Levitated Dipole Experiment, or LDX

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

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mvanwink5
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Levitated Dipole Experiment, or LDX

Postby mvanwink5 » Sun Jan 24, 2010 11:38 pm

Sorry if this has been posted...
from http://www.eurekalert.org/pubnews.php

Levitating magnet may yield new approach to clean energy

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- A new experiment that reproduces the magnetic fields of the Earth and other planets has yielded its first significant results. The findings confirm that its unique approach has some potential to be developed as a new way of creating a power-producing plant based on nuclear fusion — the process that generates the sun's prodigious output of energy.

Fusion has been a cherished goal of physicists and energy researchers for more than 50 years. That's because it offers the possibility of nearly endless supplies of energy with no carbon emissions and far less radioactive waste than that produced by today's nuclear plants, which are based on fission, the splitting of atoms (the opposite of fusion, which involves fusing two atoms together). But developing a fusion reactor that produces a net output of energy has proved to be more challenging than initially thought.

The new results come from an experimental device on the MIT campus, inspired by observations from space made by satellites. Called the Levitated Dipole Experiment, or LDX, a joint project of MIT and Columbia University, it uses a half-ton donut-shaped magnet about the size and shape of a large truck tire, made of superconducting wire coiled inside a stainless steel vessel. This magnet is suspended by a powerful electromagnetic field, and is used to control the motion of the 10-million-degree-hot electrically charged gas, or plasma, contained within its 16-foot-diameter outer chamber.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

chrismb
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Postby chrismb » Mon Jan 25, 2010 12:18 am

A new experiment???

Yet another old hackneyed story gets wheeled out when there's no new real news in fusion. Maybe a few trinket experimental findings dribble their way out, due to the obligations of the gravy train conductors that its passengers have to regurgitate their experiments over and over.

Nik
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Also at...

Postby Nik » Mon Jan 25, 2010 2:15 pm

Also at...

http://www.physorg.com/news183544566.html

Still, the maglev coil route is *neat*...

Helius
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Postby Helius » Mon Jan 25, 2010 5:26 pm

Both reports "read" the same. It must be a press release. Geez.

Both reports have the paragraph:
Kesner cautions that the kind of fuel cycle planned for other types of fusion reactors such as tokamaks, which use a mixture of two forms of "heavy" hydrogen called deuterium and tritium, should be easier to achieve and will likely be the first to go into operation. The deuterium-deuterium fusion planned for devices based on the LDX design, if they ever become practical, would likely make this "a second-generation approach," he says.
Which really makes me wonder: Why bother? It's even farther out than ITER, which is one step past never. Are they pinning down *any* new perspectives that's worth the funding? If so, then why the press release?

Solo
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Postby Solo » Mon Jan 25, 2010 6:49 pm

I think the occasion for the press release is the first real publication from the experiment while actually levitating the coil (they'd done some stuff with the coil sitting on struts). So, it's newly operational, but it's not a new idea, it's been in the works for several years.

mvanwink5
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Postby mvanwink5 » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:34 pm

From the article, I thought this was interesting:

"A newly installed microwave interferometer array, developed by MIT graduate student Alex Boxer PhD '09, was used to make the precision measurements of the plasma concentrations that were used to observe the turbulent pinch."

Is there any use of such monitoring equipment for polywell?
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:34 pm

chrismb wrote:A new experiment???

Yet another old hackneyed story gets wheeled out when there's no new real news in fusion. Maybe a few trinket experimental findings dribble their way out, due to the obligations of the gravy train conductors that its passengers have to regurgitate their experiments over and over.


Yeah. It was beat to death here about two years back.

A truly stupid idea. They cool the sucker by conduction. Levitate it using a magnetic field. Fuse a couple of atoms and hope to hell they get it back down to the cooling conduction plate before the sucker explodes.

I can see great possibilities. For spending vast sums of money in a never ending quest for thermally driven fusion.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Mon Jan 25, 2010 7:35 pm

mvanwink5 wrote:From the article, I thought this was interesting:

"A newly installed microwave interferometer array, developed by MIT graduate student Alex Boxer PhD '09, was used to make the precision measurements of the plasma concentrations that were used to observe the turbulent pinch."

Is there any use of such monitoring equipment for polywell?


Been done. Ask Tom Ligon.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.


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