From Humble Fusor Beginnings

It may be difficult to separate "theory" from "application," but let''s see if this helps facilitate the discussion.
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Nick Peskosky
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From Humble Fusor Beginnings

Post by Nick Peskosky » Tue May 08, 2018 12:45 pm


I've been actively lurking over the last two years or so even while my job in the Navy has pushed my neutron runs to the back burner. At the current moment I'm sending this update from a WiFi puck outside of Nha Trang, Vietnam where USN Seabees and USMC Combat Engineers are deep in the throws of constructing a school for rural farmers on the true outskirts of what would be considered 2nd world at best. It is not often that members of this board (especially those on the youthful side of 30) credit their successes to humble beginnings and insight they gained from the wealth of knowledge, independent discourse, and successes and errors alike captured across 1000's of forum posts. To that end, I wanted to let everyone know that my hobby pursuit of a Fusor turned out to steer my decision making for "what I want to be when I grow up". I am formally pursuing a PhD in microwave, plasma and fusion engineering having been accepted - with full funding - to the University of Michigan's Nuclear Enigneering Doctoral Track. I have pending offers to work on a series Linear Transformer Driver MagLIF experiment as well as high-repetition rate laser-dense plasma x-ray/neutron generators. During in-person interviews almost every professor/future adviser asked about my interest in D-D neutron generators and my path to building my own... look no further than

I credit my more than dangerous understanding of nuclear physics, vacuum and radiation instrumentation to the multitude of active posters on this board. In the near term I'll need a good refresher on undergraduate electrodynamics/modern physics but fully expect to hit the ground running when I begin my first term of graduate school in the fall. Richard(s), Steven, Bruce, Dan, Carl, Andrew and Jack... (and many others) I couldn't have made it here without your help and guidance and look to share my progress on formal/industry research once I clear the rigors of plasma physics.

The fusor is currently in a multitude of pieces as I've consolidated the reactor due to limitations of my town home garage as well as a shift toward building a BoT system. As with many of our more seasoned neutron club members my setup is gravitating toward an 80/20 frame, modular pumping system and micro-controller interfaced controls. I'll be back stateside in June and expect to use most of my July to machine/fabricate the accelerator business end.
Nick Peskosky

"The whole of science is nothing more than the refinement of everyday thinking." - Albert Einstein

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Dennis P Brown
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Re: From Humble Fusor Beginnings

Post by Dennis P Brown » Tue May 08, 2018 4:53 pm

Good luck. You look to have an excellent system evolving.

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Richard Hull
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Re: From Humble Fusor Beginnings

Post by Richard Hull » Tue May 08, 2018 5:26 pm

Thanks for the update regarding what is going on your life, Nick. I am sure your doctoral efforts will be smooth and successful. I wish you all the best in any future undertakings. You are right, we all learn by degrees here at When I came here on day 1 one the old Songs website back in 1998 there were only two previous posters. I had been introduced to the fusor by my friend Tom Ligon in late 1996. Tom worked daily with doc Bussard as his lab tech and systems engineer. A bit wide eyed, at first, I had a lot of rough edges knocked off quickly in this effort. As expanded so did my knowledge, ideas and opinions related to many things regarding all aspects of fusion.

We are a collection of folks looking to assist, but not spoon feed those interested in amateur fusion.

Continue to have a good life in science.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

Tom McCarthy
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Re: From Humble Fusor Beginnings

Post by Tom McCarthy » Tue May 08, 2018 9:11 pm

Wholly agree with Nck's sentiment that the wealth of information, advice and discourse on the forum have guided my own path so far. I'm in my last year of secondary school, and plan on starting an undergrad in physics, and will be working in a quantum computing lab in University College London this Summer. Even an unfinished (yet!) Fusor with high vacuum and neutron detection systems in place has opened many, many doors for me, and given me much experience that I'm very grateful for.

I'd like to write up something more in-depth on this later, there's plenty to be said.

Bruce Meagher
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Re: From Humble Fusor Beginnings

Post by Bruce Meagher » Wed May 09, 2018 4:56 pm


Congratulation on getting accepted into Michigan's PhD program! I think it’s fabulous to see so many fusor members continuing their formal education training. Rarely in a career do you get to dabble in so many different areas as one does building a fusor. I have found the knowledge I’ve personally gained from fellow form members to be invaluable. Good luck and have a ton of fun.


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