Homepage Forums Aneutronic Contenders DARPA and Lawrence Livermore funding Dense Plasma Electrodes

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    AvatarMatt M

    “DARPA is interested in using Z-pinches to make compact neutron sources. However, DARPA’s applications require more neutrons than are produced by the current state-of-the-art dense plasma focus (DPF) experiments.”

    Here is the article in Next Big Future:

    And here is the press release from Lawrence Livermore:

    Basically, the thing looks like three Lawrenceville Plasma Physics electrodes in a row.


    Wow. I wonder if there is any way that LPP could access their simulation software.

    It’s very interesting to me that, although they talk of “neutron sources” and “collapsing plasma”, no where in the press release do they use the word “fusion”. I realize that this work is largely targeted at producing more efficient neutron sources, but given that Z-pinch and DPF are two of the most prominent approaches to fusion power, this omission seems a bit odd to me.


    The LLNL approach is likely going to use hydrogen for the beam. You can’t fuse protons very easily in a PF.

    The part that no one is talking about is that the former team leader of the LLNL team went to DARPA recently and has pushed this concept for five years. Now his former team has funding for the project. Hmmmm. Good science or good networking.

    The simulation tool is owned by private company so it can be bought. You need a lot of computational power to run it.


    The articles refer to Voss Scientific. They can probably run the software for companies but I have no idea what that service would cost.

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