Dr. David Nagel: The Fun of Fusion

An Interview with David Nagel, Research Professor at George Washington University in Washington D.C.
On March 23rd, 1989, when the field of “cold fusion” blew up, Dave was among the first to dive in. He was not only fueled by his scientific curiosity, but he was already working in the adjacent field of materials physics at the Naval Research Lab at the time. As the head of the nuclear and solid-state physics division, his start in the LENR field was immediate, as soon as it was on the scene. From that point, solid-state fusion has dominated the second half of his career. The curiosity continues.

The Fun of Fusion

The promise of solid-state fusion is also a big motivator. It could solve the world’s energy problems cleanly, safely, and efficiently. It could power our homes, our transport, our lives. And for Dave, the possibility of a healthier, cleaner future for his kids and grandkids is profoundly motivating. This is the hope of so many scientific endeavors in this field: making the Earth better off than we found it, with abundance for all.

Not only that, the work is fun. Dave loves it — the actual scientific work, doing research that could solve wicked problems and inspiring the next generation of LENR scientists. Why retire when you can keep having fun? At 85 years old, he’s still all in on solid state fusion, and we are all the better for it.
“I consider myself lucky to be working in an area with such a great scientific problem on one hand, and such immense practical possibilities on the other. It’s a lot of fun.”

Fuel of the Future, and the Future of Fuel

There has been growing interest in the field, especially as research gets more funding support. One key difference between LENR and hot fusion research, Dave pointed out, is that a lot of effort is going into hot fusion development. In solid state fusion there is about 1/1000th of the amount of research money as there is in hot fusion. They’ve got tens of billions of dollars, the LENR community has tens of millions — a factor of 1,000 difference.

“We’re at a point where there’s tremendous promise here… if we can solve the clear problems with materials and theory in the solid-state fusion arena, we could wind up with something that is every bit as impactful to humanity, widely used, as the modern tools we use — computers, communications, and now AI tools.”

Dave’s story deeply resonates in his love and passion for exploration, his hope for a safer, cleaner future, and his curiosity about the workings of the world. Whether you’re a student, a scientist, an engineer, an interested reader outside the field, a policymaker, or an investor, there is a place for you in the pursuit of a better world. The potential impact of solid-state fusion in the clean energy sphere is exciting. It’s exciting for science, for business, for large-scale impacts.

Dive into uncharted waters, stay curious, and as Dave would say, “Having fun is permitted!”

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