Hello from Michigan USA

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Dennis W Winslow
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Real name: Dennis W Winslow

Hello from Michigan USA

Post by Dennis W Winslow » Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:53 pm

Hello all.

Amateur science hobbyist always learning about new topics. Site has been very interesting and helpful. After reading some of the warnings , limitations, and challenges in fusor construction, I have one main question at this time.

In building a fusor what is the most important considerations to make a home fusor valuable from a research/experimentel perspective. If you were willing nto put considerable investment into one design that offered the most ROI and least limitation for further development, modification/"room to grow."

Is this even possible, realistic? Do any offer considerable more capability?

Thanks and I look forward to learning from all of you and the sites resources.

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Richard Hull
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Re: Hello from Michigan USA

Post by Richard Hull » Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:09 pm

The FAQs are the place to go. The construction FAQs contain a discussion on designing for modification and accessibility.

The key thing is to look at how others have made their systems in Image du Jour. The research angle is important to an amateur scientist. The only reason I built a fusor was not to do fusion, but to get my hands on neutrons. It is not illegal to use neutrons in research by the amateur scientist, but the normal path to obtain them involves fission reactors. You can't have those. The other path is to obtain and assemble a very strong isotopic alpha emitter and place it in intimate contact with beryllium. You can't obtain the hyper strong isotopic emitter without an NRC license. (Not usually given for amateur experimentation.) Fusion of deuterium is a great source of neutrons. The fusor is a viable path to neutrons.

Neutrons are a key to advanced nuclear experimentation by the amateur. This opens the door for activation and other various experiments, provided one is at least a young adult and mindful of all the safety issues. We attempt to work as safely as possible as there are so many issues the amateur must be mindful of in nuclear experiments.

Read one of the highly recommended basic texts on nuclear physics offered up in the "books and references" forum here. One of my favorites is "Nuclear Radiation Physics" by Lapp and Andrews. This text has been used as a first year college introduction since the 1940's into the 80's! There are thousands of used copies to be found on Amazon and American Book Exchange. (try and get the last or latest edition...1970's). I have about ten copies, as I collect all editions and the early printings. This fabulous hardback text can be had for as little as $2.50. Never pay more than $10.00 unless it is in pristine condition. My second review is here

viewtopic.php?f=21&t=11512

A flexible, accessible fusor is only possible at the design stage. Unfortunately, at each new fusor design and construction stage you see where the next one would be better if you.........

You get the idea. The doing and the using is the thing to making things better. This is true in any endeavor.

There is no blueprint to building a fusor. Look at the many images posted by folks doing more than just trying to join the neutron club. look at their layout and design. Don't design so well that you find you can't effectively assemble all the bolts on flanges as you have crowded a fusor with too many ports, too close together. Such efforts look great on paper because the flanges are drawn "put together". However think about trying to bolt it all together from mere pieces-parts. Leave clearances.

I would think a good research, readily expandable fusor would require a minimum spherical diameter of 8-inches. 10-inches would be better. Watch out, though, larger volumes demand more flowing deuterium gas which is not cheap.

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.

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Dennis P Brown
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Re: Hello from Michigan USA

Post by Dennis P Brown » Sun Dec 30, 2018 2:55 pm

As Richard clearly said, fusors are generally used as a neutron source. Fusor's themselves are of very limited usefulness as innate experimental devices since they are such low rate reactors. Since they depend solely on quantum tunneling, there just isn't much anyone can do to modify that type of physical interaction.

Dan Knapp
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Re: Hello from Michigan USA

Post by Dan Knapp » Sun Dec 30, 2018 6:19 pm

There is still the opportunity to improve the neutron production rate in a fusor. Several university groups have been pursuing this for years, and continue to do so. There is always opportunity for innovation in any device. But one should become familiar with what has already been done so as not to reinvent the wheel.

Dennis W Winslow
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Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2018 5:42 pm
Real name: Dennis W Winslow

Re: Hello from Michigan USA

Post by Dennis W Winslow » Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:59 pm

Thank you all for taking the time to reply. I have ordered the book
Richard recommended.

Very helpful information. I really enjoy your forum.

I have been researching a project to occupy my spare time. Something that could provide some level of innovation or "cutting edge" learning. Still determining if the fusor will fufill this.

As a fun question......

What other areas do you guys see as areas of great potential and tech advancement opportunities? Superconductor and materials? Furthering magnetic confinement tech? If you had 5, 10, 20k to invest in your home lab, what areas of interest/experimentation would you pursue?

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