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: So, I wrote.
Date: Mar 10, 9:35 pm
Poster: Nathan K.

On Mar 10, 9:35 pm, Nathan K. wrote:

So, I wrote. >Can the current forms of the IEC break even? No. Why?
>The IEC of today is fundamental flawed in its conception, because what drives it prevents it from breaking even.

Jim asked.

Please elucidate further? How does electrostatic drive prevent it from breaking even?
Ok, lets get into it. In a nut shell two words, Earnshaw's theorem.

How it relates to IEC's is simple, " Schemes for equilibrium plasma confinement which involve (((( (only) )))) Electrostatic fields may be expected to fail since they violate Earnshaw's theorem. Moreover, any configuration of such which might represent a potential well for particles of one sign would inevitably constitute a hill for those of opposite sign."

The problem with the concept is further complicated by the fact that for a glow discharge system we seem to have a kind of impedance reactance. If this sounds far fetch. Compare the principals that govern capacitance and then read the following statement over again.

The velocity of the ions isn't affected (much) by the length of the path. The factor which determines the velocity (energy) is the voltage difference they move through. So, more velocity (to get higher yield) needs more voltage.

BUT.. more voltage, at a given spacing, means more likelihood of an arc discharge, so you need more spacing.

BUT.. more spacing means the ion is moving farther on it's way to the middle, which means that you need lower pressure, so it doesn't run into something on the way towards the middle.

Fortunately, less pressure means you can run more voltage (to a point)...

However, the rate is also proportional to the ion current, and reducing the pressure reduces the current for a given voltage.

It's all a big tradeoff... and breakeven is probably not a realistic near term goal. [let the flames begin] OTOH, as several have found, fusion of some sort most certainly is.
It looks a lot like the kind of thing that a capacitor goes through. Dr. Miley has alleviated the problem with the device, by pulsing or by using a rapid input of charge just like you can do to alleviate the capacitors impedance reactance by a rapid short pulse, as long as work is being done to dissipate the energy input sufficiently to prevent break down (with limitaions).
From a mechanical point of view the grid prevents high re-circulation and thus high fusion rates.

Another problem with the IEC concept is that if we only need 10Kv, to cause fusion then why do we apply 50, 60 Kv and above? The answer is actually two reasons, one the potential well gets shallower as we move from the outer grounded sphere inward towards the negative grid, and then compound that effect by the Earnshaw's theorem as mentioned at the begin. The second reason is that the higher velocities increase the probability for side collisions which are a big part of the overall fusion rate we see in IEC's.

As for currents well, 1amp should be more than sufficient, but when you are looking at 60Kv input also then wattage as a form of power goes up drastically and we gain very little back especially with when we look at the overall picture.