93143 wrote:I'm just lumping all that in as the "magrid". The potential differences within the magrid/fueling assembly system should be small. The assumption was that the fuel was ionized by ECR slightly inside the magrid, but there can be other arrangements.ravingdave wrote:Perhaps I am mistaken, but what becomes of the electrons originally stripped off the fuel when it is ionized ?
I think the current is between the collector grid and the ionizing guns for the fuel, which I think are at MagGrid potential, but the current flow is from the point at which the electrons are stripped to where they are recombined at the collector.
The upshot is that that system - however it is configured - has to lose electrons through a wire at exactly twice the rate at which it loses alphas, or else fueling (ions+electrons in, vs. just ions out) will cause a negative charge buildup.
If I understand you correctly, I think that is right. An Alpha is a helium atom without electrons. Helium has a +2 charge. It requires 2 electrons to neutralize the charge. The Alpha has to combine with 2 electrons to become a "neutral."
I think the term "lose" is misleading. I think the electrons which combine with the alphas are the same electrons stripped off of the hydrogen and boron atoms before fusion occured. These electrons ought to be distinctly different from the electrons emitted by the electron gun for purposes of charging the wiffleball.
In any case, 1 electron is stripped off of the hydrogen fuel atom, and 5 electrons are stripped off the boron fuel atom. Fuse the hydrogen and boron and you create 3 helium ions which need 6 electrons.
In effect, the reactor temporarily strips electrons from fuel atoms, the process of fusion converts them to helium then blows them apart at high velocity, and the then kinetic energy of the ions allows them to force a high positive charge against a highly repelling force in order to pull electrons through a resistive load to reach that highly charged collector grid. The 6 original electrons, having to go somewhere push their way through the wiring to get at that very highly charged source of protons.
The same 6 electrons stripped off originally satisfy your requirement that each alpha particle must aquire 2 electrons to become neutral.
Seems reasonable to me. Did someone claim otherwise ? I must say I sometimes get "brain strain" trying to keep up with the current thread.