Homepage Forums Focus Fusion Cafe A Physicist's Overview

Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #383
    AvatarTheTeacher
    Member

    As a practicing nuclear physicist, I wish to comment on the science underlying this effort, and upon certain enhancements and limitations that may hinder/benefit the development of this type of power.
    No plasma over about 4,000 deg K can be confined by material walls; there has to be electric field or magnetic field containment. As such, the plasma must be 100% ionized. Symmetric electrical field containment is intrinsically unstable; hence the Farnsworth fusion generator constantly produces emitted jets of plasma through the confinement electric field, effectively reducing the ability of the unit to maintain constant over-unity power generation. Similarly, magnetic field containment, as exemplified by Tokomak type fusion reactors, suffers from inability of long-term (i.e more than 3 seconds) containment due both to instabilities in the magnetic field and instabilities in the plasma itself.
    The reason that very high temperatures are required for fusion is that elevated temperature increases the relative kinetic energy of the nuclei, such that the Coulombic repulsion between similarly charged nuclei are overcome. The temperature required increases with the number of positive charges between the interacting nuclei, and decreases with the number of neutrons in the nuclei, due to the strong nuclear force being charge insensitive.
    If a negative electronic field exists between the two interacting nuclei, then the fusion temperature may be substantially reduced. For example, if the nuclei are surrounded by a muon, a short living particle of 200x electron mass but unitary negative electron charge, then such deuterium nuclei actually undergo verifiable and repeatable fusion at near room temperature. This fact has been known for over 50 years. Thus, shielding the two interacting nuclei from each other until the strong nuclear force can dominate over the Coulombic repulsion force will radically reduce the temperature needed for such fusion to occur. However, muons are short-lived, difficult to manufacture, and because their energy cost to manufacture exceeds the fusion energy so gained, the entire process becomes uneconomical.
    The cold fusion enthusiasts hope that the electron field of a metallic lattice, such as platinum or palladium, will provide sufficient shielding so that the fusion process for deuterium occurs at near room temperature. My calculations show that this cannot occur as such, and experiments performed are highly contradictory and non-repeatable. However, under some circumstances, as yet unexplained, fusion products do emerge.
    The trick then, is to create a specific engineered surface, which is attractive to heavy hydrogen nuclei, and which will provide a sufficient electron field to shield two adjacent nuclei to let fusion occur. Calculations show that this is possible with a specific type of charged nanoengineered surface. This is the approach to be taken to actually create a heavy hydrogen fusion generator.

    #1872
    AvatarGlenn Millam
    Member

    TheTeacher wrote: No plasma over about 4,000 deg K can be confined by material walls; there has to be electric field or magnetic field containment. As such, the plasma must be 100% ionized. Symmetric electrical field containment is intrinsically unstable; hence the Farnsworth fusion generator constantly produces emitted jets of plasma through the confinement electric field, effectively reducing the ability of the unit to maintain constant over-unity power generation. Similarly, magnetic field containment, as exemplified by Tokomak type fusion reactors, suffers from inability of long-term (i.e more than 3 seconds) containment due both to instabilities in the magnetic field and instabilities in the plasma itself.

    Hence the plasma focus approach in using naturally-occurring magnetic containment.

    https://focusfusion.org/index.php/site/article/focus_fusion_reactor/#dpf

    TheTeacher wrote: The trick then, is to create a specific engineered surface, which is attractive to heavy hydrogen nuclei, and which will provide a sufficient electron field to shield two adjacent nuclei to let fusion occur. Calculations show that this is possible with a specific type of charged nanoengineered surface. This is the approach to be taken to actually create a heavy hydrogen fusion generator.

    What is your estimate on the time frame of finding such a surface, that can provide significantly better than break-even performance? Is it any better than what we are hearing from ITER and other fusion researchers? What is the theoretical output of such a device? What would its remnants and wastes be? What fuels are you proposing to use?

    I have followed cold fusion, catalytic fusion, and sonofusion for the last decade or so, and, not to be too pessimistic, but I have heard a lot of hopeful talk and just-around-the-corner speeches, but have seen no significant working devices that have produced real breakthroughs. One of the things I like about this project is that they have done significant science; the temperature breakthrough at Texas A&M;is repeatable and real, and points to a real solution (in fact a better solution in that non-radioactive Hydrogen-Boron fuel can now be realistically looked at). This project has more than hope; it has direction, and a realistic goal based on good theory and experimental results.

    Perhaps doing what you say will bring about a way to produce fusion energy using means that do not produce the kinds of heat and x-rays that PFF does, even though it seems to need radioactive fuel, and will probably produce a lot of radioactive byproducts in comparison to focus fusion. I just wonder about the timing. Will it be there when we need it? Can it be there when we need it? The time is running short.

Viewing 2 posts - 1 through 2 (of 2 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.