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: Early IEC Reference
Date: May 25, 8:30 am
Poster: Richard Hull

On May 25, 8:30 am, Richard Hull wrote:

referencing a paper by Elmore, Tuck, and Watson in Physics of Fluids, Vol.2, p. 239, 1959.
>The authors diss the approach as incapable of sustaining a high enough particle density for straight thermonuclear fusion, rightly so. It was up to others to consider that the non-maxwellian distibution of ion energies in the IEC device might be useful in its own right.
> Richard Hester

Richard has found the earliest printed reference to IECF.

Bussard and his team reference them frequently. I first heard of them from Tom Ligon in one of his many visits to the lab and later from Doc Bussard himself during a disclosure discussion two years ago. So the names - Elmore, Tuck and Watson should be part of the IECF lore.

The earliest hollow cathode work was done by Langmuir and Blodgett in the 20's.

However, It was, indeed, good ole' Philo who first actually started to move on the IECF concept which he peronally formed in his mind in the early 50's. His earliest effort at construction can be traced to late 1958, although his calculations and musings went back 5 or more years before that.

It is interesting to note that Elmore, Tuck, Watson, and Farnsworth all had a positive inner grid in mind and a negative shell. They were looking at virtual electrodes though.

The Farnsworth team chained themselves to this idea doggedly until around 1962, when they reversed the polarity in the effort to make a "collider" in the hollow cathode space.

Thus, we are here today with the legacy of the Farnsworth teams original effort and the belated negative hollow cathode concept.

Again, as I have posed many times, I would like to characterize the "FUSOR" device as a "Spherical geometry, electrostatically focused and confined, deuteron accelerator-collider." I know it sounds tedious, but it sort of states clearly what the thing really does for a living!

And yes, as Richard Hester and others note, there have been quite a few folks swimming in this pond, although few of them ever get beyond the models which poo-poo the idea. I think the idea is sound, it just needs more real work done on it.

Richard Hull