I think Lockheed Screwed Up. We Need Data - Not Speculation

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

Moderators: tonybarry, MSimon

mvanwink5
Posts: 1809
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:07 am
Location: N.C. Mountains
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1236: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Re: I think Lockheed Screwed Up. We Need Data - Not Specula

Postby mvanwink5 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 10:26 am

A shot across the bow of a $50 billion government giga project must sting not just a lot of people, but lot of categories of people. A real dust up, with lots-n-lots of red faced bureaucrats. Imagine, if you will, ITER is just completed and ready for the first experiment and boards are nailed up on the doors and magnets are put on ebay.

Of course, that won't happen. No, the money will start to evaporate much earlier. And VC's will salivate at the chance of getting in on the fusion race. Hence the dust up. By the way, expect ITER to start blowing smoke on how close they really are... if only they had more money.

I might also point out that the ITER facility is not being built in anybody's congressional district...
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

Ivy Matt
Posts: 689
Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 6:43 am
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1236: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Re: I think Lockheed Screwed Up. We Need Data - Not Specula

Postby Ivy Matt » Mon Oct 20, 2014 2:49 pm

Temperature, density, confinement time: pick any two.

swamijake
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2013 4:09 pm
Location: Vancouver, B.C.
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1236: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Re: I think Lockheed Screwed Up. We Need Data - Not Specula

Postby swamijake » Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:22 pm

"The symmetry of the design promises to make both simulation and test machines simple compared to some other designs."

Then why, with there large budgets and ample brain power, haven't they done the simulation and built the test device? They took time money and effort to produce a lovely video. That time is better spent generating data. It looks like they have all the parts they need to draw a vacuum and do some test runs, or at least they are close, so why not get some data and release that with all the fanfare?

Something doesn't smell right; Skunkworks indeed.

mvanwink5
Posts: 1809
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:07 am
Location: N.C. Mountains
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1236: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Re: I think Lockheed Screwed Up. We Need Data - Not Specula

Postby mvanwink5 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 4:42 pm

Why not release the data? Publish peer reviewed articles? But I thought McGuire said they were going to do that, and the reason for the announcement timing was getting ahead of the patent publication story.
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

Ivy Matt
Posts: 689
Joined: Sat May 01, 2010 6:43 am
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1236: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Re: I think Lockheed Screwed Up. We Need Data - Not Specula

Postby Ivy Matt » Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:00 pm

Critique of Lockheed Martin's fusion PR campaign and critique of critiques thereof

I think I've already said enough on the word "breakthrough" and lack of specificity, but here are some things LM could have done to allay the truest criticisms:

1) Link to the patent applications. Or at least give the application numbers. They mentioned them in their press release, and they had already been published. It was only a matter of time before someone looked them up, so why not make it easy for everyone to find them? It would have focused the criticism on more relevant matters. (Well, maybe. There are always those who are too lazy to click on a link and read something before commenting on it, but presumably they would be less likely to spout off if they saw other commenters having a serious discussion of the patent applications.)

2) Talk about submitting papers to peer-reviewed publications from the beginning. (Unless, of course, this was a move made in response to criticism. :P) If people know a paper detailing results is in the works, they'll be more likely to adopt a wait-and-see attitude.

3) Even if papers about results are not ready for publication, emphasize the fact that LM has already done experimental work on the concept. True, there are images of the current device all over the place, but some sites only give the text of the Reuters article (or links which people don't follow).

4) Avoid mentioning timeframes, or at least emphasize that they are only estimates, and could vary depending on available funds, personnel, and any unexpected physics or engineering setbacks.

Criticisms of the website:

The design reminds me a bit of Helion's latest redesign, which reminds me of the Focus Fusion Society's latest redesign. Maybe it's just a coincidence, and it has to do with the increasing prevalence of smart phones, but on the other hand, the close-up end-on view of the device with the text "It's Closer Than You Think" is giving me a sense of deja vu. I guess neither LPP nor the FFS bothered to trademark the phrase, and it's entirely possible that LM came up with it independently, but still....

The phrase "infinite energy" tends to trip people's woometers. Then again, I suppose other people are drawn to it like a moth to a flame.

Maybe it's just personal taste, but I have a similar reaction to the phrases "power of the sun" and "magnetic bottle" that others have to the jokes about fusion always being XX years away, or always being the energy source of the future. I look forward to the day when fusion power just is, and we don't have to explain it with hackneyed metaphors. The rest of the web page is pretty good, in my opinion, except for the repeated references to mimicking the process by which the sun works.

As for the press release, I detailed what I think it was lacking in points 1-3 above. I also think the part about LM building on 60 years of fusion research was ambiguous enough that it could be misinterpreted as saying that LM itself has researched fusion for 60 years.

Criticism of criticisms:

I'll avoid discussing the numerous criticisms fielded by those who are completely ignorant of controlled nuclear fusion and instead address the criticism of those who are completely ignorant of patent law. I've seen several comments from people who speculated that LM would hide their technology in patents instead of sharing them with the world. I'm not sure how to respond to that except to say that it's patently obvious that such people don't know the first thing about patents.

A common criticism of the LM concept is that it's just a magnetic mirror. Or it's just a picket fence. Or it's just a Polywell. The story of the blind men and the elephant comes to mind. (I will admit, though, that it's always looked a lot like a magnetic mirror to me.) I presume that Tom McGuire knows the problems those various devices have encountered, and for some reason thinks his particular concept resolves those problems somehow. But of course publication of results could clarify that point.

Another common criticism, not just of the LM concept, but of any alternative fusion concept, is the idea that various nations wouldn't be spending tens of billions building a huge tokamak in Cadarache, France if there was a smaller, more economical route to fusion. I have two responses to this. First, this is government we're talking about. Several governments, in fact. Second-system effect is pretty much guaranteed, even for first systems. My second response is that nobody—not even the government—sees everything. The government probably wouldn't have given Langley $70,000 to develop his Aerodrome if they had known the Wright brothers' $1000 Flyer would work. But they didn't, so they did. That's just an analogy, of course. I could say a lot more about why the tokamak monopolizes fusion research (and why it shouldn't), but I think this comment is getting long enough.

Oh, and one more criticism is that LM is just talking about a concept, or just running simulations, and they haven't actually built a test device yet. Correct me if I'm wrong, but haven't the photographs we've seen (including some from back in 2013 showing plasma) indicated that they do have a test device, and they have tested it? Just because they haven't published any papers yet doesn't mean they haven't seen any results yet. True, we don't know what results they may have obtained, but it would seem to me that if they've produced a plasma, they must have obtained some kind of results.

The last criticism, which is quite common, is that LM hasn't achieved net gain. That's (probably) true, but then (probably) neither has anyone else. Of course, it does mean everyone should be careful about throwing around the word "breakthrough" when the press is listening, but otherwise I see nothing wrong with making announcements regarding recent progress, as long as they're couched in realistic language.
Temperature, density, confinement time: pick any two.

mvanwink5
Posts: 1809
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:07 am
Location: N.C. Mountains
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1236: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Re: I think Lockheed Screwed Up. We Need Data - Not Specula

Postby mvanwink5 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 5:29 pm

Can we add one (or two) more reason(s) for LM's coming out? How about GF, Helion, Dynomac, EMC2, LPP, Tri-Alpha all, all have made significant updates on their status this year and some fairly recently. And LM is at a point where they are looking to partner for moving forward.

I think the complaints about the announcement are a bit thin and there is considerable detail in the patents. Want more? Always, what else is new? In reality, quick and cheap fusion (compared to ITER) should not have been such a big splash if the media had been awake this year, but high school journalist are busy covering things that aren't as hard to comprehend or make judgements on as fusion.

The big news is the race is on, the horses are running hard, and ITER is in a big sweat. (I'm just waiting on funding good news for EMC2).
Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

crowberry
Posts: 502
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:34 am
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1236: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Re: I think Lockheed Screwed Up. We Need Data - Not Specula

Postby crowberry » Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:00 pm


hanelyp
Posts: 2255
Joined: Fri Oct 26, 2007 8:50 pm
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1236: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Re: I think Lockheed Screwed Up. We Need Data - Not Specula

Postby hanelyp » Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:01 pm

The daylight is uncomfortably bright for eyes so long in the dark.

mvanwink5
Posts: 1809
Joined: Wed Jul 01, 2009 5:07 am
Location: N.C. Mountains
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1236: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Re: I think Lockheed Screwed Up. We Need Data - Not Specula

Postby mvanwink5 » Mon Oct 20, 2014 6:38 pm

Near term, cheap, dark horse fusion hits the air waves, GF - TED, LM - Announcement. The race is on.

fahdad
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Oct 16, 2014 11:15 pm
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1236: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Re: I think Lockheed Screwed Up. We Need Data - Not Specula

Postby fahdad » Mon Oct 20, 2014 7:49 pm

I agree there is merit to publishing data and making such presentations at academic conferences, where a more thorough technical conversation can take place relatively quickly.

but i suspect they have data and the announcement may just have more to do with company culture etc

Have Blue First flight: December 1977
F117 Introduction: November 1988

to me the company culture also explains their emphasis on compact size and mention of fly-ability. i conjure there must be internal discussions along the lines of "why should we work on this, this is misaligned to our sales force which is targeted to militaries"

i don't think a fairly diversified(altho in one segment) corp with $55B market cap, $11B Quarterly sales with $1.5B profits operates with the same motives as an essentially academic teams with priorities base primarily on funding, scientific discovery, and betterment of the world.

But then again maybe their product pipeline is running dry and they need a differentiator (im not up on my study of projected global weapons systems demand :))

altho i do wonder what their timing trigger for submitting the patents was?
their stock is doing better than their peers and the dow over the past 3-6 months, but they have their quarterly slated for tomorrow.

were they worried about any announcements in the FEC2014 conference?
is this really as big as it could be and they were waiting for particular oil price? (last week oil has been dropping due to a Saudi play)
did they really meet some internal goal and they really have confidence in their future timeline? and are just giving us info from a few years ago?

TL;DR: i think aloud about a bunch of my unfounded and uncalled for conjectures. :)

crowberry
Posts: 502
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:34 am
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1236: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Re: I think Lockheed Screwed Up. We Need Data - Not Specula

Postby crowberry » Tue Oct 21, 2014 9:44 am


choff
Posts: 2432
Joined: Thu Nov 08, 2007 5:02 am
Location: Vancouver, Canada
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1236: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Re: I think Lockheed Screwed Up. We Need Data - Not Specula

Postby choff » Tue Oct 21, 2014 8:08 pm

200 shots is more reassuring. Joel Rodger described it as a combo polywell spindle cusp machine. He stated it would have 100 times less output than a cubic polywell, however, LM have probably added the external magnets and AC heating as a means to raise that limit. The two line cusps from the central magnet already almost point parallel with the axis and those external magnets probably help push it all the way parallel to the mirror magnets closing the loops for electrons return path.
CHoff

crowberry
Posts: 502
Joined: Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:34 am
[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1236: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Re: I think Lockheed Screwed Up. We Need Data - Not Specula

Postby crowberry » Wed Oct 22, 2014 8:56 am



[phpBB Debug] PHP Warning: in file [ROOT]/vendor/twig/twig/lib/Twig/Extension/Core.php on line 1236: count(): Parameter must be an array or an object that implements Countable

Return to “News”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests