Dr. Park to speak at UW-Madison

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

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classicpenny
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Re: Dr. Park to speak at UW-Madison

Postby classicpenny » Mon Jun 16, 2014 1:28 am

Two questions for UW-Madison seminar (wish I could be there!)

1. Dr. Park, Just for the sake of discussion, let us suppose that you could get $50 million/per year in federal money for six years - perhaps enough to build a full-scale, break-even, p-B11 Polywell demonstration reactor, with perhaps enough left over to begin development of an alpha particle to electric current conversion system. Would you be prepared now to assemble a team to work on such a project? Would you accept such a grant?

2. Why did EMC2 and the Navy decide to go their separate ways?

Bill Flint

crowberry
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Re: Dr. Park to speak at UW-Madison

Postby crowberry » Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:38 pm

Solo wrote:Hey folks, got this email today from John Santarius. Dr. Park will be speaking at Univ. of Wisc. next week, and I will be in the audience :D . Any questions (scientific ones) you'd like me to ask?


Solo, did you manage to attend this seminar? Did you have a chance to ask any questions?

Solo
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Re: Dr. Park to speak at UW-Madison

Postby Solo » Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:23 pm

I'll try to summarize the relevant gleanings briefly:
1) Dr. Park is interested in trying to form the potential well as the next step in the research program.

2) There was a discussion between Dr. Park and Prof. Forest about MHD and the lack of axial symmetry. Dr. Park's conclusion was that it's very difficult to address high-beta with a PIC code, but high beta is necessary to explain the improved confinement of fast electrons. 3-D MHD codes have been tried on the Polywell but the results don't agree with the PIC results. More MHD work by collaborators would be nice.

3) Dr. Park would also like to map out the magnetic field, but it will be difficult to do in a pulsed experiment. The discharges are short, and they are quite dynamic due to the gun formation (he showed a video of the visible emission from the two blobs of plasma from each gun as they collided in the center and wiggled around). He said they've only take 50 shots, because they have to 'reload' the gun each time they fire.

4) In the future, he'd like to have a longer plasma sustainment time than the guns can provide, and then implement Thomson scattering diagnostic to measure the density and temperature more accurately.

5)There is evidently a sweet spot at 2.7 kG; lowering the magnetic field to 1.6 kG doesn't produce as good results, even though that means beta is higher. They don't really know why this is true.

6) DoE funding is unlikely in the future, Dr. Park thinks China or possibly Korea may be interested though.

7) the confinement time is theorized to scale as the 3/2 power of the energy of the electrons, so it would be easier to confine very hot electrons than cold ones.

8) Expect more publications in the future.
He promised to send the slides from his talk, I'll see if I can get anything out of them.

crowberry
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Re: Dr. Park to speak at UW-Madison

Postby crowberry » Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:35 am

Thanks Solo for the report!

CSI has done a lot of work on developing software for simulating a Polywell.

A bigger continuously working machine would help with the measurements, but that is a question of money.

DoE seems to have very constrained funding so it would be very surprising for them to fund Polywell development.

It is nice to hear that more papers will be published. :D

So nothing was said about the data from WB7 and WB8?

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Re: Dr. Park to speak at UW-Madison

Postby Solo » Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:13 pm

This paper and the talk seems to cover only the small device. My guess would be that we'll hear more about the other experiments later.

ladajo
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Re: Dr. Park to speak at UW-Madison

Postby ladajo » Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:51 pm

Yes, you will.

Dr. Park is focuing right now on getting the word out about what he has done.

This will support him lining up appropraite resourcing to take the next step.

The next step is to take what has been learned on Mini-B and apply it to WB-8.

It is not complicated nor mysterious.

I am glad he touched on the the plasma feed portion of the work.
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)
What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

tauntaun_rider
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Re: Dr. Park to speak at UW-Madison

Postby tauntaun_rider » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:41 pm

Solo wrote:1) Dr. Park is interested in trying to form the potential well as the next step in the research program.

This clarifies things. They have either the potential well (from earlier machines' results) or wiffleball (from this machine), but getting both together hasn't happened yet.
Solo wrote:He said they've only take 50 shots, because they have to 'reload' the gun each time they fire.

I think this meant they have 50 shots that look like a wiffleball. Other indications point to many more shots than this. Reloading those guns isn't an all-day affair, and they've been operating them longer than 2 months, so the shot count is in the hundreds at least.

classicpenny
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Re: Dr. Park to speak at UW-Madison

Postby classicpenny » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:50 pm

crowberry wrote:DoE seems to have very constrained funding so it would be very surprising for them to fund Polywell development.

Constrained in what way? By whom?

Bill Flint

ladajo
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Re: Dr. Park to speak at UW-Madison

Postby ladajo » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:59 pm

tauntaun_rider wrote:
Solo wrote:1) Dr. Park is interested in trying to form the potential well as the next step in the research program.

This clarifies things. They have either the potential well (from earlier machines' results) or wiffleball (from this machine), but getting both together hasn't happened yet.
Solo wrote:He said they've only take 50 shots, because they have to 'reload' the gun each time they fire.

I think this meant they have 50 shots that look like a wiffleball. Other indications point to many more shots than this. Reloading those guns isn't an all-day affair, and they've been operating them longer than 2 months, so the shot count is in the hundreds at least.


Yes.
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)

What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

D Tibbets
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Re: Dr. Park to speak at UW-Madison

Postby D Tibbets » Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:54 pm

I don't know how many shots they have taken but 50 seems a reasonable number. It is not just a matter of sticking a new plastic membrane on the end of the plasma gun. They have to unbolt the fitting, extract it, probably clean it and reload it, reinsert, secure, check for leaks, pump down for probably multiple hours to get rid of the water vapor that got into the machine,possibly do some plasma cleaning with the electron guns, etc. Probably would be lucky to get two tests per day.

I think deep potential wells have been obtained, there is a question of really deep potential well with Beta= 1 conditions. Parks hinted at this in his paper and depends on the definitions you are using..

I have several speculations on the Beta condition at lower B field. Mostly based on the assumption that the plasma blast overfilled the magnetic bottle, Beta was pushed past 1 and the cusps opened up, plasma flooded out, Beta =1 was approached from the other side. It might oscillate back and forth several times before enough plasma was depleted so that terminal rundown to low Beta occured.

Money for nondestructive plasma guns and/ or powerful e-guns is needed. Also, any tricks to improve electron injection efficiency.

All of this after the actual demonstration of high Beta falls into the engineering challenges of development.

It would be really interesting to have some hard numbers for the WB7 and 8 machines concerning electron confinement, density, how close to Beta =1 they were reliably getting (how much was difficulty in getting there, and how much was the difficulty of measuring it), potential well depth, nub information, recirculation issues, etc.

Dan Tibbets
To error is human... and I'm very human.

crowberry
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Re: Dr. Park to speak at UW-Madison

Postby crowberry » Thu Jun 19, 2014 6:20 am

classicpenny wrote:
crowberry wrote:DoE seems to have very constrained funding so it would be very surprising for them to fund Polywell development.

Constrained in what way? By whom?


Here you can read about the U.S. fusion budget planning for 2015 http://fpa.ucsd.edu/fpn14-29.shtml.

In this thread a few articles on the history of U.S. fusion research can be found http://www.talk-polywell.org/bb/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=5439.

An older article from July 2002 by Stephen O. Dean can be found here http://fire.pppl.gov/us_fusion50yr_dean.pdf, Fifty years of U.S. fusion research - An overview of programs, seven pages.

Stephen O. Dean has also written a book on the history of U.S. fusion research, see this thread for details http://www.talk-polywell.org/bb/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=4614.

So in short the funding has decreased since the seventies to support almost exclusively tokamak and ICF fusion research. As long as it is not known which fusion concept will be the best in the end, one should fund all promising concepts, but unfortunately this is not what the DoE is doing.

classicpenny
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Re: Dr. Park to speak at UW-Madison

Postby classicpenny » Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:50 pm

crowberry wrote:As long as it is not known which fusion concept will be the best in the end, one should fund all promising concepts, but unfortunately this is not what the DoE is doing.

But DoE is not in charge of the funding. Congress is. Apparently NOW is when Congress is negotiating the Energy budget in both the Senate and House. It would seem that NOW -while Dr Park is looking for support- is the time to insist to your Senators and Members of Congress that full-scale p-B11 Polywell development must be fully funded at -say- $50 million per year for six years. Truly this is a job for the Energy Department. (Private Venture Capitalists will not typically invest more than $100 million in any one project.) There is NO safe & viable & affordable fossil fuel substitute available on the planet today. We desperately need working commercial sized Polywells -or some comparable fusion devices- taking the place of fossil fuels on the grid. Your voice matters. go to the websites of your Senators and Members of Congress, and make clear to them that $50 million in Polywell money must be added to the Energy Department Budget NOW. (Oh! Yes! Take the $50 million out of the "fossil fuel" Energy Dept line item, from the CCS coal program: the coal plant people have already made it very clear that they will NOT buy the CCS systems without a government subsidy - plus the CCS system itself uses a lot of electricity, thus driving rates up more for everyone.)

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Re: Dr. Park to speak at UW-Madison

Postby classicpenny » Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:19 pm

From someone who knows considerably more than me about the topic, a few suggested amendments to my previous post:

DoE is not in charge of the funding. Congress is. NOW is when Congress is negotiating the Energy budget in both the Senate and House. NOW -while Dr Park is looking for support- is the time to insist to your Senators and Members of Congress that a full-scale D-T Polywell development must be fully funded at -say- $40 million per year for three years. (It is MUCH easier to scale up D-T first, than add in p-B11 when everything else is under control. Otherwise there will be too many variables to deal with at once.)

Truly this is a job for the Energy Department. (Navy can't afford it, and the Energy Department is Congressionally Mandated to develop Navy's Nuclear Energy Systems.) There is NO safe & viable & affordable fossil fuel substitute available on the planet today. We desperately need working commercial sized Polywells -or some comparable fusion devices- taking the place of fossil fuels on the grid. Your voice matters. go to the websites of your Senators and Members of Congress, and make clear to them that $40 million in Polywell money must be added to the Energy Department Budget NOW. (Oh! Yes! Take the $40 million out of the "fossil fuel" Energy Dept line item, from the CCS coal program: the coal plant people have already made it very clear that they will NOT buy the CCS systems without a government subsidy - plus the CCS system itself uses a lot of electricity, thus driving rates up more for everyone.)

Bill Flint

ladajo
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Re: Dr. Park to speak at UW-Madison

Postby ladajo » Sat Jun 21, 2014 1:48 am

Isn't it just better to let Dr. Park decide what he needs to do for a path and resourcing instead of flailing about numbers and calendars for him?

I really think he has a grip on what he needs/wants to do.
The development of atomic power, though it could confer unimaginable blessings on mankind, is something that is dreaded by the owners of coal mines and oil wells. (Hazlitt)

What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the Forgotten Man. (Sumner)

classicpenny
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Re: Dr. Park to speak at UW-Madison

Postby classicpenny » Sat Jun 21, 2014 3:46 pm

ladajo wrote:Isn't it just better to let Dr. Park decide what he needs to do for a path and resourcing instead of flailing about numbers and calendars for him?

Yes. I am not trying to second guess his VC pathway. But maybe there should be a plan B (Energy Dept) in case the VC pathway doesn't work out; and I do suspect he may have minimized his budget request to better attract private investment.
I really think he has a grip on what he needs/wants to do.

Of course his does!

But for Plan B, the breakdown seems to be within the Department of Energy. For whatever reason -as Dr. Park has suggested- they are resistant to funding the Polywell. The only way I can see to um.. "change Energy's mind" is through Congress. To ask Congress for money, they need numbers and a lot of education. Might as well as go for the $40 million that Dr. Park really might want (this would also leave room for negotiation). The education part is a real challenge.

Soo... I say again: NOW is the time for the Talk-Polywell people to put up or shut up: EMC2 needs money, the Energy Department has LOTS of money (its just being spent on the wrong things. Who better to wake-up and educate Congress about the Polywell? Who better than the Talk-Polywell people. Now is the time while both the Senate and the House are working the budget.

Bill Flint


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