LPP fusion experiments getting ten times more neutrons

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

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joedead
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Postby joedead » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:30 am

I would be interested in knowing how you reached this conclusion. Hopefully not just on the basis of a friendly conversation. Have you read his papers? Do you have the education and experience in plasma physics necessary to be able to detect flaws in his arguments?

There are a few good things I could say about Lerner, but at the end of the day I think he is simply wrong on the important points.


Art, I agree with your last few sentences, but I think you misread my first statement. I'm not qualified to review his work, but my point was a quack will pursue something and claim it works in light of all contrary evidence. Eric, at least from my discussions with him, acknowledges it's an experiment and may not work out the way he'd like it to. Heck, when he told me about the neutron counts the first thing he said is it might be a fluke because neutron counts in his last experiment fluctuated quite abit and he doesn't have enough data point to feel confident yet, but he's hopeful.

He's more interested in his reputation than doing actual science. That says to me he's not a solid scientist.


I don't blame him for that. Tempers flare on the net all the time and it's easy to get involved in incendiary arguments, especially when one's work is involved. (Although I don't know all the details on that episode, so I could be wrong.)
On a side note, I talked with a few other of Eric's friends and we all seemed to agree there is a bizarrely large amount of internet flaming when it comes to fusion on the net, e.g. tokamaks are junk, polywell is a cult, DPF is bull, etc. Is this just regular internet flaming or is the inordinately large amount of dissent in the fusion community?

joedead
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Postby joedead » Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:43 am

Oh yeah, here's an interesting tidbit;

Murali, one of Eric's co-workers, used to work with Nebel on POPS in Los Alamos. I asked him if he talked to Dr. Nebel at all, and he said he asked Rick what his neutron was....

The answer?

"I can't tell you."

Giorgio
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Postby Giorgio » Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:01 am

IMHO, this answer is giving no clues, neither positive nor negative.

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:29 am

Giorgio wrote:IMHO, this answer is giving no clues, neither positive nor negative.


I think a fair answer to the question of POPS viability as a stand alone device.

Nebel and Park are working on Polywell.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

chrismb
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Postby chrismb » Fri Feb 26, 2010 7:30 am

joedead wrote:e.g. tokamaks are junk, polywell is a cult, DPF is bull, etc.

...the most succinct summary of the state of fusion research I have ever read!...

What's your one-worder for NIF?

Art Carlson
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Postby Art Carlson » Fri Feb 26, 2010 8:33 am

joedead wrote:Eric Lerner [is] not a quack. Eccentric, yes, but a solid scientist.

Maybe I should clarify my opinion of Lerner. I would not call him a quack. I would call him a scientist, albeit with some reluctance. The qualifier "eccentric" is indisputably accurate. I would object to the qualifier "solid". He is certainly no worse than many professional scientists, but he has a higher profile. One of the things I admire about him is his ability to publish peer reviewed papers without having an academic position. Even if I disagree with his results and do not hold the quality of his work in high regard, it is an accomplishment to be able to publish anything in those circumstances. In at least one case - the idea of suppressing energy transfer by quantum mechanical effects at (super-)high magnetic fields (see the fourth paragraoph of http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aneutronic ... er_balance) - he convinced me that he was right (or at least that there was theoretically such a possibility).

joedead
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Postby joedead » Fri Feb 26, 2010 4:09 pm

What's your one-worder for NIF?


NIF isn't practical. lol.


Seriously, though, what all the haters?
Maybe I should clarify my opinion of Lerner. I would not call him a quack. I would call him a scientist, albeit with some reluctance. The qualifier "eccentric" is indisputably accurate. I would object to the qualifier "solid". He is certainly no worse than many professional scientists, but he has a higher profile. One of the things I admire about him is his ability to publish peer reviewed papers without having an academic position.


I was surprised by that, too. The first time I addressed him as Dr. Lerner he quickly said "I never got my Phd., call me Eric."

djolds1
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Postby djolds1 » Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:56 pm

joedead wrote: I was surprised by that, too. The first time I addressed him as Dr. Lerner he quickly said "I never got my Phd., call me Eric."
Neither did Freeman Dyson. Lack of credential /= discredited, as many try to assert these days.
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Solo
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Postby Solo » Wed Mar 03, 2010 3:19 pm

Yeah, I think we can expect to hear something interesting out of Tri-Alpha soon.

NIF is going to surprise many folks as well: from what I gather, it is very likely get a pretty good Q sometime this year, and that may change a lot of perception about it.

Good luck getting that info, btw! (trying to stay marginally on topic here...)

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:45 pm

NIF is going to surprise many folks as well: from what I gather, it is very likely get a pretty good Q sometime this year, and that may change a lot of perception about it.


Fusion bombs get pretty high Q. It does not make them a viable source of civilizational energy.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:27 pm

I am sure NIF will get a decent Q eventually, but gold covered pellets that have to placed exactly on a spot still dont help making the whole thing a practical and economical powersource.

chrismb
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Postby chrismb » Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:29 pm

MSimon wrote:Fusion bombs get pretty high Q. It does not make them a viable source of civilizational energy.

But it is a viable source of energy if you're not very civilised and what to use that energy to blow the heebigeebies out of someone! :wink:

StevePoling
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Postby StevePoling » Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:26 pm

H-bombs might be a viable source of energy without blowing anybody up (intentionally). Imagine the smallest h-bomb you can build in the most robust underground chamber you can build. (So the chamber can survive hundreds of blasts.) Then run pipes around the perimeter of the chamber...

MSimon
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Postby MSimon » Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:46 pm

StevePoling wrote:H-bombs might be a viable source of energy without blowing anybody up (intentionally). Imagine the smallest h-bomb you can build in the most robust underground chamber you can build. (So the chamber can survive hundreds of blasts.) Then run pipes around the perimeter of the chamber...


Bigger bombs give more energy per $$ spent. You can use a LOT of U-238 which otherwise has few uses in energy production.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

StevePoling
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Postby StevePoling » Thu Mar 04, 2010 12:15 am

MSimon wrote:Bigger bombs give more energy per $$ spent. You can use a LOT of U-238 which otherwise has few uses in energy production.


I figured a big H-bomb would make it more expensive to build a chamber strong enough to contain it and harvest energy released. (If memory serves, the neutron-bomb tactical nukes that had the lefties wetting themselves in the early Reagan years was just a tiny H-bomb with its yield tuned for max neutron flux. So, you should be able to make small H-bombs.) This application would need a H-bomb inside a solid body that doesn't fly apart, but just gets hot.


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