Friday, February 04, 2011

More on Dense Plasma Focus Fusion


Brian Wang provides some updated information on the incremental progress being made by the Lawrenceville Plasma Physics group working on dense plasma focus fusion.
The experimental gear is being upgraded and "ruggedized" in order to handle the higher voltage and current to be used as the experiments progress toward the ultimate goals of achieving fusion with a proton-Boron fuel.
One of the changes is the provision of larger tungsten rod "spark plugs." In this case, clearly size does matter.

Here is more from a recent LPP paper to be published in the Journal of Fusion Energy:
The DPF is a compact and simple device first developed in the 1960s by N. V. Filippov in the USSR and by J. W. Mather in the USA and has been studied by dozens of groups over the last 45 years, resulting a large and rich literature. It consists of two concentric cylindrical electrodes enclosed in a vacuum chamber. The chamber is evacuated to low pressure and then backfilled to several torr with the fuel gas. A pulse of electricity with a rise time of 0.2-10 s from a capacitor bank is discharged across the electrodes during operation. [4] In operation, the capacitors discharge in a several-microsecond pulse, the gas is ionized and a current sheath, consisting of pinched current filaments, forms and runs down the electrodes. When the sheath reaches the end of the inner electrode (the anode), the filaments pinch together forming dense, magnetically confined, hot spots or plasmoids.[5-6] The plasmoids emit X-rays with energy from several keV to over 100 keV.

...These plasmoids emit intense beams of accelerated ions and electrons[16-19]. Fusion neutrons are emitted from the device in large quantities (up to 10^13 ) per shot._LPP PDF

The video above is a quick 1 minute introduction to LPP's dense plasma fusion approach, with a dynamic 3D schematic of the apparatus in action.

LPP's chief Eric Lerner put together a "webinar" in autumn 2010 to explain the focus fusion approach. Follow the YouTube links to the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th installments of the webinar.

Focus Fusion Society
Lawrenceville Plasma Physics
Switches and Sparkplugs

More on small scale fusion approaches from M. Simon



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