incredible Farnsworth claim

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hanelyp
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incredible Farnsworth claim

Post by hanelyp »

While browsing around, I found on http://farnovision.com/chronicles/fusio ... latos.html a claimed achievement I find difficult to believe:
Dr. Farnsworth reported that his team achieved a self­sustaining reaction on several occasions ... and could repeat the effect. He once invited his wife to watch a test­run of this feat. As power was applied to the Fusor the neutron­reading meter achieved a steady threshold and there remained ... until a slight increment of power was applied. Then the needle went off the scale. Dr. Farnsworth cut the applied power ... but the needle remained in place for thirty seconds or more as the reaction continued.
If such an event actually took place I'd be interested in a proper historical account and description of the device. Farnsworth type devices producing fusion is well demonstrated, but every good account I've seen is several orders of magnitude short of break even, and shutting down immediately when power is removed from the grids. That page mentions a patent 3,386,883, but gives a bad link. Altogether, the conspiracy theory woven of a suppressed technology, absent supporting evidence to the facts, rings of a deluded mind.

jlumartinez
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Post by jlumartinez »

To look for a patent I like to use "Google Patents". You can even download it as PDF

http://www.google.com/patents?id=wNtlAA ... =3,386,883

Also you can use the USPTO page

Strange, but very interesting to investigate about these experimental results. We will see ...

dashxdr
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Post by dashxdr »

This whole conspiracy business, technology suppression, corruption of pork barrel research -- it all fits in with my recently acquired philosophy/view of reality. So yeah I like to believe this stuff is realistic. The essay spoke right to my own beliefs.

The world sucks. Governments are corrupt. Science itself is corrupt -- in a lot of places. Corruption, deceipt, immorality, these all are rewarded in the world today. Integrity is punished.

Someone ought to pursue Farnsworth's work.

-Dave

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

Altogether, the conspiracy theory woven of a suppressed technology, absent supporting evidence to the facts, rings of a deluded mind.
That is where I come down on the subject.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs.

Of course the proof of effective grand conspiracies (as opposed to the ordinary price fixing and rent seeking) is that you can't find any proof of them which just goes to show you how good they are.

No proof = proof positive.

You let your mind go down those trails and you wind up in a wilderness of mirrors.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

tonybarry
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Post by tonybarry »

The James Randi Educational Forum is crewed by serious skeptics who have gotten really slick at ferreting out paranoia mixed with conspiracies. I first found out about Talk-Polywell from a thread on the JREF.

Like Simon, I believe that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. The scientific method has gotten us much further along the road of life than anything that has ever gone before. I'll stick with it.

Effective Grand Conspiracies may possibly exist, but since I am A) unable to determine their existence and B) unable to alter their agenda if they do exist ... I spend my energy doing what I can with what I have to make things better for my descendants.

Regards,
Tony Barry

seedload
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Post by seedload »

So the point of the paper is that ITT grabbed up all of his patents in order to supress his great discovery. But, if they owned all of his patents, then why didn't they just take the next logical step and OWN THE WORLD ENERGY MARKET. That would seem to make sense.

As to the quoted part, it sounds like the author took a story about sustained neutron production and extrapolated it into a story about sustainable power production. Power in was always greater than power out and Farnsworth likely didn't claim otherwise. The author took extraordinary artistic license.

Jccarlton
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Post by Jccarlton »

To add a little fuel to this fire, Robert Hirsh walked a fusor into the AEC headquarters and couldn't get anybody's interest even though he did get a very good job out of it. As head of the government's fusion program. The bigheads at the national labs were too busy empire building to pursue an approach that actually worked.

TallDave
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Post by TallDave »

Hanelyp,

My guess is the needle was broken, he was getting false positives from arcing, or the power hadn't actually been cut.

The possbility he had a self-sustaining fusion reaction is so remote it's barely worth considering.

tombo
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Post by tombo »

Yep, stuck from being hammered against the pin.
-Tom Boydston-
"If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research, would it?" ~Albert Einstein

dashxdr
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Post by dashxdr »

I'm surprised at how much people resist the concept that corruption is everywhere.

Can anyone who knows anything about polywell fusion and Dr. Bussard really deny the massive pork barrel politics behind existing DOE fusion research? Bussard called them "Superconducting cathedrals."

Think of the massive special interest that would very much suffer if something as simple as Farnsworth's fusor actually worked.

In Galileo's time the religious leaders resisted any scientific claims that went against the standard dogma. Are we really any different today?

No, we aren't. The system is rotten to the core. Yes, it is extremely difficult to face that reality. But it's the best explanation that fits.

-Dave

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

dashxdr,

Of course there is corruption everywhere. It is no secret. Neither is the corruption. It is all done in the open.

The idea that there is a secret cabal secretly conniving for secret ends is an idea that I find less than credible.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

tonybarry
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Post by tonybarry »

Dave, I respectfully disagree. The system is not rotten to the core. If it had even 5% rotten-ness then society would not operate the way it does. It would be more like India, where baksheesh is expected and sewage flows in the street.

(Apologies to any Indophiles present; I lived there for four years and married a girl from Tamil Nadu, so I think highly of the people ... but the corruption is not good).

What you see as rotten is probably less than 1% corruption (sure, even that level ain't good). The fact that you and I (and most people) are against corruption shows you how far we have come in generating and maintaining an honest society.

Are we any different to Galileo's society? Definitely. The fact that we can have this conversation without fear of incarceration is ample proof.

Are there special interest groups that operate to promote their own ends today? Definitely. Is this a bad thing? Should we all be altruists to the nth degree? I will leave you to determine this for yourself.

At the end of the day, I think that much human acquisitiveness is neither good nor bad - it points us in particular directions which some want to go in , and others do not. But I reserve the terms Good and Bad for much more Black and White actions than you do. A grey scale universe is what we live in, most things have minimal moral attributes and I think it's an expression of the fundamentalist tendencies in us all to seek to turn up the gain on human behaviour until it's all either good or bad.

Note Dave I am not saying you are a fundamentalist here ... but to consider all human society rotten to the core is (in my opinion) a fundamentalist way of thinking, a desire to find binary (yes/no; right/wrong; good/bad) dichotomies.

Please feel free to disagree with my opinion if you so desire - whatever pattern of thought makes you happy and gets you motivated to do good things is probably good for you.

Regards,
Tony Barry

dashxdr
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Post by dashxdr »

MSimon wrote:dashxdr,

Of course there is corruption everywhere. It is no secret. Neither is the corruption. It is all done in the open.

The idea that there is a secret cabal secretly conniving for secret ends is an idea that I find less than credible.
So....you're ok with all that then?

Sure, there's corruption, but it's ok as long as it's out in the open?

The point of corruption is that the corrupt seek to game the system for their own benefit, not our benefit. So if there is corruption, necessarily there must be a price to pay. What's the price? Suppressed technology. Look no further than how hard it is to get funding for polywell research. A measly what, 2 million dollars? And it's like pulling teeth.

But billions and billions are available for the dead end tokamak approach. Go figure.

Why cling to the concept that America is the land of the free, home of the brave? Open your eyes. America is a 2nd class nation, heading towards 3rd world status. Examples are everywhere. Put the pieces together. Stop living in denial.

-Dave

dashxdr
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Post by dashxdr »

Examples of corruption and bad allocation of funds:

1) LIGO -- why keep funding this thing? It proved general relativity is wrong -- no gravity waves were ever detected. Instead, they want another $200M+ to make it more sensitive. By gosh, we'll find those gravity waves yet! Pass me another filet mignon and a margarita, dear!
2) Hubble Space Telescope. What did it cost, a billion dollars? And it was lofted with a faulty lens. OK, all that money went into the software, testing, new technology. Why not just slap another one together? 1 billion dollars for the first one, and if you want a second one, it's another billion? No way. The second one should cost well under $50M -- the R&D is done. Instead, NASA charged $200M+ or whatever to design a fix for the one Hubble.
3) Iraq. Why are we there again? Why can't we leave?
4) Iran. Why are the neocons so hell bent on attacking Iran again?
5) Bear Stearns. Why did the Federal Reserve bail them out again, and enable JP Morgan to buy them up?
6) No child left behind, our crappy public schools, ever encroaching federal government.
7) RealID act. Identity papers, please!
8) Federal government raid on "Liberty Dollars" which were currency notes actually backed by something real -- specifically silver, copper, gold. The federal government was protecting us from...what? A solid currency?
9) Social Security, Medicaire -- both bankrupt, and getting deeper into debt.

On and on and on.

But it's ok, the USA is a great country. By definition.

-Dave

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

dashxdr,

I used to be a Libertarian for a long time (about 15 years - I voted for Ron Paul - once). I know all the arguments. I'm not impressed any more.

It reminds me of Congressional rules of military procurement. The rules raise the costs by 50% to 100% all to cut corruption from 5% to 2 1/2%. We wind up spending $20 to save $1.

I'm willing to live with some corruption. The cost of no corruption is too high.

The hatred of corruption is just another form of envy IMO. I try to limit my attitude to dislike and non-participation. I probably have my price. Unfortunately no one has found it yet.

Sure America is a second class nation. That it is why when people find their own societies unacceptable they see the US as their #1 preferred destination. It always comes down to - compared to what reality? As opposed to some imagined utopia.

Why are the neocons (me) intent on attacking Iran? They are trouble makers. That is why. I believe attacking them is a good idea.

pour l'encourager les autres

Once upon a time I wanted a perfect world. Now I'm willing to settle for a slightly better one.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

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