Worrisomely enough, if you Google “x-ray photovoltaics”, you get an article from 1979 about some Lithium compound at the top, and then this thread on page 3.
This may be a generic answer to the previous thoughts, but bear with me. Fusion energy is a lot like powered flight in the 1800s. Scientists back then understood the principles of thrust, drag, lift, and gravity, but it took a couple of bicycle mechanics with a vision, a plan, and some crude components to achieve the first successful powered flight. Nowadays, we understand the principles of fusion, electromagnetics, x-ray radiation, and electromechanical acceleration. The dense plasma focus has been around for many years, with a long track record, just like unpowered gliders had a track record in the 1800s. Materials science has now brought us better anodes, better capacitors, better high-capacity switches, etc. Computers have brought us modeling and simulation. The necessary pieces are in place for serious experimentation and progress to begin.
Are there reasons for doubt? Are untested technologies likely to fail or have complications? Of course! That’s part of the process. The first airplane was a flying deathtrap. It was slow and hard to steer. It was unstable and lacked good landing gear. So what? It worked, and since that time, the different components have been refined and improved. Speed and stability have improved. Safety and comfort have improved. Powered, heavier-than-air flight is commonplace. That was not the case a century ago. Fusion power will probably be the same way 100 years from now.
With that said, you will probably understand why an accurate answer is difficult to give to the specific questions about the design and efficiency of the reactor and x-ray converter. That’s like asking the Wright brothers how fast, how far, and how high they could fly before they even put their plane together. Focus fusion is on the cutting edge of technology. We’ve got a theory. We have plans and calculations. We’re testing the components now, but it won’t be until we have the prototype built that all of these performance questions will be answered. This may be worrisome in the present, especially to investors who are looking for short-term gains. I, on the other hand, think controlled fusion is possible and inevitable. I believe we have the necessary theory, parts, and personnel. I’m optimistically confident that we can pull this off in the next five years. The challenge is exciting. The possibility of success is exciting. The potential effects of clean energy on a world-wide scale is exciting. That’s the vision. Now we are testing the parts. Then we assemble the prototype, and only then will we see if this thing will fly. It may not be pretty, or compact, or highly efficient at first, but so what? If it works, it works. If it doesn’t, we’ll tweak it until it does. If we burn out a part, we’ll figure out the problem, replace the part, and press on. Nuclear power is real. Fusion is real and powerful. The exact design and look of the machine that will eventually harnass that power is still unknown, and whether or not Focus Fusion can do it is still unknown, but it will happen. I’m confident of that. This machine, applying Lerner’s theories, using state-of-the-art components, being tested by some of the smartest plasma physicists on the planet… stands a reasonable chance of succeeding. That’s why I’m along for the ride.
Complete nitpick, but these puppies are Gamma Rays and not X-Rays according to the strict definition. I know the wavelength rages overlap, but X-Rays are from chemical radioactive decay and Gammas for full on fusion and fission, right?
I think I read that its going to be in the hundreds of KeV range x-rays from Bremsstrahlung or Cyclotron radiation. These are still technically called x-rays because of the nature of the source (electron collision, particles changing velocity by magnetic field interactions), there will be some gamma rays from the fusing particles directly but they won
Im picking up an old, but interesting thread here that left me a lot of questions still.
Firs of all wouldn’t it be a lot X ray and even gamma ray from the dense and very hot (near 1 billions Kelvin) plasma in all cases. Thinking about Boron – Proton fusion now.
Second how could magnetic field decrease Bremsstrahlung. The question is closer to, how does stronger magnetic fields decrease number of electrons colliding with ions or be deflected by Ions.