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: Fusion detection
Date: Dec 26, 10:51 am
Poster: Jim Lux

On Dec 26, 10:51 am, Jim Lux wrote:

>I was wondering other than a neutron counter is there any other way to tell if a fusor is doing fusion.

Sure, lots of ways, however, neutrons are nice because they are ONLY created by the fusion reactions in question, and aren't likely to be spurious from somewhere else.

1) Look for the decay of the T (or the T itself) produced in half the reactions of a D-D fusor. Wasn't it Richard Hull who found a geiger effect from his fusor? You could also build a mini mass spec to look for T ions.

2) Half the D-D reactions produce protons, not neutrons (at some energies, anyway). Detect the energetic protons.

3) Look for other reaction products, 3He for instance.

4) Measure the incremental heat released by the fusion reactions (grin)....

The real problem is in finding a "marker" of fusion that isn't likely to be spoofed by some other reaction. Sure, if you've got a suitable calorimeter that can measure parts per billion accuracy, you might be able to do #4, above, but for most of us, non-thermal neutron detection is probably the easiest non-ambiguous way to do it.