Farnsworth Questions

Reflections on fusion history, current events, and predictions for the 'fusion powered future.
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Richard Hull
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Re: Farnsworth Questions

Post by Richard Hull » Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:19 am

Frank, I have long called for the Lawson criteria here in hundreds of posts. Energy at cross section, pressure, containment. No one on earth has run a fusor at real high energy, high pressure fuels and high current. All fusors will and forever suffer at very high energy ions, being forever limited to operate at low pressures and low currents. I doubt if anyone ever will..... Certainly, never at the amateur level. By this I mean 200kv applied, 100 microns pressure and 100 ma current or better. This would be a fusor breakthrough leaving us only 7 or 8 orders of magnitude away break even! I am really waiting for someone or group to belly-up to the bar to "show me".

Nicolas, "Star mode" means absolutely nothing in relation to the fusion process! it does indicate a, clean, somewhat limited, symmetrical, internal operational regime. There are no instability issues in the fusor as built here. The fusor is a bungling mass of disorganized, bull headed electrostatic goings-on in an ionized plasma that cannot help but fuse due to the very uncontrolled nature of the effort. It is mostly a velocity space fusion system with a bit of target-fusion coupled with fortuitous re-ionization possibilities. Working against all of these fusion methodologies is the bedlam going on through out the device. There are no instabilities in the system because there is no attempt at stability in the very simplicity within the device. We have enumerated in many posts over the past years the exact mechanisms pro and con that we think are going on in the simple fusor.

Add multiple precision ion guns, several biased internal, ported,shells and perhaps ultra-high frequency, high voltage, high power oscillators to get a bare, hoped for improvement in stability and control of the processes involved and.....Who knows?

We have what we have, it does fusion. In this ball of bedlam, the simple amateur fusor, mathematics is the outsider regarding any precision of understanding. Certainly no trained physicist familiar with fusion and plasma would give it the analysis you seek as it is just does not show any merit or display any chance of re-paying the effort involved. Too many variables and processes coming to light only from empirical experiment and, perhaps, processes not even identified at this time, 20 years later.

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.

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Dennis P Brown
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Re: Farnsworth Questions

Post by Dennis P Brown » Wed Jun 10, 2020 5:31 pm

As I've posted before, fusors, no matter the number of ion guns or increase in density or other tricks these devices will never even match the Sun for energy output (on a volume bases) much less exceed it. In the Sun, even at a million times our atmospheric pressure and millions of degree's C the net fusion via tunelling runs at all of about 300-500 W/ m^3 per sec (try figuring out how much hydrogen and deuterium is in that cubic meter - I did that once and it is vast.) That is barely more power than what the average fusor puts into their device. If those vast pressures and temps produce such tiny amounts of released energy, what is any fusor under vacuum ever going to achieve? Give it a rest; no way will a fusor based on tunnelling ever give real power (above net.) When you think about the conditions in the Sun's core and its puny energy release - trying to get a fusor to exceed even this rather unimpressive level is just plan silly.

On the otherhand, without this strong restriction, life would never occur in the universe since otherwise, star's would burn up in no time. We should be happy that tunneling is so ineffiecent.

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Richard Hull
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Re: Farnsworth Questions

Post by Richard Hull » Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:59 am

Tunneling is a mere rolling of the dice......... the P-P cross section is so miserable coupled with casting the of dice, solar fusion is pitiful. The solar core temps are also rather pitifully low. (thank goodness) Also written and calculated out in past posts years ago.

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.

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Nicolas Krause
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Re: Farnsworth Questions

Post by Nicolas Krause » Thu Dec 24, 2020 7:08 pm

Have any of Farnsworth's notes survived to the present day? In reading Richard and Frank's recent posts I was struck by how so much of the discussion of his ideas has to rely on secondary sources. I would love to see any scrap of paper where he wrote down his ideas about what he was trying to accomplish. I think I am consistently struck by how someone who was so wrong on details (ie: polarity of the grid) could also be so right in generalities. This is a man with very little formal education, and yet he laid out a device that produces respectable rates of fusion compared with the huge mega science projects. I understand his explanation of what was going on was incorrect in the device, but he still built a device that when you flipped the wires powering it, it magically generated fusion.

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Re: Farnsworth Questions

Post by JoeBallantyne » Thu Dec 24, 2020 9:56 pm

Yes, many of them. The Marriott Library at the University of Utah has a large collection of Philo Farnsworth papers.

The vast majority of which are technical. Included are lab notebooks from Hirsch, and Meeks, as well as Farnsworth.

I have about 30+GB of pictures of said material. I took said photos in the late fall of 2019. I ran out of time to take pictures of everything, since it is a very slow tedious process, but I believe I got photos of most of the fusion related material.

Philo was brilliant, and IMO understood a lot more than what Richard gives him credit for.

My 2 cents.

Note that I would be happy to share the pictures of the above material.

Joe.

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Richard Hull
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Re: Farnsworth Questions

Post by Richard Hull » Thu Dec 24, 2020 10:59 pm

I have a large cache of this work here as well, but nothing on the planet substitutes for the words of those involved in the hands-on doing. In the end, based on 100% of those involved in the day-to-day work and who were doers interviewed.....Farnsworth did not do in the lab and when rarely, he was involved, he self-deluded especially in the early work. From early 1962 onward he was a rarity in the lab save for pats on the back and at-a-boys.

He was known to think and think some more, entombed in his office on the second floor. His thoughts were directed from his office with occasional meetings with Bain and later, Hirsch. Phil was an executive and along with the admiral and a couple other onsite physicists and mathematicians constantly kept producing feel good documents related to progress and did yeoman duty keeping the work in the labs funded. Phil and the admiral and others were working hard with ITT patent attorneys correcting and amending rejected submissions. What Phil did do was keep the project alive in concert with the admiral ensconced at the NY HQ.

Regardless of any Farnsworth brilliance on paper, the net result 1958-1968 was zip as related to the advancement of fusion, beyond another proof of how not to do useful fusion. They literally did produce the easiest way to do demonstrable fusion on a table top and a future path for amateur fusion.

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.

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Frank Sanns
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Re: Farnsworth Questions

Post by Frank Sanns » Fri Dec 25, 2020 12:46 am

What other fusion approach from conception to multiple devices did any better in a ten year span? I say none.

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Richard Hull
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Re: Farnsworth Questions

Post by Richard Hull » Fri Dec 25, 2020 5:51 am

One must remember that others in fusion, over any ten year span, built models of their ideas of some size at a minimum of 20-50 times the volume and 100 times the expense. Just like the ITT effort they all showed a net value of zip. Many did not last ten years due to loss of the outrageous funding need to keep them alive. So, build in the small from a concept and spend very little for 10 years and fail or build in the large from a concept get the thing done in 4 or 6 years spending huge amounts and fail. Net result: two failures going at it in two different ways. Brilliance in theoretical concept is one thing, turning that concept into a successful physical embodiment for a predicted, valued result is quite another.

Never fear, we will soon, (well, maybe not so soon after all), have ITER on the pile of ultra big, super over budget, and embarrassingly late running fusion project fails..........In the sense of a 24-7-365 fusion reactor that produces net, viable, continuous, un-interrupted fusion energy.

If ITER fails to meet the full goal, will we enter the next phase of hyper-big fusion systems. We have been through the small, medium, big, bigger, large, very large, gigantic and now the ultra-humungous, international funded assemblages. There remains only the hyper humongous, totally Global effort.

Will the lucky donkey bring forth fusion in the solid state?

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.

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Re: Farnsworth Questions

Post by Dennis P Brown » Fri Dec 25, 2020 2:48 pm

Speaking of large machines that limp along with large funding the (South) Korean "Star" tokamak proves that not only are these machines essentially worthless (for future possible fusion power plants) but even adding just a few extra seconds takes years of efforts. This would be sad if not for the fact they think this is some type of achievement to be noted. At least they mention that they are reaching the absoult end of what any tokamak can achieve - all of 20 seconds. Pulsed plasma at a cost of many billions per unit is no way to generate power even if it (ever) works.

See: https://phys.org/news/2020-12-korean-ar ... -long.html

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Richard Hull
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Re: Farnsworth Questions

Post by Richard Hull » Sat Dec 26, 2020 3:52 am

I was delighted to read that they hit 20 seconds. What was not said was "could you immediately do it again?" If not, why not? We're off to the races now! It's 24-7-365 or bust! So far, it is a bust. Still, it is nice to recognize a doubling of working plasma time.

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.

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