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A Polywell fusion primer. Disrupt this technology. [View All]

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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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