[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

Re: starship-design: Bussard design

In a message dated 9/2/97 2:09:46 AM, TLG.van.der.Linden@tip.nl (Timothy van
der Linden) wrote:

>Part of the conversation between Kelly and Isaac:
>>>>>>The geometry for this system is a hollow sphere by the way.  
>>>>>Huh?  A conductive hollow sphere cannot generate an electric
>>>>>potential gradient inside it.  You'd have to inject electrons
>>>>>into the center in order to attract the (positively charged)
>>>>>fuel particles to it, and rely on the charge of those electrons
>>>>>alone to acheive compression.
>Kelly, Isaac is right about this. Either you or Bussard did conclude
>something that does not comply with physics.
>I never really thought about the fact that Isaac mentions, mainly because a
>charge convined fusion system didn't look much more attractive to me than
>most other pulsed fusion designs.

Hi, back on line.

Hey your the physics majors.  

The central paper descibing the workings of the reactor is:
   "Some physics Considerations of magnetic Inertial-electrostatic confinement
:  A new concept for Spherical converging-flow Fusion"  Fusion Technology
March 91

Synopsis lists it as "A new concept for inertial-electrostatic spherical
colloding beam fusion (polywell) is based on the use of
magnetohydrodynamically stable quasi-spherical polyhedral magnetic fields to
contain energetic electrons that are injected to form a negatice potential
well that is capable of ion confinement.

It goes on to show how the paper demonstrates that it is grossly stable
against internal and external perterbations, small power losses
 fromselfcollisions Bremsstrahlung and synchrotron radiation, etc..

Sounds like they electrons are injected into the center to act as the
negative, to appose the positive charge on the spherical reactor shell.  That
negative pulls the positive fuel ions in from the outside of the reactor.

humm.  MOre details in the text mention that the MHD mag field consist of
alternating point cusps in a generally spherical geometry.  (I.E they occupy
the faces of a even numbered polyhedron.)

I remember that this was a refinement of previous work by Farnsworth and
Hirsch.  It mentioned here, that when they stoped work in the late 60's their
systems based on this design had acheaved the still current fusion neutron
production rates in a steady state system.

Anyway its about 18 pages of equations and diagrams that I have trouble
following, and refuse to type in.  Highlights are comments on translational
and recirculating flows, and a slight prolate displacement problem that can
induce a local current.  However the "..counterstreaming interaction of
particals moving through the central region, which couple their momentum to
each other through spherical electrostatic waves." --- "vastly exceeds any
possible local perterbation".   

This is a good thing right?  ;)

It does seem that my description of it as a voltage compression system was
wildly off.  Sounds more like the voltage and alternating magnetic fields
create and acceptably stable and hot core zone for fusion, and that a lot slos
hing about and current flow interacts to keep this working nicely.  Further
people have built versions of things like this, and they seem to work.
 Comments by other physics types say its a great idea, some say far more
promising then current magnetic confinment designs, but funding isn't
avalible.  Others say it a great idea but largely not Bussards, so he should
give more credit to others.

Not having any background in high energy physics.  I'm assuming from all this
that the idea is sound and viable, and being grosely under researched for
reasons unrelated to its viability.