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: IEC in the news
Date: Apr 29, 00:23 am
Poster: Blair P. Bromley

On Apr 29, 00:23 am, Blair P. Bromley wrote:

>>Looks like this stuff is getting more mainstream.
>Yes, IEC fusion is causing a few folks to take a second look.
>Dr. Robert Bussard is currently working with fusors. I posted a lot about his efforts earlier on this list. His original dream long ago was to use fusion for space propulsion. He wrote a lot on it and even projected a form of hydrogen ram jet for space propulsion. His work of the Nerva project and the KIWI nuclear rocket programs in the 60's in legendary.
>Yes, both he and Robert Hirsch have kept the IEC dream and the notion of the fusor alive in their hearts since the demise of the ITT Farnsworth original effort in the late 60's. George Miley is the current leader in the work with something cranking in a lab. Bussard is currently setting up for serious work on power fusor design.
>I note now the this new fellow in Pennsylvania is pulsing the system. I also mentioned earlier on this list that hydrogen thyratron pulsing might boost neutron producition based on higher peak pulse current levels. I now think that the device could be made into a nice relaxation oscillator with the fusor replacing the hydrogen thyratron. This will require a little work to finalize though.

Bussard's Fusor is a bit different from the original system conceived by Farnsworth. His concept, the Polywell, is comprised of a geometric assembly of magnetic field coils which forms, more or less a spherical magnetic cusp for the magnetic confinement of electrons. The confined electrons form a deep potential well which then electrostatically confines fusion fuel ions at high densities and energies suitable for fusion. There's a nice writeup about it in one of the 1990 issues of Fusion Technology.

Another pioneer in the field of electrostatic confinement during the 1960s and early 1970s was
O. Lavrent'yev at the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences of the former USSR. Most of his work was theoretical, although his team did perform some experiments on spherical gridded IEC systems. In fact, I think he may have been the first to used grids for the purpose of electrostatic confinement, unlike Farnsworth and Hirsch who used ion guns exclusively as it seems. I can give
you some references to Lavrent'yev's papers for your study and consideration if you so desire.

Best Regards,


>Richard Hull