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: The Original Farnsworth Mark series Fusor.
Date: Jul 10, 7:05 pm
Poster: Richard Hull

On Jul 10, 7:05 pm, Richard Hull wrote:

>Sorry for all these questions but I'm trying to get the facts straight.
>So what you are saying is that the Farnsworth Ion gun devices were inferior to the later Hirsch units.
>OK I'm assuming you got the facts from the Farnsworth team members, correct?


That is correct! I have interviewed all many times with more and varied questions. I have had face to face weetings with all of the origianl team members including Pem and Kent Farnsworth.

It is sometimes tough to understand what is fact and what is poor recollection. However, after about two years of constant rechecking of the data and info available, numerous interviews, etc., I think I have a handle on a lot of the activity from that period with many interesting and never told stories. RH

>See, this is what I don't understand.
>The website of Mr. Paul Schatzkin conflicts head on with what you are saying.

We musn't blame Mr. Schatzkin! He is merely passing on information from, for the most part, reporter and historical writer types. This is the place where the "rubber meets the road". Where at least some modicum of scientific forthrightness should be expected.

Hysterical writers, hero worshipers, and yarn spinners absolutely permeate the literature around folks like Edison, Tesla, Farnsworth and Armstrong. It is important these people be remembered in a world which quickly forgets. Some writers just over do it!! Most are not even of a slightly technical bent, much less scientifically adroit. They may collect a lot of facts, but they can pick and choose amongst the conflicting "facts" to provide any slant they want.

I hope, at some point, to do a long monograph or small book on the ITT effort in general and on the scientific aspects in particular. I hoe to make it a good honest and interesting read for the Amateur scientist interested in the fusor from both a historical point of view as well as covering detailed technical and scientific aspects of the effort as well. I will also attempt to expand on the actual people involved.

>I was under the impression he also had interviewed some of the Farnsworth team.
>So which historical account is correct?

He has indeed talked with some of the folks involved. Most of the stuff you have read on the general fusion site is not by Paul Schatzkin!!

The old Borderland article which is the pillar of the fusion page is a bit extreme and has us believing the fusor actually self-sustained and there is an effort afoot to supress it! Great hype, bad facts. (including the numbers) RH

>Let me ask a more interesting question.
>What does a Hirsch device gain by adding the Ion guns and its techniques from the Mark II, III?

Mainly, it gains mightily in complicated and expensive construction. This keeps amateurs and even many interested, non-funded institutions from getting involved with it.

However, at a bit lower vacuum level, the ion guns would indeed provide a clean fully accelerated beam of ions at a known current arriving at the inner grid. The problem is they are coming in from only a couple of directions with still fewer collisions per unit current due to reduced gas density.

I am not saying the Hirsch/Meeks fusor is the be all, end all fusor. Heck no! It is just the cheapest way to do hot fusion yet discovered by man.

Richard Hull