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Re: starship-design: Plasma power

Johnny Thunderbird wrote:

> The _magnetic bottle_ , Ben. Take the can away from the outside, we're in a
> fine high vacuum in space. Magnetic fields don't mean heavy steel magnets.
> If we're really, really good at this kind of design, magnetic fields might
> not even mean copper wire coils, they might not not even mean
> superconductive ceramic wire coils, they might just mean dynamically
> confined orbits of charged particles.

Off hand I have always thought that space was the best place to
use a fusion reactor engine. For me however finding up to date fusion
information for a ordinary guy has been a problem, the information
is too watered down or too technical to be readible,So I may be off
on a few points.

> I started looking at designs for fusion power in 1966, and I haven't had to
> refresh my reading of the primary design concepts very much since. Still the
> front runner, the tokamak hasn't had much change over the last 34 years.
> That's boring science. Only the maverick designs have any interest to them
> at all.

> No, gotcha there, Ben. You're thinking cyclotrons, synchrotrons, or their
> descendants the storage rings. The linac itself is an electrostatic device.
> Well, not exactly static, because it uses alternating currents (preferably
> in a resonance setup) to build high voltage gradients, synchronized with the
> straight line time of flight of the particles. No magnets there at all. It
> is built of conducting sleeve segments, which increase in length toward the
> business end, where the particles get fastest. It's good for space design,
> because conductive sleeves can be made very lightweight, and because long
> linear structures can be conveniently deployed as extensible devices.

I differ with your line of thought as the lack of magnets give the light weight.
If I had my way people would be working in space like the on the ringed
space stations of the early 60's. The Movie 2001 really is the way to build
using a reusable launch vehicle.( They did not say but the 2001 craft could have
been fusion :) ) With the STUPID system of building bigger disposable
rockets construction and development of space structures is impossible, like
your fusion reactor.

> I _like_ Philo Farnsworth's approach to fusion in a vacuum tube. I looked
> over his published work on the subject, that I could find, a year or so ago.
> Once again, take away the tube, when you're working in space. Farnsworth's
> ideas about dynamic confinement, and particularly his electrostatic
> shielding using a cloud of electrons, deserve a lot more investigation. Some
> of the snobs working in computational fluid dynamics really need to get a
> clue on this, but they're all so busy getting paid to work on meaningless
> trivia.

Here is a rather new website that is not all TOP SECRET research,
(I hate that way of research ). 
Take a good look at this site, is has the some very interesting developments.
> For working in space, take away the can, take away the tube, take away the
> heavy magnets, even take away the wire, when you can get a beam of electrons
> to conduct your current. Space construction puts the premium on minimalist
> design, and also on huge structures. Have fun, enjoy, and be extreme.

Space construction is weight sensitive design,not weight critical.
Using disposable rockets for launch makes it weight critical. 
$%@#! at Nasa for not developing a launch vehicle that works.
Payload costs need to be 3 to 5 times the cost of fuel, not 1000x
at it now. 
> Johnny Thunderbird

"We do not inherit our time on this planet from our parents...
 We borrow it from our children."
"Ancient Logic" http://www.jetnet.ab.ca/users/bfranchuk/al/index.html