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Locheed project

Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:48 pm
by Peter Schmelcher
Some information on the Locheed project. ... s.html?m=1


Re: Locheed project

Posted: Mon Dec 19, 2016 3:29 pm
by Jeroen Vriesman

So they are using the diamagnetic properties of plasma in their confinement...
On that line, does anyone here know why a plasma is diamagnetic?

Re: Locheed project

Posted: Sat Dec 24, 2016 10:32 pm
by David Kunkle
The + and - charges in a plasma are always moving- giving each one a tiny, randomly orientated magnetic field with no overall net magnetic field. This is plasma diamagnetism. Exposed to an outside magnetic field, the moving + and - charges of the plasma line up to oppose the magnetic field, amounting to the plasma generating its own, but opposite, magnetic field. Net result is you get the same effect as sticking a piece of iron next to a magnet. The magnetic fields are already there in each atom of the iron, but random and cancel each other out- until they are all forced to line up in the same direction by the magnet's field. You get an opposing field in the iron, and so the iron sticks to the magnet. Similar thing happens when a dielectric is inserted into an E field- as in a capacitor. Except in this case partial charges on the polarized molecules line up to oppose the electric field.

I just finished reading the above link. Based on available information, the author points out how many different physical phenomenon have to come together to make this work, all with many assumptions, and assumptions based on assumptions. Our calculations look so great on paper, the boss can't say no to this one! Not that I don't wish them luck, but on the other hand, I don't think I'll run out and buy up Lockheed stock.

Reminds me of the Farnsworth team's effort where they rigged the neutron detector for the boss to keep the money flowing. (I "know" it will work...I just need more time and a lot more money!)

Re: Locheed project

Posted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 12:29 am
by Richard Hull
I have the data on the funding for the Fansworth team. The most they ever received in any one year in their budget was 2.6 million dollars. This paid 7 salaries including Farnsworth's and bought all the gear they needed, room rent, electricity and supplies for one year. The lowest year was their first year and it was 110,000 dollars (3 salaries). Not the monster big science budget many might have imagined. Today, 3 million might buy a 2 person, one year, feasibility study of a possible project proposal.

Richard Hull

Re: Locheed project

Posted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 2:11 am
by David Kunkle
Even with inflation, the cost for research today still seems insane. What gives? Regulations?

If I recall correctly, Bussard's work under contract for the Navy wound up with 50,000 pages of documentation and 1 full time employee just to keep track of all that. Don't want to know how much time and money that killed.

Re: Locheed project

Posted: Sun Dec 25, 2016 3:02 pm
by Jeroen Vriesman

your text seems to say "there are charges so they produce an opposite magnetic field to the applied field", and then it looks like you are saying this is the same mechanism as in para- or ferro magnetism... I fail to see the "explanation of diamagnetism in a plasma" in that.

For as far as I know, there are two ways to look at paramagnetism, a classical way (Langevin diamagnetism), which models the electron orbitals as current loops without resistance, so they oppose the applied magnetic field, just as in a macroscopic (superconducting..) current loop. Or the Bohr-van-leeuwen theory, where diamagnetism becomes a purely quantum mechanical effect, the combination of thermal equilibrium leading to a maxwell-bolzmann distribution over the available sates combined with the pauli exclusion principle gives the situation that opposing the applied magnetic filed a little bit is on average a lower state of energy then a zero-response. (i don't know if I completely understand Bohr-van-Leeuwen, but this is what it looks like to me...)

Both theories are build on electrons being in orbitals in some atom or molecule. They both give reasonable results, and they both state that all matter where electrons are bound is diamagnetic.
Para- and ferromagnetism only arises when there is unpaired electron spin, the effect is orders of magnitude bigger than diamagnetism, so we usually ignore the diamagnetism in para- and ferromagnetic materials.

And... both theories do not show any magnetic net effect for free charges.
So a plasma should neither be para- nor diamagnetic.

That's why I asked if someone here might have an idea as to why a plasma is diamagnetic. What kind of mechanism could possibly cause this?
I was thinking in the line of some kind of charge separation, causing an electric effect, something with the mass difference in positive and negative charge carriers creating a charge separation in a magnetic field, depending on the different electron and ion working idea yet.

Re: Locheed project

Posted: Wed Dec 28, 2016 7:11 pm
by David Kunkle
I was attempting a generalized explanation for the masses so to speak. Didn't realize you were after a quantum mechanical kind of explanation.

In that case, no one seems to agree on what exactly is going on far as I can tell. I see what you are saying about the electrons being in orbitals in both theories. That should leave out any plasma being involved in either theory, but one or the other seems to be the explanation for plasma diamagnetism.