Intro

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Gunnar Mein
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat May 29, 2021 4:24 pm
Real name: Gunnar Mein
Location: Kirland, WA

Intro

Post by Gunnar Mein » Sun May 30, 2021 1:52 am

Hello,

my name is Gunnar, but I stand for a whole group of people at Eastside Preparatory School in Kirkland, WA. I am an outgoing technology teacher there right now, and started our Fusor group 6 years ago. I will stay involved with the effort. We have a couple of very active mentors, Dr. Chuck Whitmer, currently nuclear physicist at TerraPower and also a parent at our school, and Dr. Ioan Leuca, formerly nuclear physicist at Rutgers University and a grandparent at our school. There are usually between 10 and 15 students between grades 9 and 12 on the project. We have been lurking, using fusor.net as an occasional resource, and didn't really feel like we should try to contribute anything before we achieve at least X-rays. But we would like to join the plasma club soon, of which I only learned today, so here we are. Since we don't have a history of postings, I will detail a little bit of where we are in replies to this post. I am looking forward to participating more here!

Gunnar Mein
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat May 29, 2021 4:24 pm
Real name: Gunnar Mein
Location: Kirland, WA

Re: Intro

Post by Gunnar Mein » Sun May 30, 2021 2:03 am

Where we are, the 50,000 ft version. We have a working 3-7 micron vacuum through a TMP. We can get 34 kV from a beefy NST and our homemade Cockcroft-Walton in an oil bath. We have omnidirectional 1/4" lead shielding. We measure pressure (MKS pirani-piezo combo), Variac RMS voltage, NST output RMS, CW output voltage through a set of divider boards in oil. On radiation, we measure 3 Geiger counters inside and out the lead shielding, a PIN-diode radiation sensor, and another PN-junction sensor stolen from a SEM. We remote-control our Variac, rough pump, TMP and needle valve for gas inlet. Our whole remote control and sensing system is built from 9 Arduinos of various types, connected to a PC, which is also the web server for our control app. We and the students control and monitor the system from about 40 ft away, over the network.

We have been working furiously since school reopened in April, after 13 months of just meeting online, learning more physics, and working on deuteron flight and neutron transport visualizations and simulations.

In the near future, we are adding a high-side current sensor, and we are starting to build paraffin shielding around the lead enclosure. A solid state neutron sensor will join the other sensor soon, and we are thinking about using the Hydrostik system for deuterium delivery.

Controlled ionization is what we are struggling with today, in the "great toasting of February 2020" we torched about $2k in hardware. We have just 10 or so days left before summer to maybe move a little further and generate some hard X-rays.

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Richard Hull
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Joined: Fri Jun 15, 2001 1:44 pm
Real name: Richard Hull

Re: Intro

Post by Richard Hull » Sun May 30, 2021 3:35 am

Welcome! It sounds like your group is well equipped. Probably all these details and a couple images in Images Du jour forum would have been a bit better. This is typically where materials and people are seen, and gear displayed and explained.

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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Dennis P Brown
Posts: 2202
Joined: Sun May 20, 2012 2:46 pm
Real name: Dennis P Brown
Location: Glen Arm, MD

Re: Intro

Post by Dennis P Brown » Sun May 30, 2021 10:32 am

Out of curiosity, only, what voltage is your Cocket-Walton power supply? Also, any chance of a pic of it? Maybe a bit of description? I think you are rather safety conscious, to say the least (but for a HS, makes sense to be far over in that regards. Not a fan, at all, of lead shielding - I assume it is properly painted; I prefer the far safer and easy to handle/cut/drill as needed, slate shielding.)

Gunnar Mein
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat May 29, 2021 4:24 pm
Real name: Gunnar Mein
Location: Kirland, WA

Re: Intro

Post by Gunnar Mein » Mon May 31, 2021 2:40 am

Richard and Dennis, thank for the welcome! I will gather some pictures, or take some more tomorrow, and post with the details in the du jour channel.

Gunnar Mein
Posts: 40
Joined: Sat May 29, 2021 4:24 pm
Real name: Gunnar Mein
Location: Kirland, WA

Re: Intro

Post by Gunnar Mein » Mon May 31, 2021 3:00 am

BTW Dennis yes we are taking safety to a high level - we don't want to disrespect the enormous privilege that we have, being able to do this at a HS in the first place. We are using a commercial radiation badge program, have a ban for radioactive material on premises (for now ;-), and have an overall safety standard of: *If* we generated 10^8 neutrons/s (we can confidently say that we won't) and *if* someone stood right outside the door of the Fusor room (10 ft from machine) for 5 minutes (they don't, we are usually 40 ft away), their exposure would still be no more than eating one banana (0.1 uS). That's what our lead and paraffin meets, and this is language I can relate to parents and school administrators.

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