Fusion Claim - Jackson Oswalt

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Jackson Oswalt
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Fusion Claim - Jackson Oswalt

Post by Jackson Oswalt »

Hello all once again!

The following are results from: January 19th, January 30th, and January 31st. I was 12 when I did my first run and got similar results. I am now 13.

For those that haven't seen my recent posts, it will come as a major surprise that I would even consider believing I had achieved fusion. However, over the past month I have made an enormous amount of progress resulting from fixing major leaks in my system. I now have results that I believe to be worthy. For those wondering why I didn't post immediately after the 19th, it was because I wasn't confident at all I had achieved fusion. Now, after a few more weeks of testing and input from Fusor.net I am confident enough to share the following results:
Fusion run
Fusion run
This is at:
40 microns of pure D2
50kv @ 7ma
Trigger set to 30mv
2 5/8 inches of HDPE moderator
Deuterium star
Deuterium star
As you can see in the results above, I removed my detector tube from the moderator at the very beginning of the two minute mark. The counts stopped immediately and began once again when I placed it back in the moderator. I apologize I didn't get a larger run time, but I became a little bit too excited at the sight of what seemed to be neutrons. However, I do believe it encompasses the run pretty well, especially along side this:
Fusion run without moderator
Fusion run without moderator
This was a 5 minute run with the Fusor running with deuterium at the above conditions. The only difference was that the detector was outside of the moderator the entire time with the moderator far away.

Now, my setup:
System with lead shield
System with lead shield
Closer shot
Closer shot
Old setup photo, before deuterium line
Old setup photo, before deuterium line
Old view from the top
Old view from the top
Deuterium line
Deuterium line
Air plasma @ 20 microns
Air plasma @ 20 microns
My main chamber is a Cf2.75" 5-way cross. It has two view ports, I use a mirror in order to view and take pictures of the plasma. It also has a 30kv electrical feedthrough in the back, which you can't see except for in the top view. On the left hand side is a series of reducers that lead to my vacuum gauge and deuterium line. My deuterium line consists of a regulator and a micrometer leak valve that are connected by 1/4" SS tubing and swagelok fitting. My deuterium source is a 10L bottle from Sigma-Aldrich. It took quiet some time to convince them to sell me the deuterium. Most pictures have a 1/4" of lead shielding in them. My parents suggested I do this "just in case". My vacuum system consists of a Edwards E2M5 pump, a Veeco air-cooled diffusion pump, and a series of valves and hoses. The E2M5 pumps the whole system down to about 15 microns in two minutes. While it's pumping down, I turn on the diffusion pump fan. I then close the left-most ball valve and switch on the diffusion pump heater. After about 45-60 minutes I'm in the 10e-5 or 6 range.soon I’ll be getting a high vacuum gauge, but for now I know I’m down to a low enough pressure for fusion. I then turn up my 50kv spellman supply modified for 7ma output to roughly 10kv and start adding deuterium. As soon as the plasma ignites, I increase the voltage and begin to get the counts you see in the results.

Inevitably, I have included far more information on one subject than I needed to have. I'm sure I didn't include enough information on another. Just ask, and I'd be more than happy to supply more pictures and data. I'm excited to further optimize my setup and possible someday add an ion gun.

-JO
Attachments
Neutron detector tube and moderator
Neutron detector tube and moderator
Last edited by Jackson Oswalt on Fri Feb 02, 2018 6:30 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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John Futter
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Re: Fusion Claim - Jackson Oswalt

Post by John Futter »

Why is everyone in such a hurry
Jackson I would turn a diff pump on check it 30 mins later that backing pressure is in bounds and leave it for three or four days to self clean itself and the vacuum vessel it is connected to.
Super serious people would leave the system for a few weeks to fully outgas before doing anything significant.
20 mins even for an aircooled diff pump is nowhere near enough to get the working fluid degassed and doing what it does best as the working temperature balance has not been met. More over the pump fluid has not had time to clean itself properly.
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Re: Fusion Claim - Jackson Oswalt

Post by ian_krase »

Most of us don't like the idea of running a vacuum pump for hours and hours when we're not at home. Especially not if we can't afford the right valves and stuff for good auto-isolation in case of power failure or forepump failure.

(only gets worse when turbos are involved)
Jackson Oswalt
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Re: Fusion Claim - Jackson Oswalt

Post by Jackson Oswalt »

I apologize for my typo. It takes 45-60 minutes or more for the diffusion pump to get to the ideal pressure.
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Re: Fusion Claim - Jackson Oswalt

Post by Dennis P Brown »

I am surprised you just get to 0.1 micron in that amount of time but if one has a lot of water vapor on walls and seals, it can take time. Using a hair dryer to heat up various parts when it is at 0.1 microns can go a good ways to speed up the out gassing issues.

Have you confirmed, when at 0.1 micron via a alcohol or dust off spray, that all your seals/connections are vacuum tight? When in that low range, and running an ion gauge or good vacuum gauge, you will see a jump or at least a steady climb a few seconds after spraying a seal that leaks. This is a fast way to confirm all seals are good. If issues are noted, sometimes alcohol will improve the seal. But often best to break it down and confirm there are no scratches or hairs or dirt cause issues for the sealing surfaces or gasket (look at the gasket surface, too.)

If all seals pass the test, then you can be fairly confident that the connections are sound and the issue is mostly out gassing.

Overall, a very professional setup and I am sure you will overcome any vacuum issues soon, get down to 10^-5 torr or so, and be able to get a good fusion run with a stable plasma.
Jackson Oswalt
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Re: Fusion Claim - Jackson Oswalt

Post by Jackson Oswalt »

I should have made this more clear, but I get down lower than .1 microns. However, that is as far as I can measure the pressure. I’m trying to get a HV gauge soon, but for now I know I’m getting down to fusion levels.
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Re: Fusion Claim - Jackson Oswalt

Post by Richard Hull »

Thanks for posting your results. I have added your name to the list of fusioneers. Good work. Nice system. You have put some money into this.

To others.....

This is another tiny volume fusor that is working well and shown to be doing so with decent instrumentation. Again the removal of the tube from moderator count fall off to zero and re-insertion resume counting coupled with the image of the pink discharge and star rays is a true representation of fusion, regardless of final count, errors in counting, etc. If a neutron detector tube is counting in moderator and dummies up outside during a run, well, that sort of tells it all.

As to vacuum...

Remember, this is a microscopic volume to be evacuated compared to a large 6-8-inch spherical fusor. Pump down can be lightning fast compared to a larger system. Even with the small cross chamber, you are effectively only pumping down what in a larger more complex system are just vacuum "lines"!! I think this is all part of a new day dawning in a way that was just not seen or expected and it might just be due to a near perfect balance of size versus mean free path at pressure in a small fusion system. Dwell on this a while.......

What is the "take-away" from all this?

There is such a thing as too small where arcing of the HV takes over and failure to reach voltages that allow for decent tunneling can limit results.

There may be a point where smaller is better, even if it is not as pleasing and impressive to the eye as a lovely, impressive, big old spherical reactor chamber. This appears to be the case due to recent adventures by the less well heeled applicants, limited to "catch as catch can" small crosses and tees substituting for what has been a formal, separate fusion reaction chamber entity. Fusion may turn out to be cheaper and easier than even we thought. Sure, we are not doing power fusion and relying on quantum tunneling, but we are doing nuclear fusion.

I have looked at quantum tunneling fusion, on our part, as flying at the coal face, (fusion wall), with hard hats on to get coal, (fusion), as "bull-heading" fusion. Yes, it is not elegant, but we do get a bit of broken shards of coal, (fusion), at the foot of the coal face for our efforts. There is little disgrace in quantum tunneling....It seems to have been the basis for the semiconductor, (transistor), revolution. Bizarre thoughts come to mind.....Like would fusion tunneling in solids be the lucky donkey that licks the fusion quest? Is hot fusion a must do thing or is it just another coal face we are banging our heads against?

In a way this was a "lucky donkey" moment here at fusor.net! A bunch of newbies who were not trying to find a new, novel way to do fusion, but, instead, driven by the paucity of funds and resources have stumbled on a way to do fusion via tunneling in a much more economical way. I have refused to see this due to the fact that prior attempts in such tiny chambers were stumbling efforts with what could charitably be said to be poor neutron detection efforts. However, over the past two years, small chamber enthusiasts have put into their fusion efforts the money they saved in vacuum gear, plowing it into far better detection gear. They have been giving us good quantitative data that we have felt good enough to sit up and take notice.

In the end, I am almost as excited by this new revelation as the day I first posted on "Songs" 20 years ago!

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
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Jackson Oswalt
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Re: Fusion Claim - Jackson Oswalt

Post by Jackson Oswalt »

So, at 12 yeas old am I the new youngest fusioneer?

Richard, thank you for your comment. I’m honored to have built a reactor that possibly demonstrates the future of small fusors. I look forward to improving my design and continuing to have fun with fusion.

-Jackson Oswalt
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Re: Fusion Claim - Jackson Oswalt

Post by Scott Moroch »

I am concerned about the x-rays you are exposing yourself to during these runs. You appear to have shielding in front of the entire fusor, with the exception of the viewport. As the viewport is by far the most transparent to x-rays, I am curious as to why that was not shielded as well. It is very easy to place a camera in front of the viewport and then shield the surrounding area.

Can you elaborate on your shielding/safety precautions during fusion runs?

Congrats on fusion and great effort so far.

-Scott Moroch
"In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity"
-Albert Einstein
Jackson Oswalt
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Re: Fusion Claim - Jackson Oswalt

Post by Jackson Oswalt »

Due to the amount of X-rays coming from the view port, the amount of lead shielding I had simply wouldn't have been enough to stop them. The shielding is in place to stop all of the shine through x-rays. I use a mirror to view the inside, so I'm far away from the direct line of the viewport.
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Re: Fusion Claim - Jackson Oswalt

Post by Richard Hull »

Jackson could you have someone take a photo of you by your gear and post it in the Image Du Jour forum. Please title it "youngest fusioneer - 12 years old. Give a bit of history on your project. Obviously, you had financial support. I assume your parents? What grade are you in? put all of this in the text with the image.

You have replaced Taylor Wilson as the youngest fusioneer.

Thanks.

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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Re: Fusion Claim - Jackson Oswalt

Post by Jerry Biehler »

Ian, the chance of getting suck back on a modern rotary pump are negligible. Probably even less of a chance of you losing power during a run or a pump randomly failing.
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Re: Fusion Claim - Jackson Oswalt

Post by ian_krase »

It happened to me though!
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Re: Fusion Claim - Jackson Oswalt

Post by Dennis P Brown »

Congratulations and well done Jackson on both fusion and being the youngest to date!

I agree with Richard - after the controlled experiments I did a few weeks ago I confirmed that a significantly smaller effective chamber does do more fusion than a larger chamber for the same voltage/current but this smaller chamber had less ionized deuterium! This was done by way of installing a anode grid in the larger chamber: effectively creating a smaller effective volume in the original chamber.

Critically, this is due solely from the higher pressure - not from more ionized deuterium in the chamber as I showed in the experiment. In fact, I had about 1/3 the ionized deuterium gas volume in the effective smaller volume chamber than the larger chamber (where the small anode grid grid was removed.) Flow rates were nearly identical in both experiments as well (I use a very precise feed micrometer valve. Also, both used the same sized cathode.) All aspects were the same except gas density.

See post: viewtopic.php?f=13&t=12048

Some years ago I have read about solid deuterium (yes pure D2 ice, and around 3 K!) that showed significant fusion when a high voltage and current ran through (acted as a Z-pinch.) I considered this interesting then.

Yet, these current fusor experiments and my controlled experiments do tend to indicate that density matters a great deal and does increase the probability that tunneling will occur for fusion - that is, tunneling numbers increase more readily at higher densities. Remember, my smaller "effective" chamber volume had less ionized deuterium but did exhibited a higher density - the only manner my fusion rate could increase over the larger chamber that had significantly more deuterium gas (at lower density) would be if the probability of fusion increased and that can only be due to the tunneling probability increased.

Aside: I did build an actually smaller chamber and reran the test using the same power levels in deuterium with the bubble detector and obtained the three bubbles in a similar time period. The operating pressure was closer to 25 microns, however this smaller chamber did require a significantly smaller cathode, as well. While this effort was primarily done to look into how physically smaller chambers behave compared to my original larger chamber - I was concerned about issues like high voltage flash over/shorting - this small chamber behaved very well. As Richard pointed out, far faster/easier to evacuate compared to large chambers. Another advantage to smaller chambers.
Jackson Oswalt
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Re: Fusion Claim - Jackson Oswalt

Post by Jackson Oswalt »

Just finished my Images Du Jour post: viewtopic.php?f=18&t=12120.
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Re: Fusion Claim - Jackson Oswalt

Post by Jim Kovalchick »

Congrats Jackson!

You have a fine system. What are your plans for it? I recommend some activation. With a small fusor you can get in close with your samples. Silver is an easy starter.
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