The US Navy Publishes on Polywell.

It may be difficult to separate "theory" from "application," but let''s see if this helps facilitate the discussion.
DrMatthew
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The US Navy Publishes on Polywell.

Post by DrMatthew » Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:23 am

Hello All,

The US Navy has published on the polywell. Below is their machine:

Image

You can read the paper here.

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Dave Xanatos
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Re: The US Navy Publishes on Polywell.

Post by Dave Xanatos » Sat Jun 07, 2014 11:39 am

Pretty direct validation of the concept. Thanks for this link & info.
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Chris Bradley
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Re: The US Navy Publishes on Polywell.

Post by Chris Bradley » Sat Jun 07, 2014 1:55 pm

I'd be interested in understanding how you arrive at your conclusion this is a 'validation of the concept'?

The 'concept' consists of;
1) confining electrons [now demonstrated]
2) confining ions because of the electric field caused by the electrons
3) causing acceleration of those ions due to electric fields
4) maintaining the electron confinement during the period of the acceleration of those ions
5) fusion between the accelerated ions
6) sufficient fusion energy produced to pay for all the energy inputs for steps 1 to 4.

Do you think they have also validated steps 2 to 6 with the contents of this paper? I'd like to know if I am missing something.

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Richard Hull
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Re: The US Navy Publishes on Polywell.

Post by Richard Hull » Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:37 pm

Me thinks I detect a bit of leakage "rays" in the image supplied. Not perfect but a really cool image.

Chris is right on his part of the analysis.

Lots o' watts in shots, but no COP data. Sounds like they are falling into the hot fusion crowd's logic. State a ton o' them megawatts but on the time line show 'em microseconds. Too bad that at the electrical outlet, our flatscreens need to stay on for hours on end.

No hard data on neutron production (fusion) versus hard power input. No news is turly no news, but a pretty picture always impresses.

I am glad they finally published, however. This is something for the tax money.

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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Re: The US Navy Publishes on Polywell.

Post by Dave Xanatos » Sat Jun 07, 2014 9:04 pm

Chris Bradley wrote:I'd be interested in understanding how you arrive at your conclusion this is a 'validation of the concept'?
You're missing nothing. I should have been more specific with regards to "concept", being, in my terminology, that concept refers to a fusor-like arrangement with a virtual cathode rather than a grid cathode. Grid cathodes will always be eaten, regardless of the materials or care in construction. For any future development *towards* a useful fusion system, it should be self-sustaining and not consume anything other than D, T or H (or Boron & protons)... it should certainly not need to be taken offline every week to have its guts replaced.

And also, "concept" also makes no reference to the horrific return on energy investment. Merely, as stated above, that a fusor-like system without a physical cathode should be possible. And I personally believe that the Polywell concept may provide a doorway to getting - if not to over-unity, then - at least closer to the point at which we may figure something out that will get us to over-unity. And I can't be put on the spot there because I freely admit I have nothing to back that up with - it's just a gut feeling :) But as an electronics engineer and hobbyist since I was literally four (that's 46 years under my belt playing with electrons) - my gut feelings have been right way more than not... at least in the field of electronics and other physical sciences I've played with.

I'm just convinced that we don't know some very critical things about what the fusion genie wants in order for it to dance for us on command with reckless abandon :) But I am equally convinced that we will figure it out. Things like fusors and polywells are helping a whole generation of curious kids - and adults - play with the genie a little. If the polywell turns out to be a better house for the genie, maybe it'll reward us with a tidbit! :)

If nothing else, the learning, the experience - that's where the gold is for me.

Dave

PS., also, the Navy's Conclusion: "This result validates the central premise of the Polywell fusion concept which uses high energy beam injected electrons to create an electrostatic potential well for ion acceleration and confinement." To me, that's good news. But who am I, anyway? :)
It would take decades of work, by thousands of scientists, in a particle accelerator powered by dump trucks of flaming grant money! - Professor Farnsworth/FUTURAMA

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Re: The US Navy Publishes on Polywell.

Post by Richard Hull » Sat Jun 07, 2014 10:18 pm

I accept your concept of "proof of concept".

With no real numbers and net time ordered analysis of efficiency, power in versus power out, we can't know if this is a true advancement over the lowly fusor or not at this point. It has certainly proven the concept of its increased cost by many orders of magnitude over that of the fusor. With no analysis, it is quite possible it is many orders of magnitude worse at fusion than the fusor.

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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Re: The US Navy Publishes on Polywell.

Post by Dan Tibbets » Sun Jun 08, 2014 4:42 am

This paper reveals multiple challenges, but the purpose of this specific small machine was to prove the Wiffleball effect in undeniable terms. Apparently, despite Bussard's claims it proved difficult to obtain a Beta=1 condition/ Wiffleball in WB7 and WB8. There may be reasons for this discrepancy, but I will not bore you with my speculations.

The Wiffleball effect/ Beta=1 condition is an absolute essential for the Polywell concept to work. There is some wiggle room for other aspects but not for this one.

The bremsstruhlung x-ray radiation measurements can not be explained except by the Wiffleball effect, improving high energy electron confinement from a surprisingly low cusp confinement (I have excuses for this also) to about 40 times greater confinement with Beta = one. They also showed the magnetic field expulsion due to the diamagnetic effect of the plasma.

The problems with efficiently injecting electrons through the cusps has become more appreciated, along with several other aspects. But, as I said, the root question has been answered unequivocally.

Dan Tibbets

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Re: The US Navy Publishes on Polywell.

Post by Bob Reite » Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:10 am

This experiment made no attempt to produce fusion that I can see, it just proves the confinement principle. But I'm glad to see that something has been published.
The more reactive the materials, the more spectacular the failures.
The testing isn't over until the prototype is destroyed.

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Re: The US Navy Publishes on Polywell.

Post by Johannes westman » Sun Jun 08, 2014 10:54 am

The way I see it is that the only piece that is left is specifically the virtual cathode. If they cannot get that to work there is no point going further, since the device would be no different than the fusor.

Whether a virtual cathode will produce MORE occuring fusion than the fusor, now that is a different question. I guess we will just have to hope for success in the electron confinement department. Im still hopeful though.

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Re: The US Navy Publishes on Polywell.

Post by Dave Xanatos » Sun Jun 08, 2014 2:04 pm

I'm staying hopeful as well, because I'm pretty sure that if we ever get energy from fusion, it'll have to be something without any physical structure in close proximity to the plasma. Look at how rapidly the best grids are degraded in a fusor. Add to that the fact that if we do actually continue using a "plasma ball", it's going to need to be many orders of magnitude more intense to produce useable energy. Unless we find a way to really improve our ion aim and drastically increase our fusion rates in very narrow confined microchannels.
It would take decades of work, by thousands of scientists, in a particle accelerator powered by dump trucks of flaming grant money! - Professor Farnsworth/FUTURAMA

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