Would the Makezine.com fusor even be considered fusion?

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Cypress Keen
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Would the Makezine.com fusor even be considered fusion?

Post by Cypress Keen » Sat Jun 20, 2020 10:59 pm

I'm actually not 100% sure of what would be considered here as a fusor, so would you be recognized for making one similar to this one? Its the one MIT based its fusor makerspace around, but it seems a little simple compared to other research-grade fusors you guys post. If it doesn't work, then what's wrong with it?

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Rich Feldman
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Re: Would the Makezine.com fusor even be considered fusion?

Post by Rich Feldman » Sat Jun 20, 2020 11:24 pm

What do you think happens in a "makezine style" fusor that might be considered fusion?
Certainly not nuclear fusion. Not without better vacuum, better HV power, gas more fusible than air, etc. It's a stepping stone.

A fusor.net search for "makezine" returns 31 posts; how many of them have you read?
dnpsqh.jpg
Last edited by Rich Feldman on Sat Jun 20, 2020 11:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Cypress Keen
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Re: Would the Makezine.com fusor even be considered fusion?

Post by Cypress Keen » Sat Jun 20, 2020 11:33 pm

I didn't really think it was fusion, I was just curious because of the fact that the MIT based their workshop around it. this is the article I read: http://news.mit.edu/2020/mit-fusor-work ... space-0224

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Rich Feldman
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Re: Would the Makezine.com fusor even be considered fusion?

Post by Rich Feldman » Sat Jun 20, 2020 11:54 pm

The reporter telling the story glossed over some important details.
For example in pretty picture at top, the glowing M and T appear to be in chambers with pressures 100 times too high for a tradtional fusor that fuses.

Reporter says:
"When voltage is applied ions are drawn to the center, where they can collide and possibly fuse, creating a purple glow around the wire cage.".
Sounds like he doesn't get it. Purple glow is from plasma behavior that has nothing to do with fusion. Purple in air, and would be red or pink in hydrogen/deuterium, with no visible change if some fusion were to happen.
And glow around the wire cage is different from glow in the center -- let's see if we can find the illustrated link...
viewtopic.php?f=24&t=2795

Look at final paragraph of the MIT News article:
fuse.jpg
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Richard Hull
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Re: Would the Makezine.com fusor even be considered fusion?

Post by Richard Hull » Sun Jun 21, 2020 8:43 am

Kinda' sad, really.........The word "fusor" used without a preceding adjective is assumed to be a fusion device or reactor that can do, and has done ECF fusion.

What they build at MIT is a plasma lamp not too far removed from a glow lamp. A demo fusor would be an appellation that would be a bit of a stretch for such devices built and, supposedly, studied in a 6 hour course. This smacks as being more of a dabble among dilettantes.

Oh well, at least some soft college kids got to learn how to actually use a few power tools and make a plasma glow, take some notes, and learn how to work collectively. In that, some good came out of it.

Those of us old hands here hold the term "demo fusor" to a bit higher standard. It is always sad to admit someone to the plasma club when their effort was not a true demo fusor built to some semblance of a high standard of experimental value. Worse, still, is when we never hear from them again. Many never experiment with their "demo fusor" to study and get a "feel" for plasma characteristics and dynamics in depth. The depth of their original purpose was minimal as was their curiosity. This is sad, but if there is, or never was any real drive, it is best to let them move on. No need crying in one's beer.

My ideas for a fusor based, 4 year elective course

U of W and U of I (Urbana) have real fusors in somewhat of a state of constant flux and development that are manned by students.

A good fusion path in college related to a real operational fusor, (should I run it)............

Freshman year - the students who sign up are just "lab rats"..."Step and fetch-its" They learn to work with tools, lots of them. They are tasked to turn out add-ons, upgrade items, assemble and maintain vacuum systems and electronics. They assemble their finished work on the system under supervision of sophomores. They get to watch their work under running test conditions and see fusion being done.

Sophomore year - Sophomores are directly responsible for oversight and training of Freshmen and assigning such tasks as the juniors and seniors think up new needs, fittings, ideas and additions to the fusor device.
They learn how to operate the fusor, the electronics, and can offer suggestions to the juniors and seniors.

Junior year - The lowest level of direct command and control over the system with oversight from the seniors and teacher/advisors. They are trusted and proficient operators. Juniors are in all planning and alteration decisions over the system.

Senior year - The brains of the operation. They are expected to take an active role in designing and completing a unique research effort either individually or as a small team effort during this final year, working closely with the juniors to accept suggestions and assign tasks for the juniors to pass down the chain to achieve their research objectives.

All classes will get to see the fusion work done. Sophomores and up may actually operate various parts of the system in rotations during actual runs so that all the upper classes can understand the specific effects of their jobs in the fusion operational effort.

Needless to say, classroom time will be included as it will not all be hands-on. Minds-on and good instruction are part of the fusion path. A rare once a month giant conclave of all four groups will involve a Q and A session with suggestions open to all. A brilliant freshman can shine here and be noted... or be chided for his naivete.

Regardless of the majors of those electing to take the 4 year stint at fusion, they will have left, as graduates, with a hands-on, chain of command, team effort mentality, highly valued in the work-a-day world. They will also have a good solid grasp of fusion not only in the sense of the physics of it, but the mechanics involved, with a bit of electrical and mechanical engineering thrown in.

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.

Cai Arcos
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Re: Would the Makezine.com fusor even be considered fusion?

Post by Cai Arcos » Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:33 pm

I can only speak from my experiences in the Spanish education system, but if the American is anything like mine, I would be very surprised to see an University encourage a program with "nuclear" in the name

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Re: Would the Makezine.com fusor even be considered fusion?

Post by Richard Hull » Mon Jun 22, 2020 6:02 am

Very true. The colleges mentioned above have had fusor programs since the 1980's. As far as I know they are still going. The local college here, Virginia Commonwealth University, nuclear engineering program started work on a fusor, but they went through a two year stoppage due to a review by the certified health Physicists before the OK was given to continue. They succeeded in making a fusor, and doing fusion, but the effort died on the vine after doing fusion and like so many such elective senior projects, I fear it is now dormant. So even a college with a dedicated nuclear engineering department with a good reputation can stall out on real hands-on nuclear work. Most all of the graduates are hired by the local power company that operates 2 large power reactors in Virginia.

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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