Tuesday, July 24, 2007

California To Fund Bussard Fusion

Update 02 Sept 007 0217z

It is actually the Navy that is funding Bussard's reactor tests:

Bussard Reactor Funded?

I have inside info that is very reliable and multiply confirmed that validates the above story. I am not at liberty to say more. Expect a public announcement from the Navy in the coming weeks.

==

False Alarm.

Wonderful News!!!! Governor Schwarzenegger of California is planning to fund Dr Bussards IEC Fusion project.

In a move sure to impress environmentalists and further cement his Earth friendly image, Governor Schwarzenegger is set to launch a multimillion dollar research effort into a revolutionary new source of clean non-polluting power.

The project is focused on the Inertial Electrostatic Fusion reactor invented by the award winning American physicist Dr. Robert W. Bussard. The Radiation Free Fusion Reactor has the potential to change the whole landscape of energy generation, which is usually a choice between bad and worse options that include Nuclear, Coal and Natural Gas systems.

The State of California peak energy usage is about 40,000 Megawatts and is only expected to grow steadily over the coming years . Fusion opens a whole new avenue of cheap clean energy that could not on

ly satisfy growing energy needs but also fuel massive water desalination plants that could help solve California’s acute water shortages.

Fusion is the energy that powers everything in the universe. The sun's energy comes from fusion. Alternatively, fission is the process whereby heavy atoms, which are nearly unstable, are split into two radioactive atoms. Fusion, on the other hand, is when two light atoms merge.

The fusion process invented by Dr. Bussard takes boron-11 and fuses a proton to it, producing, in its excited state, a carbon-12 atom. This excited carbon-12 atom decays to beryllium-8 and helium-4. Beryllium-8 very quickly (in 10-13 s) decays into two more helium-4 atoms. This is the only nuclear-energy releasing process in the whole world that releases fusion energy and three helium atoms -- and no neutrons. This reaction is completely radiation free.
It is not completely neutron free. However, the neutron production is minimal.

This is the break though in funding I have been looking for for the last nine months.

Better than sex.

Here are a couple of links explaining what the excitement is all about:
Bussard Fusion Reactor
Easy Low Cost No Radiation Fusion

Cross Posted at Classical Values and at The Astute Bloggers

11 comments:

Snake Oil Baron said...

There is a very good animation on YouTube about how the electron confinement works but I seem to behaving trouble catching on to where the fusion comes in. Firing ions in seems to be involved but shouldn't they just combine with the electrons and form neutral atoms which would be able to escape the trap? Physics is not my first language so I have been unable to glean this info from any of the stories and write-ups I have read so far.

M. Simon said...

baron,

Good point.

The electrons get stripped off the atoms because of the high velocities and collisions with other atoms.

Probably a good place to start is the wiki on plasma physics.

Cormac-ballz said...

Snake: the "temperatures" involved at the centre of the potential well are so high (i.e., the particles are moving so fast) that they have no chance to combine to form neutral atoms. That's what a plasma is, like in the centre of the sun.

I put temperature in quotes because the theory is that the electrons and ions do not have a strictly Maxwellian velocity distribution in this Pollywell system (i.e, all the particles have roughly the same velocity and are not "spread out" into a range of velocities) so they don't have a temperature in the classical-physics sense of the word.

BTW has anyone confirmed this story? I've been trying to find another source to confirm this excellent news. Because if this is true then I'm a very happy man :)

bamf said...

I'm not sure I believe this story yet. Next Energy News (the source of the story) doesn't indicate how they came by that information, and there doesn't seem to be any corroboration yet.

Cormac-ballz said...

Next Energy News also posts stuff about "free-energy". Read "perpetual motion". Water powered cars etc.

(cough)

I'm considering writing an e-mail to Bussard about this but I'll wait until there's more information out there.

M. Simon said...

I have to admit this is very thinly sourced. However, the blurb was really well done. The story got most of the science right and did note correctly that Dr. Bussard is no flake.

What encourages me is that IEC Fusion of all types is starting to get public recognition.

Anonymous said...

@snake oil baron

Because you cannot easily combine slow and fast particles. The difference in speed of the electrons (that are continuously slowed down) and the oins, that are sped up to a very specific speed is so large that they won't combine.

Just as superman wouldn't be able to pick up more-or-less stationary humans while in flight (the forces generated would be too large to hold on, and even if he does hold on, he's superman after all, the person would be dead from the acceleration, or break in two. With ions there will be a force generated on the electron that will translate into a very fast acceleration, away from the ion, and way too much for magnetism to break)

You cannot grab on to a bus that's going 60 kph for the same reason : you will grab on, generate a force to attach you to the bus, and invariably a force will counteract that that will throw you (very hard) away from the bus.

Rae Ann said...

Better than sex? Man, you're missing out! ;-)

M. Simon said...

Rae Ann,

No reasonable offer refused!

Uncle Al said...

H-B fusion requires ion temperatures nine times higher than D-T fusion. H-B kinetics peak at 600 keV (6.6 billion centigrade). D-T peaks at 66 keV (730 million centigrade).

So what do you think - polystyrene foam, pink Fiberglas, or metallized Mylar for thermal insulation?

M. Simon said...

Uncle Al,

Magnetic and electrostatic fields in a high vacuum.

You know, physics.

The short version: its a vacuum tube invented by Hirsch and Farnsworth and improved by Dr. Bussard.

The Farnsworth version was producing fusion in 1959. i.e. What we have here is an improvement on old technology.