Interview with Hantao Ji, Professor of Astrophysics, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
I had a delightful conversation with Professor Ji. Ji is sophisticated and he speaks in long sentences. He enjoys showing both sides of the story. While it can make him seem conservative on some issues, he likes to stress the nuance of circumstance on all fronts. He strikes a strong contrast. On classified military projects, he stresses the need to have R&D for nuclear technology development as a means for maintenance and self defense. He acknowledges the international policy challenges of nuclear development as well, emphasizing the need for diplomacy and global cooperation.
While he admits that he needs to be more informed on the intersection of indigeneous people and nuclear technology development, he is optimistic in the possibilities and opportunities laid in nuclear fusion energy. Unlike other fusion scientists I have researched, Ji believes fusion energy will not dominate the energy sector, but play an integral role in clean energy, along with solar, wind, and thermal. In many ways, Ji’s mindset echoes the sustainability efforts on campus, particularly from the administration, which is evident in the multitude of construction for new thermal energy facilities and new sustainable technology embedded in the new dormitories.