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10000 bucks fusion?

  1. Apr 23, 2008 #1
    With 10000 dollars, 10 people and 1 year, is it possible for me to make a fusion generator? The efficiency doesn't matter. Any tips would be nice. What kind of fusion would be best for the situation?
     
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  3. Apr 23, 2008 #2

    Mech_Engineer

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    No. It is not possible.
     
  4. Apr 23, 2008 #3
    why? ten thousand bucks is a pretty god chunk of change but i wouldn't know. no experience in the field.
     
  5. Apr 23, 2008 #4

    DaveC426913

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    At a passing guess, the high-powered lasers alone would drain your account.
     
  6. Apr 23, 2008 #5
    I'm not sure how much it cost him, but there was a high school student who built a fusor. I've forgotten the details, but I think it was an inertial electrostatic confinement type.

    A year should be enough for 10 dedicated people to accomplish copying such a design.
     
  7. Apr 24, 2008 #6

    Mk

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  8. Apr 24, 2008 #7
    Thanks. Whats the price tag on one of those thngs? Rough estimate.
     
  9. Apr 25, 2008 #8

    Mech_Engineer

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    A fusor is NOT a fusion generator. It's more like science fair project.

    Let me put it this way- say fusion technology existed and a team of scientists told the government they could build a fully functioning fusion power plant for a couple hundred million dollars, that would be a smokin' deal.

    Alternatively, you could look at the Department of Energy's National Ignition Facility, which has the purpose of achieving Fusion "Ignition" when it is finally finished in the next decade. Originally estimated at $667 million in 1993, it has to date cost over 4 billion dollars, and will be the most powerful laser facility on the planet when completed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2008
  10. Apr 25, 2008 #9

    mheslep

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    I'd drop the word 'generator' as it justs confuses the issue, but yes absolutely you can produce a fusion device in your garage based on a concept called Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) fusion invented by Philo Farnsworth (TV inventor) in the 1960's, called the Farnsworth Fusor. It can done for less than $5000, maybe $2000 if you are a good scrounger. A well built device can easily produce enough neutrons to activate materials. It will consume more energy than it produces by many orders of magnitude. The primary components of fusor w/ respect to cost: high voltage power supply and apparatus, vacuum chamber, vacuum pumps (regular and diffusion), deuterium gas supply and apparatus.

    Beezey stated efficiency doesn't matter. If we are going to talk about fusion power: NIF alone has cost $4B; the US has spent much more than that on the general concept of laser implosion fusion for 40 years. Similar amounts have been spent on ITER and magnetic confinement fusion. Neither have yet produced more power than they consumed, though in the case of ITER it appears very much like it will indeed produce slightly above break even once constructed. There are still very serious questions if either of them (ITER/NIF) can be used as practical power sources before the second have of the century, if then.

    So in the meantime Beezy, have fun building a fusor.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2008
  11. Jun 22, 2008 #10
    Hee Hee
    About $800 would buy you the non-evaporating oil for the booster vacuum pump. Its not too hard to price up all the little bits and pieces and get over $10000 without getting around to any main fusor bits at all!

    You have to have a good picture in your mind of just how vastly empty is the space between and inside of those atoms, and how truly difficult it is to force some nuclei near each other, given they fiercely resist most of the way. Nuclear engineers have been determinedly trying every trick they can dream up for decades.

    The "Mr Fusion" Hollywood fantasy (with Michael J. Fox I think) engenders fine hopes, and may be a valuable part of motivating the 'American Dream'. This is not confined to Americans, and I would not condemn it at all. Nor is it that there are closed minds - especially not here. In 1934, when energy was what you could get from a horse, or a water turbine, or a gasoline engine, who would have thought that only 7 years later we would have a vast new source available?

    Even so, thousands of well motivated folk have been hitting at it so hard, and for so long now, they are entitled to say there are some things that are just not up for debate anymore without very compelling discovery and proofs . The sub $10000 route is just not feasible. Just spent on paying you for your efforts toward this endeavour, how long would you work for that much, let alone put to purchasing hardware?
     
  12. Jun 23, 2008 #11

    mheslep

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    The vacuum/diffusion pump is indeed usually the highest cost component. However, please re-read the OP and lets not go off topic, the OP is clearly about the possibility of amateur experimentation. For materials cost alone a D-D IEC device with measurable neutron output (10^5/sec) can indeed be made for very little, <<$10000.
    Physicsweb link:
    www.fusor.net/board/getfile.php?bn=fusor_announce&att_id=3320
    Matl list for another plasma only (and likely to implode) amateur effort:
    The pump was an old Scientific Instruments unit, user estimated he got down to 200-400mTorr.
    http://www.fusor.net/board/getfile.php?bn=fusor_construction&att_id=4732

    Edit: Here's another way to go round about to getting a high vacuum.
    http://www.lesker.com/newweb/traps/forelinetraps_absorbentplate_micromaze.cfm?pgid=0
    "These traps will effectively absorb oil vapor backstreaming from the pump, protecting the vacuum system from oil contamination"; used w/ a rotary vane vacuum pump and ordinary hydrocarbon oil one can get down to 1e-5 Torr, low enough to see ample D-D fusion at 10-15KV.
    $350.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 23, 2008
  13. Jun 23, 2008 #12

    vanesch

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    Don't forget to put money aside for the chemo-therapy :uhh:
     
  14. Jun 23, 2008 #13

    mheslep

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    X-rays appear to be the only thing the majority of these guys produce w/ any real power which are easy to stop. All the amateurs use a camera to look through the glass view ports. Anyway, I expect the foolish never get pass the high voltage setup. :uhh:
     
  15. Jun 23, 2008 #14

    vanesch

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    I was more thinking of a serious flux of fast neutrons....
     
  16. Jun 24, 2008 #15

    mheslep

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    Yep, though only a handful of amateurs have ever reported reaching even a sustained 10^5 n/s on the amateur web site. That is, it takes a fairly knowledgeable amateur to get there.
     
  17. Jun 25, 2008 #16

    vanesch

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    There are commercial "hand-held" devices, like this one from SODERN, which pretend delivering 10^10 neutrons per second. Pretty dangerous things if used inappropriately...
    http://www.sodern.com/site/FO/scripts/siteFO_contenu.php?mode=&noeu_id=45&lang=EN
     
  18. Jun 25, 2008 #17

    mheslep

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    Apparently SODERN is using D-T for the 10^10n/s model. D-T of course has a much better fusion cross section. Not much T available to the amateur.
     
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