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: p-B11
Date: Nov 22, 11:12 am
Poster: pat

On Nov 22, 11:12 am, pat wrote:

>OK, maybe I'm missing something. Tom Ligon and Dr. Bussard always talk about p-B11. If and when someone makes a D-D break even IEC or other fusion device, going from D-D to p-B11 is going to be almost as big of a challenge.
Well, yes it will be another jump, but the advantages of the p-B-11 reaction are hard to ignore: The fusion products are 3 Helium nuclei and about 8.49 MeV. A nice energy yield, all
charged particles which lend themselves wells
for a direct energy conversion system, and no neutrons.

>Fallow my thinking and correct me if I'm wrong. To burn p-B11 an IEC device would have to run at potentials well in excess of 150Kv, today's examples of IEC's operate below 50Kv.

Uh huh. Today's IEC's could operate at higher
voltages, so long as you get a large enough
power supply. Perhaps you are referring to the
observation that high voltages at low currents
can't be achieved. That's because many of the
IEC experiments are limited by the glow discharge
which establishes the flow of current between
electrodes. If you drop the pressure and rely
upon an auxiliary ionization system (such as
electron emitters and multiple grids), you will
be able to decouple the the operating voltage
from the current and pressure. With a conventional glow discharge, all three parameters
are linked together.

>Hell, 300Kv just puts you at the starting point were p-B11 experiments will be possible.
>So, imagine what kind of circulation and mean free paths you will have to create for this kind of reaction, not to mention all other IEC problems magnify themselves that much more also.
>I think D-He3 is the better option and would require relatively speaking, a lot less effort to change from one to the other. The results would be similar to p-B11 and the research effort would be much, much simpler.

D-He-3 is fine, and I would advocate it as
a replacement fuel for D-T, once a net-power
producing device for D-T has been established.
In terms of basic research, however, using
plain old deuterium and D-D reactions is the
most economical and practical. The knowledge
gained from D-D experiments should be applicable
to D-He3 , D-T, and p-B-11 systems.

There is one thought that we may want to give
further consideration: Once you go above 100 kV
of operating voltage, electrons begin to
depart from classical behavior; in other
words, they behave relativistically, and this
may affect the behavior of the IEC device in
a way that we do not fully comprehend at this
time. If one were to develop either highly-
simplified or comprehense models of the ionized
gases in the IEC device, it would be a good idea
to introduce a relativistic model for the