Polywell: We'll know in 7 months time?!

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

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chrismb
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Polywell: We'll know in 7 months time?!

Postby chrismb » Fri Nov 27, 2009 11:05 pm

I've just been trying to find the older posts where this "we'll know in 2 years time" thing came from. The earliest I can find is an article from December 2008 where Nebel says he's got an 18 month test programme.

Is there an earlier/later interview, and/or when did the clock start ticking (time seems to have flown by since it was first said) and when did it go up to 2 years?

Can anyone shed some light, because "we'll know in two years" seems to have been said for several months now. I'm getting that cold-shadow type feeling that the results will be in two years from now, and it will always be in two years "from now", as per the same joke now applied to tokamaks being "the energy of the future, and always of the future".

krenshala
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Postby krenshala » Fri Nov 27, 2009 11:33 pm

I know the time frame was based on the contract the Navy made with EMCC. Unfortunately, I don't remember when the clock started on that 18 (or 24) months listed in the contract. I want to say April, 2009, but at best that is a guess. I know there was a thread about the contract, and another on updates to it. That is where things started to my knowledge.

KitemanSA
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Postby KitemanSA » Sat Nov 28, 2009 12:15 am

The latest Navy contract shows a significant deliverable about May (March?) of 2010; about 7 months from now. Some folks think this is a misprint like others think the 100mW output is a misprint. We shall see.

choff
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Postby choff » Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:17 am

My reading of the contract was end of April 2010 for WB8 and end of April 2012 for WB8.1. But?!?!?!, even if WB8 is a complete success running DT, and I also believe a DT reactor is perfectly useful, they would do well to keep the results under wraps until the end of the WB8.1 experiments.

Why, well the DOE could take one look at WB8 results and say fusion research is our department, hand it over Navy. Then they get hold of it and bury it because they're focused on Tokamaks. There wouldn't be a huge outcry because DT fusion at low output isn't considered all that extra-ordinary. But if they can produce PB11 fusion of some significance, everybody will stand up and notice, that can't be shunted off to some crate in a government warehouse like an Indiana Jones movie.

Another reason, lets say they announce success with WB8 in April next year. The press gets a hold of the story and reports it as a 100 Megawatt reactor. When, they figure out it's not, they denounce EMC2 like its cold fusion, it becomes a circus that forces the Navy to back away on funding.

Then there's still the danger of random drive by management killing the whole thing. Some bureacrat wants to make a name for himself as a major dinosaur with the other senior bureaucratic dinosaurs. He can put down on his resume he personally held up a world changing breakthrough by 5 years. Don't laugh, its called experience.

If after July we hear nothing we can guess they've moved on to WB8.1 and that WB8 was a success, silence will speak loudly. Maybe we hear something about the transition from FedBizOpps, but silence from EMC2 is a smart move.
CHoff

chrismb
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Postby chrismb » Sat Nov 28, 2009 10:14 am

choff wrote:If after July we hear nothing we can guess they've moved on to WB8.1 and that WB8 was a success, silence will speak loudly. Maybe we hear something about the transition from FedBizOpps, but silence from EMC2 is a smart move.

Really? Can we? And if we hear nothing after that then they've moved on to WB9, and then, &c..

I thought we were going to see/hear some news, either something, or nothing. And I understood that, after these 25 long years with only 3 clicks on a neutron counter to go on, if we heard nothing now then it'd mean there was nothing. Can anyone correct or confirm my understanding, or do the objectives keep changing faster than those of military actions in the mid-east?

If I can see and inspect no scientifically gained diagnostics by July, or at least know of a timetable for such information, yet the experiment continues, then it would appear evidently to be yet another budget-sapping tokamak-style gravy-train, and nothing more. And before anyone goes reading anything into the fact that the Navy are funding it (with tax payers cash, lest one forgets), I am sure there are plenty of gravy-train-ers in the Navy as well who are only too well incentivised to perpetuate such projects.

I am happy to be corrected on this, but I stand to be corrected: rnebel? A Navy person? Anyone official? Pah! They all wear Emperor's clothes and are too embarrassed to show up in public.

No published results by July means Polywell funding should be scrapped and used more wisely* for tokamak research instead.

*(gravy-training aside, at least one can see vast reams of published papers on general plasma science from the input of that cash)

Giorgio
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Postby Giorgio » Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:09 pm

Well, we can "hope" to hear some news,but I have the feeling that if something good will come out from Doc. Nebel experiments we can easily expect that the Navy will cover up the whole research under some national security law, like they did with the experiment of Doc. Bussard, and they will keep everyone silent at least until they will figure out if there is a way to use those result in a practical way or not.

chrismb
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Postby chrismb » Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:51 pm

Giorgio wrote:Well, we can "hope" to hear some news,but I have the feeling that if something good will come out from Doc. Nebel experiments we can easily expect that the Navy will cover up the whole research under some national security law, like they did with the experiment of Doc. Bussard, and they will keep everyone silent at least until they will figure out if there is a way to use those result in a practical way or not.
What was all that stuff about 'knowing in 2 years' about, then, if we were to expect not to hear anything anyways. Me no understando.

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Sat Nov 28, 2009 1:51 pm

http://powerandcontrol.blogspot.com/200 ... years.html

You can follow that back.

That takes you back to May of 2009. May of 2011 is 24 months. November of 2010 is 18 months.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

chrismb
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Postby chrismb » Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:06 pm

Sure, but he said '18 months' in December 2008 as well;
http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/ ... 18741.aspx

..maybe he said it earlier than that..

but I'm just not sure when that 18 months starts clicking. Maybe it hasn't. Maybe it'll always be 18 month from now!!

I wanna know when all this 25 years worth of tax-payer's will end up in the first "scientifically published, reviewed, relevant and repeatable" fact that I can look upon and go "gee, a good job well done" because at the moment it's diddlysquitwit and the other day I just felt like the expectation is another 2 years from now, when it should actually only be 7 months now. Time moves on. Time is clicking. Old ideas should be flushed out to make space for new ones. That's one of the reasons for having timescales... to know when you've failed.

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:09 pm

chrismb wrote:Sure, but he said '18 months' in December 2008 as well;
http://cosmiclog.msnbc.msn.com/archive/ ... 18741.aspx

..maybe he said it earlier than that..

but I'm just not sure when that 18 months starts clicking. Maybe it hasn't. Maybe it'll always be 18 month from now!!

I wanna know when all this 25 years worth of tax-payer's will end up in the first "scientifically published, reviewed, relevant and repeatable" fact that I can look upon and go "gee, a good job well done" because at the moment it's diddlysquitwit and the other day I just felt like the expectation is another 2 years from now, when it should actually only be 7 months now. Time moves on. Time is clicking. Old ideas should be flushed out to make space for new ones. That's one of the reasons for having timescales... to know when you've failed.


Nebel would have done better to predict 50 years and a reactor the size of an aircraft carrier. After all it is working for ITER.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

rj40
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Postby rj40 » Sat Nov 28, 2009 2:54 pm

Yeah, this had always seemed a bit unbelievable to me, but I am very gullible and want to believe. And I very much enjoy my consumerist Western lifestyle. Not that this would fix everything people hate about the way the west lives, but it would be a big step. Oh well. Two years? I remember that too. OK, so now we have some sort of date. November 2010. But isn’t there something else about April 2010? Something to do with the current funding?

Giorgio
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Postby Giorgio » Sat Nov 28, 2009 4:36 pm

chrismb wrote:
Giorgio wrote:Well, we can "hope" to hear some news,but I have the feeling that if something good will come out from Doc. Nebel experiments we can easily expect that the Navy will cover up the whole research under some national security law, like they did with the experiment of Doc. Bussard, and they will keep everyone silent at least until they will figure out if there is a way to use those result in a practical way or not.
What was all that stuff about 'knowing in 2 years' about, then, if we were to expect not to hear anything anyways. Me no understando.


Don't ask me, I am just expressing my sensations on what I think will happen.
Anyhow I will be more satisfied not to hear anything but knowing that they are working on it and testing than to hear that it did not work and they stopped research.

cuddihy
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Postby cuddihy » Sat Nov 28, 2009 5:06 pm

Giorgio wrote:
chrismb wrote:
Giorgio wrote:Well, we can "hope" to hear some news,but I have the feeling that if something good will come out from Doc. Nebel experiments we can easily expect that the Navy will cover up the whole research under some national security law, like they did with the experiment of Doc. Bussard, and they will keep everyone silent at least until they will figure out if there is a way to use those result in a practical way or not.
What was all that stuff about 'knowing in 2 years' about, then, if we were to expect not to hear anything anyways. Me no understando.


Don't ask me, I am just expressing my sensations on what I think will happen.
Anyhow I will be more satisfied not to hear anything but knowing that they are working on it and testing than to hear that it did not work and they stopped research.


Not me! I really want to see some actual detail on what Bussard saw with WB-6 and what the Navy actually saw with WB-7 that made them move on to the next step.

Even if it didn't work, finding out in detail what they were able to replicate and what they couldn't would be really interesting I think.
Tom.Cuddihy

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Faith is the foundation of reason.

TallDave
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Postby TallDave » Sat Nov 28, 2009 8:28 pm

chrismb,

By July one of two things will likely happen:

1) the WB program will no longer be funded by the Navy and we may get to see anything we want

2) the WB-9 prototype reactor will be started, and you may not get to see anything because if it works it's worth trillions and a significant military advantage

It's annoying that success probably means we learn less, but at worst we'll have spent orders of magnitude less than we've thrown at toks and we'll probably know why it doesn't work.

Tokamaks have lots of data available because they're essentially worthless as a technology. No one could afford to build a tok power plant, and if they did it would lose tons of money. It's a great big science project.

rcain
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Postby rcain » Sat Nov 28, 2009 9:04 pm

TallDave wrote:chrismb,

By July one of two things will likely happen:

1) the WB program will no longer be funded by the Navy and we may get to see anything we want

2) the WB-9 prototype reactor will be started, and you may not get to see anything because if it works it's worth trillions and a significant military advantage



..from which may be implied also:

1) ..and we can probably write-off the Polywell IEC approach as unworkable. Hence we need some replacement progammes, fast. Luckily it looks like thers a good buzz around alternative fusion technologies at the moment, so maybe it wont be too long untill something else suceeds.

2) .. and we will know that there is indeed something for other researchers to follow up with in the field. after all, much of Polywell is already in the public domain. It wouldnt take too long to catch up, even from a decently equiped garage lab.

personally i hope both, somehow.


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