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Re: starship-design: Fusion Containment and Sustaining in Shock Waves

In a message dated 8/14/97 11:46:00 AM, jimaclem@juno.com wrote:

>Here's a wild haired idea ('bout all I seem to be able to come with
>lately).  Make a shell of deuterium ice, shaped as a rotated parabola (or
>ellipse, hyperbola, and any other rotated volume).  Initiate fusion on
>the inner surface (also a rotated shape with a laser.  Actually the
>reflected beam from a laser (you'll see why).  It seems reasonable (a
>ifficult term to pin down on the best of days) that with the correct
>shape, the shock wave created between the fusing outer ayers and the
>remaining deuterium might contain the reaction.  At least long enough to
>complete the fusing of the rest of the fuel.  Pipe the plasma into a
>chamber of water ice (or whatever you have available) and heat it for
>extra reaction mass.  This may not be useful for interstellar flight, but
>might be a darn sight better for in-system travel.  Let me know what you
>Jim C.

What your describing is a kind of inertial confinment fusion reactor. Most com
mon for are the Laser fusion systems developed comercially in the '80's.
 Works great.  Far better then Magnetic fusion.  

So I'm afraid your idea is far less wild then you assumed.  ;)