Page from brochure on the ZETA fusion experiment

ZETA was an experiment devised and built at Harwell in the 1950s to tackle the problem of nuclear fusion.

If successful, it paved the way to the successful exploitation of fusion to produce electrical power.

Sir John Cockroft evidently thought that fusion was taking place during these experiments, and Harwell produced a booklet entitled "Facts about ZETA". These pages provide some excerpts from that brochure. For a brochure intended for popular consumption, it is remarkably detailed in its technical description.

With more than a touch of hubris, there was a section at the end entitled "Questions and Answers on ZETA", which gave some rather confident predictions.

Sadly, it turned out that the neutrons detected were not produced by nuclear fusion, and the result was a considerable letdown for Harwell. More than half a century later, the possibility of nuclear fusion power stations seems just as remote.


The following pages are transcribed from the booklet.


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