The Hull prize!

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prestonbarrows
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Re: The Hull prize!

Post by prestonbarrows » Thu Mar 06, 2014 2:45 am

Just to put this into context, no 'amateur' has ever built a tokamak or inertial confinement (laser) device capable of DD fusion to my knowledge. If anyone has examples, I'd love to see. Certainly, this does not mean that these approaches are worthy of scorn and should not be pursued by professionals with the budgets and resources to do so.

IEC configurations simply happen to have the lowest technological threshold for fusion reactions. They are comparatively simple and forgiving making them well-suited to DIY systems. On the flip side of this, it is also unlikely that a simple IEC grid will ever scale to a feasible net-gain device.

The point of more complicated schemes like a tokamak, stellerator, inertial confinement, field-reversed configuration, dense plasma focus or even a levitated dipole (or a polywell) is that they have the possibility of scaling into a net-gain device. This usually scales with size/power making such approaches only really feasible above a certain scale which is outside the scope of a basement tinkerer.

This is not meant as an endorsement nor condemnation of the physics behind any of these approaches; just pointing out something of a logical fallacy flying around here...

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Richard Hull
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Re: The Hull prize!

Post by Richard Hull » Thu Mar 06, 2014 4:36 pm

Way back in the history of this venue. Some noise was going on about working with D + 3He fusion, P + B11 fusion and the Polywell. The implications of this chatter was such that the concept was advanced that the amateur should work on these avenues of fusion. Those here who were doers realized that for any number of reasons, these avenues were effectively closed for the amateur. Nevertheless, a number of armchair folks continued to posit that a really good and talented amateur should make efforts in these areas.

To stop the talk of such forlorn hopes, I offered a prize to any one of these so called doers to complete their boast. Carl Willis sweetened the deal a good bit and the prize became known as the Hull-Willis prize.

In the long run, the prize worked and most of such chatter went over to the polywell site where it rightfully belonged and, of course, no hardware ever got fabricated there; perhaps it was never meant to be. They were talkers and boosters.

Still, we occasionally get a person or newbie who has read about P+ B11 fusion and posts on it, but again, no action or movement in the form of harware is, or was, ever tackled.

Whether the prize is viable or not will no longer be of a concern to me. I never considered it viable in the sense of an actual win and payout, but obviously, was willing to pay up if some superman stepped up with proof of performance.

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.

prestonbarrows
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Re: The Hull prize!

Post by prestonbarrows » Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:39 am

I see. There a number of interesting papers recently from the University of Sydney. Small machines just meant to look at scaling laws but they show promising results. Something like this would be within the reach of an experienced hobbyist. They have demonstrated the existence and scaling of a potential well but this is only on the order of 10's or 100's of volts. Getting up into the >10kV well range for appreciable fusion would need much more power input than most could pull out of a wall socket for CW operation. Electron currents on the order of amps are needed. Though it may be within reason if pulsed power is used effectively.

Hobbyists fusing advanced fuels quickly starts to drift off into the world of cold fusion and magnet motors though...

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Richard Hull
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Re: The Hull prize!

Post by Richard Hull » Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:09 pm

Some may get the impression over the years that I am against fusion energy. That is not the case; I am all for it. Others, who have followed my thoughts through the 16 years I have been here on this fusor site, might conclude that I have grave doubts about fusion energy arriving at the wall outlet within the next 75-100 years. Those others are correct! Every fusion idea thus far has been a dead end and will continue to be if omni-present "scale up concept" isn't dropped from the fusion mindset.

The idea that making something bigger is going to make all the smaller abysmal failures start to work has resulted in the ITER. A device that was supposed to be working in 2010 which has yet to have one piece of actual hardware needed for constructing the device in place. ITER is perhaps one of the greatest debacles since JET and NIF whose earlier, lesser debacles consisted of numerous tokamaks, stellarators, mirror machines, etc. The greatest major advance in real fusion has been the near universal disappearance of the term, "real soon now".

Molten salt thorium fission breeder reactors are about the only green path to electrical energy that is viable in the rather short term 50 year future to help shore up the increasing electrical demands.

Fusion is the energy of the future and it always will be.

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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Richard Hull
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Re: The Hull prize!

Post by Richard Hull » Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:20 pm

As I am now retired, as noted, the Hull prize is now null and void. I knew I would never have to fork over the cash. I have noticed a lot less supposedly serious talk of P-B11 or other silly amateur fusion efforts doomed to failure. Is the guilding off the lilly, finally?

Wait! My old pal Carl Willis is just starting his career and is certainly rolling in th' bucks....Maybe his part of the prize money is still good.
Remember, it was renamed the Hull-Willis prize.

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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Jason C Wells
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Re: The Hull prize!

Post by Jason C Wells » Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:45 am

Is anyone else working on proton-boron? I'm getting ready to do a fusion run. I might be able to do an un-instrumented run in the morning.

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Jason C. Wells

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Jason C Wells
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Re: The Hull prize!

Post by Jason C Wells » Thu Jun 11, 2015 4:58 am

And then I look one post upward and see that the venerable Mr. Hull uses words like silly to describe p-b11 efforts. I've enjoyed the resources that Mr. Hull provides here on this forum. I am guessing that no one has claimed the p-b11 prize or he wouldn't have written that.

I'd be a fool to cavalierly dismiss this dismissal. Yet here I am. It is hard to convey how excited I am over the results that I observed today. I may fail. In fact, I have failed repeatedly for three years. But I tell you, I think I am very close to pulling it off. In fact, I think I only need to add a boron target to my machine. That's the easy part.

What will be harder is discriminating between everything going on in there, and the alpha fusion product. That's the "well instrumented" part of the challenge.

Wish me luck,
Jason C. Wells

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Jason C Wells
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Re: The Hull prize!

Post by Jason C Wells » Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:02 am

Doh! I'm back tracking through this thread. I see that I am late to the party. Nevertheless, I will soldier on.

Jason C. Wells

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Jason C Wells
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Re: The Hull prize!

Post by Jason C Wells » Thu Jun 11, 2015 5:06 am

Richard Hull wrote:I think that there are 4 alphas from the idealized reaction. That's only a tiny 250,000 fusions or reactions per second. Not all that spectacular as hopeful fusion reactions go. Still, it opens the door for direct conversion, in theory. Of course, a simple target fusion system would not be a power system. What p-B11 fusion that has been done is just proof of concept target fusion with p bombarding a B desposited target. Accelerator stuff.

Richard Hull
Rutherford and Oliphant, 1934 "Transmutation of the elements" records just such a reaction.

edit: Never mind. "What" wasn't a question. It was a pronoun.

Regards,
Jason C. Wells

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Richard Hull
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Re: The Hull prize!

Post by Richard Hull » Thu Jun 11, 2015 10:54 pm

I never said P-B11 was impossible. However the average amateur is not prepared to tackle it and prove it. Certainly there is nowhere near the fusion coming out of it when it does work as with simple D-D in the amateur's hands.

Question and exercise left to the student......What is the instrumental procedure needed to absolutely detect and warrant that the alphas from this miracle of direct conversion fusion process are, indeed, of the energy typical and predicted for this process?

Un-instrumented runs of P-B11 fusion testing is like telling me that you have done cold fusion because you ran a CF reactor built to typical specifications of same.... and it seemed to work. Get real.

No one currently on board here is going to belly up to this bar with definitive proof of fusion.

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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