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: Some dumb off topic questions
Date: Sep 22, 3:52 pm
Poster: Scott Stephens

On Sep 22, 3:52 pm, Scott Stephens wrote:

>>There is a website at http://accelconf.web.cern.ch/accelconf/p99/KW/KW/KW133.HTM
>>with lots of interesting 3 page papers on accelerator technology. I found the following paper "The Plasma Window: A Windowless High Pressure-Vacuum Interface for Various Accelerator Applications" there:

>>It describes using a 4cm stabilized arc in a 3mm dia tube to keep a vacuum between electron tubes, lasers or accelerators and atmospheric pressure (and up to 40 psi) targets.
>I've downloaded and read the paper your refer to.
>It really is a fascinating idea, and I just HAVE to ask some dumb questions.

>1. How large a diameter could this be scaled to?. I'm thinking of the order of 1-2m diameter.

Couldn't work, the arc would pinch into a filament unless it was high frequency or already low pressure; the power required would be tremendous.

>2. What level of e-m emissions would it generate?.
>Would the atmospheric end be eye safe?. The paper mentions that the plasma is at about 15,000 K

No. You would probably get toasted crispy.

>3. What power level is required to ignite and maintain the arc?. I mention this because the paper mentions cooling of the chamber as a significant issue.

IIRC the power of that arc (~4cm x 3mm dia) was a couple hundred watts.

>4. Now for the dumbest, what happens when a solid body passes thru the tube?.

Incineration! I think some toxic chemical incinerators and chemical reactors use that type of plasma technology. Do a web search and you might find more about large plasma's like you suggest.

>The reason for all this, is that the first application that popped into my head after reading the paper was airlock door!. Something like the fast acting valve application that it mentions.

If you could confine a 'cold' as in non-thermal or ballistic plasma, or a Boise-Einstein condensate in a powerfull laser matrix, you might have a powerfull force-field just like in star trek! Someone posted a reference to a news artical about it in the alt.lasers newsgroup.

>Unfortunately I suspect this application is on the impractical side, but its fun to speculate about.

I think plasma physics will be a future area for amateur scientists and hackers to innovate. The equipment is challenging but not impossible.

Another possiblity is confining an ion or plasma crystal quantum computer lattice in a fusor. The speed of even a few quantum switching elements could make a code-breaking fusor quite a prized commodity.