Venturesome Heroes Who Made the “Miracle” of Aviation Possible

(p. 14) Aviation has become just another boring part of modern infrastructure. Some people are afraid of it. Most people endure it. Few people bother to look out the window for a view of Earth that was unimaginable to most of our ancestors, or to reflect on the miracle of technology, engineering and organization that daily airline operations represent. Before the pandemic, roughly three million passengers took flights to or from U.S. airports each day, which averages out to more than one billion passenger journeys per year. (Traffic has nearly returned to that level.) Over the past 13 years, through more than 10 billion passenger journeys, a total of two people have died in U.S. airline accidents.

Among the many virtues of John Lancaster’s delightful “The Great Air Race” is how vividly it conveys the entirely different world of aviation at the dawn of the industry, a century ago. Many airplanes in those days were literal death traps. A biplane known as the DH-4, used as a bomber by Allied forces in World War I, had its gas tank immediately behind the pilot in the cockpit. As Lancaster explains, “Even in relatively low-speed crashes, the tank sometimes wrenched free of its wooden cage, crushing the pilot against the engine.” To get a DH-4 properly balanced for landing, a co-pilot or passenger might have to leap out of the open cockpit and climb back to hang onto the tail. And this was one of the era’s most popular and successful models.

Some planes had no gas gauge, so pilots would learn they had run out of fuel only when the engine stopped. Just a tiny portion of the country was covered by charts; pilots’ navigation tools were a magnetic compass and their own eyes. (Mapping was one of the industries that aviation’s growth fostered.)

. . .

For readers familiar with modern U.S. aerospace pre-eminence — Boeing, despite its problems; governmental and private space programs; military aviation and corporate jets — perhaps the most startling aspect of American aviation a century ago is how uncertain its future seemed.

. . .

I have read a lot about aviation and the aircraft industry over the years, but almost everything in this tale was new to me. You might take it on your next airline flight, pause to look out the window and spare a thought for those who helped make it all possible.

For the full review, see:

James Fallows. “The Wild Blue Yonder.” The New York Times Book Review (Sunday, December 4, 2022): 14.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the review has the date Nov. 15, 2022, and has the title “When Flying a Plane Was Thrilling — and Often Fatal.”)

The book under review is:

Lancaster, John. The Great Air Race: Glory, Tragedy, and the Dawn of American Aviation. New York: Liveright, 2022.

“Everybody Wants Coconuts, but Nobody Has the Guts to Go Up There and Get Them”

(p. A32) Leaping out of a balloon gondola almost 20 miles above the New Mexico desert on a summer’s day in 1960, Joseph Kittinger seemed like something out of science fiction.

He free fell for 13 seconds, protected against air temperatures as low as minus-94 degrees by specialized clothing and a pressure suit. And then his small, stabilizer parachute opened as planned to prevent a spin that could have killed him. He free fell for another 4 minutes and 36 seconds, descending to 17,500 feet before his regular parachute opened.

Mr. Kittinger, who died on Friday [Dec. 9, 2022] in Florida at age 94, never rivaled the original Mercury 7 astronauts or the men who walked on the moon in terms of celebrity, but he was an aviation trailblazer in his own right, paving the way for America’s first manned spaceflights.

Taking part in experimental Air Force programs in the skies over New Mexico in the late 1950s and early ’60s to simulate conditions that future astronauts might face, Mr. Kittinger set records for the highest balloon flight, at 102,800 feet; the longest free fall, some 16 miles; and the fastest speed reached by a human under his own power, descending at up to 614 miles an hour.

. . .

When Joe Kittinger was 13, he once scrambled atop a 40-foot-high tree to snare some coconuts, ignoring warnings to stay put. His father recalled that venture as symbolizing the derring-do that would be his son’s life.

As the elder Mr. Kittinger put it: “Everybody wants coconuts, but nobody has the guts to go up there and get them.”

For the full obituary, see:

Richard Goldstein. ‘Joseph Kittinger, 94, Adventurer Who Paved Way for Astronauts, Dies.” The New York Times, First Section (Sunday, December 11, 2022): A32.

(Note: ellipsis, and bracketed date, added.)

(Note: the online version of the obituary has the date Dec. 9, 2022, and has the title “Joseph Kittinger, a Record-Setter High in the Skies, Dies at 94.”)

U.S. Chips+ Act Rewards Intel for Being Less Innovative Than TSMC

(p. A15) Intel, with huge profit margins on its Pentium microprocessors, could spend more than its competitors on state-of-the-art fabs, but innovation eventually was pushed aside for predictability. Intel would get one fab working and then “copy exactly” new cookie-cutter fabs. For smaller feature sizes, Intel looked at the new Extreme Ultraviolet technology from Dutch equipment company ASML and thought it too expensive and risky to use. TSMC embraced ExtremeUV and won, especially for lower-power chips for mobile devices. TSMC can now spend more than anyone else on fabs.

With the Chips+ Act chock full of $52 billion in subsidies and tax credits for chip makers, Congress is saying that real countries have fabs. The act also authorizes $1 billion for carbon removal—weird, because chips are made from silicon. Worse, the U.S. is rewarding Intel, which just announced a disastrous quarter, for coming in third place behind TSMC and Samsung.

Nothing is free. Even Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo admitted “there’s a lot of strings attached” in the 1,054-page law. National Economic Council director Brian Deese endorsed command-and-control industrial policy: “The question should move from ‘Why should we pursue an industrial strategy?’ to ‘How do we pursue one successfully?’ ” This is as wrong as Soviet or Chinese five-year plans. Industrial policy eventually leads to disaster. Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry micromanaged the country’s domestic semiconductor industry and ended up presiding over its decline. Today no Japanese semiconductor company sits in the global top 10. Because China doesn’t have access to ASML ExtremeUV equipment, it has made little progress in advanced chips.

Yes, we need domestic supplies of advanced chips in case China invades Taiwan. But subsidies are the wrong approach.

. . .

Instead, the U.S. could enable suppliers to place large orders for chips for the military, intelligence agencies, whatever. They could even prepay. Silicon Valley was originally built on orders for transistors for intercontinental missiles and the space program.

For the full commentary, see:

Andy Kessler. “INSIDE VIEW; The Semiconductor Boondoggle.” The Wall Street Journal (Monday, Aug. 15, 2022): A15.

(Note: ellipsis added.)

(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date August 14, 2022, and has the same title as the print version.)

How to Resist the Heat Death Implied by the Second Law of Thermodynamics

When I was a young philosophy student I sometimes worried that the Second Law of Thermodynamics ultimately made meaningless all human perseverance toward progress. Physics Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek gives young philosophers reasons for hope.

(p. C4) The capstone of thermodynamics is its so-called Second Law, . . ., which states that entropy, a measure of disorder, increases over time—distinctive structure erodes. Featureless equilibrium is the state of maximum entropy, toward which the Second Law drives us.

The inexorable logic of the Second Law leads, in the long run, to a bland universe wherein nothing changes—that is, heat death.

. . .

There are several ways that our distant descendants, or other embodiments of mind in the universe, might resist heat death. Here are some ideas that occurred to me . . .:

First, it is probably possible to burn matter further than stars do. Stars rearrange protons and neutrons but do not change their overall number. Burning those particles would give access to hundreds of times more energy. Another (barely) conceivable form of fuel is “dark matter.” At present, nobody knows what it is, but there’s lots of it in the universe.

Second, future engineers also might be able to arrange controlled collisions of planets or dead stars, to tap into the energy the crashes liberate.

Third, future minds themselves might be able to run on very limited power. Recent theoretical work on reversible and quantum computers, and on time crystals, has shown that there’s no lower limit to how little energy they need to keep making progress, or at least to keep moving.

Fourth, since we don’t really understand what triggered the Big Bang, it’s conceivable that someday we’ll be able to engineer something similar, and thereby rejuvenate the universe.

For the full commentary, see:

Frank Wilczek. “WILCZEK’S UNIVERSE; Delaying the Heat Death of The Universe.” The Wall Street Journal (Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022): C4.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date September 1, 2022, and has the same title as the print version.)

Improvisational Ingenuity of Ukrainians “In Stark Contrast to the Slow, Plodding, Doctrinal” Russian Invaders

(p. A1) From the sinking of the Moskva, Russia’s Black Sea flagship, in April [2022] to the attack on a Russian air base in Crimea this month, Ukrainian troops have used American and other weapons in ways few expected, the experts and Defense Department officials say.

By mounting missiles onto trucks, for instance, Ukrainian forces have moved them more quickly into firing range. By putting rocket systems on speedboats, they have increased their naval warfare ability. And to the astonishment of weapons experts, Ukraine has continued to destroy Russian targets with slow-moving Turkish-made Bayraktar attack drones and inexpensive, plastic aircraft modified to drop grenades and other munitions.

“People are using the MacGyver metaphor,” said Frederick B. Hodges, a former top U.S. Army commander in Europe, in a reference to the 1980s TV show in which the title character uses simple, improvised contraptions to get himself out of sticky situations.

. . .

(p. A10) . . ., the engineering ingenuity of the Ukrainians lies in stark contrast to the slow, plodding, doctrinal nature of the Russian advance.

In the attack on the Moskva, for example, the Ukrainians developed their own anti-ship missile, called the Neptune, which they based on the design of an old Soviet anti-ship missile, but with substantially improved range and electronics. They appear to have mounted the Neptune missiles onto one or more trucks, according to one senior American official, and moved them within range of the ship, which was around 75 miles from Odesa. The striking of the Moskva was, in essence, the Neptune’s proof of concept; it was the first time the new Ukrainian weapon was used in an actual war, and it took down Russia’s flagship in the Black Sea.

“With the Moskva, they MacGyvered a very effective anti-ship system that they put on the back of a truck to make it mobile and move it around,” General Hodges, who is now a senior adviser at Human Rights First, said in an interview.

. . .

A senior Pentagon official said Ukrainian forces had put American-supplied HARM anti-radiation missiles on Soviet-designed MiG-29 fighter jets — something that no air force had ever done. The American HARM missile, designed to seek and destroy Russian air defense radar, is not usually compatible with the MiG-29 or the other fighter jets in Ukraine’s arsenal.

Ukraine managed to rejigger targeting sensors to allow pilots to fire the American missile from their Soviet-era aircraft. “They have actually successfully integrated it,” the senior official told reporters during a Pentagon briefing. He spoke on the condition of anonymity per Biden administration rules.

. . .

. . . Ukraine conducted the first of the recent strikes in Crimea — a series of blasts at the Saki military airfield on Aug. 9 [2022] — without notifying American and other Western allies in advance, officials said.

“It’s all homegrown,” the official said, . . .

For the full story, see:

Helene Cooper and Eric Schmitt. “Ukraine Forces ‘MacGyvering’ Their Arsenal.” The New York Times (Monday, August 29, 2022): A1 & A10.

(Note: ellipses, and bracketed years, added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date Aug. 28, 2022, and has the title “The ‘MacGyvered’ Weapons in Ukraine’s Arsenal.”)

Entrepreneurs Harvest Useful Protein Collagens From “Precision Fermentation” Rather Than From Slaughter of Animals

(p. B4) The multibillion-dollar push to make animals obsolete in the food industry has already produced pea-protein “bratwurst,” fungus molded into “ham” and “leather,” and “meat” cultured from chicken cells. Geltor, a seven-year-old company based in the Bay Area, is taking a different tack: bioengineering bacteria cells to produce animal proteins you’ll likely never taste.

Geltor is producing forms of collagen they say are identical to the proteins extracted from skin and bones. For now, those vegan collagens can be found in high-end skin care creams. But as the company grows, it’s eyeing other ingredients few Americans associate with animal farming, such as the elastin in your shampoo, the collagen peptides in your smoothie, and even the gelatin (which is hydrolyzed, or slightly broken-down, collagen) in your marshmallows. Alex Lorestani, co-founder and chief executive of Geltor, likes to talk about how the company’s proteins impose a lighter burden on the environment than the meat industry. The challenge, however, is how the company gets to the scale necessary to exert that kind of impact.

In 2012, Dr. Lorestani and co-founder Nick Ouzounov, both 35, were both pursuing doctorates in molecular biology at Princeton University when the invention of Crispr turbocharged the field of bio-design. “We can bio-design medicine,” Dr. Lorestani recalled discussing with his labmates that summer. “Why can’t we bio-design everything?”

Dr. Ouzounov eventually came up with a method — which he and Dr. Lorestani, in typical Bay Area techspeak, call “a platform” — for genetically modifying bacteria cells to reproduce a wide variety of animal proteins, a process that biotech firms are calling “precision fermentation.” In 2015, the two scientists formed Geltor.

For the full story, see:

Jonathan Kauffman. “Going Beyond Vegan ‘Meat’ to Bio-Designed Collagen.” The New York Times (Wednesday, August 3, 2022): B4.

(Note: the online version of the story has the date August 2, 2022, and has the title “Is Bio-Designed Collagen the Next Step in Animal Protein Replacement?”)

Medical Entrepreneurs “Muster the Courage and Determination to Forge Brazenly Ahead”

(p. C7) The accidental birth and stuttering development of cell biology is the focus of Siddhartha Mukherjee’s “The Song of the Cell.” It is an audacious, often mesmerizing, frequently dizzying, occasionally exhausting and reliably engaging tour of cell biology and scientific inquiry. Dr. Mukherjee, an oncologist at Columbia University and the author of “Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” (2010), enthusiastically instructs and, much of the time, delights—all the while hustling us across a preposterously vast and intricate landscape.

. . .

In the course of describing the evolution of cell biology, Dr. Mukherjee reminds us of the critical role of technological innovation, like the microscopes used by Leeuwenhoek and Hooke, which first revealed the existence of the cellular world. Similarly, it was the invention of the electron microscope, and its deliberate application to biology by pioneering Rockefeller University scientist George Palade, that afforded researchers the resolution needed to examine the components of an individual cell.

. . .

Dr. Mukherjee’s dual roles as clinical oncologist and cell biologist find a common voice as he grapples with the complexity of cancer, “cell biology visualized in a pathological mirror.” He notes the heterogeneity of tumors, observing that while “two ‘breast cancers’ may look identical under the pathologist’s microscope,” the cancers may differ genetically and require different treatments. Even a single breast tumor, he writes, “is actually a collage of mutant cells—an assembly of non-identical diseases.” Because of the maddening similarity between cancer cells and normal cells, targeting cancer can be challenging: A promising therapy may fail, as it did for one of his friends, because it also attacks healthy cells.

Ultimately, Dr. Mukherjee seems to decide, we must accept, rather than rationalize away, the baffling idiosyncrasies that we observe in cell biology and see reflected in the behavior of cancers. Why did his friend’s cancer spread to some organs but spare others? Why did the treatment his friend received eliminate tumors in the skin but not the lungs? “There are mysteries beyond mysteries,” he writes, and he cautions us against succumbing to reductionist explanations. Cells, by themselves, are “incomplete explanations for organismal complexities.” We must understand the context in which a cell exists, he emphasizes, its local environment. Even then, he admits, we often “don’t even know what we don’t know.”

Dr. Mukherjee’s hard-won lessons contain a message for us all: We should resist simple, universal explanations in life science—cell biology, in particular, is rarely that cooperative. The journey he relates also reminds us to appreciate the researchers who, despite the unforgiving and rarely predictable terrain before them, muster the courage and determination to forge brazenly ahead.

For the full review, see:

David A. Shaywitz. “Fantastic Voyage Within.” The Wall Street Journal (Saturday, October 29, 2022): C7.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the review has the date October 28, 2022, and has the title “‘The Song of the Cell’ Review: Fantastic Voyage Within.”)

The book under review is:

Mukherjee, Siddhartha. The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human. New York: Scribner, 2022.

Nobody Wanted to Buy Tony Fadell’s Early Inventions

(p. C7) Tony Fadell began his Silicon Valley career in 1991 at General Magic, which he calls “the most influential startup nobody has ever heard of.” He sketches his early persona as the all-too-typical engineering nerd dutifully donning an interview suit only to be told to ditch the jacket and tie before the meeting begins. He started at the bottom, building tools to check the work of others, many of whom just happened to be established legends from the original Apple Macintosh team.

General Magic failed at its ambitious goal: to create demand for its ingenious hand-held computer at a time when most people didn’t know they needed a computer at all. In other words, though the company had a great product, the product didn’t solve a pressing problem for consumers. Mr. Fadell offers candid reasons why such a smart group of people could have overlooked this basic market reality. Relaying the “gut punch of our failure,” he describes what it’s like “when you think you know everything (p. C8) then suddenly realize you have no idea what you’re doing.”

Four years later, Mr. Fadell landed as chief technology officer at Philips, the 300,000-employee Dutch electronics company, where he had a big title, a new team, a budget and a mission: The company was going to make a hand-held computer for now-seasoned desktop users who were beginning to see the need for a mobile device. Using Microsoft Windows CE as the operating system, it launched the Philips Velo in 1997. This was a $599.99 “personal digital assistant”—keyboard, email, docs, calendar, the works—in a friendly 14-ounce package. All the pieces were there, the author writes, except “a real sales and retail partnership.” No one—not Best Buy, not Circuit City, not Philips itself—knew how to sell the product, or whom to sell it to. So here was another “lesson learned via gut punch”: There is a lot more to a successful product than a good gadget, even an excellent one.

. . .

He uses his problem-solution-failure style to share stories about how he built the Nest thermostat and the Nest Labs company—from fundraising, building a retail channel and navigating patent litigation to marketing, packaging and customer support.

The best moments in this section, and perhaps the most difficult for Mr. Fadell to write, are about the acquisition of Nest by Google. He pulls no punches in describing what an outsider might call a botched venture integration. Google paid $3.2 billion for Nest in 2014 but within two years began to consider selling. “In utter frustration,” Mr. Fadell walked away. The lessons in these pages are as much for big companies acquiring startups as they are for the startups being acquired.

For the full review, see:

Steven Sinofsky. “Running The Tortuous ‘Idea Maze’.” The Wall Street Journal (Saturday, June 18, 2022): C7-C8.

(Note: ellipsis added.)

(Note: the online version of the review has the date June 17, 2022, and has the title “‘Build’ Review: Failure Is the Mother of Invention.”)

The book under review is:

Fadell, Tony. Build: An Unorthodox Guide to Making Things Worth Making. New York: Harper Business, 2022.

The “Intellect” and “Bravado” Behind the Success of Thiel, Musk, and the “PayPal Mafia”

(p. C7) Next week marks the 20th anniversary of PayPal becoming a publicly traded company. The IPO valued the online payments processor at nearly $1 billion—an eye-opening sum at the time. Back in the day, technology firms marked such occasions with glitzy celebrations. PayPal took a different path. Its youthful employees gathered in the parking lot of their Palo Alto, Calif., office building, where the company’s enigmatic chief executive, Peter Thiel, performed a keg stand and then played 10 simultaneous games of speed chess, winning nine of them.

Jimmy Soni tells that story and many others in “The Founders,” a gripping account of PayPal’s origins and a vivid portrait of the geeks and contrarians who made its meteoric rise possible. His richly reported narrative includes corporate intrigue, workplace hijinks, breakthrough innovation and first-class nerdiness.

. . .

Julie Anderson, one of’s early employees, dropped the company’s California-based telephone customer-service provider and relaunched the service in Nebraska. Why there? Because many of her relatives lived there.

. . .

Confirming a cliché, staffers do spend all night at the office—sometimes sleeping under their desks, though not always. “There’s this massive value that you harness when you’re doing an all-nighter,” says Mr. Levchin, “when you’ve gone for presumably seven or eight hours of work, and you’re really getting up to a point when something’s about to be born—and then you go for eight more hours! And instead of stopping to go to sleep and letting these ideas dissipate, you actually focus on the findings you’ve made in the last few hours, and you just go crazy and do some more of that.”

. . .

Why did PayPal thrive when others—eMoneyMail, PayPlace, c2it—failed? One key was limiting the losses from fraud. If the company had taken a traditional approach, observes a member of the fraud-analytics team, it “would have hired people who had been building logistic regression models for banks for twenty years but never innovated.” Instead it turned to young, open-minded engineers who devised unorthodox methods.

. . .

. . . “The Founders” makes crystal-clear that PayPal’s human capital—a potent cocktail of intellect, bravado and competitiveness, complemented by the occasional keg stand—laid the foundation for success.

For the full review, see:

Matthew Rees. “Making the Future Click.” The Wall Street Journal (Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022): C7.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the review has the date February 11, 2022, and has the title “‘The Founders’ Review: Making the Future Click.”)

The book under review is:

Soni, Jimmy. The Founders: The Story of PayPal and the Entrepreneurs Who Shaped Silicon Valley. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2022.

Is Apple’s Lack of New Breakthroughs Due to Lack of Opportunity or Lack of Steve Jobs?

(p. 15) Steve Jobs, Apple’s co-founder and animating spirit, died in 2011, leaving the firm in the hands of Jony Ive, the British-born designer-savant, and Tim Cook, a child of Alabama who’d become a master of supply chains and production costs. “After Steve,” by the New York Times reporter Tripp Mickle, covers Ive’s and Cook’s careers, and how they and the company changed after they took over.

. . .

In the epilogue, Mickle drops his reporter’s detachment to apportion responsibility for the firm’s failure to launch another transformative product. Cook is blamed for being aloof and unknowable, a bad partner for Ive, “an artist who wanted to bring empathy to every product.” Ive is also dinged for taking on “responsibility for software design and the management burdens that he soon came to disdain.” By the end, the sense that the two missed a chance to create a worthy successor to the iPhone is palpable.

It’s also hooey, and the best evidence for that is the previous 400 pages. It’s true that after Jobs died, Apple didn’t produce another device as important as the iPhone, but Apple didn’t produce another device that important before he died either. It’s also true that Cook did not play the role of C.E.O. as Jobs had, but no one ever thought he could, including Jobs, who on his deathbed advised Cook never to ask what Steve would do: “Just do what’s right.”

Ive and Cook wanted another iPhone, but, as Mickle’s exhaustive reporting makes clear, there was not another such device to be made. Self-driving cars were too hard, health devices too regulated, television protected in ways music had not been, and even the earbuds and watch, devices they actually shipped, were peripheral, technically and conceptually, to Apple’s greatest product.

Epilogue aside, the book is an amazingly detailed portrait of the permanent tension between strategy and luck: Companies make their own history, but they do not make it as they please. What happened after Steve was that Cook’s greatest opportunities were in Apple’s future, Ive’s in its past.

For the full review, see:

Clay Shirky. “The Watchmen.” The New York Times Book Review (Sunday, May 29, 2022): 15.

(Note: ellipsis added; italics in original.)

(Note: the online version of the review was updated May 2, 2022, and has the title “Apple Inc., ‘After Steve’.”)

The book under review is:

Mickle, Tripp. After Steve: How Apple Became a Trillion-Dollar Company and Lost Its Soul. New York: William Morrow, 2022.

Well-Financed Fusion Startup Claims to Be a Year Away From Energy Break-Even Point

(p. B4) Zap Energy, a fusion energy start-up working on a low-cost path to producing electricity commercially, said last week that it had taken an important step toward testing a system its researchers believe will eventually produce more electricity than it consumes.

. . .

While many competing efforts use powerful magnets or bursts of laser light to compress a plasma in order to initiate a fusion reaction, Zap is pursuing an approach pioneered by physicists at the University of Washington and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

It relies on a shaped plasma gas — an energized cloud of particles that is often described as a fourth state of matter — that is compressed by a magnetic field generated by an electrical current as it flows through a two-meter vacuum tube. The technique is known as “sheared flow Z-pinch.”

. . .

Advances in stabilizing the magnetic field that is generated by the flowing plasma made by physicists at the University of Washington led the group to establish Zap Energy in 2017. The company has raised more than $200 million, including a series of investments from Chevron.

Recent technical advances in fusion fuels and in advanced magnets have led to a sharp increase in private investment, according to the Fusion Industry Association. There are 35 fusion companies globally, and private funding has risen above $4 billion, including from well-known technology investors like Sam Altman, Jeff Bezos, John Doerr, Bill Gates and Chris Sacca. Mr. Gates and Mr. Sacca invested in Zap’s most recent funding round.

. . .

The Zap Energy physicists and executives said in interviews last week that they believed they were within a year of proving that their approach was capable of reaching the long-sought-after energy break-even point.

If they do, they will have succeeded where an array of research efforts — going back to the middle of the last century — have failed.

The Zap Energy physicists said they had made the case for the “scaling” power of their approach to produce a steep increase in neutrons in a series of peer-reviewed technical papers that documented computer-generated simulations they would soon begin to test.

For the full story, see:

John Markoff. “A Seattle Start-Up Claims a Big Step For Fusion Energy.” The New York Times (Thursday, June 23, 2022): B4.

(Note: ellipses added.)

(Note: the online version of the story has the date June 22, 2022, and has the title “A Big Step Toward Fusion Energy Is Hailed by a Seattle Start-Up.”)