It’s not my demand, Brian, it’s my plan of attacking a lot of thorny physics and engineering challenges (not to mention the people challenges) in such a manner as to lead by an example that attempts to identify and challenge every last one of my (and my organization’s) hidden assumptions of what may or may not be possible, practical, or desirable. My biggest set of questions right now revolves around how fast a gazelle corporation (think national sales office network such as realty) can be grown from less than $500- and possibly less than $200- to 10,000 US offices. (!!)
A company plowing its profits back into expansion can grow pretty much tax-free by US tax strategy (note a hidden assumption, btw). By growing through the FF-oriented magnet school layer and into the manufacturing layer, and then onto the space elevator phase, and writing about it, nobody has any idea what the near future really can look like other than WOW!
If FF succeeds at all, its going to be due to a small core group who won’t take no or “one of these decades” for an answer. It’s a group who values their time. You need to prove your potential to join that group, imo.
What about moving GW/AGW, musings about gods, and similar threads to a new category called “Noise”? And explain everyone coming by with a sticky note “We discussed that before but it doesn’t support our cause, and the admins (including quite some users) decided to move it out of the way”. We could open a thread “Proposals for Moving to Noise Folder” where everyone can suggest threads in a constructive way to be moved.
Is it worth including a history of the PF in general to explain the differences between then and now? The PF was originally viewed as a path to fusion. That is the basis for most dismissal of the technology as a fusion reactor. People have “too much” experience with it and “know” the outcome. It would be helpful for the techies to see the differences between FF and conventional PF technology.
The about doc is really thorough. I like the comments on the revisions to shorten and clean it up for the average person. I know I said something above about techies but the history might help the average person understand the basic technology exists but it hasn’t been applied in the correct way.
A comment on other applications…x-ray lithography might be less likely than Q>1. Soft x-ray lithography even with a PF (NIE/NTU, SRL, Cymer, AASC) was developed and tested over 20 years ago. Cost models were favorable in many cases and the technology generally worked. It needed more development but the goal was in sight. The problem was a barrier that the lithographers were not giving up on optical/UV techniques. IBM spent a lot of money supporting the develop along with DARPA and it fell on its sword because the folks doing the work would not adopt it. Maybe times have changed but last I looked groups like Intel are pursuing EUV lithography while avoiding soft x-ray techniques like a plague. I guess my concern is you might have a loser out of the gate.
I’d say it is. I don’t know too much about the history of the PF, and I’ve often wondered where it came from. My assumption is that it developed from earlier Z-pinch devices. For a while I also wondered what the difference was between the Mather and Filippov PF devices. FF-1 (with the anode and cathode forming concentric cylinders) is a Mather-type device, right?
I’ve heard stories of the history but the stories are centered on the Mather focus. Like any verbal retelling, it grows a little with each retelling. The condensed version is the Mather PF discovery was an accident when a gas valve stayed open filling the chamber with gas during a thruster experiment. The tech operating the machine noticed a funny current shape. The Fillipov was intentional as an attempt to built a better Z-pinch. Both designs quickly scaled from ~500 kA to 2 MA in the 1970’s. It is not 100% clear why very few machines were ever operated above 2 MA. I know there are some technical issues but I get the feeling it was a political thing. Z-pinches are at the 26 MA level now from the same humble beginnings with their own technical problems studied and overcome. The history I’ve heard suggests Mather had a substance problem and was largely discredited with the funding agencies. Without his support, it was difficult to sustain the research at LANL. Take the history with a grain of salt.
The technical difference between the Fillipov and the Mather is the anode geometry. Both devices use a coaxial (concentric cylinder) geometry. The Fillipov focus has an anode length shorter than the anode diameter. The Mather geometry has an anode radius larger than the anode length. A few machines operate in the hybrid mode where anode radius and length are similar. The Mather seems to show superior neutron output for a given current. I believe there are solid technical reasons for this to be true but I don’t think anyone has proved it.
Here’s a history of DPF and related research–by a partisan to be sure, but very interesting. Winston is the guy who introduced me to the DPF.
RE: using MS Word in writing a web document. WordPress allows you to type directly in plain text, with the familiar formatting selection boxes (color, italics, etc) OR in HTML. You can see the HTML code with a simple toggle, and you can be working in the plain text mode, go to its HTML and insert a formatting command in HTML that might not be in a convenient selection box on the menu for plain text. I edited the component called the Essential Guide to the Electric Universe (didn’t write its original text), and had to learn HTML to work with the MS Word original documents. The thunderbolts.info website was recently converted to WordPress from HTML, and so we got to learn a new, easier way to work up a website. It looks essentially the same with some cosmetic improvements. WordPress has a very short learning curve to get operational with simple stuff like writing text, inserting links and images, references to stored documents, etc., and a lot of available help to finesse things. I can copy MS Word text and paste it right in – no problemo. This is not an ad for WordPress. It is a limited description of my short experience with it.
Check out the new “About FFS” page. Also attached as pdf and doc documents to this post. This draft spells out what FFS is, what it’s trying to do, how it’s different from LPP.
Warning: It’s thorough. This one doc replaces 8 others.
Bold or italicized text is where a hyperlink will be.
I think this covers it. It will replace most of the information we have in the “about” section now, which is outdated and misleading.
Thanks for your feedback! A lot of it has made its way into this draft already!
Attached as pdf as well as .doc – hopefully one of them will work for you.
You can also wait to comment on the web version. This will take some time! If you have any tips on how to convert a word doc into an html doc – without all that crazy extra formatting that word sticks in there! – please let me know. It’s going to be a while to format this and upload to the site.
I share your enthusiasm for WordPress as an external composer for webdocs. Also, .rtf files (Rich Text Format) are recognized universally, and have the key formatting and linking capabilities you describe, and can be pasted directly into virtually any web editor or site, unlike .doc files.