Compact Fusion

mheslep

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It's rather unfair for him to label alternative approaches as 'whacko'. The simple fact is that the mainstream fusion research community has been promising results for six decades now and their approach just isn't working thus the ongoing joke. The Lockheed approach may not work but I'm glad they and others are trying.
In the failed attempts leading up to powered flight, jumping off the roof with a cape was still whacko because of a lack of a sound scientific basis. Roof jumping is not made otherwise, i.e. sound, because mainstream attempts failed.

The failure of mainstream fusion is nonetheless based on what is known, though much remains unknown. Trying something else based on known flaws or ignorance deserves the term whacko, especially given the money spent. * I don't know enough about the field to know if the particular alt-fusion attempts are necessarily flawed or random, but Cowley does.

And I'm not aware of any "promises" about early fusion attempts from scientists involved, though the pop science media consistently over hyped. Those projects usually state i) theoretical potential, ii) time to complete the experiment. ITER for instance clearly states that the project is not suitable for a commercial fusion reactor.
 
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bob012345

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In the failed attempts leading up to powered flight, jumping off the roof with a cape was still whacko because of a lack of a sound scientific basis. Roof jumping is not made otherwise, i.e. sound, because mainstream attempts failed.

The failure of mainstream fusion is nonetheless based on what is known, though much remains unknown. Trying something else based on known flaws or ignorance deserves the term whacko, especially given the money spent. * I don't know enough about the field to know if the particular alt-fusion attempts are necessarily flawed or random, but Cowley does.

And I'm not aware of any "promises" about early fusion attempts from scientists involved, though the pop science media consistently over hyped. Those projects usually state i) theoretical potential, ii) time to complete the experiment. ITER for instance clearly states that the project is not suitable for a commercial fusion reactor.

Cowley may have a strong opinion but not the definitive scientific opinion. He is an advocate and defender of ITER so naturally his opinion regarding alternative approaches should not be considered completely objective especially since money is involved. There are many mainstream physicists working on alternative fusion concepts (and I'm not talking about 'cold fusion' or it's derivatives at all). I'm sure they don't appreciate Cowley's attempt to limit funding and legitimacy of other approaches. Those approaches are not based on 'known flaws' but sound physics. In fact, in some ways, they already bested traditional approaches. The idea that there is one, and only one possible way to do fusion is flawed.

Speaking of ITER, when it was proposed, it was sold as a working testbed reactor which would lead directly to commercial reactors. Otherwise, the project wouldn't have been funded. Now, it's been noticeably downgraded to a mere 'historic' experiment to possibly lead to future improvements that might, in time, lead to a commercial reactor. So, it's bait and switch.
 
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mheslep

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Definitive science is not based on scientists, but on what they publish in the scientific literature. JET has has published results, orders of magnitude better than anything else, include laser implosion at NIF. The currently ongoing alternative projects like Lockheed's have published nothing.


Those approaches are not based on 'known flaws' but sound physics
Yes they are. Cusps leak like a sieve, tried decades ago. Yes it's possible somebody might find a work around, but without a published approach that can critiqued its indifferent from (a physicist) jumping off a roof with a a claimed better garbage bag.
 

bob012345

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Definitive science is not based on scientists, but on what they publish in the scientific literature. JET has has published results, orders of magnitude better than anything else, include laser implosion at NIF. The currently ongoing alternative projects like Lockheed's have published nothing.



Yes they are. Cusps leak like a sieve, tried decades ago. Yes it's possible somebody might find a work around, but without a published approach that can critiqued its indifferent from (a physicist) jumping off a roof with a a claimed better garbage bag.

Publishing doesn't make facts more true and criticism isn't always necessary to make something work. Really, working fusion will more likely be done in the dark and announced as a surprise to the mainstream fusion community.
 

russ_watters

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Lockheed's approach is more about designing the design cycle and a fast pace of research rather than a specific machine design. As I've read what they are really about is developing the facilities and staff to rapidly test a sequence of devices and changes in configurations with the hope that this process will lead to a working machine in a five to ten year period.
Frankly, this sounds like meaningless corporate-speak to me. You cannot schedule discovery/invention and you cannot design the post-discovery commercial development process until you know what you are developing.
Publishing doesn't make facts more true and criticism isn't always necessary to make something work. Really, working fusion will more likely be done in the dark and announced as a surprise to the mainstream fusion community.
I disagree with every one of those statements.
 

bob012345

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Frankly, this sounds like meaningless corporate-speak to me. You cannot schedule discovery/invention and you cannot design the post-discovery commercial development process until you know what you are developing.

I disagree with every one of those statements.
Do you think publishing something means it's true and not publishing means it isn't? Consensus science doesn't prove one is on the right track.
 

russ_watters

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Do you think publishing something means it's true and not publishing means it isn't?
No, but that is not what you said before.

What is true is that published material is more likely to be true than unpublished material because of peer review and follow-up responses. Conversely, when not true, it is more likely to be known to be not true.
Consensus science doesn't prove one is on the right track.
No, it just makes it much more likely.

[edit] And when it comes to fusion it is extra important to follow a rigorous and open academic process due to the subject's history of failed promises and fraud.
 

anorlunda

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This thread offers opinions about many things but there is little engineering. If the OP wishes to pursue this topic, then he should open a new thread with a more specific engineering question.

Thread closed.
 

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