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FogerRox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-29-09 04:24 PM
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A Polywell fusion primer. Disrupt this technology.
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Edited on Mon Jun-29-09 05:17 PM by FogerRox
Everyone in the Polywell fusion forum, talk has been very excited over the last few months, as details have emerged on a 2 year program of building test Polywells to flesh out how plasma behaves in a Polywell.

In a nut shell D. Nebel @ EMC2Fusion in Santa Fe says he will will know within 2 years if Polywell is boom or bust. Net Power Proton Boron fusion by 2015. Commercial rollout 2020.

And now let me put aside the scientific mumbo jumbo and break it down for those non geek sciencey types.

Dr Bussards development of the Polywell started after he begain to have doubts about the Tokamak fusion research that he and then Dir. US Atomic Energy Commission, Robert Hirsch had advocated for in the early 1970's. Dr Bussard passed away not too long ago, but his work has continued @ EMC2Fusion under Dr Rick Nebel.

Polywell fusion is spherical instead of the donut shape of the Tokamak. Polywell accelerates particles so fast, when they hit, they cause fusion. Anyway, do you remember how 2 magnets can repulse or attract each other? Well Electrons and magnetic fields can do the same, heres how:

We start out with 6 ring shaped magnets like this:

We then put that core in a vacuum chamber:

And we squirt some electrons into the middle as we apply electricity to the magnets, the magnetic fields squeeze down on the electrons, who huddle together in solidarity... and push back at the magnetic fields.

Now electrons are wild and crazy particles, they are just filled with energy, always moving and spinning around and stuff. Lets call that kinetic energy. But the Magnetic fields are squeezing down so hard on the electrons, the electrons can hardly move, so the kinetic energy becomes potential energy. This is called a potential well, and it behaves like a gravity well.

So on to the fusion. If we now inject our fuel ions (in gas form) just inside the magnetic fields, the ions see the potential well and are attracted to it, they race from the edge to the center, if an ion doesn't crash into another ion, the ion just ends up shooting across to the other side, where it sees the potential well and starts its plunge all over again. When the ions do crash into each other you get fusion.

To be clear this is a disruptive technology. Polywells can replace the 75% of our electricity we get from coal and fission nuke generation. By 2050 liquid fuels will be quaint, petroleum reserves supplying the plastics industry and niche transportation needs. Electricity's role in transportation will grow as liquid fuel's role shrinks.

Polywell fusion plants on the Moon, La Grange point stations powered by Polywell's. Fusion powered space ships, Mars in 38 days, Saturn in 76 days.

Top Polywell Comments 6/21/09

Bob Guyer from 6/21/09:

If this works and then is rapidly deployed to eliminate coal, and then liquid fuels, it would obviously make a big difference in our ability to radically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Top Polywell Comment for May 2009

By TylerFromNE

We know the physical economics of fusion.

Namely, that it's the most powerful known reaction in the universe other than matter-antimatter annihilation. Of course, since antimatter almost certainly doesn't exist in nature (as an aside, the reason why there's matter at all, and why matter and antimatter weren't both annihilated in the first seconds of the universe's existence, is a rather perplexing unanswered question in physics), nuclear fusion is the most energetic source of power known to exist.

It is therefore a certainty that, at a large enough scale, nuclear fusion is the most economical form of power generation.

And finally here is the Fusion for Dummies video from the Polywell fusion wiki:

This is part 2 of a 3 part series, part one is here

I just posted part 3:

Thanks for the recs.
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  -A Polywell fusion primer. Disrupt this technology. FogerRox  Jun-29-09 04:24 PM   #0 
  - Oh, yeah... SF becoming science fact. Again.  Mythsaje   Jun-29-09 04:28 PM   #1 
  - Star Trek Warp engine, Bussard collectors  FogerRox   Jun-29-09 04:32 PM   #3 
  - Better graphic  FogerRox   Jun-29-09 09:11 PM   #27 
  - Fascinating.  redqueen   Jun-29-09 04:32 PM   #2 
  - Thank you for your consideration. And a Reccomendation would be lovely....  FogerRox   Jun-29-09 04:36 PM   #4 
     - k&r & waiting for part 3... nt  bananas   Jun-29-09 04:48 PM   #7 
     - Thank you bananas, part 3 is..... coming  FogerRox   Jun-29-09 04:49 PM   #8 
     - Part 3 is now up  FogerRox   Jun-29-09 05:10 PM   #14 
     - Done...  redqueen   Jun-29-09 05:01 PM   #11 
        - Thanks, heres part 3:  FogerRox   Jun-29-09 06:09 PM   #17 
  - + 2 * our national debt  The Straight Story   Jun-29-09 04:46 PM   #5 
  - 3 votes, thank you for your recomendations  FogerRox   Jun-29-09 04:46 PM   #6 
  - Cool...  The_Commonist   Jun-29-09 04:50 PM   #9 
  - That's no moon...  billyoc   Jun-29-09 04:52 PM   #10 
  - And the Moon has lots of helium in the soil (regolith). Helium is an  FogerRox   Jun-29-09 08:38 PM   #24 
     - Damn... first contact is not far off...  nebenaube   Jun-29-09 11:19 PM   #34 
  - Away to Greatest Page with you!  johnaries   Jun-29-09 05:06 PM   #12 
  - Thank you.  FogerRox   Jun-29-09 06:28 PM   #18 
  - That does seem to have exciting potential,  Uncle Joe   Jun-29-09 05:07 PM   #13 
  - K&R nt  PurgedVoter   Jun-29-09 05:19 PM   #15 
  - Imagine how huge this would be if achieved?  Canuckistanian   Jun-29-09 05:25 PM   #16 
  - Mars, shutting down coal plants, just 2 of my favorite things  FogerRox   Jun-29-09 06:33 PM   #19 
  - The "experts" are often such naysayers - we are so doomed they say  truedelphi   Jun-30-09 02:32 AM   #36 
  - Hi, FogerRox  rumpel   Jun-29-09 07:12 PM   #20 
  - Hello Rumpel ! Yeah really, 1/2 the oil is gone and whats left is the tick nasty stuff  FogerRox   Jun-29-09 08:30 PM   #23 
  - K&R  Wednesdays   Jun-29-09 07:30 PM   #21 
  - Seems very promising...  ElboRuum   Jun-29-09 07:35 PM   #22 
  - Um, yes, Promising.  FogerRox   Jun-29-09 08:58 PM   #26 
  - Part one is getting major love, but, Heres Links for parts one and three  FogerRox   Jun-29-09 08:56 PM   #25 
  - Very cool. Nice explanation too.  surrealAmerican   Jun-29-09 09:25 PM   #28 
  - My Pleasure, thank you.  FogerRox   Jun-29-09 09:32 PM   #29 
  - have they produced an over unity reaction yet?  yodermon   Jun-29-09 09:47 PM   #30 
  - We'll know in 2 yrs, if Dr Nebel thinks Polywell is worth scaling  FogerRox   Jun-29-09 10:04 PM   #31 
     - just for the sake of being on the record...  nebenaube   Jun-29-09 11:16 PM   #33 
  - I really hope technology like this saves us... we got no fallback plan. knr/nt  wroberts189   Jun-29-09 10:37 PM   #32 
  - Thanks fogerrox  lonestarnot   Jun-30-09 01:07 AM   #35 
  - .  Wilms   Jun-30-09 06:27 AM   #37 
  - Just creating antimatter to blow up the Vatican.  tomreedtoon   Jun-30-09 09:16 AM   #38 
  - this stuff is amazing. this has me really excited.  Soylent Brice   Jun-30-09 09:23 AM   #39 
  - The pictures have improved since the paper I wrote in 7th grade almost 30 years ago  swishyfeet   Jun-30-09 10:39 AM   #40 
  - Not to be a wet blanket but it hasn't been proven to produce a net positive of energy.  Statistical   Jun-30-09 10:42 AM   #41 
  - Nebel is likely restricted in what he can say.  MGKrebs   Jun-30-09 10:50 AM   #42 
  - A couple things.  backscatter712   Jun-30-09 10:56 AM   #44 
  - Well he could have said nothing.  Statistical   Jun-30-09 11:22 AM   #45 
  - Ahem,. Aneutronic fusion means no neutrons, Additionally there is no thermalization  FogerRox   Jul-01-09 09:06 PM   #52 
     - Care to point to paper showing 0 Bremsstrahlung radiation in polywell simulations?  Statistical   Jul-03-09 09:57 PM   #62 
  - No Thermal plant, direct conversion of Alphas to electricity  FogerRox   Jul-01-09 08:51 PM   #50 
  - 200 mill is for the whole project.  FogerRox   Jul-01-09 08:49 PM   #49 
     - 200 million for something that hasn't achieved unity?  Statistical   Jul-03-09 09:43 PM   #61 
  - k&r - keep up the work - nt  votingupstart   Jun-30-09 10:54 AM   #43 
  - I got $20 says you're an A. C. Clark, S. Baxter fan.  The Doctor.   Jun-30-09 03:34 PM   #46 
  - meh, David Weber?  FogerRox   Jul-01-09 09:07 PM   #53 
     - Uh, you didn't just 'Meh' Arthur C. Clark....  The Doctor.   Jul-01-09 09:51 PM   #55 
        - I meant recently, Clark is so, couple of decades ago. But the 1947 paper is a biggie  FogerRox   Jul-01-09 10:18 PM   #56 
           - You Dang Whippersnappers have No IDEA what guys like HIM did for Science Fiction!  The Doctor.   Jul-01-09 11:00 PM   #58 
           - Weber is the King of Space opera  FogerRox   Jul-03-09 09:36 PM   #60 
           - Dupe  The Doctor.   Jul-01-09 11:00 PM   #59 
  - Kick for intellect n/t  autorank   Jun-30-09 04:12 PM   #47 
  - Looks interesting.  Quantess   Jul-01-09 01:50 AM   #48 
  - One of the most interesting posts I've ever read on DU  HughMoran   Jul-01-09 09:06 PM   #51 
  - I watched Dr. Bussard's lecture at Google  backscatter712   Jul-01-09 09:21 PM   #54 
  - Thank you from the future, where things are not so black and white  omega minimo   Jul-01-09 10:24 PM   #57 

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