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wasted potential

Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 7:06 am
by Psalia
I must admit I am quite disappointed with the current activity in the "Neutron Club" ; I have come to understand that the main reason people come visit the forums (not everyone obviously) is to polish their resume rather than contribute to the understanding in current fusion technology. Here at our fingertips we have wide access to 50 odd verified operational furors, and what are these fusors being used for? Zip nothing, expensive glorified art pieces most of the time. So the problem in front of us is thus; How can we use these fusors to attain useful information? It is clear that the current system is producing a community of braggers and boasters rather than scientist and useful data. I'm afraid i do not have the answer, however i do have an idea i'd like to have considered and criticized by you guys if you'd humor me.

One of the most sought out things by amateur fusioneers is a membership to the Neutron/plasma Club, perhaps if we make research a requirement to entering the club we might, for a lack of a better word, trick people into producing valuable research. I would like to make it clear that requiring thesis-level work would not be necessary, any amount of information or unknown data would suffice. Also why not add a competitive aspect to the list and rank everyone based on highest verified Q. Now we have a new problem though, what to do with current members. Personally i would restart the list but i doubt current members would agree with this approach.

What do you guys think? Do you have any ideas as to how to make use of this community of stagnant "scientist" ?

Re: wasted potential

Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 2:07 pm
by Nick Peskosky
I think the problem you have posed may be framed incorrectly due to a lack of background knowledge. What defines research can be relative to the Fusioneer. People construct Fusors for a multitude of reasons:

-some build to learn about a system that spans multiple scientific and engineering disciplines (machining, vacuum techniques, electrical engineering, nuclear instrumentation, high energy physics, mechanical engineering, chemistry)
-some build to capture "a star in a jar" (harnessing Fusion is pretty damn cool!)
-some build to utilize the neutrons for experiments in activation/spectroscopy (Carl Willis)
-some build just for the sake of tinkering in the garage (no different then a gear head re-building an engine)
-Lastly, some build to try and improve upon the stones that Farnsworth-Hirsch set when the filed their initial patent

The problem with performing paper generating/academic level research with most Fusors can be summed up in the following:

As a member of the Neutron Club I can attest that it takes long hours of tinkering/debugging/sweat to coax neutrons out of a D-D Fusor... even more to detect and quantify the output beyond a shadow of a doubt. The device itself operates in a quirky portion of Paschen's curve. It can be an active endeavor, often requiring the presence of more than one person, just to keep the Fusor producing a steady stream of neutrons. Most of the Fusioneers on this forum work full time jobs or go to school as full time students (high school, BS, MS and even PhD candidates) and just don't have the time to actively run a Fusor for research. Fusors are also typically expensive to modify and operate on a 24/7 basis (to maintain <10-3Torr pressures you need to have both pumps happily chewing up 600-1000+ Watts of power). Lastly and most importantly, rarely are you inclined to shake the tree once it is finally bearing fruit.

That being said, a lot of us work on improving our devices when we can. I try to squeeze in work on my Fusor when I can... be it a week off for the holidays, a weekend or a late night in the garage. For many, the focus is on making the jump from a simple demo Fusor to a full blown neutron producing device. The more experienced/technically inclined of us usually will work on refining our neutron metrology/instrumentation or pressure control systems. Once these two are tackled and refined in their entirety, only then can you really move onto grass-roots level research into boosting the actual D-D fusion.

There is a substantial amount of research going on if you scratch below the surface. Just to highlight a few:

Steven Sesselmann's FICS 2
Andrew Seltzman's liquid cooled/ion-gunned reactor
Robert Tubbs' BoT neutron generator

My ultimate recommendation would be for you to complete construction of your own device and present your own findings!

Re: wasted potential

Posted: Sun Oct 30, 2016 11:06 pm
by Richard Hull
Well done and spoken Nick!

Richard Hull

Re: wasted potential

Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:09 am
by Tom McCarthy
^Walk the talk......

Re: wasted potential

Posted: Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:59 pm
by Richard Hull
The Neutron club was established to just laud the major accomplishment of the amateur scientist/builder/experimenter/researcher actually doing and proving to critical oversight that they have done fusion.

The very fact that far in excess of 90% of all who have done fusion, (neutron club members), are no longer even around, proves beyond all doubt that these folks were never interested in doing any research or even investigation beyond taking home some honorary trophy. This is especially true among the young and DIY folks. It was never the science, it was the win.

Also telling is the fact that 99% of all who show up here never do much of anything and that most all who make the Plasma club listing rarely claw their way to the neutron club.

In the end, being in the neutron club is enough to show you have "packed th' gear". Whether you stay or leave or do research, you will probably have what it takes to get along in this world as a goal oriented individual. Sadly, due to its very nature, the goal of doing fusion is often a financially tough undertaking and many learn that long before they make the plasma club. Due to this, there is no dishonor in failure for the less well-heeled.

Richard Hull