicesAlternate Fusion ConceptsAdvanced Fuel Fusion and Direct Energy ConversionInertial Confinement Fusion (ICF)Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) FusionLow Energy Nuclear Reactions (LENR)Hydrogen Economy and Fuel CellsFusion Propulsion and Space ColonizationNuclear BatteriesComputation and TheoryNuclear Power Plant Safety and the Illinois Low-Level Waste SiteTeaching, Education, and University AdministrationCreation of a Small Company, NPL Associates, Inc.Where Am I in the Search? What Have I Found?Concluding CommentsTimeline of EventsReadership: Undergraduates and PhDs, as well as anyone in the general public interested in the history of the field.