Thursday, October 09, 2008

A New Sigma

My friend Tom Ligon has just been inducted into the Sigma Society. Here is what Sigma does:

Many SIGMA members are Ph.D.-level scientists and engineers; all are science fiction writers who have spent careers applying their technical and literary talents in exploring the future of science, technology, society and cultures. SIGMA provides a significant pool of talent for volunteer pro bono consultation with the Federal government and other organizations which need the imagination that only speculative writers can provide.

SIGMA members have each committed to consult with Federal authorities for taskings on vital national issues for several days, for travel and lodging expenses only. For extended effort or research, compensation may be based on individual contracts, as appropriate. Current Federal employees may be available on detailee status.

All SIGMA activities are strictly voluntary, and any member can decline any proposed tasking or meeting for any reason, with no further explanation.
Tom was instrumental in starting the fusor movement (home made experimental fusion reactors) due to the encouragement of Dr. Robert Bussard. He also worked with Dr. Bussard on the Polywell Fusion power reactor (no net power though at the size of current experiments). You can read about that effort at: World's Simplest Fusion Reactor Revisited. There are links on the sidebar to the Fusor Consortium and lots of other good stuff.

You can also read a science fiction story Tom wrote on fusion which had its world premiere here in July of 2007. Getting Tuned Up.

Congrats Tom! And with any kind of luck you can help us to deserve the best future we can get, because if we don't deserve it the getting will be much harder.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


Anonymous said...

How about they rename themselves "The Six Sigma Society"?

That would be an appropriate description for how far out on the fringe of science these folks are.

You still haven't answered my question about Polywell - are you still just 6-9 months (and a couple million bucks) away?

Big D said...

What are your thoughts on this ( thing? Is it snake oil? Is it real? And if it is real, can we scale it up (by mass production, not increasing the size) to solve the problem until we can get fusion working?

M. Simon said...

big d,

It looks interesting. I don't see how they get around nuclear regulations that would require operators and guards.

However, it might help keep us going until something better comes along.