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: Hypothetical IEC
Date: Jul 12, 08:38 am
Poster: Richard Hull

On Jul 12, 08:38 am, Richard Hull wrote:


Thanks for the post regarding the proposed polywell IEC device by Bussard. You have the general gist of the thing.

It must be remembered that Farnsworth investigated a crude electron confinement, EXL type device, first, back in 1959-63 time frame, but couldn't make it "go". It was only after a lot of effort trying to make it work that they reversed the cathode and anode polarities and started getting quick results with the ion collisional device we know and study here.

I was taken into bussard's confidence with a visit arranged by Tom Ligon. Bussard had me sign two different non-disclosure agreements. He sat me down and explained, in great detail, his system so that I couldn't "stumble" onto it from scraps of info from my friend Tom Ligon, his second in command.

That is about all I can say.

His system is much more involved and costly to investigate than our simple devices, and is indeed funded by the Navy currently to a level adequate to test the concept and determine its validity.

I wish them good luck, but am a bit shy of proclaiming "this is it." After all, we have been hearing the universal fusion funding mantra of "real soon now" since 1951. Who knows what will make a hit and make a homerun?

Richard Hull

>>I see your point and I like your honesty Mr. Hull.
>>I can tell you that Miley does have a plan for a new veriation of his devices that could solve almost every problem with the IEC concept to the level were it might reach brake even.
>>More on that in the future.
>>Thank you for you honesty.
>>Also is Bussard's new concept the EXL concept that I read about here.
> I'm assuming here that you are referring to
>R.W. Bussard's Polywell Concept, which is a variant of the IEC device. It uses arrangement of
>electromagnets and/or permanent field magnets to
>create a roughly spherically symmetric well for
>trapping electrons. The electrons are then used
>to trap fusion fuel ions electrostatically.
>Tom Dolan (a former University of Illinois graduate student) investigated both conventional
>IEC devices and later pursued magneto-electrostatic confinement. He translated
>several of O. Lavrent'yev's papers on the
>same subject. Dolan appeared to believe that
>a system along the lines of Bussard's Polywell
>was the way to go; Lavrent'yev thought
>so too; steady-state gridded IEC systems were
>thought to not be able to overcome power
>losses to the grid and to bremmstrahlung
>radiation. Lavrent'yev did mention, however,
>that pulsed IEC systems had a chance, and he
>put forth a number of designs for ion
>injection systems from a glow discharge in
>a spherical system.
>Trying to get a handle on the plasma physics is really tough, and unfortunately, there is not
>a lot of public financial support (read
>government funding) to help this along.
>Theoretical/computational analysis is absolutely
>necessary to help advance IEC technology.
>Doing experiments alone is much slower and
>more expensive.
>Consider Tokamak fusion technology: they still
>don't have a good handle on both the global
>and local plasma physics of those devices; that's
>why they have built over 50 of the darn things,
>and the answer has always been the same:
>"We still don't understand what's going on;
>extrapolation of the experimental data suggests
>that we may reach break-even if we build a
>bigger device".
>Best Regards,
>>I know that he was telling the NAVY that it would be braking even in about 8 months but 4 months have already past.
> Hmmm. I'll believe it when I see it. Data,
>and all the documentation.