Fusion on Earth: A Quintessentially Scientific Pursuit with an Important Commercial Goal
The pursuit of Fusion on earth has been until recently led largely by government-funded universities and labs; now, private capital is also entering the picture as the goal of Commercially Viable Fusion (CVF) is increasingly important for an energy-starved and growing world population. As private interests enter the picture, the tendency is to think that the "problem" has been reduced to a technical one requiring only engineering solutions. While engineering is highly challenging, CVF will continue to remain a fundamental scientific pursuit. While the goals can be societal and commercial, the pathway to getting there must be led by physics. We will explore the current vast fusion landscape and make a case why new physics will be crucial to make fusion energy affordable.