kcdodd wrote:MSimon, why are you making the collector at 0v, that makes no sense if the alpha starts off at 0v. An alpha is not going to "drift" from 1MV to 0V, it will accelerate. Not only will the alphas have the same energy they started out with, you would never extract any useful energy. Even a billion amps at 0v is useless. Forget tubes for a second and just write down the law of conservation of energy.
Brilliant. Particles can only be accelerated by electrostatic forces.
Another Nobel in the offing.
Let me make this real simple.
If particles can be accelerated by electrostatic forces (at the cost of energy delivered to the electrostatic acceleration grids) they can be decelerated by electrostatic forces (which will deliver energy to the electrostatic grid(s)).
Physics education in America is in big trouble. Very big trouble. It looks to me like such an education is very big on the math (my weakness - I haven't had to do any serious calculus for 40+ years) and very weak on principles.
I thank my lucky stars I had PSSC Physics in high school where principles were emphasized.
I have run into this before. I once had a boss who didn't understand why you needed to run transformers at about 1/2 their AC rating for capacitor input power supplies. I tried explaining the difference between the RMS heating value of the pulsed current input vs. power out of the DC current delivered. All I got was an argument. Which I did not win. I did the right thing any way and designed in a transformer of adequate capacity for the RMS current drawn. College educated guy. This same guy insisted that I design a one bit computer to run the machine tool being designed. With an very early version of FLASH memory (3 fookin supply voltages). He must have spent at least $100,000 on that development. At a time when you could buy a very nice KIM One micro (6502 based I think) for about $400 (IIRC). Eight bits. I had a number of engineers working with me who thought my execution was brilliant. It was still a stupid idea. But I did get an experience very few engineers have ever had. I designed a one bit computer.