Tri-Alpha Energy just launched its website

Reflections on fusion history, current events, and predictions for the 'fusion powered future.
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Paul_Schatzkin
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Re: Tri-Alpha Energy just launched its website

Post by Paul_Schatzkin » Mon Nov 09, 2015 12:48 am

Thanks for that post, Joe. That's pretty much how I see it, too.

Fusion can't get "funding" unless it's some large-scale, gazillion dollar undertaking.

I think that's exactly the opposite of what fusion "wants" to be, or, at least, should be. Which is why I find the fusor so appealing and all these other Rube Goldberg giants so... ridiculous.

That said, I have to confess I get a little confused with some of the nomenclature and metrics.
their 10 Million degree Celsius temperature is equivalent to a pathetic 861Volts in a fusor. Assuming that the ions in a fusor are accelerated across the full potential drop between the anode and cathode, and using the 11604 K/eV equivalence....Doug Coulter's 50kV fusor is hitting temperatures in the neighborhood of 580 million degrees kelvin.
I get lost between the temperature measurements and the K/eV equivalence. I'm not asking you to explain (not here, anyway), just trying to convey how confusing it gets for somebody not intrinsically well versed in the language and the acronyms.

And Richard Hull keeps insisting that the fusor is not "thermonuclear," at which point I have to wonder what that words even means. If 580MºK is not thermonuclear... then what is??

At least we know we're not dealing with "cold" fusion. Jeez, every time I talk to somebody (who knows even less than I do) about "fusion" and they say "you mean 'cold fusion'?" I wanna slap 'em upside the head...

But I get this much:
They simply aren't even close to the temperatures required for fusion.
... and just have to wonder, "so why all the excitement." At which point I might take a bit of umbrage at the dismissal of my crack about the "100 million dollar cartoon." If they're that far from producing actual fusion – let alone their stated intent of p+B11 fusion - then what ARE they doing besides building really shiny laboratory?

I mean, Paul Allen has supposedly sunk $100 MILLION into this thing... and fusors can't get a couple of million here and there? WTF??
Fusors today easily generate plasma that is 35 to 60 times hotter than Tri Alpha's plasma. And they cost a lot less too.
And yet, the fusor "gets no respect" in institutional scientific circles (except maybe at UofW, and a few other places that think of it strictly as a neutron generator), and there's no shortage of people right here on this site who insist that the fusor will never, ever be an actual, practical energy source.

The key phrase above is "...And they cost a lot less too." There is a mentality surrounding fusion that it is a giant problem that requires costly solutions.

Maybe it's must because I don't know any better that I can continue to believe... "...maybe not..."

--PS

(and don't even start me on the Wendelstat Stellarator... a million man-hours to construct? For all I know is may produce a bajillion joules of energy. But it's gonna be a mofo to make into a power plant... )

Update 151110: I'm doing some (long overdue) homework here, and I get now why we don't refer to the fusor as "thermonuclear." Now I will try to cope with the semantic inconsistencies of the nomenclature.
Paul Schatzkin, aka "The Perfesser" – Founder and Host of Fusor.net
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"Fusion is not 20 years in the future; it is 50 years in the past and we missed it."

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Richard Hull
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Re: Tri-Alpha Energy just launched its website

Post by Richard Hull » Mon Nov 09, 2015 9:40 pm

All who would know what temperature in degrees and kelvins mean as related to fusion hype must read and understand this old FAQ post by me. Temperature is thermodynamics

viewtopic.php?f=14&t=10424

Who ever assembled the Fusion theory forum left out a FAQ location for that forum which is where the above would find a proper home. I was forced to place it in the construction forum FAQ bin. Needless to say, I was pissed, but I can't add FAQ bins to major forums.

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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Frank Sanns
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Re: Tri-Alpha Energy just launched its website

Post by Frank Sanns » Tue Nov 10, 2015 9:29 pm

Richard Hull wrote:All who would know what temperature in degrees and kelvins mean as related to fusion hype must read and understand this old FAQ post by me. Temperature is thermodynamics

viewtopic.php?f=24&t=9223&p=62526#p62526

Who ever assembled the Fusion theory forum left out a FAQ location for that forum which is where the above would find a proper home. I was forced to place it in the construction forum FAQ bin. Needless to say, I was pissed, but I can't add FAQ bins to major forums.

Richard Hull
Richard,

Your moderator control panel will allow you do the same things to FAQs as it does for everybody else's posts. You can move, copy, lock, delete, and make sticky along with a few others. Whenever you want to move a FAQ just go to the thread and select move. It will give you the choice of the forum location that you want to move or copy to. Once there, make it a sticky and it will remain at the top of the list.

I copied the FAQ that you pointed to in your link over to the correct forum but left the original so you link was not bad. All along, you just needed to click your red slippers together and all was good. ;-)

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Re: Tri-Alpha Energy just launched its website

Post by Richard Hull » Wed Nov 11, 2015 6:25 am

I appreciate the effort and knew how to do that. I was taking issue that there is no real FAQ area in the theory forum.
Amateurs are directed to the special FAQ areas in each forum. They have a special commanding place designed to teach. FAQs piling up in head end of the actual discussion forums will be a bit imbalanced. I realize it is just too late to alter the nature of a forum to add the separate FAQ area seen in other forums.

I have also edited my above post to send folks to the new location in the Theory forum. Thanks again frank.

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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RE: Theory FAQ section

Post by Paul_Schatzkin » Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:34 pm

I thought Richard was saying that when we reconfigured the site, we neglected to create a "FAQ" section for the "Theory" section, i.e. something that would appear at the top of this page:

viewforum.php?f=14

...much as the FAQ section appears at the top of the Construction and Operation section:

viewforum.php?f=6

I was going to see if such a FAQ section could be created in the Theory section. Wouldn't Richard's post (linked above) be better in such a section? Shouldn't there BE such a section? Seems like it'd be easy enough to create (once I/we figure out how...)

--PS
Paul Schatzkin, aka "The Perfesser" – Founder and Host of Fusor.net
Author of The Boy Who Invented Television - http://farnovision.com/book.html
"Fusion is not 20 years in the future; it is 50 years in the past and we missed it."

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Re: Tri-Alpha Energy just launched its website

Post by Frank Sanns » Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:47 pm

Just created a FAQ section. Will populate it and streamline things too.

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Richard Hull
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Re: Tri-Alpha Energy just launched its website

Post by Richard Hull » Thu Nov 12, 2015 6:42 pm

Great works guys!

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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Re: Tri-Alpha Energy just launched its website

Post by Dan Tibbets » Sun Nov 15, 2015 9:46 pm

Perhaps exposing my ignorance again, but method and efficiency of heating is certainly important, but the dominate consideration is confinement. If particle and KE confinement is not adequate, even a tremendously efficient heating mechanism is useless. I've not been impressed with the temperatures they have been reporting, but I suspect this is low on their priorities list. Establishing adequate confinement against reasonable/ expected (?) input costs is the key. My impression is that they are advertising their confinement gains. Of course scaling these with other scaling considerations like injection capacity and efficiency make for an intricate dance that historically has proven to be fraught with unknowns.

EMC2 with the Polywell have accomplished similar results. They have demonstrated the principles of adequate confinement, and now need to implement input methods that are adequate. The Polywell is a Fusor and has demonstrated deep potential wells, as has other fusors . The problem with fusors has always been one of confinement , not temperature. The input issues may change catastrophically once confinement is achieved. This is a challenge for the Polywell, FRC, or any other approach. The necessary goals are often competing against each other.

Neutral beam injection, microwave heating are two heating mechanisms available. For fusor like machines, and others(?), electrostatic acceleration within the confined space is a third.

Now, if we only had a confinement method that did not interact so much with the dance of charged particles and magnetic fields. Does anyone have a pocket gravity generator?

Dan Tibbets

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Re: Tri-Alpha Energy just launched its website

Post by Frank Sanns » Tue Nov 17, 2015 4:42 am

Dan,

Temperature loss due to radiative cooling scales to the fourth power. It takes huge energy inputs to get those last Kelvins for fusion to go at any appreciable rate. What seems to be 90% of the way there is really only 3% of the way there.

Confinement of a plasma at low temperatures is not so difficult. Doing it at fusion temperatures is something else entirely.

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Re: Tri-Alpha Energy just launched its website

Post by Werner Engel » Sun Feb 05, 2017 11:51 am

A few days ago I attended a lecture of a former Nobel Prize winner – Carlo Rubbia. He was also a former director at CERN and a famous particle physicist. His story was about the next energy source of mankind.
To make it short he wants us to use methane-clathrates by separating CH4 to Carbon and Hydrogen. Hydrogen should be burnt as normal fuel where the Carbon should be used to "fuel" our oil based chemical industry.
The interesting statement followed after the lecture during Q&A:
From the audience: “Mr. Rubbia, what do you think about nuclear fusion?”
Mr. Rubbia – short version: “DT Fusion produces nuclear material – therefor there should be no further development like ITER. But B11/p+ fusion is aneutronic and therefore we should go for this reaction”.
He did not mention anything regarding cross section versus mass energy or maximum heat load on the plasma heat exchangers nor any other engineering issues we might expect.

But B11/p+ as the only future of fusion!!!!
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