Friday, September 21, 2007

Via this post at Power and Control, here's a Wikipedia article on the Bussard "polywell" reactor. I know some of you were somewhat sceptical last time I posted about this: however, I would say that, in this video, Bussard himself seems to be extremely hopeful.

And me? Well, I believe that technology will save us, and I'm interested in any new developments in this field...


Edwin Hesselthwite said...

Heyup Devil,

As one of the head attackers on this topic last time, I'd like to issue *most* of a retraction. I've read up on this machine extensively and the principle is extremely scientifically sweet. I've discussed it extensively with an experimental nuclear physicist (hence my hand on experience) and he gives the machine a 1 in 10 chance of being functionally viable.

I'll be blogging extensively on the topic over the weekend, there is a gorgeous article in it. Basically tho, the problem comes down to the question of Bremstralung radiation - the breaking radiation released by the ions as they decelerate around the central point. Traditional fusors pissed out X-Rays like a fountain, and could never conceivable break-even.

Bussard thinks he's cracked this, which is what he means in the video when he's discussing "non-maxwellian geometry". Problem is he hasn't got anywhere near enough data yet to justify this, and until he does the question of x-ray emissions is still the kicker.

Devil's Kitchen said...


If you think that you could expand on the problem a little more to someone with GCSE Physics and Chemistry and Biology A Level, i.e. me, then I'd be very interested.

Do feel free to drop me an email...


Mark Wadsworth said...

What Ed says.

Only it's spelled "Bremsstrahlung"

Edwin Hesselthwite said...


Grins.. You'll have to wander over to LMWN for it when I finish it.



Roger Thornhill said...

More over that the IEC Fusion group


on non-maxwellian and re-normalization.

Buggered if I know what it means at the mo', but FYI.

Oh yeah? So what has happened for the last ten years, exactly?

Over at the ASI, they are posting some of the winning entries of the Young Writers on Liberty. One does not want to put such keen minds off,...