Fusion Podcast - Dr. Sam Cohen interview

For 44 years, Dr. Sam Cohen has worked as a physicist at Princeton University. He currently serves as director of the Plasma Science and Technology program at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. Since 1998, Dr. Cohen has been performing research on plasma devices known as Field-Reversed Configurations (FRCs), studying their potential as power plants and rocket engines. In November 2013, his small group announced that they had held an FRC stable for 300 milliseconds — a world record, by a large margin. Our interview covers a transitional period in his career, from his time spent as a manager on the U.S. ITER effort to his personal experiences rubbing shoulders with physics luminaries to the beautiful physics and practical aspects of field-reversed configurations. Dr. Cohen offers advice on how the U.S. government could accelerate progress in fusion by re-invigorating research into small, clean fusion reactors, an activity now proceeding almost exclusively with venture capital support.