Alan Boyle update

Point out news stories, on the net or in mainstream media, related to polywell fusion.

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Betruger
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Postby Betruger » Wed May 11, 2011 12:45 pm

KitemanSA wrote:
Betruger wrote: Though if WB-8 is the last small scale machine, that doesn't leave too many things other than PB11, intermediate to WB-D.
Not quite sure what you mean here. pB&J isn't "intermediate" between WB8 and WB-D, it IS WB8 with some ancilliary mods. They don't need another intermediate scale machine to go pB&J. Just to be clear.

Now Dr. B wanted to do TWO additional small scale machines before going full scale. He wanted to do a "square plane-form" cuboctohedron and a similar icosadodecahedron. Personally, I'd like to see those too.

They aren't much needed for utility power plants, but for ships etc., size matters.
Chronological intermediate. WB8 is built. Wouldn't you test PBj on 8.1 rather than on WBD? Look at the exact way Park put it.

Tom Ligon wrote:The unanswered questions for me are ...
The real issue is does it work well enough? That "more or less" could cover several rather significant orders of magnitude.
Yeah, "positive results" doesn't say how positive.

It's going to be very interesting to see how everything works out.

mvanwink5
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Postby mvanwink5 » Wed May 11, 2011 12:58 pm

Tom Ligon wrote:The unanswered questions for me are ...
Have they achieved simultaneous control of potential well depth and ion density (i.e the ability to control the virtual anode and thus limit bremsstrahlung)?


Tom,
Wouldn't WB-7.1 have nailed down the bremsstrahlung issue, or is plasma control trickiness in WB-8 what you are focusing on, with the brem radiation a result?

Control seems to be one area, based on the Alan Boyle interview, that is challenging, based on his Ferrari reference. I think that control is one area that they are still fiddling with, but that is my interpretation.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

jsbiff
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Postby jsbiff » Wed May 11, 2011 1:33 pm

This article is very interesting, and sounds very hopeful. I just have to wonder why Nebel would choose to retire "so close to the finish line"? I mean, if Polywell works as well as they think it should, this is one of those rare inventions that changes the whole world in 20 years.

The sort of invention whose inventors' names are taught to high school kids for the next 300 years.

The sort of breakthrough that wins a Nobel prize in physics. Might even win a Peace Prize lol.

I can't truly know Nebel's mind, but it just seems odd timing to retire if you think you are within one year of success. I mean, unless I came down with some medical condition and was told I only had a year or two to live, then maybe I might retire in that situation, deciding that I'd rather spend more time during the last year(s) of my life with family, etc.

fanofusion
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Postby fanofusion » Wed May 11, 2011 2:20 pm

jsbiff wrote:This article is very interesting, and sounds very hopeful. I just have to wonder why Nebel would choose to retire "so close to the finish line"? I mean, if Polywell works as well as they think it should, this is one of those rare inventions that changes the whole world in 20 years.

The sort of invention whose inventors' names are taught to high school kids for the next 300 years.

The sort of breakthrough that wins a Nobel prize in physics. Might even win a Peace Prize lol.

I can't truly know Nebel's mind, but it just seems odd timing to retire if you think you are within one year of success. I mean, unless I came down with some medical condition and was told I only had a year or two to live, then maybe I might retire in that situation, deciding that I'd rather spend more time during the last year(s) of my life with family, etc.


Maybe the timing was right for him to work on the next phase of polywell development as a consultant. This might have also freed up some finances for the current WB8 effort.

Ivy Matt
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Postby Ivy Matt » Wed May 11, 2011 3:11 pm

Betruger wrote:Look at the exact way Park put it.

Your point is that the demonstration reactor is not the next step, therefore the next step can only be WB-8.1. That's not how I read it, but I hope you're right. The question is, where would the funds come from? It looks like all Recovery Act funding is going towards WB-8. I suppose, if they get a contract to build WB-D, they could include testing of p+B11 fuel as a preliminary step.

jsbiff wrote:I just have to wonder why Nebel would choose to retire "so close to the finish line"?

I like the idea that he retired to focus his efforts on designing WB-D while everyone else is busy testing WB-8, but that might just be because I'm feeling a little optimistic right now.

Also, just because he's retired from the company doesn't mean he won't contribute to any scientific papers that may be forthcoming.

If Polywell works well, I don't think Nebel's name would be left out of the history books any more than would Bussard's.
Temperature, density, confinement time: pick any two.

KitemanSA
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Postby KitemanSA » Wed May 11, 2011 3:16 pm

ladajo wrote:The part that really matters:
"This machine should be able to generate 1,000 times more nuclear activity than WB-7, with about eight times more magnetic field," said Park, quoting the publicly available information about WB-8. "We'll call that a good success. That means we're on track with the scaling law."
I just wish we could also confirm the diameter.
This part concerns me. If things are scaling per theory there should 4000 times more activity, even WITHOUT taking size increases into account. 8^4 = 2^12 =~4000, not 1000. Hmmm.
Might the difference be that they are running this thing steady state?

TallDave
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Postby TallDave » Wed May 11, 2011 3:19 pm

Glad I sent Alan the tip.

Park is pretty coy here, we don't know much we didn't before. But it sounds like things are going reasonably well, and they should have quite a pile of data for the WB-D decision by the end of the year.

And now, another 7 months of waiting...

KitemanSA -- I expect he just rounded down. I wouldn't try to read too much into it.
n*kBolt*Te = B**2/(2*mu0) and B^.25 loss scaling? Or not so much? Hopefully we'll know soon...

ladajo
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Postby ladajo » Wed May 11, 2011 3:57 pm

Kite, hopefully he was just being magnitude oriented vice specific on purpose. But either way, I am glad that Alan Boyle got something. And it is yet again encouraging. I guess Tom Ligon and Talldave's pokes worked. :)

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Wed May 11, 2011 4:01 pm

Blogged here:

http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/201 ... sults.html

And the rest of the usual places soon.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.
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THE OPEN POLYWELL FUSION CONSORTIUM

Giorgio
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Postby Giorgio » Wed May 11, 2011 4:09 pm

ladajo wrote:Kite, hopefully he was just being magnitude oriented vice specific on purpose. But either way, I am glad that Alan Boyle got something. And it is yet again encouraging. I guess Tom Ligon and Talldave's pokes worked. :)

Keep poking the guy than and send him some blondes too! :D

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Wed May 11, 2011 4:20 pm

This:

And if WB-8 fails?

"Sometimes breakthroughs happen, and sometimes you can never solve it, and then maybe it's time to give up — at least for me," Park said. "But I can positively say I tried everything."


suggests that it is not in the bag.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.
http://protonboron.com/
THE OPEN POLYWELL FUSION CONSORTIUM

KitemanSA
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Postby KitemanSA » Wed May 11, 2011 4:30 pm

TallDave wrote: KitemanSA -- I expect he just rounded down. I wouldn't try to read too much into it.
Nearest order of magnitude would have been 10k! ;)

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Wed May 11, 2011 4:34 pm

KitemanSA wrote:
TallDave wrote: KitemanSA -- I expect he just rounded down. I wouldn't try to read too much into it.
Nearest order of magnitude would have been 10k! ;)


But then if he says 10K and only gets 4?
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.
http://protonboron.com/
THE OPEN POLYWELL FUSION CONSORTIUM

KitemanSA
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Postby KitemanSA » Wed May 11, 2011 4:39 pm

MSimon wrote:
KitemanSA wrote:
TallDave wrote: KitemanSA -- I expect he just rounded down. I wouldn't try to read too much into it.
Nearest order of magnitude would have been 10k! ;)


But then if he says 10K and only gets 4?
SHOULD be getting 33k including the machine size difference (8^4*2^3=8^5=~32.7k) Hmm? Sounds like they are running at a much lower B than pure 8X by spec.

EricF
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Postby EricF » Wed May 11, 2011 4:45 pm

Thanks for the update. This is the sort of progress that keeps me motivated to finish my EE.


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