Fusors and Maxwell's Equations

It may be difficult to separate "theory" from "application," but let''s see if this helps facilitate the discussion.
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Nicolas Krause
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Fusors and Maxwell's Equations

Post by Nicolas Krause » Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:24 pm

I'm currently taking a standard electromagnetics physics course in my electrical engineering degree and I'm curious why the lower powered demo fusor's haven't caught on as teaching aids. The images posted here have been really helpful in visualizing the mathematical operations with Gauss' field. Surely if I wanted to approximate different Gaussian shapes, like a cylinder, or sphere I could change the grid shape in the demo fusor and obtain different looking plasma patterns. Instead of drawings on a whiteboard students would be able to physically see something in the real world.

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Rich Feldman
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Re: Fusors and Maxwell's Equations

Post by Rich Feldman » Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:37 pm

Sounds like a good idea, Nicolas.

I had the minor misfortune, in college, of being placed a year ahead in math with respect to physics. Divergence and curl of vector fields were just operations to remember and practice. Next year, in the context of electromagnetism, they immediately made sense. Became intuitive and beautiful, even, There must be people out there whose intuition holds up through quantum mechanics.
Richard Feldman

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Richard Hull
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Re: Fusors and Maxwell's Equations

Post by Richard Hull » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:07 am

There is an amazing opportunity in the demo fusor! I have harped on this for some years. It is in the doing and learning just how plasma work over a wide range of conditions. gas types, gas pressures, varying voltages and currents. You can "own" an understanding of the intimate and often strange and non-intuitive, (at first), actions in ionized gases. I spent two and one half years with two demo fusors reading books on ionized gases to help me understand what I was observing and why. I can't say too much about the intense pre-conditioning and learning processes with a demo fusor.

I fear far too many never take the opportunity to linger and learn with the demo device, coupled with reading in a self-directed learning and doing period well before attempting actual construction of a fusor.

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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