Science Fiction

Discuss life, the universe, and everything with other members of this site. Get to know your fellow polywell enthusiasts.

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Tom Ligon
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Post by Tom Ligon »

What I gather from the Focus Fusion animation, posted here somewhere along with some great Polywell animations, is they cause the plasmoid to suddenly shrink and become far more intense. I don't think the FF device relies on stability, it relies on suddenly releasing the energy via an instability. They illustrate a torus, not a spheromak plasmoid, and maintain the shape by the external influence of the device. But from the standpoint of basic physics, they should be similar.

Dr. Koloc talked to us about the possiblity of using plasmoids as an explosive, if you could make them large and cause them to go unstable on command.

Keegan
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Re: Ball Lightning

Post by Keegan »

kurt9 wrote:Correct me if I'm wrong. But I heard that Silicon combustion was determined to be the cause of ball lightning, a much more prosaic explanation than others I have heard. Is this correct?
Yeah im not convinced either. Either way, if it is unstable and unpredictable in nature, its going to unstable and unpredictable in the lab.

Regardless that was excellent paper you posted Tom. It definitely opened my mind. They are certainly complex beasts.

Dr Mike, Microwave Plasmoids never cease to amuse :D I got busted for lighting up a few in the work lunchroom last week. It scares me slightly when i have to explain to liscenced avionics engineers the concept of a "quarter wave resonator"........ :oops:

-K
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Keegan
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Post by Keegan »

Tom Ligon wrote:Dr. Koloc talked to us about the possiblity of using plasmoids as an explosive, if you could make them large and cause them to go unstable on command.
Interesting Tom. I remember when you mentioned the incident you had with PXL. When you guys cut confinement and got a large blast of EM. If these virtual cathodes do happen to contain a novel property of energy storage (like a flywheel), it definately raises some interesting possibilities.

Anyone know of any papers ?
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MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

last week. It scares me slightly when i have to explain to liscenced avionics engineers the concept of a "quarter wave resonator"........
Don't choke up during the explanation. It could be most embarrassing.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

David_Jay
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Post by David_Jay »

...probably wouldn't even phase them...

:wink:
not tall, not raving (yet...)

drmike
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Post by drmike »

I prefer to use old microwave ovens. The reflected power can do some nasty damage to the magnetron, and if you happen to do that before the other guys get their lunch, they will be unhappy!
:wink:

Tom Ligon
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Post by Tom Ligon »

In one configuration, PXL-1 would launch some small glow-balls that might have been plasmoids. I believe that was when we were injecting microwaves from a microwave oven magnetron. They never exited the device.

These would issue from the single e-gun toward the window opposite the gun, which had a Faraday screen a centimeter or so inside it (stainless steel hardware cloth of about a 5/16" or 3/8" mesh. Sometimes they would lodge in the opening and just sit there glowing for some seconds. I'd say they were 2-3 mm diameter. I won't swear they did not have a speck of metal or bits of emitter material in them, but there was no silicon present. They appeared to be entirely blue plasma.
Last edited by Tom Ligon on Mon Jun 16, 2008 10:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

rnebel
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Post by rnebel »

If you are interested in plasmoids, take a look at Caroline Wurden's INTEL science fair projects for the last 2 years on ball lightning. She's making it in her garage. This year she won the Physics category at the international fair. You can look her up on Google.

Tom Ligon
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Post by Tom Ligon »

Small world we live in, Dr. Nebel!

Looking that up, there was an article on the strong role of plasma in the competition. Everybody, look who's in the third paragraph, a very clever kid from fusor.net.

"The judges were happy to see last year's winner, Sarah Lynn McCuskee, still working on plasma-related issues. This time it was "Lightning in the Laboratory: Electromagnetic Radiation from Red Sprites." She was one of the four finalists for the CPS prize. The excellence of her project was also acknowledged in Intel's Physics and Astronomy category, with a Fourth Award of $500.

"Another CPS finalist also did a project on lightning: "Great Balls of Fire." Caroline von Wurden focussed her project on ball lightning, winning the Physics and Astronomy Second Award of $1500. She also received a tuition scholarship award ($8000) from the Office of Naval Research on behalf of the United States Navy and Marine Corps.

"The remaining finalist was Thiago Olson, for his project, "Neutron Activation Analysis Using an Inertial Electrostatic Confinement Fusion Reactor." He was awarded Intel's Physics and Astronomy Second Award of $1500, as well as the First Award from the American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Physical Society."

http://www.plasmacoalition.org/plasma_p ... ov2007.htm

Solo
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Post by Solo »

Haha! Even smaller world: one of my highschool friends is going to Vandy, says he knows Thiago!

That ball lightning sounds cool, but I imagine it's probably short-lived like most other plasmoids, microwave-powered ones excluded.

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