Carl, is there some specific reason for the crackpot joke you'd like to elaborate on? I understand that there's a large number of them out there, and I'll probably come to understand this site is a magnet for them, but there's nothing particularly crack-potish about computer modelling of physical phenomena that I know about.

The problems of ICR are well-defined, I think, and I'd like to simulate all of the major ones, whatever the major ones may be. Finding out what those may be and how to do that is the point of this discussion, right?

I'd like to start by modeling a spherical apparatus with some disturbances to the sphere where there may be a window, gas valves, vacuum pump port, high-voltage feedline for the grid and any other disturbance others may think is necessary to model. I'd then like to introduce, with user-defined controls available, some number of deuterium atoms, some number of unwanted particles (oxygen, nitrogen, CO2, Argon, oil particles, whatever else experts here think would be relevant). I would like to have adjustable software controls on voltage and current on the grid and then set everything loose to interact. Each "step" of the program, the particles each judge the forces on them from each other item in the system, and set a velocity vector. Next step, re-evaluate based on present position and velocity. Probably Heisenberg's uncertainty will have to become involved there, with some randomizer algorithm tweaking the positions and/or velocities to simulate real uncertainty. That's what the purpose of the list is - which interactions are most important, and which don't matter? In my college days when I took Semiconductor Device Physics most all of our calculations showed that gravity was completely irrelevant. So maybe it's irrelevant at a range of 1 mm from another particle but relevant when there's some free space. Or maybe there's never more than a mm of free space. If no one knows, then that's fine, software can be designed to turn these controls on/off as their importance is shown or disproven (but it takes probably some significant computing time to show that).

The significance is that if this is feasible, 3D videos can be produced with open-source software that at least I understand (Blender 3D) and give some visibility to the interactions going on. I feel the most valuable question this would answer that so far it doesn't seem like is known, is where does the fusion occur most? In the transit zone between the shell and grid? Inside the plasma ball? On the grid itself? Answering those questions, which are of particular interest to me right now without having yet studied the problem much, would give me ideas about what changes to the apparatus might be effective to increase fusion.

Note: I am not a computer programmer, nor do I have personal experience with particle simulation, but I have read about it a lot and do understand math/physics/programming. Specialization is for insects.

EDIT:

I'm doing some investigating to see what the viability of this sort of model is with modern computers. This is not meant to be accurate, but a general, quick back of the envelope study.

At 10e-4 Torr, a 12" spherical chamber completely filled with deuterium following the ideal gas law has 9.6368727e16 deuterium atoms. We'll round that to 100 peta-particles, or if calculating for every particle on every step, 100 petacalculations per step. The Intel I7 4-core processor is available in a 3.9 GHz package with

187 GFLOPS of power. I'm going to make an assumption that floating point precision is useful for the model - it may require double floats. Who knows how many operations are required per particle-step without setting up an actual model, so I'm going to use a large number and assume 1000 operations. That reduces the number of particle-step calculations that can be done in a second to 187 million. That's 17 years to model one step of the entire system on a particle-by-particle basis on a crazy good home PC. The IBM roadrunner in Los Alamos would take around 28 hours per step.

That's a significant enough roadblock that I see significant modelling and simplification of a specific problem would need to take place, and free-particle simulation is not really viable. Maybe if we reduce to the scale of Iron Man's fusion power cell, it's something that could more easily be simulated.

I also found what

may be a useful book to help model the problem.