Tri-Alpha Rumor

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

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Diogenes
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Post by Diogenes »

Aero wrote:People - If you were browsing the web with an interest in fusion and ended up here, do you think you would become a member of this forum, or even book mark this page?

I know that it is a slow news season, but this conversation really doesn't belong on the news forum.

Just my opinion.
I likewise agree. It's bad enough that we have some very partisan discussions in the General area, but to get them started in the News (or any other section) is simply not appropriate.

I personally think the only reason politics got started on this website was because Theory and Design has been pretty much beaten to death, and without the inclusion of new experimental data, many of us think further speculation is pointless. With nothing better to do, many of us turned to bickering amongst ourselves. ( not that I mind bickering. In fact, I enjoy it very much! :) )

Art Carlson
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Post by Art Carlson »

Take it outside, TallDave! I monitor this News forum because I am interested in hearing news about polywells, if there should ever be any. I am not interested in your political philosophy. The moderators have wisely provided a General forum. That is the place to go if you want to "discuss life, the universe, and everything".

TallDave
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Post by TallDave »

Oh FFS, take it outside yourself, Art. I was initially responding to you and your "libertarian claptrap" remark. If you don't want to hear my political philosophy in the News Forum, then don't bring it up.

I frankly could care less about thread drift in News (discussions naturally go wherever they go, and people with new news generally start new threads), but it's a bit galling to whine about it when you've instigated it.

Axil
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Post by Axil »

BenTC wrote:
Skipjack wrote:Now the question is how much better that Nanomaterial is (if it says it somewhere in that article, I cant read it anymore...grrrr).
That link you provided works for me - and I don't have a subscription. Interesting stuff. Here are some related links:
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13545
http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn1 ... icity.html
http://www.physicsforums.com/archive/in ... 25606.html
http://nextbigfuture.com/2008/03/direct ... -into.html
http://www.mrs.org/s_mrs/sec_subscribe. ... ion=detail
http://www.mrs.org/s_mrs/doc.asp?CID=24490&DID=263646 (search of LAVM or Popa-Simil)
http://www.nsti.org/Nanotech2008/showab ... ?absno=794

Key points:
+ twenty times more effective than thermoelectric materials.
+ power density increase from the actual average of 0.2 kw/cm^3 to about 1 kw/cm^3 driving to miniaturization of nuclear power sources and reductions of the shield weight. ie few thousands horse power per liter
+ self-repairing and self-organizing structure to compensate the radiation damage and improve the lifetime.
+ advantage over the current heat flow based thermal stabilization system allowing a power density up to 1000 times higher.
+ 5 MeV alpha particles and 5 MeV gold ions incident to a gold-silica-aluminum sandwich
+ first layer from the source has high electronic density generating a shower of knock-on electrons leaving the layer through a thin dielectric leaving it polarized positively. The electro shower is stopped in a second low electronic density conductor nano-layer that polarizes negatively and separated by a low emmitance dielectric from the next structure.
+ fast backup utility power supply due to low inertia from lack of large heat exchanging systems, offering a direct correlation between the nuclear reactivity and electric power that may be varied in seconds to follow the demand.
One or two of the emerging energy production technologies you reference “could potentially” offer greater cost performance than emerging future nuclear power technologies like polywell. The nuclear advocate must keep and open mind to effectively respond to any emerging power production competition.



For example, the various new technologies that convert low level heat directly to electric power could be a game changer. See the following:



https://inlportal.inl.gov/portal/server ... =DA_101047




Image

INL researcher Steven Novack holds a plastic sheet of nanoantenna arrays, created by embossing the antenna structure and depositing a conductive metal in the pattern. Each square contains roughly 260 million antennas. Nanotechnology R&D usually occurs on the centimeter scale, but this INL-patented manufacturing process demonstrates nano-scale features can be produced on a larger scale.


Nanoantenna arrays can be more than solar energy devices. They can recover waste heat with an efficiency of up to 92% in innumerable situations. If you can’t beat it, join it. Even nuclear energy may one day utilize direct heat conversion to produce electric power directly from nuclear heat.


This technology might possibly be extended to cover alpha, beta, x-ray, and gamma radiation.


Furthermore, I would like to see the use of an emerging new technology: “fractal antennas” combined with this nano application to remove one of its limitations; limited frequency response band. See the following:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fractal_antenna


A fractal antenna's response differs markedly from traditional antenna designs, in that it is capable of operating with good-to-excellent performance at many different frequencies simultaneously. Normally standard antennas have to be "cut" for the frequency for which they are to be used—and thus the standard antennas only work well at that frequency. This makes the fractal antenna an excellent design for wideband and multiband applications


Using the optimum antenna configuration, a very wide spectrum of infrared blank body radiation can be optimally converted to electric power.


Finally, many fractal element antennas use their fractal structure as a virtual combination of capacitors and inductors. This could be of great value in the conversion of alternating current to direct current in the antenna itself.


It is prudent to develop a wide range of power production technologies. You can never tell which ones will pan out. I still believe that there is no such thing as a silver bullet. It’s not renewables or nuclear; it’s renewables and nuclear.

choff
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Post by choff »

One of the reasons we have so much politics on talk-polywell is because of the precarious state of funding. There is a certain amount of competition for fusion research money worldwide, and public interest/political pressure was partially what got EMC2 revived.

We may yet need that interest to prevent a premature cancellation of the program before results are delivered, you never know. It doesn't hurt to have a few political types onboard, even if you don't always agree with them. That's one of the good things about this site, it can serve as a rallying point.

Sorry I haven't answered until now Skipjack, it just seems that you get in more flame wars with the Yanks than any other of us foreigners.
CHoff

Art Carlson
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Post by Art Carlson »

choff wrote:One of the reasons we have so much politics on talk-polywell is because of the precarious state of funding. There is a certain amount of competition for fusion research money worldwide, and public interest/political pressure was partially what got EMC2 revived.

We may yet need that interest to prevent a premature cancellation of the program before results are delivered, you never know. It doesn't hurt to have a few political types onboard, even if you don't always agree with them. That's one of the good things about this site, it can serve as a rallying point.
I don't have anything against "so much politics on talk-polywell". What limits the usefulness for me is so much politics on the News forum. The purpose of the News forum is to "Point out news stories, on the net or in mainstream media, related to polywell fusion." The appropriate place to "Discuss life, the universe, and everything with other members of this site [and] get to know your fellow polywell enthusiasts" is the General forum. That would also cover general discussions of politcal theory.

Skipjack
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Post by Skipjack »

Sorry I haven't answered until now Skipjack, it just seems that you get in more flame wars with the Yanks than any other of us foreigners.
Yeah, I tend to let myself get provoqued. One reason my be because of my wife, who is a US citizen (and would like us to move back to the US eventually...).
I am trying not to let myself get dragged into all this political stuff anymore. It is not going anywhere and it is not doing anything for me anyway. I apollogize, Choff.

Skipjack
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Post by Skipjack »

Axil wrote:One or two of the emerging energy production technologies you reference “could potentially” offer greater cost performance than emerging future nuclear power technologies like polywell. The nuclear advocate must keep and open mind to effectively respond to any emerging power production competition.
Exactly my thinking and as you said, it might have value in nuclear energy production as well. The direct conversion of radiation has the potential(!) of being more efficient and cheaper.
Last edited by Skipjack on Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

TallDave
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Post by TallDave »

Thread drift on the topic of thread drift is considerably less productive than the generic kind, and by its own logic does not belong in the News forum.
Exactly my thinking and as you said, it might have value in nuclear energy production as well. The direct conversion of radiation has the potential(!) of being more efficient and cheaper.
Of course, the skepticism level on a technology so useful it replaces turbines has to be very, very high. There's a huge market for such a thing, and the military would also be interested.

Back to my earlier comment on a 100MW WB-9 and it not being able to fly under the radar: did anybody get the sense this was expected to be decided in April? Are we potentially 4 months from a deluge of media attention, WB-8 results permitting? I don't think I've actually seen anything besides the Navy request for a reactor design to suggest a reactor funding decision is imminent.

Maybe someone with government contract experience can say if this means a lot, a little, or nothing,

Skipjack
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Post by Skipjack »

Of course, the skepticism level on a technology so useful it replaces turbines has to be very, very high.
Agreed, that is why I was asking and being very cautious ("potentially", "might", "could").
As I said, I like the idea, it just is a matter of whether it will actually work as advertized (and what the problems are that are not being advertized).
But since the talk was on the topic of nuclear batteries, well nuclear electric materials (assuming a high efficiency) are the best way to make a nuclear battery. In fact this is what I would call a true nuclear battery then actually....

Axil
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Post by Axil »

http://www.inl.gov/pdfs/nantenna.pdf

I hold great hope for this concept.

From the abstract, it states as follows:

A nantenna electromagnetic collector (NEC) has been designed, prototyped, and tested. Proof of concept has been validated.

The NEC has moved forward further along in the product development cycle than polywell has gotten up to this moment.


Also stated in the abstract as follows:


Several factors were critical in successful implementation of NEC including:

1) frequency-dependent modeling of antenna elements;

2) selection of materials with proper THz properties; and

3) novel manufacturing methods that enable economical
large-scale manufacturing.

The work represents an important step toward the ultimate realization of a low-cost device that will collect, as well as convert this radiation into electricity, which will lead to a wide spectrum, high conversion efficiency, and low-cost solution to complement conventional PVs.


With regard to point (1);

From reading the aforementioned paper, I don’t think that the NEC developers have discovered “fractal antenna” technology yet. Since fractal antennas (more specifically fractal element antennas (FEA) are still an exotic and unknown option to many, I believe that many who visit this site don’t appreciate what this type of antenna can do.

The NEC developers at INL are developing or will soon develop or may need to develop computerize modeling of candidate antenna designs.

This has already been done by a company called ” Fractal Antenna Systems, Inc.” See http://www.fractenna.com/nca_faq.html

From this FAQ as follows:

Q: What is the “FRAGO’ and why is it important?

A: The Fractal Genetic Optimizer is a computer-based optimizing tool which we use to help identify the best fractal designs for a given antenna or electronics problem. It uses a genetic algorithm (see Haupt and Haupt, 1996, Practical Genetic Algorithms, Wiley) to help find these best designs. At the core of our proprietary approach is a process using a fractal coding to compress the genome for a dramatic speedup of the search process, as well as a PC cluster. We operate anywhere from 100-1000 times faster than other GA based antenna optimizers and can investigate at a rate of close to 2 million antennas a month with a rack of 16 PC’s . FRAGO proves invaluable as a means to help customize an antenna need, for example. It is both a methodology and solution which goes beyond the trial and error needed to explore the huge design space of fractal geometric shapes. We are the only ones with FRAGO: we pioneered it (Cohen published the theory in 1997) and built it. And, we debugged it to make it work!


The NEC developers could use over 15 years of fractal antenna R&D if they only knew about it. Why reinvent the wheel. Fractal Antenna Systems, Inc. could layout the optimal infrared antenna design in short order if they were subcontracted to do so.


Fractal Antenna Systems, Inc also has the patent on the “fractal resonator” that can convert the alternating current produced by the antenna to direct current necessary to interface with the power grid.

From the FAC as follows:

However, at RF, the complexity of a fractal structure cannot be described simply as a ‘C’ in a ‘LC’ or ‘RLC’ circuit. It is an ‘LC’ or ‘RLC’ circuit and thus is defined as a fractal resonator. We thus recognized that a fractal capacitor was of limited interest or viability, but a fractal ‘LC’ circuit was important. Dr. Cohen first described the idea of a fractal resonator in his 1995 seminal paper. Additional disclosure occurred with the publication, in 1997, of one of our PCT applications (which is pending; watch for updates). It is protected by our patents and covered in patents pending. Our invention of fractal resonators establishes priority and defines what is now the prior art.



Think of a fractal resonator as a non-radiating, or poorly radiating, fractal antenna and you’ll get the idea of the possibilities. Remember, all antennas are themselves RLC circuits.




What do you think should be done here?

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

Dave,

I think you are out of line.

Art,

He has a point.

Oh yeah. Peace on earth guys.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

Axil,
Further research is required to improve the efficiency of rectification of antenna induced terahertz currents to a usable DC signal.
That seems like a big stumbling block.

And a 10 um antenna? About the size of a pepper fleck. Or less.

Don't forget that solar cells work based on quantum principles and long electron lifetimes compared to distances traveled.

And of course there is the power density problem. It is going to be worse than solar cells.

And the RLC concept? Great. What is the Q? If it is high the collection band will be narrow. If it is low there will be increased losses. Solar cells are nice because they can work over about an octave band. They are broadband devices.

I have to wonder if the guys designing this have thought through the concept. Or if it is just a science fair project.

And what is the voltage out?
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Nik
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Location: UK

Slightly OT...

Post by Nik »

Uh, there could be a serendipitous cross-over from NASA's X-prize for tether-climbers using beamed energy.

Watch that space ??

I'm still wondering if the utility of microwave flux from a polywell is under-rated...

KitemanSA
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Post by KitemanSA »

Axil wrote: INL researcher Steven Novack holds a plastic sheet of nanoantenna arrays, created by embossing the antenna structure and depositing a conductive metal in the pattern. Each square contains roughly 260 million antennas. Nanotechnology R&D usually occurs on the centimeter scale, but this INL-patented manufacturing process demonstrates nano-scale features can be produced on a larger scale.
I've often wondered if such things could be made in reverse, such that a thermal "black body" became a "magenta" body. Ok, not magenta, but a specific wavelegth absorbed preferentially by silicon (or other) solar cells. Then, solar ground stations could collect solar energy via concentration and store the heat. Then, at need, the heat would be passed into the tuned color body and absorbed at high efficiency by PV cells. Baseload, efficient, solar energy.

Hmmm.

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