1. Subscribersonhouse
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    28 Jun '11 11:53
    http://www.gizmag.com/general-fusion-nuclear-prototype/12420/

    Causing a fusion reaction similar to the way a real A bomb works, a compression wave going into a sphere meeting a plasma in the center and compressing the plasma hopefully to the point of fusion but with coordinated pistons sending synchronized pressure pulses traveling to the center of a 3 meter sized sphere (not yet built)
    If it works, it would be orders of magnitude cheaper than either the magnetic confinement (ITER) or the NOVA style inertial confinement using huge laser shots.
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    29 Jun '11 23:53
    This looks similar to the acoustic bubble collapse designs...
    with the difference being they are using pre heated plasma inside the bubble...

    There are two linked problems that I can immediately see that are;
    Do they get enough compression to initiate enough fusion to pass break even...
    And will they be able to create symmetrical enough compression waves...


    With a follow up problem that the plasma will be at millions of kelvin...
    I foresee the plasma simply vaporising the incoming metal shock-wave, massively cooling it [The plasma] down, and contaminating it with metal ions.
    Thus massively reducing fusion rate, and energy release.

    I will be interested to see how it turns out...
    But I would put money on not working...
    If I bet on things like that ;-)
  3. Subscribersonhouse
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    30 Jun '11 18:46
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    This looks similar to the acoustic bubble collapse designs...
    with the difference being they are using pre heated plasma inside the bubble...

    There are two linked problems that I can immediately see that are;
    Do they get enough compression to initiate enough fusion to pass break even...
    And will they be able to create symmetrical enough compressi ...[text shortened]... how it turns out...
    But I would put money on not working...
    If I bet on things like that ;-)
    That's for sure, it may be nothing but the dude's pipe dream. They had the same problem of asymmetrical compression in the development of the first A bomb. This is a similar problem and it remains to be seen if the timing can be accurate enough. My guess is the timing can't be made accurately enough due to a physical piston. If there were some kind of compression not involving a moving piston, the timing could be adjusted more accurately. Time will tell though. This first one is only a step in the direction of fusion power, they next box will have 120 pistons. The more pistons the merrier I would think.

    Then again, that is what killed the Soviet moon rocket. So many small rockets they could not control the thrust of each one and the whole thing ended up blowing up. The Apollo went with a smaller number of large rocket motors which worked a lot better.
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    30 Jun '11 20:53
    That and the Apollo engines were based on ones designed by the British which made them much more powerful and efficient....
  5. Subscribersonhouse
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    30 Jun '11 22:22
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    That and the Apollo engines were based on ones designed by the British which made them much more powerful and efficient....
    Ok, but it was the western front against the eastern front at that point. Brits also invented radar in WW2 or just before but it was the americans, specifically the Varian brothers, Ray and Russell, who invented the klystron which pumped out thousands of watts of Gigahertz waves that allowed the radar to be useful in a wartime situation. Before the klystron, radar was limited to about 200 megahertz which makes it impossible to see anything less than a couple of meters in size, meaning they could not recognize planes by their radar return.

    Getting Ghz radar made the resolution more than ten times better than before so we worked together on that project.

    Between the brits and yanks, we got the job done.
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    01 Jul '11 13:01
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Ok, but it was the western front against the eastern front at that point. Brits also invented radar in WW2 or just before but it was the americans, specifically the Varian brothers, Ray and Russell, who invented the klystron which pumped out thousands of watts of Gigahertz waves that allowed the radar to be useful in a wartime situation. Before the klystron ...[text shortened]... ore so we worked together on that project.

    Between the brits and yanks, we got the job done.
    That would be a very inspiring story, were it not for the unfortunate fact that the radar on the English coast mainly used cavity magnetrons (which did the job quite well enough, thank you). See, for example,
    http://www.theiet.org/about/libarc/archives/exhibition/radar/index.cfm
    Apparently, too, klystrons were, at that time, mainly used by the Hun...

    Richard
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    01 Jul '11 16:38
    Also the original British radar tests were done hunting a bicycle with a metal plate on it... easily smaller than an aeroplane.

    The German radar was more sophisticated...
    But badly deployed, it was the organisational structure that enabled us to use it effectively that made the difference...
    not technological superiority...
    In fact it was the technological inferiority of British radar that made the Germans underestimate its ability.

    Of course we did work together on many things, to great success... However there are a number of notable instances of us entering into 'partnership' with the USA, showing you all our work, then getting nothing in return as our project gets shut down and the USA getting all the credit...
    This does rankle a little... ;-)
  8. Subscribersonhouse
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    01 Jul '11 17:101 edit
    Originally posted by googlefudge
    Also the original British radar tests were done hunting a bicycle with a metal plate on it... easily smaller than an aeroplane.

    The German radar was more sophisticated...
    But badly deployed, it was the organisational structure that enabled us to use it effectively that made the difference...
    not technological superiority...
    In fact it was the te project gets shut down and the USA getting all the credit...
    This does rankle a little... ;-)
    The story of Radar is very complex, here is a history in Wiki:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_radar

    I didn't know there were so many countries developing radar, even the Netherlands!

    I used to work for Varian, thought the names were Ray and Russell, but was really Russell and sigurd. They are listed as the inventors of the Klystron but work seems to have been done in the USSR also.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klystron
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