IAEA published idea: Diamond bullet into DT methane.

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Chris Bradley
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IAEA published idea: Diamond bullet into DT methane.

Post by Chris Bradley » Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:18 am

http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Meetings/F ... _p7-30.pdf

I can't say I've heard of any serious suggestions for this before, but here we have some researchers simulating what happens if you take a 1 mm diameter diamond, accelerate it electrostatically to 1000km/s, and hammer it into a chunk of DT methane lobbed into a chamber.

Now, if this is actually something really worth considering, a few other thoughts spring to my mind.

1) Why not put the DT methane into a little tubular holder and fire the diamond into it. Perhaps the holder could be made either out of the DT methane (i.e. form it into a little one-ended cylinder), rather than being just an amorphous lump, or out of lithium deuteride or similar.

2) Why not use boron-nitride instead of diamonds. Seems a bit of a waste of 1mm diamonds! Plus, you could use 11B and hope for a little p-11B action in there somewhere, as well.

3) If you fire it into a 'floating' object, then there's gonna be a bit of a mess a bit further along in the chamber, when all this kinetic energy dissipates. Why not put the DT *into* a boron nitride bullet, then hammer the whole thing into a wall.

4) Why use a solid wall? How about a scheme where you have a stack of milligram boron (11) nitride bullets and fire them straight into a bath of molten lithium deuteride/tritide. All you'd need to do is keep the bath cool by sucking out and converting that heat energy (with liquid tin through ceramic pipes?), and keep the BN bullets coming!

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Steven Sesselmann
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Re: IAEA published idea: Diamond bullet into DT methane.

Post by Steven Sesselmann » Tue Jun 29, 2010 11:33 am

Nice one Chris,

If you need some 1 mm Diamonds, I literally have thousands of them

About US$ 0.60 each, for the "crash test" grade.

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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Re: IAEA published idea: Diamond bullet into DT methane.

Post by JamesC » Tue Jun 29, 2010 12:39 pm

At one point I had been considering large diameter diamond crusted disks spinning counter clockwise at ridiculous speeds crunching together so as to bounce creating a high speed oscillation open and closing.

During the open phase a radial bank of of low energy pulsed ion guns inject ions between the disks. The idea then is to Electrostatically charging the Diamond disks to create a build up of D ions on the diamond surfaces which are crunched and ground together by the counter rotating disks each crunch.

Hopefully a thick enough layer of fuseable D builds up and the mechanical energy of ultra-high counter-rotating plates crunching together has enough energy to get some fusion action.

-- Naturally I havent done the math!

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Re: IAEA published idea: Diamond bullet into DT methane.

Post by DaveC » Wed Jun 30, 2010 12:26 am

Chris -

This seems to be a paper study thus far. I see no results other than simulations.


So.... what it could or would do, is debatable, yes? There's really little specific information about how they simulated the interactions, or even if they were able to.

But from a back row vantage point, this method does not address any of the basic statistical limitations to fusion probabilities that we've all discussed more than a few times.


Dave Cooper

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Chris Bradley
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Re: IAEA published idea: Diamond bullet into DT methane.

Post by Chris Bradley » Wed Jun 30, 2010 7:15 am

Yes. Paper exercise. But do not underestimate the power of the paper-force! Fusion power still requires scientific experimentation, and this begins with conceptualising an idea. You can't build something you've no plans for. You have to, at least, have plans in your head and eventually you need to commit it to paper for others to understand.

Much as the tokomadists might try to claim it, this is not an engineering field yet. Whether engineering-serendipity might visit someone who just happens to be tinkering would still not be a scientific act that is a breakthough because it would then need to be explained and 'tested' on paper.

Building a fusor-to-print, for example, is an interesting engineering challenge, but can only be a scientific act if it is then added to, modified or in some other way used as part of an experiment.

So if these guys reckon the maths stacks up and no-one raises any clear objections, then build it!! And as it is a paper from China, I expect they shall!!

In regards the statistical limitations of beam-target device, which one might argue is the case here, then, yes, you have a point that will require some theoretical investigation if they've not done so already. But I would tend to think this would be playing a slightly different game to the fusion-versus-scattering-lottery on account of the macroscopic nature of the 'beam' and that the target has got 'no where to go'. So scattering from one collision will possibly send it straight into an improved probability of collision with another, etc..

After all that, I still get the impression that after they built this thing, they'll fire it through this mass of methane and it'll just sail straight through! After all, it will spend only a few nanoseconds passing through it - is that really long enough for much to happen?

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Re: IAEA published idea: Diamond bullet into DT methane.

Post by dbrown » Sun Jul 04, 2010 2:29 pm

I believe some scientist at NRL (Naval Research Labs, Nike program) have done work on colliding deuterium plastic films at 1000 km/s ((almost 0.5 % the speed of light!) against each other and a deuterium driver against graphite (which for all practical purposes is identical to diamond at these speeds.)))
They got a small amount of fusion (10-6 or 10-8 or so neutrons) but that appears to be it. Interesting but hardly useful for energy. Higher speeds might enhance things but they used a 10-14 to 10-15 joul laser beam @ one or so nanoseconds duration. Not likely to be repeatable by anyone except major labs.

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Re: IAEA published idea: Diamond bullet into DT methane.

Post by Brett » Fri Jul 23, 2010 9:48 pm

As I understand it, the original scheme involves initiating a *propagating* fusion burn in the target. And thus only has to supply enough energy to light off a small portion of the target. Scale it down that much and you're trying to ignite the whole target at once, while your dense plasma is probably smaller than the mean free path. So, I'd say no, trying to fuse DT in a bucky ball would be a no-go.

Remember, fusion wants to be big. For any given approach, the smaller the scale, the harder it is to achieve breakeven. (Even though the apparatus might be cheaper.)

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Re: IAEA published idea: Diamond bullet into DT methane.

Post by Edward Miller » Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:15 pm

Fusion doesn't require ignition on a massive scale. People have created these arbitrary sizes because they want to reach break-even and don't have a way to start ignition efficiently enough. They try to reach break-even by getting plasma to continue burning. Instabilities destroy the reaction every time.

We keep inventing more and more complex ways of trying to keep the reaction going instead of working on starting fusion more efficiently in the first place.

You can't keep increasing target size to make up for the wasted laser energy or instability of ions. Neutral molecules are less repulsive thus require a lot less input energy to fuse than ions. If you could fuse an individual molecule of DT efficiently then it's an engineering problem to scale the technique for power production.

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Re: IAEA published idea: Diamond bullet into DT methane.

Post by Richard Hull » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:53 pm

Edward makes a lot of sense, related to the issue of first getting fusion efficiently produced on some greatly reduced scale.

We only know the bull-heading, probablistic method. Like obtaining coal by running at the coal face with your head. Whether you just need a little coal, (fusor fusion), or want a lot of coal to feed a nation, (ITER), it seems a rather doomed effort and has certainly produced a lot of headaches.

Now whether there is a more subtle method, remains an open issue. We await the lucky donkey or devine intervention. We are willing to wait. After all, we have waited upon hot fusion for a seemingly long while now. Some future generation will see whether the lucky donkey or probablistic fusion crosses the real finish line with power to the people.

I just hope we don't run out of "real fuel" like of oil, coal, gas and uranium before then.

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: IAEA published idea: Diamond bullet into DT methane.

Post by Chris Bradley » Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:00 pm

Richard Hull wrote:
> Edward makes a lot of sense, related to the issue of first getting fusion efficiently produced on some greatly reduced scale.

Blimey!... Reducing input energy rather than increasing neutrons, as an initial objective, has been a story a few of us have been singing, but I don't think I have ever heard you be so positive about it before! Welcome to the future!

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