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, 7:54 pm
Poster: Pierce Nichols

On Jan 26, 7:54 pm, Pierce Nichols wrote:

>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.

In the case of an electron core plasma, as in his first fusor, I think that's pretty much what happens and it's all to the good. I don't think it's what happens in his second fusor, with the negative inner grid. I'm not sure what happens in that case. I don't know if the ions thermalize; if they do, it's all to the bad. I think ion thermalization is our equivalent of anomalous energy transport for the tokamak crowd.

>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.

Possibly true; however, fusion cross-sections are sharply lower at relativistic velocities, so relativistic velocities appear to be a bad thing, unless they solve a whole bunch of other problems.

>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.

They would still act as resonators etc. for EM modes -- you can model a metal as a plasma for EM purposes, after all. Otherwise you are correct. I think the trick may be using something like RF or magnetic fields to generate the virtual electrodes. A spherical fusor should resonate quite nicely if properly excited.

>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!

Interesting... I have a hard time believe that would work without some external confinement or excitation, b/c the energy from fusion is so high that it might blow the virtual electrodes apart w/o some sort of maintenance input.

>Ion crystals may form. See

I was under the impression that ion crystals only form at very low energies, i.e. laser cooled ions and the like.