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This transcript is based on a tape-recorded interview deposited at the Center for History of Physics of the American Institute of Physics. The AIP's interviews have generally been transcribed from tape, edited by the interviewer for clarity, and then further edited by the interviewee. If this interview is important to you, you should consult earlier versions of the transcript or listen to the original tape. For many interviews, the AIP retains substantial files with further information about the interviewee and the interview itself. Please contact us for information about accessing these materials.
Please bear in mind that: 1) This material is a transcript of the spoken word rather than a literary product; 2) An interview must be read with the awareness that different people's memories about an event will often differ, and that memories can change with time for many reasons including subsequent experiences, interactions with others, and one's feelings about an event. Disclaimer: This transcript was scanned from a typescript, introducing occasional spelling errors. The original typescript is available.
In footnotes or endnotes please cite AIP interviews like this:
Interview of Brandon Sorbom by David Zierler on May 24, 2021,
Niels Bohr Library & Archives, American Institute of Physics,
College Park, MD USA,
For multiple citations, "AIP" is the preferred abbreviation for the location.
In this interview, Brandon Sorbom, Chief Science Officer at Commonwealth Fusion Systems, discusses the development of his company and interest in nuclear fusion. Sorbom speaks about his time as an undergraduate student at Loyola Marymount University where he majored in Electrical Engineering and Physics and how he discovered his interest in fusion during this time. He describes how his interest in nuclear fusion led him to pursue graduate school at MIT. He details his time as a graduate student working at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center, as well as his experience working with his advisor Dennis Whyte. Sorbom discusses how he first became involved in the development of SPARC, whose goal is to generate net energy from fusion, during his time at MIT. He details the variety of investors for his company and the roles he and his cofounders take on within CSF. Sorbom explains CSF’s current project of demonstrating that superconducting magnets at high fields can be used in fusion. Lastly, Sorbom discusses how fusion energy will likely become the dominant form of energy in the future and how it can help combat climate change.
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