Forbes Article.

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Helius
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Forbes Article.

Post by Helius »

If he had mentioned Polywell at all I'd have put this in News, but it shows the popular view of fusion. They really like that "30 years away" slogan.

Forbes Article:
http://www.forbes.com/business/forbes/2 ... s_business

IEC is small, inexpensive, grossly under evaluated and *works*. He doesn't mention it.

Can anyone explain why the word isn't out?

classicpenny
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Post by classicpenny »

My wife just gave me Sun in a Bottle by Charles Seife, just out last month, a book on the history of fusion, superbly researched and very well written - I wish I could write half as well as he can!
http://www.amazon.com/Sun-Bottle-Strang ... 800&sr=1-1
This quote from page 232: "...Bussard was deceiving himself if mainstream scientific thought is any guide. The equations of plasma physics strongly imply that fusor-like devices are very unlikely ever to produce more energy than they consume."

I believe this reflects "conventional wisdom" in the larger scientific community. When the news media such as Forbes hears about the BFR, they check with their local science "experts," the experts mumble about Ryder, and that's pretty much where it stops. Lacking definitive results from Santa Fe, I don't believe we can expect much else in the media. (Alan Boyle excepted, of course!)

Bill Flint

TallDave
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Post by TallDave »

Shrug. Sounds like he read Rider's thesis, like everyone else.

Roger
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Re: Forbes Article.

Post by Roger »

Helius wrote:
Can anyone explain why the word isn't out?
I think we are exactly where we need to be. We have contacts in many congressional offices, Universities, President elect Obama.

What we do need... is progress, positive results from the work thats ongoing. And if each step warrants more research the money will be forthcoming.
I like the p-B11 resonance peak at 50 KV acceleration. In2 years we'll know.

classicpenny
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Re: Forbes Article.

Post by classicpenny »

Helius wrote:Can anyone explain why the word isn't out?
The word isn't out because in the eyes of the world, stories like the BFR are old news. Consider the history of controlled fusion (from Sun in a Bottle by Seife):

Mar 1951: Huemel Island, Argentina. Juan Peron announces that Ronald Richter has achieved successful fusion of deuterium and lithium. No supporting data is ever published. In Apr, New York Times reports French physicist supports Richter's claim. Sep 1952: Visiting team of scientists finds NO radiation present; and when real radioactive source is used, Richter’s detectors do not work. Big PR Disaster: Juan Peron admits to farce.

July 1951: Princeton, US. Lyman Spitzer gets $200,000 AEC grant for Stellarator. Estimates it will have 150 Megawatts output but does not even come close. Gets $5 million more in 1955; $10 million more in 1957. Says, “$200 million will buy 1000 megawatts.” However, by late 1950s he is saying that $24 million Model “C” is for “research only” and break-even is “decades away.”

Early 1952 Los Alamos, US. James Tuck builds “Perhapsatron” Pinch machine and promises it will produce net fusion energy like an internal combustion engine. By 1955 a strong pinch was producing neutron bursts, but they were found to be asymmetrical, and were found to be instability neutrons, NOT fusion neutrons. Aug 1957 Harwell, UK. ZETA, a $1 million Pinch machine is reported to be making fusion neutrons. It is heralded by the UK press as energy salvation for the planet. But later found to be producing instability neutrons (again), not fusion neutrons. Big PR Disaster

Mid 1960s Russia. Artsimovich & Sakarov. Tokamak (a combination of Stellarator and Pinch) invented. 1969 Brits visit and check temp – 10s of millions of degrees – hot enough for fusion. Saga of ever larger Tokamaks has continued to the present day (ITER), with break-even always promised for the next bigger model – many 10s of billions of dollars spent

1974 Livermore, US. First laser fusion attempted with 2-beam Janus. Also, in May 1974 Keeve M Siegal's private company reports neutron production from laser fusion. Much fanfare, congressional hearings, etc. Breakeven always expected with next larger model. But $25 million Shiva nowhere near breakeven; $200 million Nova nowhere near breakeven. Rayleigh-Taylor instability ongoing problem. Hohlraum does not solve problem. Problems continue to present day (NIF), with break-even always promised for the next bigger model – many 10s of billions of dollars spent

May 23, 1989 University of Utah, US. Pons and Fleishman announce successful cold fusion with much fanfare. University president Chase Peterson says discovery “up there with fire, agriculture, and electricity.” Press hypes that world’s energy problems are solved. Steven Jones, BYU, (muon catalyzed fusion “cold fusion economically viable”) lends credibility to claims. Pons and Fleishman do not ever check for null result by using regular hydrogen instead of deuterium. Their claimed Neutrons were found to be at wrong energy, so Pons and Fleishman tweaked the results to “correct” the problem. Neutrons could not be detected at all by Harwell’s better neutron detector. Big PR Disaster. Pons and Fleishman leave in disgrace for France.

Feb 2002, Oak Ridge National Labs. US. Rusi Taleyarkan announces neutron production by Acoustic Cavitation Fusion in peer-reviewed journal, Science. Shapira and Saltmarsh (also or ORNL) could NOT detect neutrons. Only example offered for “independent” verification by Purdue University proved to have in fact been done by Rusi Taleyarkan. Big PR Disaster. July 2008 Taleyarkan disciplined by Perdue, becomes an outcast.

It's a wonder that Alan Boyle pays us any attention at all; and its a wonder that the Navy is willing to provide any funding at all. I can see why Dr. Nebel wants to keep things very low key.

Bill Flint

Helius
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Good one!

Post by Helius »

Hey Classic,

Thanks for the *excellent* writeup. I'll be looking for that book your wife bought.

Do you think, as I do, the NIF will have a "Q" well above unity by about mid 2010, or do you think it'll be yet another miss? Do "we" know enough now, or will the chaos through out yet another instability? If NIF does work, do you think it may be a perspective Game changer?

tombo
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Post by tombo »

Even if NIF gets well beyond energy-breakeven there is the monetary-breakeven hurdle to jump.
The hohlraum's for it that I worked on 2 years ago were $1200 a pop.
They have a long way to go for it to make money.
-Tom Boydston-
"If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research, would it?" ~Albert Einstein

classicpenny
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Re: Good one!

Post by classicpenny »

Helius wrote:Do you think, as I do, the NIF will have a "Q" well above unity by about mid 2010?
They say yes:
https://lasers.llnl.gov/programs/ife/
https://lasers.llnl.gov/programs/nic/ic ... _works.php
But then, that’s what “they“ always say…
Personally, I don't know enough to comment.

Bill Flint

jgarry
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Post by jgarry »

http://newenergytimes.com/news/2008/29i ... a-Demo.htm

The cold fusion debacle continues, with a few twists. The term cold fusion seems no longer in fashion. What ever is happening, it's not plasma fusion, and it's not really understood. There seem to be some respectable figures taking up the cause, such as Miley at the U of Illinois in Champaign.

djolds1
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Post by djolds1 »

jgarry wrote:http://newenergytimes.com/news/2008/29i ... a-Demo.htm

The cold fusion debacle continues, with a few twists. The term cold fusion seems no longer in fashion. What ever is happening, it's not plasma fusion, and it's not really understood. There seem to be some respectable figures taking up the cause, such as Miley at the U of Illinois in Champaign.
viewtopic.php?t=717
Vae Victis

Helius
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NIF

Post by Helius »

tombo wrote:Even if NIF gets well beyond energy-breakeven there is the monetary-breakeven hurdle to jump.
The hohlraum's for it that I worked on 2 years ago were $1200 a pop.
They have a long way to go for it to make money.
Wow. :shock: They're solid gold aren't they? How much did those hohlraums weigh? Was it material cost, or exacting fabrication that drove the price so high?

To even begin to think about cost effective, we'll have to wait for Hiper in England, or maybe something similar here, perhaps down the road in the University of Rochester (NY). I read a design for Hiper where even that had a gold cone involved. I'm anxious to see if the NIF works, and watch the suggestions from there.

tombo
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Post by tombo »

Yes they are thin ultra high purity gold, but the expensive part is the fabrication.
They are tiny (like about 1mm long by 1/2 mm dia if I remember) and have ports with plastic windows 1600 angstroms thick placed very precisely.
Also, they have a fill tube installed.
Then they have to be pressure tested and leak checked.
All of this is done by hand and has a very low yield per try.
If they blow it they have to take it apart clean it up and start all over.
And since they don't get any spares they can't afford to damage one.
So they have to be slow and super careful.
I described it to my friends as gluing soap bubbles to rice grains.
It's amazing that it can be done at all.
-Tom Boydston-
"If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn’t be called research, would it?" ~Albert Einstein

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