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EMC2 tests

Posted: Tue Feb 09, 2010 12:26 pm
by PMN1
Could the various tests that EMC2 have been conducting have been done soner and if so when?

Posted: Wed Feb 24, 2010 3:49 pm
by KitemanSA
Could the various tests that EMC2 have been conducting have been done soner and if so when?
Since I am not sure of the actual question I don't know quite how to answer it. Here are a number of interpretations and answers.

Could they, and When? I suppose they could have been done a century or more ago, if anyone had thought of doing so. The technology was up to it back then.

Could EMC2 have done them earlier? Yes, if they had the money earlier.

Might they have been done earlier than we generally acknowledge? How much of a conspiracy nut are you? (Lots= yes but the oil companies suppressed them! :P ) (not at all= not that we know of, though some Russian (Lavrent’ev) may have been on a related track)

Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 12:22 am
by PMN1
OK, so what i'm trying to say, is in terms of materials etc, when is the earliest this research could have been started?

Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:00 am
by Aero
It actually was started in the mid 1980's I believe, so no later than that. When did Farnsworth start his research? Mid 60's? It would have been possible to start then, but I don't know how far along magnet tech was at that time. SC magnets, though not a requirement, are a major advantage when hoping for a net power device.
What is the point of the question? I suppose Ben Franklin could have tinkered with such a device but I wouldn't hold out much hope for success without neutron detectors, or even knowing about nuclear fusion. Maybe Tesla would have had better luck but instrumentation would have been a trick, and even then, nuclear fusion was not generally accepted and some knowledge of plasma physics is also kind of a requirement.
The 1980's is probably the best answer, though current work could have been accelerated, given a Manhattan project type of effort. Maybe Tom Ligon has an answer.

Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 1:03 am
by Betruger
This might not be your question, but is what you're getting at the same as what someone would mean to ask if he were writing an SF novel? At what point was technology first up to the task? Or do you mean in a strictly accurate historical sense, IOW the earliest that politics as they happened could have allowed it?

Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 8:28 am
by chrismb
What tests?

You mean sticking six metal lollipops in a metal cage, sucking out some of the air and wiring it up to a high voltage? Yeah, that could've been done around 1660 by Guericke who invented both the first vacuum pump and the first electrostatic generator.

He may not have had a clue what he was doing, the vacuum may have been insufficient, and the voltage may have been insufficient, but all 3 may also apply equally to Polywell. There exists no public evidence to claim otherwise at this time.

Re: EMC2 tests

Posted: Sun Mar 21, 2010 3:03 pm
by djolds1
PMN1 wrote:Could the various tests that EMC2 have been conducting have been done soner and if so when?
The rate of innovation is an unknowable. Many to most innovations are slap-your-head "why didn't I think of that!" obvious in retrospect, but still take years to decades to percolate out of the collective unconscious of pure and applied science. Consider the Bessemer Process vs the crucible steel process, or more recently the FFC Cambridge Process for titanium production vs the older Kroll Process. After the fact "obvious" refinements that still took decades to recognize.

In the case of fusion & Polywell, what if DoE & its European parallels hadn't become obsessed with the either/or of magnetic confinement vs inertial confinement in the early '70s? What if Dr. Bussard had been able to secure more than shoestring funding for Polywell and someone on a larger team caught the magnetic field line problem a decade earlier?