Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Idle fusing musing

I've been watching the progress of the polywell type reactor with a great deal of interest. The first results appear encouraging, and although Nuclear Fusion was not obtained, they have been able to generate plasma.

Now I’m no nuclear Engineer, but I’ve been fascinated by the results obtained by Dr Richard Nebel and his team with the WB-7 fusion device. Whilst only having a rough understanding of Nuclear Fusion, I find myself wondering thus; what would happed if you took several small Tokamak type devices and arranged them so that several plasma toroids intersected at the same point in a polywell type containment chamber. Rather like in the Polywell, but with better control of the plasma flows. Kind of a cross between the Tokamak and Polywell Fusion concepts.

If anyone can be bothered to read this; and you understand I may be way off beam here, as I understand it the Tokamak design accelerates a plasma toroid within a magnetic containment field, firing high energy lasers into the toroid to achieve Fusion. The Polywell design tries to bring several plasma streams together at a single point to achieve Nuclear Fusion. Both methods are close, but so far, the only man made Nuclear Fusion has been achieved in a Thermonuclear Detonation where a Fission device is used to trigger a Fusion reaction.

I may just be showing my complete and utter ignorance of the subject, but if a Tokamak can achieve plasma containment, rotating a plasma toroid at high speed, and a Polywell can obtain plasma at a point but seems to suffer from poor containment; say you have a Tokamak type coil array which can guide plasma in a stable (ish) toroid; if you arrange four or six Tokamak type coil arrays mounted in a circular pattern which have a third of the plasma path open into a using Polywell type vacuum containment chamber. The idea being to make all six plasma toroids intersect around a central point in the containment chamber at high speed with enough cumulative energy to begin a Nuclear Fusion reaction. Maybe three should be contra rotating to converge the Hydrogen ion plasma streams together at close to light speed whilst keeping the start up energy cost down. 'Fuel' in the form of Hydrogen / Boron / Tritium / Deuterium etc could be injected from the coils rather than directly into the containment chamber.

Again, I may be talking through my figurative hat, but my training and my job are partly about thinking outside the box and I also write Science Fiction. Am I on to something here, or are there factors I’m not aware of that would militate against such a solution?

I've envisaged just such a power plant as the Fusion Generator which powers the first Earth built generation of Faster Than Light Omega spacecraft in my MSS 'A sky full of stars'. May all be complete cobblers of course, but it's good enough for fiction.

Good news if that Gas prices on the Island have dipped under ninety cents a litre (88.9 cents or about 48 UK pence a litre at current exchange rates). Hmm. Maybe some people can't afford to speculate in the market and artificially inflate the prices any more. Have also been amazed at the level of intellectual impoverishment that leads people to parade around in the snow carrying banners saying 'stop global warming now'. In the snow? What drugs are these people on? Bet if I wandered past a few of them I would catch the distinctive heavy sweet odour of Marijuana as I passed by. They don't call it 'dope' for nothing.


M. Simon said...

PTSD and the Endocannabinoid System

Jones said...

I know there are medicinal uses for Tetrahydrocannibol (THC) but I used to know a lot of people who used Cannabis on a recreational basis who'd never been anywhere near combat or trauma. They could believe ten impossible things before breakfast.

Oh boy. Memories from my wild and feckless youth.

Roger said...

Its amazing what people build in their basements.