Columbus-1 Linear Pinch Fusion Success

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Mark Rowley
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Columbus-1 Linear Pinch Fusion Success

Post by Mark Rowley » Tue Nov 26, 2019 10:30 pm

Today I achieved success (albiet small) with the linear pinch tube.
I conducted 4 shots today all of which were at 25kV / 4375 Joules. Each shot had different D2 pressures, 100, 200, 350, and 425 mTorr.

I had two bubble detectors attached. One near the anode and the other at the cathode. Following the shot at 425mTorr the detector near the anode registered one bubble.

I will continue with more shots in the week and report my results.

Mark Rowley

https://youtu.be/QlCxNENntKg
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Richard Hull
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Re: Columbus-1 Linear Pinch Fusion Success

Post by Richard Hull » Wed Nov 27, 2019 5:50 am

Great work! I am sure it will get better. All of my old bubble dosimeters were like yours.... 22 bubs/mrem it is a good and desirable calibration point for those dosimeters.

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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Mark Rowley
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Re: Columbus-1 Linear Pinch Fusion Success

Post by Mark Rowley » Thu Nov 28, 2019 2:37 am

Today I had excellent results with 28.5kV / 5686 Joules /150mTorr D2. Neutron detection occurred near the anode which resulted in 11 bubbles on the BTI detector.

Attached are pics of the anode and the bubble detector.

Also attached is an uninterrupted video of this particular shot showing the before and after condition of both bubble detectors. The actual shot takes place at the 4:45 mark. Just as a side note, the iPhone camera makes the shot sound like a tiny snap but I can assure all viewers it was a loud bang in person.

My maximum limit is 40kV with this system. According to the old Sherwood reports, neutron production should rise very steep with every kilovolt from this point (28.5kv) forward.

https://youtu.be/1a18X2x2pCM

Mark Rowley
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Richard Hull
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Re: Columbus-1 Linear Pinch Fusion Success

Post by Richard Hull » Thu Nov 28, 2019 4:43 am

The dose in "x" usec was 0.5 mrem. Wow! Let's play some numbers. Assume 10 usec for the dose time. On a per sec rate basis that would be about 50,000 rem/sec or 30 mega rem/minute or 18 billion rem/hr dose rate!! Ain't ya' glad it was only a 10 us blast o' neuts!

Assume you were 10 feet away from the dosimeter..... you were exposed at a 18 million rem/hr rate. Saved by the bell! due to a 10 usec bout in the ring with the champ.... "Mr. Linear Pinch"....Hard hitting...You bet, but no staying power.

A ch1 X ch2 math function on a good DSO scope of the time ordered voltage and current on each channel would give a fabulous power curve over time. I actually did this when working with the water arc guns in the late 90's. Spent a good used car worth of bread doing it too...

Still, you got braggin' rights......"I survived an 18 million rem per hour dose rate of fast neutrons". In street talk... "BTI don't lie!"

Flies in the ointment?? A call to BTI tech guys might we worth it. (Q.) "At what point in dose rates of gamma or hard x-rays will their neutron dosimeter start pumping out bubbles? Mention you are working a 4k joule pulsed neutron source. They may not have tested this aspect of their dosimeter, but I would have hoped so as most electronic methods would prove to be EMP catchers. Totally immune neutron dosimeter to gamma and x-rays would be a boon.

With 11 bubs you might give silver a try in a moderator and immediately run a GM count on the silver (like get the silver to the GM counter within 15 seconds after the shot.) The ultimate proof of neutrons, hands down.

A control test.... fire the 4k joules in an open air gap with a visible light and thin lead shield interposed about 6-12 inches from the dosimeter. No bubs? you are probably OK. Note: neutrons have been detected in nearby lightning bolts.

I am sure you know that BTI makes some great Gamma bubble dosimeters. I have ordered and used one in the early 2000's. They work great.

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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Mark Rowley
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Re: Columbus-1 Linear Pinch Fusion Success

Post by Mark Rowley » Thu Nov 28, 2019 5:34 am

As another point to consider, all of these test shots utilized two detectors. One near the anode and another about 5" up and centrally located on the axis. As of now only the lower detector has detected neutrons which is a characteristic noted in the old research papers. If it was gamma, xray, or spark gap related we should definitely see the same in the other detector, but that has not happened. Both detectors are also almost the same distance from the spark gap.

Axial neutrons are said to be totally dependant on proper pulse shaping. Something I cannot do until I get diagnostics in place. And that will be a race between my available finances and the aging out of the detectors. I'm hopeful as I really want to compare my pulse shapes with the 1958 versions published by Hagerman and Ware. But in the meantime I plan to add some inductance in hopes of striking some axial neutrons.

Mark Rowley

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Mark Rowley
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Re: Columbus-1 Linear Pinch Fusion Success

Post by Mark Rowley » Thu Nov 28, 2019 5:40 am

I believe Robert Dwyer may have personal / professional experience with BTI detectors in pulse systems. He made a few comments about their solid performance with pulse work in the original Columbus-1 post.

I'll call BTI on monday and see what they say and in the meantime I'll start working on activation.

Mark Rowley

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Re: Columbus-1 Linear Pinch Fusion Success

Post by Richard Hull » Thu Nov 28, 2019 6:09 am

Thanks I didn't think about the other dosimeter showing zip!! The street speak "BTI don't lie" seems to hold.

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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Richard Hull
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Posts: 11606
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Re: Columbus-1 Linear Pinch Fusion Success

Post by Richard Hull » Thu Nov 28, 2019 6:44 pm

Mark, I have annotated your fusion success of July with an update in the neutron club listing stating that you are the first amateur in our listing to do fusion in a pinch fusion device.

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.

User avatar
Mark Rowley
Posts: 444
Joined: Sun Dec 29, 2002 5:20 am
Real name: Mark Rowley
Location: Sacramento California
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Re: Columbus-1 Linear Pinch Fusion Success

Post by Mark Rowley » Thu Nov 28, 2019 9:18 pm

Thanks Richard! It’s definitely been an educational project as well as entertaining. I’ll be progressing with the smaller / high cyclic rate version after New Years.

I have to give due credit to Robert Tubbs for prompting me last February to build this device.

Mark Rowley

Robert Dwyer
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Re: Columbus-1 Linear Pinch Fusion Success

Post by Robert Dwyer » Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:40 am

Great work Mark!

First neutrons is always exciting. It's cool to see a pulsed power device like this producing neutrons at an amateur level. Imagine what the pinch fusion physicists of the 50's and 60's would think if they saw this now!

From my experience using the dosimeters in a pulsed neutron/gamma field they scale very well with activation measurements. These dosimeters give an integrated dose have not found that they care about the dose rate. I do not believe the standard BTI will be sensitive to any gammas you produce in this machine. I think the gamma dose would have to be massive for it to become an issue. At low levels the BTI will most likely deviate from any activation measurements, but they should converge as the yields get higher and you have more bubbles on the BTI providing greater statistics.
If we throw more money at it, it will have to work... right?

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