"From Midway Church to Nuclear Fusion" a historical chronicle and scientific memoir by Weston M. Stacey, tells of the history of the Stacy family in America, the author's idyllic boyhood in the cultural backwater of small Southern towns and his serendipitous rise to prominence as an acclaimed researcher and professor in applied nuclear physics.
Beginning with an account of the Stacy family's early days as American settlers in the 17th century, this chronicle blends genealogical research, personal narrative, the history of physics and an insider's view of applied nuclear physics research laboratories as well as a major research university. The book traces the author's somewhat improbable journey from a boyhood spent fishing and bird hunting, through a stint in the Marine Corps and education at Georgia Tech and MIT, to the forefront of the fields of nuclear reactor and nuclear fusion research.
A uniquely expansive memoir, "From Midway Church to Nuclear Fusion" also includes insight into the world of university researchers and a section on books, fiction and otherwise, that have been influential in Stacey's development. As the account of a well-read man of broad experience, the book is intended for anyone interested in Southern history, the history of physics, how applied nuclear physics research is done or just the story of an unusual life.
Weston M. Stacey earned his bachelor's degree in physics and master's degree in nuclear science from Georgia Tech, and his doctorate in nuclear engineering from MIT. He has worked as a researcher and teacher in nuclear reactor physics, fusion plasma physics and fusion reactor conceptual design for almost five decades. Stacey received the U.S. Department of Energy's Distinguished Associate Award for his leadership of the International Atomic Energy Agency INTOR Workshop (1979-88) that led to the ITER project to build and operate internationally the first experimental fusion power reactor. He is a fellow of both the American Nuclear Society and the American Physical Society and has received many prestigious awards, including the American Nuclear Society Seaborg Medal for Nuclear Research, the Wigner Reactor Physicist and Outstanding Achievement in Fusion Awards, the Georgia Tech Outstanding Faculty Research Author Award, the Sigma Xi Sustained Research Award and the Fusion Power Associates Distinguished Career Award. Stacey is the Callaway Regents' Professor of Nuclear Engineering at Georgia Tech.