Institutional Quackery

It may be difficult to separate "theory" from "application," but let''s see if this helps facilitate the discussion.
Joe Gayo
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Institutional Quackery

Post by Joe Gayo » Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:42 pm

Author claims to have produced 49.8 Watts of fusion power and breed appreciable levels of tritium ...

https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/5234046

It would be funny, except it's a published paper in a journal with actual science.
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Cai Arcos
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Re: Institutional Quackery

Post by Cai Arcos » Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:53 pm

¿Is this for serious?
I mean, it's the IEEE.
¿Could it really be fake, and still be published in such a presigious institution?

Dan Knapp
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Re: Institutional Quackery

Post by Dan Knapp » Sun Jan 20, 2019 9:16 pm

I read this paper several years ago and noticed things that suggest this is a proposed fusion reactor and the data shown are only calculated simulations. I think the author failed to clearly point out that he hadn't actually built the reactor and demonstrated its function. Some flags are: 1. It is a single author publication. One would have to question whether a faculty member, particularly at a relatively small undergraduate institution, likely with a high teaching load would have the time to build and operate a revolutionary new type of fusion reactor single handed. 2. The paper is very thin on experimental detail. 3. The paper discusses D-T fusion. The few laboratories that have done fusion with tritium have spent years and millions in preparation for handling tritium.
I too was surprised that an IEEE journal would have published this in the form presented, but I think the title of this thread is inappropriate; I see no reason to impugn the institution. In the author's defense, perhaps he thought it was clear that his paper described a proposed reactor. I think the primary culprit here is the editor who handled this paper submission and failed to require revisions that clarified the question.
Last edited by Dan Knapp on Mon Jan 21, 2019 5:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Joe Gayo
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Re: Institutional Quackery

Post by Joe Gayo » Sun Jan 20, 2019 10:52 pm

Dan,

Under different circumstances I would suggest you read the paper again, but I don't want to waste your time. The author very clearly claims that he made neutron measurements with a LND model 2801 detector (Section IV C) and, in multiple places, that the experimental results correlate with his theoretical work. (And just for good measure he adds the Debye length equation and then fundamentally misunderstands it. Glad he had the NRL Plasma Formulary handy - https://www.nrl.navy.mil/ppd/content/nr ... -formulary - it's free).

I was using the term "institutional" to refer to journals and professional science and the pressure to publish. Whether or not the peer review system is broken has been debated by the scientific community but, in my opinion, this paper demonstrates that extraordinary proof isn't required of all outrageous claims.

Joe

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Richard Hull
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Re: Institutional Quackery

Post by Richard Hull » Mon Jan 21, 2019 12:09 am

Another attempt at saying real soon now. Interesting, but it doesn't feed the bulldog. Lots of computation, yet little idea about the capability of the reliability of the neutron measurements in burst mode where RF might be an issue.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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Dennis P Brown
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Re: Institutional Quackery

Post by Dennis P Brown » Mon Jan 21, 2019 9:32 pm

A few important issues: The author states: "A basic calculation will show that the fusion triple product
has a value of approximately 1.5 × 1019 s · m−3 · keV." Without giving the volume that this 'density/energy' value was determined for, this is an extremely mis-leading statement. In fact, without providing any obviously required value for the achieved volume for the device, the author states: "Of course, the regions shown in the figure where the break-even condition is exceeded are very small regions ...". All I'll say here for my part is 'duh.' Essentially worthless experimental result here making a totally imaginary claim for a real experimental setup! One needs actual data to support both claims - volumes are essential. Many devices can achieve those levels of ions/energy/density in ultra tiny volumes.

In fact, without that actual volume information, getting such a value in that setup is trivial and very misleading. As for his simulation that he achieved criteria that far exceeds tokamak values, I'll just leave that as total B.S.

The following statement is just wrong when used out of content to the reference: "Theoretically, a deuteron or a triton inside the confinement zone will remain indefinitely confined until one of the following two conditions occur: 1) fusion or 2) scattering by means of a 4He nucleus (alpha particle)" If this was true, fusors would be massive nuclear fusion devices. In any vacuum that is not perfect, scattering occurs for many, many reasons and this usage in his calculation is so idealized as to be a extremely misleading statement. This makes me wonder if this person understands any real fusion system at all.

The author talks a great deal about simulations for data values he produces; ok, not very good idea for an experimental paper and very misleading for me to believe some of his claims but that is another matter.

Here is a key error and invalidates most of the paper: "The energy produced by the apparatus, as well as its efficiency, can be calculated in a straightforward manner from the fundamental theory developed by Lawson [7]. We shall assume that the gas mixture is heated to a temperature T ..." (bold and italics are mine)

Ok, I'll assume all my fusor ions are at the same fusion level 'temperature' and I too will get amazing results ...lol.

Here is the most glaring error and completely invalidates his fusion results via heating.
The author claims he calculated the net energy created by his power supply but says:
" ... it should be first mentioned that the current injected through the electrodes was approximately 0.1 A. "
(again, I added the bold and italics)
A current to only one decimal place and worse still, is said by the author to be "approximate"! Really! Then this is multiplied by his 10^+6 volts. Talk about propagation of errors! Uh, that means his error bars far, far exceed his energy calculations for any fusion! This error completely invalidates his claim for fusion energy alone.

If anyone wants to read the rest of the paper - especially determine how he made neutron measurements - do feel free. I have better things to do after that one.
Last edited by Dennis P Brown on Mon Jan 21, 2019 11:11 pm, edited 6 times in total.

Patrick Lindecker
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Re: Institutional Quackery

Post by Patrick Lindecker » Mon Jan 21, 2019 10:20 pm

Hello,

I read this paper and found it very interesting even if it is a quackery, because it is suggesting, at least, ideas (but questions).

For example, it is suggested that negative ions and positive ions be generated by field effect (as GFIS ions sources), at least to minimize the space charge problem.
Implicitely, I suppose that for the negative ions (left part), a part of the provided electrons will attach to Deuterium atoms (and molecules) to provide D- or D2-. However, the efficiency will be low and consequently the number of negative ions will be very inferior to the positive ions generated by the right part.

Moreover, as far as i know, the current provided by GFIS is very low (10 nA max). However, the paper speaks of 100 mA, which seems very important compared with 10 nA.

As I am not a specialist of ions sources, can someone explain how works such ions sources system (supposing that it could work).

Patrick Lindecker

Patrick Lindecker
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Re: Institutional Quackery

Post by Patrick Lindecker » Tue Jan 22, 2019 8:35 pm

I answer to my question (☺): probably the author was thinking of an arc discharge. Among the ions, positive ones will certainly be created in an enormous majority and negative ions (generated by attachment at the negative tip, due to the very big field effect ) in a weak number.

Dan Knapp
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Re: Institutional Quackery

Post by Dan Knapp » Wed Jan 23, 2019 12:29 am

This discussion prompted me to read the paper again. I also contacted the author to inform him that his paper was under discussion, and that he might want to weigh in to defend it. In his reply, he stated that he did actually build and test the device, but not at his present university. He said the work was done in a earlier position in a research organization. I still have a lot of questions about the report, and I hope he will join the discussion.
One thing is clear, however. Fusor.net has more rigorous requirements for documenting successful fusion than the IEEE journal.

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Re: Institutional Quackery

Post by John Futter » Wed Jan 23, 2019 1:36 am

I replied to this thread yesterday but it dissappeared down the dark hole
field emmission as you have pointed out is limited by the munber of emmiters per square area you have to satisfy the Fowler Norheim conditions for it to happen you are doing well a few mA per sq cm emmiter surface.
Negative ion sources are difficult at best with the best using hot filaments to heat LaB6 crystals to get an extremely intense free electron cloud that may produce a few negative ions.

So the paper is a word salad made up from some real science that is not being used correctly

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