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If polywell fusion is developed, in what ways will the world change for better or worse? Discuss.

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Postby Aero » Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:39 am

Aero

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Postby BenTC » Sun Jul 11, 2010 2:34 pm

In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

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Postby zapkitty » Mon Jul 12, 2010 3:00 am


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Postby zapkitty » Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:37 pm


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Postby WizWom » Wed Jul 28, 2010 2:27 pm

Wandering Kernel of Happiness

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Postby D Tibbets » Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:05 pm

To error is human... and I'm very human.

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Postby IntLibber » Sat Apr 02, 2011 6:01 am


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Postby Giorgio » Sat Apr 02, 2011 3:20 pm


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Postby 93143 » Sat Apr 02, 2011 8:12 pm

It'll be quite a while before a Polywell small and light enough to help with launch is available. 100 MW won't do it. (Remember, each SSME puts out ~5 GW in a vacuum, at an Isp of just 452.5 s, and thrust and Isp are roughly inversely proportional at constant power.)

I worked up an all-rocket Polywell-powered SSTO example here, with fairly optimistic assumptions; the required power-to-mass ratio came out really high:

http://www.talk-polywell.org/bb/viewtop ... 8467#48467

Airbreathing is better, but according to my calculations it still requires a large, as-compact-as-possible gigawatt-range reactor to maximize the power-to-weight ratio (especially if the gamma-producing branch of the p-¹¹B reaction turns out to be real, which it probably will; a foot-thick wall of lead is not light even as a shadow shield).

It also requires a fantastically advanced airbreathing engine.

A 100 MW demo plant is not exactly a flight-weight reactor, and even if it were, no engine exists for it to power. It'll be a while before SpaceX sees any competition from Polywell.

Skylon, on the other hand...

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Postby zapkitty » Sun Apr 03, 2011 2:01 am


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Postby Giorgio » Sun Apr 03, 2011 1:12 pm


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Postby 93143 » Sun Apr 03, 2011 5:44 pm



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