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: What's in a name?
Date: Mar 18, 2:22 pm
Poster: Richard Hull
On Mar 18, 2:22 pm, Richard Hull wrote:
The fusor is considered an IEC device. The term IEC is probably a Farnsworth invention. The term "Fusor" is definitely, 100%, a Farnsowrth original. Certainly the modern literature with the Term "IEC" in it is due mostly to the efforts of George Miley and his researchers at University of Illinois.
IEC means inertial electrostatic confinement. To understand this is key to what we think we know about the fusor. Tom Ligon (Bussard's lab enegineer) and I have discussed this at length.
Farnsworth felt that the fusion in the center of the fusor was actually confined there by what he called a vertual cathode which produces a potential well trapping deuterons for smashing by incoming accelerated deuterons. The cathode or well was a virtual electrode or invisible. This would normally be verified by a langmuir probe, but the spherical geometry of system precludes the introduction of anything into its volume. Such a probe immediately upsets all the fields. Thus the vitrual nature of this "well" and trapping was hottly debated by those on both sides of the issue starting back in the 60's as Farnsworth put forth his ideas.
The tokomak and Inertial confinement laser boys said "prove it" and figured the virtual electrodes of Farnsworth were just so much "moonshine".
One of Miley's main researchers has just recently supposedly used laser plasma measurements to prove the existence of the virtual electrodes. I hope to learn of this paper's author and data soon.
So, both sides of the fence remain intractable and well dug in with math and examples of why they are right and believe as they do.
Tom and I noted that just due to the geometry alone and simple physics that all deuterons originating at or near the walls of the fusor when entering the inner grid ARE AT FUSION ENERGY!
Therefore and in deference to the establishment and prior to the supposed discovery and proof of virtual electrodes, we like to refer to the fusor as an ACCELERATOR.....namely a Spherical Electrostatic Inertial Deuteron Accelerator/Collider...or.... SEIDAC.
We laughed and patted ourselves on the back for burdening the world with yet another acronym while feeling more comfortable about talking in mixed company concerning our work. A catchy acronym is always held in high regard by techno dweebs everywhere.