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one of Philo T Farnsworth's little known inventions....

Discussion in 'High Voltage' started by unclejed613, Jun 28, 2011.

  1. unclejed613

    unclejed613 Well-Known Member

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    ok, i take sci-fi with a grain of salt, especially sci-fi TV shows. but an "off-hand" comment in the pilot episode of Warehouse 13 got my attention. somebody mentioned that "Farnsworth's fusion experiment" was in the "Farsworth aisle". of the warehouse. i got curious and did a google search....

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

    http://49chevy.blogs.com/fusor/

    and

    http://www.rtftechnologies.org/

    got my attention. the "garage" projects based on this use high voltage, and with relatively simple equipment CAN produce neutrons as a result of fusion reactions (so if you intend to take the extra step between "demo" model and fully working model, make sure you have the device shielded and have a way of measuring the neutron output of the device). homebuilt and even the best funded and best built fusors have not reached "break-even", but they do work. and they require high voltages at relatively high currents (10kV@30mA or more). they also require being able to produce a very high vacuum and the ability to meter minute quantities of certain gases into that vacuum.

    i've been a "science geek" all my life, but never knew this type of research was going on, or that it was simple enough to do without tons of cash and specialized equipment. as a demo model using air or an inert gas, there is no fusion reaction, but the other operational characteristics of a working fusor can be demonstrated. it looks like it would make an excellent science fair project, or for somebody my age something really new and different to tinker with.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2011
  2. Sceadwian

    Sceadwian Banned

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    As most science goes, awesome observations, great experimentation and even the hardest understanding of what is going on can not make something practical. That being said there needs to be more of that kind of research and showing people that even without the harde observational science backgrounds go such as in deeper physics, that something can be DONE with what is occuring, and that exploring what else can be DONE is a good thing, but the budget is lower and the science is weaker because those million dollar instruments arent' there to figure out what's going on.

    Unfortunately as much junk science comes out of this as true understanding.
     
  3. unclejed613

    unclejed613 Well-Known Member

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    actually this type of technology has brought fusion research within spitting distance of "break-even". the US Navy is funding research into a variation of the IEC fusor that has actually surpassed any method to date for sustained reactions. the ultimate goal of the research on the "Polywell" device (an improved Farnsworth-Hirsch fusor) is to fuse regular hydrogen with boron-11 (which is 80% of naturally ocurring boron), which would produce alpha particles (high energy helium nuclei), which when collected would draw electrons from the collector, producing electricity directly. there would be no radioisotopes used for fuel, and no radioactive byproducts left over, and no neutrons emitted from the device. this device was researched and designed by Dr Robert W Bussard who had spent many years doing tokamak research (and essentially getting nowhere).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polywell
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aneutronic_fusion
    http://www.emc2fusion.org/
     
  4. dave

    Dave New Member

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  5. Sceadwian

    Sceadwian Banned

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    Yes, but as far as back yard nuclear reactor goes this can't work. The technology being hopeful for serious development is good, but it's the funding that will get it there. Sure you can demo it in your back yard, and it's a cool eye grabber, or conversation piece but it's not practical on a hobby scale to do things like this. If you want to do something like this become a physicist and get some financial backing so you can do it right =>
     
  6. unclejed613

    unclejed613 Well-Known Member

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    we're sadly lacking in high school students that want to be the engineers and phycisists of the future. i think something like this as an "eye grabber" and a "backyard project" could be a step in the right direction. when i was young, it was the space program that was the "eye grabber", and ham radio was among the "backyard projects" that got people interested in engineering and physics. the thrust of our education system has moved from training people who can CREATE new technologies, to training people to USE technology (without knowing what makes it tick).
     
  7. Sceadwian

    Sceadwian Banned

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    I bailed out of high school at an early age because I understood this at the time. New ideas are however not that simple.
     
  8. morgankent

    morgankent New Member

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    fusion ala Farnsworth

    I have read what people say about fusion via the Farnsworth method, loosely termed "Farnsworth Hirsch" fusion, and what I have to say is found here:
    www.poissor.com

    morgankent
     

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