Muon catalyzed fusion

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Steven Sesselmann
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Muon catalyzed fusion

Post by Steven Sesselmann » Fri Apr 30, 2010 11:44 am

just a thought...

After reading about muon catalyzed fusion, at ;

http://www.rikenresearch.riken.jp/eng/frontline/5976

I learned that one muon can trigger multiple fusion events in a target of super cooled D-T, and that muons are expensive to produce, as a lot of energy is required "GeV".

Some of you might remember my recent post, showing the cosmic muon detector that I built from some old geiger tubes, anyway to cut a long story short, plenty of muons hit every square meter of earth every second, and these muons have a negative charge....

Would it be realistic to build a great big (huge) einzel lens, and focus cosmic muons from a large area into a narrow beam?

As the particles are travelling very fast and carry a charge, the first part of the focusing antenna may not even need to be in vacuum...

It could be a cheap source of muons.

Steven
http://www.gammaspectacular.com - Gamma Spectrometry Systems
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Steven_Sesselmann - Various papers and patents on RG

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Richard Hull
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Re: Muon catalyzed fusion

Post by Richard Hull » Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:15 pm

Answer: No. It is not doable.

Enough with the muons, already.....

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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Chris Bradley
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Re: Muon catalyzed fusion

Post by Chris Bradley » Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:20 pm

I have pondered on any means for energy-recovery of cosmic rays, but I think the reality is that though there may actually be a couple of realistic *theoretical* prospects for 'cosmic ray power', they are the wrong side of the 'pico-watt' range of uselessness!

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Doug Coulter
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Re: Muon catalyzed fusion

Post by Doug Coulter » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:21 pm

To be slightly more specific than "forget it" (though I agree with Richard and Chris), here are some actual reasons.

One: most cosmic rays aren't muons. Most of the muons are created when a cosmic proton or photon interacts with air in a fairly rare process -- cross sections are low at those energies. So for starters, you've got a rare event (comic ray) that is in turn rarely converted to muons (and other things) to work with. Not many per sq foot per minute.

Two:
Yes, muons can catalyze more than one fusion -- in theory, in their very short lifetime, once in awhile, if the target is dense enough and no other muon destroying reaction should occur in the meantime, and if the muon doesn't just decay -- as soon as it gets slow, time dilation no longer makes it live long (from our POV).

Three:
Yeah, they take GeV to make, and cosmic rays have that. Due to conservation of momentum, the resulting muons also have quite a bit of steam on them -- a variable amount, but in general "a lot".
If they didn't, we'd hardly ever see them at all due to their short lifetime when at rest.

IV:
To focus something like that without amazing amounts of energy input (eg electrostatic is right out) you need a huge magnetic lens -- huge indeed. And the trouble with that is....that variable but high energy and direction. This means a different focal length from each muon even were they coming from a point source and all in the same direction, which they aren't. So even were it practical to make say, a solar system sized (or at least earth sized) superconducting magnet to collect them, you'd still fail -- Just as any lens can't make a what amounts to a diffuse glow into a spot.
In face, we have something like that already -- the earth's net field in the solar wind, which does concentrate cosmics noticeably as is, in some places, depending on solar weather and other things. And the result is still pretty tiny.

So it's a scientific curiosity -- it exists, but even antimatter might be better.... good luck getting gain putting in 2 x 932 MeV (best case for protons) to get a fusion -- you might get one of those 932's back if the anti proton hits a real proton instead of pretending to be an electron long enough to catalyze fusion....best case.

So multiply rare times rare times rare -- even 50% cubed is a small number, left as an exercise for the student, and in no case here are any of the numbers anywhere near 50%. Oops, may have left out one or two more "rares" so it's even worse than that.

As an aside, this one catches a lot of hotshot cowboy stock traders when they realize they can for example sell something short and use the money to go long something else (leaving options and derivatives out of this for the moment -- borrowing money to gamble works out even worse). Say each part of the trade has a 60% chance of "winning". That gives you a 36% chance at best....but it's not obvious till you spend some time working it out.
Why guess when you can know? Measure!

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Steven Sesselmann
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Re: Muon catalyzed fusion

Post by Steven Sesselmann » Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:55 pm



....point made load and clear, the idea is in the waste basket..

Steven
http://www.gammaspectacular.com - Gamma Spectrometry Systems
https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Steven_Sesselmann - Various papers and patents on RG

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Chris Bradley
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Re: Muon catalyzed fusion

Post by Chris Bradley » Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:52 pm

The most useful 'harvesting' of cosmic ray energy that I've thought may come to some possible fruition is, simply, a product of cosmic ray irradiation of our atmosphere; nitrogen-15.

But it is all in that term 'use' - we have to get p-11B fusion going first, then maybe once that has been figured then p-15N is just a little bit more energetic and also possible.

As 15N builds up in, and all over, the atmosphere by effectively using the 'excess energy' of cosmic rays, so you could argue that 15N is a viable energy vector for cosmic rays - if, and only if, p-15N fusion can be done self-sufficiently. 15N has some trapped-in cosmic ray energy, so figure how to squeeze that excess nucleonic energy out of it and you've got a way to tap cosmic ray energy.

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