Fresh horses

Consider specific people in the fusion research community, business, or politics who should be made aware of polywell research, and how we might reach them.

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rcain
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Fresh horses

Postby rcain » Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:26 pm

Hi

Whilst we are waiting for Godot, erm EMC2, to drop us any crumb of informatoin on whats happening (or not) - which I suspect they never will, how about a totally different tack? to wit:

Famulus is still cracking ahead bravely, albeit with minimal resources, and in my view has probably made faster relative progress in a matter of months than Bussard, EMC2 and the USDD have made together over the past 30 years.

Question: are there legitimate experiments which he might be able to carry out, that would get us some answers to questions we have been knocking about here over the past 2 years. If so, what might these be? Could we perhaps assist him in designing, running and reviewing those experiments?

Any specific recomendations/suggestions?

Should we approach him with this idea?

Aero
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Postby Aero » Sat Mar 20, 2010 3:54 pm

I think we should. But unfortunately I don't have any particular experiment to propose at the cash and equipment level I foresee being raised any time soon.

It has been posed elsewhere on this forum that we attempt to raise some cash with which to bribe EMC2 to do experiments and provide us with the data. I suggest that such cash would be better applied to Famulus' project where we could (maybe) influence the direction of the experiments. I expect that Famulus has been following this forum quite closely and is well aware of the latest we have obtained from EMC2.

Another thought is organize as a sponsor to a graduate student (at Wisconsin?) then contact the graduate college to guide us to a professor and graduate student interested in working the problem. This might be a more fruitful approach but in Famulus there is a strongly motivated individual, which is hard to find and a plus.
Aero

rcain
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Postby rcain » Sat Mar 20, 2010 4:50 pm

Hi Aero,

I agree, any further approach to EMC2 is wasted effort currently; they and the Navy have made their position on disclosure perfectly clear.

Approaching universities (eg. Wisconsin, Australia, wherever) for undergrad/Phd work is good, but will take time and funding to set up. To my mind this would be a good follow up strategy.

An advantage of approaching Famulus is he is up and running already, has some (very modest) funding in place already and a degree of public exposure. And as you rightly say, is incredibly well motivated and by all accounts capable and accessible.

My suggestion (as a starter): A basic exploration of cusp losses and its relation to e, B and injection angle.

- would at least give us some real graphs to ponder over and extrapolate, rather than hypothesising between ourselves in the dark, and should be amenable to his set up and budget, at a basic level at least.

Anyone care to add to this?

KitemanSA
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Postby KitemanSA » Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:18 pm

Aero wrote:with which to bribe EMC2
Bribe? I proposed paying them to do ADDITIONAL work and publish the data. Where is the bribe there?
rcain wrote:I agree, any further approach to EMC2 is wasted effort currently; they and the Navy have made their position on disclosure perfectly clear.
I suspect approaching them with the offer suggeted above would make their position PERFECTLY clear. If they take the money, they want the data out, if they don't, they don't.
rcain wrote:An advantage of approaching Famulus is he is up and running already, has some (very modest) funding in place already and a degree of public exposure. ...Anyone care to add to this?
On another thread I suggsted an approach to fulfilling Dr. B's thought chain on improved sphericity. I sugggested a series of lower power, easier to wind magnets in the series:
Truncated Cube-Nubs-Real/Virtual (current toroidal magnet)
Rectified Cube-Nubs-R/V ("square" planform magnets)
Rectified Cube- Dual Offset Nubs-R/V
Bowed Rectified Cube-DONs-R/V
Bowed Rectified Cube-Nubless-Real Square+Real Triangular magnets
We could also do an icosidodec but that would be harder to make.

rcain
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Postby rcain » Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:48 pm

Hi Kiteman,

... If they take the money, they want the data out, if they don't, they don't.


- its perfectly clear to me, that they 'DONT' already, whatever the money. They have a mutual agreement/contract you see, and that aint going to change.

re: your suggestion on exploring coil geometry - a good one - I would love to see it explored, and I certainly think its not beyond Famulus to approach it. However, what priority should it be?

Strikes me that a) we would still need to baseline the cusp losses issue, b) if these geometry issues were 'make-or-break', shouldnt they have appeared earlier in the existing research programmes?

So, I would be inclined to approach them as a phase 2, particularly since they also require a significant amount of rework and additional fabrication, whilst our fundamental questions still need answering.

Would you agree?

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Sat Mar 20, 2010 8:59 pm

Coil geometry is the LAST thing to be explored. For low cost amateur work 6 coils. Once we know enough we can improve efficiency. Right now we know squat.

Secondly: Dr. Mike worked closely with Famulus on the proposal. We can tap his expertise.

Thirdly: What is most missing in the amateur realm is diagnostics.

What I propose is the smallest 3T SC machine we can build. Famulus is already working along those lines (private communications).

D-D as the working fuel - that allows neutron detector diagnostics.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

rcain
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Postby rcain » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:32 pm

Hi MSimon,

That sounds pretty spot-on to me.

Particularly :
What is most missing in the amateur realm is diagnostics


I understand Famulus is already trying to source a Langmuir Probe. What other instrumentation shoud he usefuly (and affordably) have in there?

And more importantly, what exactly should he be investigating with them?

re: DD fuel - couldnt that wait till a little later? Seems to me that understanding confinement (and perhaps thermalisation) is our principle concern at present. Is it even necessary to go for high B SC coils at this stage, to learn what we need to?

I am trying to focus on specific experimental 'scripts' we might propose to him.

JohnFul
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Postby JohnFul » Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:18 am

Langmuir Probe? Like the ones used in the semiconductor industry? Say this one, for example: http://scisys.com/upload/SmartProbe-Brochure.pdf

J

rcain
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Postby rcain » Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:29 am

Hi John,

Looks a lovely bit of kit. Are you offering to donate one?

What do you propose we do with it?

From another angle, I was taking another quick glance through the agenda of the '11th United States/Japan Workshop on Inertial Electrostatic Fusion' last year - here: http://fti.neep.wisc.edu/static/TALKS/1 ... cknebe.pdf

Wouldnt it be nice to get copies of some of the presentations made there (I'm thinking particularly of items I, II and IV). Might help us to baseline, identify gaps and avoid unnecessary replication of work. What are the chances I wonder?

KitemanSA
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Postby KitemanSA » Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:31 am

rcain wrote: re: your suggestion on exploring coil geometry - a good one - I would love to see it explored, and I certainly think its not beyond Famulus to approach it. However, what priority should it be?

Strikes me that a) we would still need to baseline the cusp losses issue, ...

Would you agree?
To a point, yes, and it happens that changing the cusp geometry strikes me as a good way to study that. Indeed, each of the magnets in the series should improve sphericity AND reduce losses. Personally, I expect they are somewhat linked.

MSimon wrote:For low cost amateur work 6 coils.
Well, that describes each of my steps except the last two.

The other thing about the discussions so far is cost. My suggestion, ones to tens of $k, MSimon's tens of $M. I suspect we could raise the $ for mine. Good luck with the $M.

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Sun Mar 21, 2010 4:00 am

KitemanSA wrote:
rcain wrote: re: your suggestion on exploring coil geometry - a good one - I would love to see it explored, and I certainly think its not beyond Famulus to approach it. However, what priority should it be?

Strikes me that a) we would still need to baseline the cusp losses issue, ...

Would you agree?
To a point, yes, and it happens that changing the cusp geometry strikes me as a good way to study that. Indeed, each of the magnets in the series should improve sphericity AND reduce losses. Personally, I expect they are somewhat linked.

MSimon wrote:For low cost amateur work 6 coils.
Well, that describes each of my steps except the last two.

The other thing about the discussions so far is cost. My suggestion, ones to tens of $k, MSimon's tens of $M. I suspect we could raise the $ for mine. Good luck with the $M.


If the B field is high enough to channel the alphas tens of thousands is probably OK. I'll give Famulus a heads up about this thread and see what he says. I think as little as 10% "open" would be workable for a demo.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

chrismb
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Postby chrismb » Sun Mar 21, 2010 9:00 am

A Langmuir probe is just an insulated conductor (as a support) with an exposed end. Its purpose is to measure the potential of the plasma by examining how much current flows (in whatever direction) between a structure in the plasma held at various potentials with respect to [in the case of an electric fusion device] some other chamber feature interfacing the plasma as "ground" structure.

So I'm not sure what is meant by "Famulus is already trying to source a Langmuir Probe"? Just get a wire in a glass tube and stick it in the plasma?!

But he kinda needs to light up a plasma to probe first! I would've thought that was somewhat of a pre-requisite?

Maybe getting some good solid neutron rates out of his fusor, first, might help train his experimental technique.

I'm also minded to have concern over the use of Langmuir probes in a magnetic environment. I don't think they are very reliable in that scenario.

I also wonder over their use in a supposedly non-Maxwellian plasma. I don't think the physics of Langmuir probes will tell you anything much in a Polywell if it is functioning as boiler-plated - I mean, you might get some info on what the electrons are up to, but those are, supposedly, cold.

Art will need to interject here, because as far as I can see, Langmuir probes in such a scenario are only likely to confuse the experimenter (especially if he doesn't know how to make his own!).

Sorry for the negative response. I can't advocate to progress Polywell as you suggest, because I think it is fundamentally flawed. I would not advocate against it, but advocating for it is best done by someone who believes it'll work.

But I'll have some good new to show you pretty soon. What I will show you isn't Polywell, but it does have some Polywell-esque characteristics you might like.

FAMULUS
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Postby FAMULUS » Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:28 pm

Hey guys, let me start by saying it's encouraging to see your enthusiasm. It means more than you might realize.

These last few months have been rough. Without even a minimal operating budget I have been stuck. Beyond that I've had to borrow money from friends just to pay rent and food. But that's all about to change. The kickerstarter funds should be available soon, and I have a new job starting tomorrow.

I agree with M.Simon that more diagnostics are needed. I'm trying to transition to LabView for data acquisition because my custom code is too buggy and cumbersome. But it's expensive and the mac version is crippled. I have a PC in the lab, perhaps I'll try it... but PCs make me want to gouge my eyes out.

My plan is still to move forward with the Sydney Experiment as I've outlined:

http://prometheusfusionperfection.com/c ... xperiment/

I plan to build my own Langmuir Probe, its just a matter of doing it.

Another short term goal is to get more conclusive fusion results with the Fusor.

I'm really looking forward to making progress in the lab again. It feels like some relatively small obstacles stand in the way of great progress.

chrismb
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Postby chrismb » Sun Mar 21, 2010 2:59 pm

Good to hear from you. Don't let my grumpy ways distract you. So long as you find my style of 'encouragement through challenging' tolerable then I hope it may help you.

("Treat others as you would be treated" - and I can only ever do *anything* whilst I'm being told it is impossible! :) )

rcain
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Postby rcain » Sun Mar 21, 2010 3:17 pm

Hi Chrismb

re: Langmuir probes - I've read the wiki entries also, so I know what they are. And by all acounts you are right, very difficult/near impossible to interpret in magnetised plasma environments, and not easy to calibrate in other situations, though their construction is simple.

The one advantage we might have in this scenario is that we might (necessarily) restrict ourselves to studying relative improvements to performance, so 'absolute' numbers could be considered slightly less important at this stage. Just a thought.

Art has claimed they are one of his specialities, so I am hoping he might give us some further guidance as you suggest.

My understanding of Famulus's progress thus far is, a) he has already 'lit' his plasma, albeit in a grided config, b) he has already consistently produced neutrons (or so says his buble detector), c) I dont think he's averse to building his own L-probe/other instrumentation, just whatever is easiest - off the shelf stuff has the advantage of coming pre-tested, with specifications, sexy software, whatever. But, an expense he could do without.

re. budgets - currently Famulus has raised 3.5k$US, so that sets the scale of things. $M and even $10'sK therefore seem far off the scope for the present. So this is really shoe-string stuff. (However I am reminded that the magnetron for WW2 radar was developed using little more than piano wire and torch bulbs iirc - so not necessarily a total impediment).

@MSimon - would be great if you could bounce the idea off Famulus - thanks. btw - what do you mean by '10% open' ?

I am concernned however, that we should have agreed some solid experimental proposals between ouselves first, before we put it to him. I'm sure he has his own agenda also.

@, Kiteman - your suggestion of exploring geometry is certainly the most concrete and practical thus far, and appeares to explore new ground not covered elsewhere (afaik). It also addresses our 'confinement' questions directly. So I am coming round to it.

However, we still need to zero-in on the instrumentation and measurement aspects, otherwise we will just end up with yet more pretty images of glowing plasma, from which we learn diddly squat.

How about Magnetic B-dot probes? Motion Stark effect? Faraday Rotation? - are any of these accessible and useful to us? (thinking particularly of studying flows in the cusps and possible WB formation).

Lookiing forward to learning more of your new machine Chrismb. (Give us a clue, whats the theory? Does it involve smoke and mirrors?).


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