LPP Experiment:  8 goals and timeline

Posted by Rezwan on Nov 05, 2009 at 10:29 AM
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The LPP crew has accomplished their first technical goal for the experimental program.  The achievement of a pinch means that the machine is doing what they designed it to do, which is to transfer energy into a tiny plasmoid.  Seven goals remain.

By end of 2009

LPP is hoping to achieve the following goals by the end of 2009.

At 25kV:  Produce 1 MA, determine optiumum gas pressure

LPP’s second technical goal is to get the machine to functional 25kV, the lowest planned experimental voltage, and to produce more than 1 MA of current.  They will also very shortly switch over to running with deuterium and thus achieve their first fusion reactions with FF-1. In achieving this goal, they will also determine the optimum gas pressure for this current.

Test theory of axial magnetic field

The third goal is to test the theory that adding a small axial magnetic field, and thus a small amount of angular momentum, to the plasma will greatly increase the size of the plasmoids and thus the efficiency of energy transfer into the plasmoid.

Move to 45kV, 2MA, with Deuterium

The fourth goal is to increase the charging potential on the machine, by 5 kV steps, up to the full capacity of 45 kV and in the process achieve a peak current of about 2 MA with deuterium.

Confirm Texas results, with better instruments

The fifth goal is to confirm the Texas results of high temperature and density, but with far more complete diagnostic instruments.

By end of 2010

These last three goals LPP plans to achieve by the end of 2010.

Heavier Gases:  D + He + N, and shorter electrodes

The sixth goal is to confirm LPP’s theory that heavier gases will lead to higher compression and to thereby achieve gigagauss field. This will involve running with combination of D, He and perhaps N and will also involve replacing the electrodes with shorter ones, which they predict will be optimized for the heavier gases. These experiments are more complex and will be more time-consuming.


The seventh goal is to demonstrate some fusion burn with pB11 fuel.

Net energy

The eighth and final goal will be to demonstrate the scientific feasibly of producing net energy with pB11.

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There are (9) comments.

Aeronaut's avatar

Can’t beat goal #8 for next year’s Christmas present!

Brian H's avatar

Yes, I was wondering about those cathodes; they seemed to be longer than the ones I’d been used to seeing and reading about. 

Is any p-N fusion anticipated in the 6th stage?

Brian H's avatar

No tweets on this; perhaps this latest set of postings should be passed on?

Very exciting… I’ll be following this closely. Look forward to meeting the team next thursday.

It might be good to mention whether the result of this LPP Experiment is a net energy machine or just proof of concept for Break-Even fusion. While this is a huge step forward, I see (not as a specialist) more breakthroughs needed for the prototype net electrical energy reactor:
efficient X-Ray converter,
efficient ion energy reclamation,
efficient cooling system,
efficient vacuum production system,
rapid firing process

Brian H,

When using nitrogen for goal #6, I suspect p-N and D-N fusion will create some neutrons, but not any worse than from D-D fusion.  The lab has radiation shielding.


The goal of this round of experiments is just proof of concept, but those other tecnologies needed to make a real generator are more in the realm of engineering work not R&D;breakthroughs.

Many of the challenges on Breakable’s list appear to be engineering issues. However, is the X-Ray conversion physics really proven? It was my understanding that the X-Ray conversion technology was only theoretical, and not yet proven in an experiment.

Brian H's avatar

The interaction of X-rays with various metals is known, and the use of enough layers of foil to knock them down is an exercise in arithmetic ... as long as the manufacturing challenges aren’t too great.

Those are very good goals I wish I could be there to help accomplish them, yall are making a historical undertaking good luck.

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