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#3 FAQ - The easy path to fusion - issues

Posted: Wed Dec 31, 2014 6:32 am
by Richard Hull
There is no definitively easy, casual, path to fusion for the amateur. In spite of the fact that, scientifically and mechanically, fusion is abysmally easy to do compared to other major nuclear processes.

What?!

No person needs to understand fusion to actually do it, as doing it is a strictly mechanical adventure. Wise people will understand the basics of fusion if they attempt to do it. The best of the wise ones will quickly see there are a number of paths with tradeoffs in time and/or money outlay.

Doing quick fusion on an unlimited budget is possible, but the thrill of the hunt and adventure would be lost. With no money or very little money success is strictly based on a rather longish struggle and an iron will to do. Attempting fusion on a lark, as purely a DIY project, is sheer stupidity and rather idolatrous. Attempting fusion with zero skill sets that will be called upon and no money or a lack of will to work around it, is an effort that will quickly weed out the non-hackers. (We have a vast collection of non-hackers in the foam of our wake) Most of this foam is populated by short attention span, non-doers and DIYs that just weren't up to the task.

The goal of fusion demands proof that it has been done. For the average person landing here, this proof of the fusion pudding will seem daunting and demanding. Few living private citizens of any country can say they have built, personally funded and operated a fusion reactor system in their homes and proved its operation scientifically.

For detail explanation of the requirements for admission to the Neutron Club, read:

FAQ: Neutron Club - Process and data needed for claiming fusion: viewtopic.php?f=24&t=3134

For an example of the requirements for admittance to the Neutron Club, take a look at this example:

viewtopic.php?f=18&t=7893

The only fusion open to would-be amateur fusioneers is D-D fusion. (deuterium-deuterim fusion) The epitome of this proof process involves the definitive and demonstrable detection of neutrons which are part of the debris from the fusion process. (there are four chunks of nuclear debris in D-D fusion's wake, heralding its occurance. The neutron is but one piece of that debris. It is left as an exercise to the student to determine what they are and why the neutron is the one sought to be detected in spite of it being rather difficult to detect. (see the FAQs)

1. Neutrons are not easy to detect by the uninitiated.
2. First fusions at the amateur level are, typically, of inherently low yield.

A.To detect fast neutrons from a low yield, first pass, amateur fusor, the best and most sensitive detectors are needed.
B. Using a superior fusor with a very high fusion yield makes neutron detection much easier and far less complex detection gear is needed.

Finally, even a rotten and poorly assembled fusor operating at rather low voltage will do fusion, but virtually no one producing such a device would ever be able to prove it by submitting to a scientific review.

So, one of these two paths A or B must be chosen to declare a win and prove it to a critical scientific review.

A. You may not have a great or powerful, high voltage fusor, but you arm yourself with a plus ultra neutron detector like a moderately sized 3He, (helium 3), detector or a fairly large BF3 (boron trifluoride) detector and associated moderator and electronics and know how to use it. In this case you will prove you have done fusion, albeit weak fusion, due to superior nuclear metrology (usually expensive) In short, you blew you bank roll on instrumentation and claim your win.

B. You can dump your money and time into a plus ultra fusor reactor with premier vacuum system and a high voltage supply capable of at least attaining and sustaining 35 kilovolts at 20ma. (expensive and or time comsuming) This will do fusion at a vastly superior and unambiguous rate, making the neutrons detectable by crude neutron activation of silver foil and require only a junk geiger counter to prove fusion.

There is but little middle ground here. Attempting to work in the narrow middle will mean a much longer time to fusion and a bit more tortuous detection effort, but we are discussing easy fusion in this FAQ.

Both A and B are easy paths to fusion for those with the time and/or money coupled with some skill sets brought to the table and a will to do. With limited money, it will require even more skills to find work arounds in order to secure the fusion win. Know and understand this before you begin your quest and you will either be on board or in the foaming wake.

A strong willed person arriving with little experience and a gang o' cash can do and prove fusion in two or three months for under $20,000
An equally strong willed person who is extremely adroit with lots of mechanical/electrical skills, and of scrounging and begging or borrowing can do it in a year for under $1,000.00 or even less, if an advanced or life long amateur scientist.

Richard Hull