Wednesday, June 23, 2010

BBC Covers Amateur Fusion

My friend Famulus whose blog is Prometheus Fusion Perfection has just had his efforts (and in part mine too - I helped him with a Polywell research proposal) picked up by the BBC

Mr Suppes, 32, is part of a growing community of "fusioneers" - amateur science junkies who are building homemade fusion reactors, for fun and with an eye to being part of the solution to that problem.

He is the 38th independent amateur physicist in the world to achieve nuclear fusion from a homemade reactor, according to community site Fusor.net. Others on the list include a 15-year-old from Michigan and a doctoral student in Ohio.
The fusion reactor in the Brooklyn warehouse Mr Suppes has spent the last two years perfecting his reactor

"I was inspired because I believed I was looking at a technology that could actually work to solve our energy problems, and I believed it was something that I could at least begin to build," Mr Suppes told the BBC.
Here is sort of an offhand reference to the proposal work I did with him. Let me add that we were assisted by a knowledgeable physicist friend of mine who wishes to remain out of the spotlight for now. Our physicist friend is also working on an amateur fusion experiment.
Mr Suppes is hoping to build a break-even reactor from plans created by the late Robert Bussard, a nuclear physicist who drew up plans for a fusion reactor that could convert hydrogen and boron into electricity.

Work on a scaled up version of a Bussard reactor, funded by the US Navy, has already been taking place in California.

But Mr Suppes believes he will be able to raise the millions of dollars it takes to build a Bussard reactor because he feels someone with enough money "will feel they cannot pass up the opportunity" to find out if it will work.

Iter said it would be wrong to dismiss out of hand the notion that an amateur could make a difference.

"I won't say something that puts these guys down, but it's a tricky situation because there is a great deal of money and time and a lot of very experienced scientists working on fusion at the moment," said Mr Calder.

"But that does not eliminate other ideas coming from a different group of people."
The work is actually going on in New Mexico but other than that they have most of the details correct. I'm hoping that he connects with enough money to do his proposed prototype reactor. Because I'd dearly like to help.

You can learn the basics of fusion energy by reading Principles of Fusion Energy: An Introduction to Fusion Energy for Students of Science and Engineering

Polywell is a little more complicated. You can learn more about Polywell and its potential at: Bussard's IEC Fusion Technology (Polywell Fusion) Explained

The American Thinker has a good article up with the basics.

And the best part? We Will Know In Two Years or less.

Cross Posted at Classical Values

2 comments:

M. Rigmaiden said...

Thanks for this M. Simon. I am utterly displeased with how the news was covered because there are more questions than answers. But any press is good press I guess. This is a very exciting time for garage scientists...

Karridine said...

1) When he's funded, TAP ME for Project Historian... I'll document and write it up... LOVE TO...

2) I have some funding leads, if you/he want to move on them

3) less than 2 years? How WONDERFUL to see, in late 2011, the faces of the al-Saud family as America informs them "We only need 20% or less from now on... the oil needed for polyethylene feedstock and the like... better cut back..."