Fusion Message Board

In this space, visitors are invited to post any comments, questions, or skeptical observations about Philo T. Farnsworth's contributions to the field of Nuclear Fusion research.

Subject: Re: Self Confinement.
Date: Jan 26, 12:50 pm
Poster: Scott Stephens

On Jan 26, 12:50 pm, Scott Stephens wrote:

>I was wondering since this board is so watch by the professional IEC community

Maybe the 'pro's' can correct my (mis?)understanding hopefully?

>for the life of me I can't figure out how are virtual electrodes going to coax themselves into existence and stay self generating.

I have a tough time with this too. If you look at some of the Farnsworth multipactor tube (not fusor) patents, you get the idea that a coherent ion oscillation is taking place, that is all the ions move in and out at the same time, in phase.

In the fusor, unless an RF bunching potential is applied, I doubt this happens. Ions fly inward and get their clean radial motion scattered randomly, or thermalized, or turn into a 'hot' (thermal) plasma from a 'cold' (balistic) plasma. This would create a space-charge, a single potential in the core.

I never found a good explanation of why multiple potential wells from. If the ions move so fast they are relativistic, they effectively increase in mass, so the potential gradient is no longer linear and a 'virtual' potential, again a space-charge forms.

Having virtual electrodes, that is space charges, is great because they don't suffer from the problems of real electrodes, slowing ions by collision, getting hot and burning (poisoning the plasma), brehmstraalung, and (my opinion) acting as antenni or resonators for EM modes.

If fusion takes place, charged ions have much more energy and go flying out, first fighting the potential and after loosing velocity climbing the potential hill, contribute to the confining potential! This leads to the posibility that once a 'kindling' potential is applied (possibly by one whopping great pulse, or perhaps multiple pulses discussed earlier) the fusion reaction can become self-sustaining; a 'fire' is ignited!

Farnsworth claimed this happened. Of course if I was near retirement, and had enough corporate crap, I might decide to cash in peddling snake oil.

P-B11 would be better than D-D or D-T in this regard, as there is more charge generated, without those nasty, toxic neuts?

High, relativistic, energies mean other interesting things may occur. The plasma, due to the non-linear gradient, may become unstable and oscillate at microwave frequencies. Rather than considering this anomalous energy transport a catastrophic loss, like the tokamac folks do, it can be applied advantageously to dynamical self-focus, confine and accellerate ions. Relativistic beams show self-focusing effects, they don't diverge as much as classicaly predicted.

At high (fusion) energies dynamic effects, and geometry, as well as static geometry should be considered.

Ion crystals may form. See

An ion crystal may sustain longitudinal and transverse waves, and maybe solitons, which can be collided, or focus ion beams? Crystalized ion plasma could have some very desirable properties. It is the stuff neutron stars are made of. It fits the bill for the solid, moving parts of a plasma engine?