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: Bussard ICF
Date: Jan 26, 9:16 pm
Poster: Blair P. Bromley
On Jan 26, 9:16 pm, Blair P. Bromley wrote:
>>I believe that Robert Bussard has proposed a refinement of the Farnsworth ICF device in which the inner cathode grid is no longer needed. However, I don't know the details on it.
>>Also, work is being done at Los Alamos on the ICF concept as a neutron generator.
I know the people working at Los Almos working on a variant of the Farnsworth Fusor (also known as the Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) device). They are planning to used a multiple gridded system with the inner cathode cooled by either compressed gas or water flowing through tubular wires. The operating voltage will be on the order of 100 kV, and there will be a steady
state current of close of 100 mA. The first concept is to treat it like a standard multi-grid
IEC device, with electron emitters and an outer
positively biased anode grid (about 100 - 1000 V)
to create a uniformly distributed glow discharge ion source on the outside, which will be accelerated by the transparent, cooled spherical cathode on the inside. They are calling their IEC device the INS (Intense Neutron Source). Later they will modify their system to operate to create
a uniform density of electrons in the core, which will create a parabolic electrostatic well for ions to flow down into, and create ion bunching.
If you consult the scientific literature, you
will find that Lavrent'yev in the Ukraine in
the 1960's, and various graduate students
working at the University of Illinois, Penn State
University had investigated the use of the IEC device as a light-ion driver for ICF targets.
The guys at LANL are going to do something similar, but they are just going to let the ions
collapse upon themselves to create a periodic
bursts of neutrons. At a high frequency repetition, the system should generate as much
as 10^10 n/s operating with D-T, and probably
>The above are all correct. Bussard is looking at propulsion aspects and has some really nice ideas few of which I am privy to even having his "lab rat" Tom Ligon as a close friend. I wish Bussard well. He is just enough of a free agent to do good work.
>The plodding pace of research is directly proportional to the square of the funding, in dollars, times the number of paid researchers on the team.
>The fusor is a labor of love.