Lets make sure it's called the 'Bussard Reactor'

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2edfe9
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Lets make sure it's called the 'Bussard Reactor'

Post by 2edfe9 »

I don't know how it is for engineers, but in the software world when a team gets started on a project, we always pick a codename for it since it has to be called something before the marketing guys get around to giving it an official name. A good example of this is Windows Vista, which was known as Longhorn during its development phase. As an aside, the names comes from a great pub in Whistler Village, a ski resort in Canada about 5 hours north of Microsoft's main campus.

If this project succeeds and the media comes out in force to report on it they'll need to standardize on a name. If we don't give them one the media will do it for us. Polywell is a great project name, but it lacks glamor. Now we need the official, marketing name that can captivate the public's imagination.

I would strongly encourage everyone to standardize on "Bussard Reactor". It would honor the inventor, whose name, if this technology works, deserves a permanent spot in the English language. Also the term "Bussard Reactor" sounds pretty darn good. I can imagine some future captain one day shouting: "Fire up the Bussard Reactors and give me full thrust!"
Patrick A

gblaze42
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Post by gblaze42 »

Hmm, I'm not sure about that one. When I think of Bussard I think of Larry Nivens "Known Space" what do you say about PhssthPok 1 reactor?

or maybe Nessus reactor?

jennyp
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Post by jennyp »

Here's a provocative question: Should it officially be called a Farnsworth-Bussard reactor? Because without Farnsworth's invention & extensive work on electrostatically confining atoms in a spherical vaccuum, the Polywell probably would never even have been a gleam in Bussard's eye.

(p.s. Hey, my first post! I'm a software developer, longtime fan of Farnsworth & eager fan of the Polywell cheering on from the cheap seats. Or peeking thru the hole in the fence... or sitting on the roof across the street with binoculars... pick your analogy. :))

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

I have been alternating between Polywell and BFR. Bussard Fusion Reactor. I did a post on it a while back. (maybe a year ago).

I call our goal pBj. Protons - Boron - Joules.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

D Tibbets
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Post by D Tibbets »

I sort of like BFR- I've seen it used on this form multiple times and it rolls off the tounge well. It could stand for Bussard Fusion Reactor, or Bussard Farnsworth Reacter.
To error is human... and I'm very human.

classicpenny
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Post by classicpenny »

I detest the ambiguity of "Nuclear Reactor" because it does not distinguish between say, an RBMK and a BFR: they are both "Nuclear Reactors."

Unfortunately "Bussard Reactor" and "BFR" both have the same problem. They both have the word "Reactor" in them; and I suspect that "Reactor" would not do well on a marketing survey word association test. (Can you say the "N" word?)

Polywell is not the best word either - from a PR standpoint (agreed that it does not roll off the tongue), but it DOES provoke a question, "What the heck is a polywell?" And that is MUCH better than having people associate it immediately with the old Neutron Fission Reactors. Calling it a Polywell gives us Polywell evangelists an opportunity to explain how it works, but using the "reactor" word (or worse) gives other people the opportunity to take the attitude, "It's nuclear, it's evil, and that's all I want to know."

Bill Flint

Torulf2
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Post by Torulf2 »

Bussyball?

jlumartinez
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Post by jlumartinez »

I like Polywell a lot. But in case of a new name I would always search into some words derived from Greek Language as all the big classical inventions ( as ,tele+graph, radio+station, tele+vision, infra+red,ultra+violet, loco+motive,techno+logia, a+tom ). A combination of 2 Greek words which can mean something like "joining energy" or "world motion" or .... The first word derived from a Greek root meaning a kind of adverb + the second world derived from current language meaning something technologic......

But what is my surprise: POLYWELL. It is already a combination of two words , one comming from Greek, this is why I like a lot:

POLY = Multiple, -derived from Greek-
WELL = well -derived from English-

I think Bussard thought in everything!! Polywell is exactly what it is in deep. A confinement concept based on the creation of potential wells.

Newton´s law is call Gravitation, Einstein´s Equation is called Relativity,Gutenberg didn´t call his machine with his name, or even Tesla didn´t call the electric motor as Tesla Engine. In my opinion is more elegant calling everything with a new word ,no using his inventor´s name which can be interpreted always as pretentious .

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

The chemistry folks are in a lot of trouble. They use reactors to control reactions.

Perhaps they need to do some market research and focus groups.

I still like BFRs. Think FUSION. It sells razors.
no using his inventor´s name which can be interpreted always as pretentious
Yeah. But the inventor is dead. Now it is an honor.

Watt. Joule. Faraday. Ohm. Volt. etc. etc. etc.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

DKelley
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Post by DKelley »

I, too, like either Polywell or Bussard Fusion Reactor, BFR for short.

If I had to choose only 1 I'd go with "Polywell".

If "BFR" does become common I think it is important to NOT exclude "Fusion" from that phrase. To Bill's point earlier, people do not like things associated with reactors or nuclear-anything. But if you use the word reactor you should put "Fusion" in front of it to take the sting out.

2edfe9
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Post by 2edfe9 »

"Fire up the Bussard Fusion Reactors...." too much of a mouthful. :D
Patrick A

2edfe9
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Post by 2edfe9 »

Also, people will get over their worries about fusion reactors soon enough. Within a few years everyone will be building them anyway. The economics are too compelling. The name of the reactor may be around for a lot longer then that, possibly hundreds of years, so I think the terseness gained by dropping the 'fusion' is worth it.
Patrick A

MSimon
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Post by MSimon »

2edfe9 wrote:"Fire up the Bussard Fusion Reactors...." too much of a mouthful. :D
Fire up the BFR.

Which will in time become "fire up the beefer".

If we go with the "Polywell" it will be fire up the "p-well". Which has unfortunate connotations.
Engineering is the art of making what you want from what you can get at a profit.

choff
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Post by choff »

The rule of thumb with english is that over time hard words soften and long words shorten. The name that sticks will be the one that rolls off the tongue without having to stop and catch your breath. Some politically correct types tried to change the official name of commercial fishermen to fishers, ( gender neutral). Didn't work, doesn't roll off the tongue.
CHoff

Jeff Peachman
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Post by Jeff Peachman »

Does anyone think Fusor might eventually become a nickname for the BFR?

PS: BFR reminds me of the BFG 9000 :)
- Jeff Peachman

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