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Re: EMC2 news

Posted: Sat Jul 27, 2019 3:24 pm
by mvanwink5
Interview is a great find; it is 11 months since it was put on Youtube so we could be near an update. From the interview, given a year has passed, it sounds like EMC2 is near or 1 year away from having a model that will simulate a working machine that will say 'it should work' or 'it won't work.'

This has been a long wait for many here, what's another year. LOL!

Re: EMC2 news

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 1:13 pm
by windmill
So, correct me if I'm wrong, but reading the new patent, Polywell now: 1) does not need an electron-beam-injected potential well to operate, 2) requires a 2.5 meter radius core to generate just 90MW of fusion power even with D-T, and 3) has even less of a chance than before of burning aneutronic fuels with a decent fusion Q.

Re: EMC2 news

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 4:40 pm
by Giorgio
windmill wrote:So, correct me if I'm wrong, but reading the new patent, Polywell now: 1) does not need an electron-beam-injected potential well to operate, 2) requires a 2.5 meter radius core to generate just 90MW of fusion power even with D-T, and 3) has even less of a chance than before of burning aneutronic fuels with a decent fusion Q.


If memory serves me right the first two of those assumptions was based on the results from WB-8, the High beta cusp device and some simulations. Everything should have been further validated/investigated in the proof of principle reactor that didn't get funded till now.
Considering the lack of a broader scientific experimental database, even if the latest experimental run they made did indeed show a glimpse of a promising situation (especially when they was shooting at higher power), I would suggest you to consider the first 2 points with a grain of salt.
The third point was just the result of a numerical simulation, I would not consider it meaningful until there is some scientific data to support it.

Re: EMC2 news

Posted: Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:39 pm
by hanelyp
By my recollection, the potential well was vital to the favorable energy distribution, ion vs electron, for aneutronic fuels. I also recall speculation that a well could be created without electron injection by differential leakage through the cusps. Of course then you need some other means of heating the plasma.

Re: EMC2 news

Posted: Thu Sep 19, 2019 2:40 am
by Giorgio
I remember that those was all points supposed to be investigated into the "Proof of Principle" reactor.
1) Verifying and characterizing the Wiffleball properties, ion circulation and magnetic line configuration at the (partially or totally closed) cusps
2) Verifying and characterizing the behavior of a sustained time high Beta operation and the transition mechanism to the high Beta stable state.
3) Demonstrating ion heating by e-beam injection in different high Beta configurations.

A real pity that they didn't find any financing until now, there seems to be lot of new plasma behavior to be investigated and it really got me pretty excited the first time I saw Park paper.

Re: EMC2 news

Posted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 4:02 pm
by Tom Ligon
paperburn1 wrote:Notably hidden among the budget items for NASA was a $100 million allocation to develop a nuclear thermal rockets.
Does anybody know if polywell tried to get their fingers into that rice bowl?


This comes up from time to time. When we were working in Manassas Park there was an initiative within NASA (with no outside news that I've ever seen) for "Strategy F". This was a push I think from Huntsville to develop either fission or fusion to reach Mars with crewed spacecraft. Dr. Bussard suspected it was intended to give Huntsville a mission (in other words, funding, and continuation of employment).

The three Fs were fission (NERVA or something like it), fusion using tokamaks, and fusion using the Polywell. Thus, two of the three F's were from Dr. Bussard's ideas. He was greatly amused. But evidently this particular idea never got much beyond a memo. He was contacted by someone seeking a proposal, but they had no money, and he'd written multiple papers proposing just this already.

There was, of course, a push in NASA to use VASIMIR, a motor in need of a power source, and there was good reason for any Mars strategy to at least consider if that system could be incorporated. It would be compatible with Polywell powerplants. It could also use fission, but not in the form of NERVA.

Of the strategies available in the late 90's when this was floated, nuclear-thermal was the most proven, with working engines tested and stored under a mountain in Nevada.