FAQ - What if I change this thing here and there in my fusor?

If you have a question about this topic, the answer is probably in here!
Post Reply
User avatar
Richard Hull
Posts: 12181
Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2001 1:44 pm
Real name: Richard Hull

FAQ - What if I change this thing here and there in my fusor?

Post by Richard Hull » Sun Feb 23, 2020 6:32 am

I have seen a number of folks use cylindrical, spherical and solid grids in fusors. I have seen fusor reactor vessels as spheres, cylinders, cubes and crosses. I have never seen these elements of the simple fusor individually changed in type, configuration or size run to show any sort of preferred scientific efficacy in tightly controlled series of experiments. I fear I never will. Sure, a particular configuration of any or all of these factors might work out to be the cheapest, easiest to make or the most attractive type of fusion reactor.

Below, you will see why posing stupid questions like "what if I do this or do that?" or "Has any one tried this or that?" will inevitably lead to a response like "NO! Why don't you do this or that and report back to us on your rigidly controlled experiment when you change this or that!" What if you choose another stepped change in the fusor. Do you see the circular futility?

The upshot is that just changing grids in and out, changing their size or shape or making a reactor chamber of a lesser or larger size or of a particular geometry would require all conditions to be equal in the simple fusor. This means the range of D2 pressures, voltages and operating current must be held identical. Also, what's to say that the the change you have made might not be ideal at other regimes of fusion fuel pressures, voltages and currents. If it is, that is great! You have only just found a new sweet spot for a new grid. One thing that years of work has taught us is that the fusor is one of the most inelegant systems to do fusion. From a theoretical standpoint, where variables can start to be fixed and another changed through a range, the fusor is a bowl of slop. For based on one of many variables that poke their nasty business into the mix, one can always find a sweet spot peculiar to all of the variables in a new fixed configuration. It is this bowl of slop that guarantees that the amateur will succeed in doing fusion if they can follow simple instructions, have the cash and pack the gear necessary to "do".

We are currently off chasing yet another rainbow that has yielded good or equivalent results which involves vastly less complication and cost... Always a good thing if you are cost and labor conscious....(the cross). This in no way kills the spherical or cylindrical fusor reactor chamber as a design point, now or in future. Though nothing is as pretty as a large sphere with all its ports bristling with plumbing and electrical stuff hanging off it. It looks like what the mind wants to see in a fusion reactor. The 2.75 cross looks like it ought to be just a junction connection for something really important. It turns out the cross is easy, cheap and a real space saver which can, in the right hands and fed well, do great fusion.

We are finding that no matter how we do it, how we make it or how we feed it, for the simple fusor, there is and will always be an empirically derived "sweet spot" that does the best fusion possible in that particular configuration which is assembled. There is virtually no way in which a fusor of the simple pattern of two electrodes in a fusible gas with voltage applied, can fail to do fusion! Farnsworth came as close to achieving total failure using this scheme by choosing the wrong polarity for three years!

Basically, slap it together, push the button, and it will go like hell....... Change something, it really makes no difference, and it may or may not go like hell, but it will still go within its sweet spot with proper tweaking.

You will find that the only easy variable drivers are gas pressure, voltage, and current....(sweet spot locators).... Physical changes are a bitch to make happen due to cost, wasted time in alteration, etc. There is always the fear that you are leaving the good in search of the better. Experiment at the level of physical changes, even if they are as simple as a mere grid change, involve some costs in capital, time and the tedious search for the new sweet spot. All the while, you must know you will only make, at best, incremental changes. This is nice if you have a stopping point goal, such at a particular neutron number that is a minimum requirement to satisfy your needs.

Just remember, all fusors can and will work. If you are just starting out, you do a lot of thinking and musing about "what ifs". Please do not ask questions like in the title of the this FAQ or contained in its first paragraphs unless you want be told....."First, make a fusor that actually does fusion, and then create a controlled experiment with tightly gathered data points around the variability of a number of stepped changes you are now asking about and then please share your results with us when you are done. Like you, we want to know too!"

If your goal through making changes is to achieve over unity, power producing fusion, put all you tools away after first oiling them to prevent rust, put you money in a good interest bearing account, grab a good book, get in your favorite easy chair with a drink and enjoy the calm and peace they will grant.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

Post Reply