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Hydrogen-boron High Density Plasma Toroid Fusion

  1. Oct 31, 2004 #1
    Dear Sirs:

    I have posted this Question all over the web, physics forums, science magazines, academics in plasma physics and condensed matter, I have received little response.

    Can you be of assistance?

    I thought this might interest you. I have been researching Hydrogen-boron Fusion. Here's the most important posts, if this technology is real, it's history changing.

    In my searches for efficient home technology I came across Electron Power Systems. I E-mailed EPS about the obvious synergies for their home generator with the power chips of Borealis. I also contacted Borealis. I have been mediating an argument between Clint Seward of Electron Power Systems http://www.electronpowersystems.com with Rodney T. Cox of http://www.powerchips.gi/. Basically Rodney said they got the math wrong and NASA is right and Clint says MIT doesn't get their math wrong. I thought you may have an interest and be of help. Both companies are proposing very disruptive technologies, Borealis in thermoelectrics and EPS in micro fusion.

    Mediating, in this case, means in the middle of e-mail exchanges.
    The issue seems to be Dr. Chen's paper and whether his assumptions of the aspect ratio for the plasma toroids, match the model of Clint Seward proposed device. Will the ion stability condition be satisfied to maintain equilibrium?
    I'm in way over my head here and have been seeking help from interested parties, if you know any plasma physicist that may help that would be great. All pertinent papers are at EPS's web site.

    You may be familiar with Eric Lerner's work, Focus Fusion http://integrityresinst.crosswinds.net/FocusFusion-Ver5.htm#_Toc42793577 , His theories on quasars, his book, The Big Bang Never Happened are very interesting. I spoke with him about my concerns regarding EPS's fusion model. Below are his points and Clint Seward's responses. Please share any thoughts you have.

    Focus Fusion seems to making progress, they got threw gate 1 for a 2 million NIST grant for a spin off of their fusion technology to build a low cost X-ray source.

    "Hi Erich,

    I glanced at the NASA analysis and the reply, neither of which address
    the fusion application. A few points:

    1)NASA is right that plasmoids, smoke rings of plasma can easily be
    crated by many approaches. The photos don’t prove that anything else is
    happening. As seen in our experiments, you need a lot of diagnostics to
    understand what is going on in a plasma and the EPS experiments don’t
    seem to use many other than the photos.

    2)The NASA report pointed out VERY serious algebraic errors, leading to
    errors of many orders of magnitude in Chen's work. This is of concern to
    say the least.

    3)NASA's stability analysis seems a bit simple minded, so I would not
    fully trust it.

    3) Shooting two plasmoids at each other will not necessarily lead to net
    fusion energy. Dan Wells worked on this idea for quite some time, but he
    also used an external magnetic field to compress the plasmoids when they
    hit and to keep them together. The problem is that if to plasmoid hit
    each other at high velocity, it is not clear that they will stick
    together. If they merely collide or pass through each other, the
    collision time will be short. With a velocity of 3x10^8 cm/sec, you only
    have a collision time of a few nanoseconds with a plasmoid a few cm
    across. To get net energy, you need to have about 3% of the particles
    fusing. For pB11 this will require ion densities in excess of
    3x10^22/cc. This is close to 100 times more than the densities claimed
    by EPS. Also, this means that the initial energy has to be nearly a GJ--
    a billion joules. That is a lot of energy. But to make it work, either
    you have to get the density up by a factor of 100 or make the plasmoids
    stick together for 100 times longer. There does not seem to be any
    experimental or theoretical reasoning shown that would indicate that
    much longer confinement times will happen.

    Over all, the EPS project is at a much earlier stage of development than
    focus fusion. They have some experiments with a few diagnostics and some
    theoretical ideas, but they have not demonstrated even theoretically
    that net energy could be produced. Our project has a detailed theory,
    published for the most part in peer-reviewed journals (or favorably
    reviewed through the NIST process), and experiments with good
    diagnostics that confirms at least part of the theory. We are also
    extrapolating from the huge data base of experimental studies with the
    dense plasma focus.

    Of course, they, like us would need money to do the diagnostics. But
    they should at least demonstrate theoretically that they can reach break
    even. I don't see how they can justify the 1% or 10% collision they

    I hope this is of some use. That's all I have time for on EPS. Glad to
    answer questions on focus fusion when you get them.


    And Clint's response:

    "Dear Erich,

    Thanks for the info from Eric Lerner. We have information to respond to each of his points.

    1. First, be a bit careful of the NASA report. It was based on the papers we had published up until 1999. They did not include any information MIT gave in response to their comments and questions.

    NASA was correct. You need a lot of diagnostics. We have proposals to our sponsors to fund the diagnostics. We shall see.

    2. The NASA report did find algebraic errors. We corrected them all. But since it was not done before 1999 they elected not to include them or acknowledge them intheir report. In fairness, the reviewer, MSE engineering, did request further NASA funding to begin research into our technology, where they planned to include some of the information they omitted, but NASA did not fund any further work.

    3a. NASA's stability analysis is not complete. MIT completed such analysis, and NASA elected to not include it in the report. MIT subsequently published it in a peer reviewed journal. That paper is on our website.

    3b. Eric's concern about shooting plasmoids is well founded. Our method is much different, and we have found a way around this. Eric points out that it is not clear the plasmoids will "stick together." Actually, this is not the case. Well's data shows clearly that two toroids will indeed "stick together." Read his paper that I have referenced in our documents.

    3c. Eric is correct as to the ion density. We can demonstrate that the ion density is in the range that he has noted. I might have sent you a copy of this paper, but will do so if you have interest.

    3d. We have completed theory and density of the order of magnitude Eric is calculating. In addition, we have calculations, not yet published, that demonstrate that two toroids will adhere together, will persist for several seconds, and will pass break even. We can make this discussion available if you have interest, but caution that it is highly proprietary.

    Eric is correct that from what we have published and from what he can see it looks like we are in an early stage. Actually, the EST is quite a bit further along. The theory is complete enough to show break even with a simple apparatus.

    Hopefully this helps.

    Clint Seward"

    Clint Seward recently sent me this e-mail, the applications, across such a broad spectrum, deserve your attention. Delphi.....Wow!

    "An independent consulting group in Washington,DC has just reviewed our
    technology for the Office of the Secretary of Defense. They just sent me a
    draft for comments, and I have included it below. It is based on their
    having talked with our technology partners.

    Since it is a full page of technical detail before the conclusion, I have
    copied the conclusion here first so you get the idea of their review.

    "MIT considers these plasmas a revolutionary breakthrough, with Delphi's
    chief scientist and senior manager for advanced technology both agreeing
    that EST/SPT physics are repeatable and theoretically explainable. MIT and
    EPS have jointly authored numerous professional papers describing their
    work. (Delphi is a $33B company, the spun off Delco Division of General

    Revolutionary Impact: High - reliable generation and acceleration of these
    plasmas using compact mobile machinery could provide US forces with a unique
    generic defense against ballistic and cruise missiles, manned and unmanned
    aircraft, and kinetic-energy projectiles of all sizes, velocities and

    Please let me klnow what you think.


    Technology Review of Electron Power Systems (by an independent consulting
    group) for Office Of The Secretary Of Defense July 2004

    Technology Title: Electron spiral toroids (EST) as kinetic-energy weapons

    Development Organization: Electron Power Systems, Inc., Acton, Mass.

    Description: EPS teamed with MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center under an
    STTR grant to develop a theoretical framework and laboratory methods for
    reliably creating small (0.5-1.0 cm diameter) self-organized plasmas, called
    "electron spiral toroids" (ESTs) or "spiral plasma toroids" (SPTs). EST
    electrons travel in parallel orbits around a torus in densities sufficient
    to create a stable, self-sustaining internal magnetic field. These novel
    laboratory-level plasmas, whose physics resembles that of ball lightning,
    are unusual in that they remain stable in partial atmospheres without
    requiring external magnetic fields for their containment, yet can also be
    accelerated in a directed fashion to potentially very high velocities (e.g.,
    600 km/sec) and kinetic energies. Parallel work on formation and magnetic
    acceleration of "compact toroids" is also underway at DoE's Livermore lab
    and at Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Kirtland AFB, NM, although
    these plasmas - which can only exist in vacuum - require large (multi-meter
    long) machinery that uses magnetic field pressures associated with "Tokamak"
    fusion reactors to create large-diameter (0.5-1.0 meter) plasmas, which must
    then be greatly reduced in diameter and volume to be useful. By contrast,
    EPS uses much smaller, cheaper hardware to repeatably generate
    high-ion-density plasmas that have remained stable in air for up to 0.6
    seconds at 1-Torr atmospheric pressures. The EPS/MIT work has drawn interest
    from MDA and DTRA for DEW/KEW applications and from Delphi Corporation, a
    major automotive electronics firm, which envisions an automotive mini-fusion
    reactor that would collide two small toroids generated by 1-meter-long
    "neutron tubes" and capture the heat from their collision.

    Potential Operational Payoff: used as KEWs, even a tiny (microscopic-scale)
    EST would generate enough kinetic energy to destroy any military vehicle or
    projectile operating in the atmosphere, including solid-rod anti-armor
    penetrators. These charge-neutral plasmas would be produced in large numbers
    in rapid succession to form a steerable beam. Impact velocities of 600
    km/sec, possibly several times higher, may be possible, based on MIT's
    extrapolation of AFRL's compact-toroid acceleration experiments for vacuum.

    - Effects: target destruction by kinetic impacts far above hyper velocities
    (defined by the speed of sound in metal and nonmetal targets)
    - Speed: up to 600 km/sec (MIT estimate), possibly up to 2000 km/sec (EPS
    - Range: endoatmospheric line-of-sight up to space/atmosphere boundary
    (officially defined as 62 miles)
    - Power requirements: EPS proposes using EST mini-fusion reactors, whose
    initial power could be provided by a car battery, to produce and accelerate
    its ESTs.

    Cost: no cost data available. The complexity of reliable mini-toroid
    formation and acceleration with compact, relatively low-cost equipment
    remains to be determined. Yet the fact that the EPS/MIT STTR work this
    technology has attracted interest from Delphi is very significant, as the
    automotive electronics industry is considered to be extremely demanding of
    functionality per dollar and pound (e.g., mil-spec performance at
    Wal-Mart-class 'commodity' prices).

    Estimated Development Funding, FY 2005-2011 (combined KEW, mini-reactor)
    - appr. $2M so far (Army Research Office, NASA SBIR, NASA-IAC (Institute for
    Advanced Concepts) grant, BMDO STTR for $1M). EPS estimate: over FY
    2005-2009, would need $0.5-$1.0M/yr (not including funding for MIT support),
    but with a Phase 1 and 2 SBIR, could achieve a lab demonstration (TRL 4-5)
    within 2.5-3 years of a proof-of-principle device that hits targets with
    visible kinetic damage. Industrial co-funding from strategic partners
    (agreements with Raytheon, Delphi (formerly GM Delco) and Titan Pulse Power)
    could accelerate this.
    -MIT estimate: with adequate staff and facilities funding ("at least
    $2-$5M/year"), could demonstrate basic physics within 2 years, followed by
    development of an integratable engineering package.

    TRL 3-4. MIT considers these plasmas a revolutionary breakthrough, with
    Delphi's chief scientist and senior manager for advanced technology both
    agreeing that EST/SPT physics are repeatable and theoretically explainable.
    MIT and EPS have jointly authored numerous professional papers describing
    their work.

    Revolutionary Impact: High - reliable generation and acceleration of these
    plasmas using compact mobile machinery could provide US forces with a unique
    generic defense against ballistic and cruise missiles, manned and unmanned
    aircraft, and kinetic-energy projectiles of all sizes, velocities and

    It does sound to good to be true however with names like MIT, Delphi, STTR grants ,NIST grants etc., popping up all over, I have to keep investigating.

    There are three companies pursuing hydrogen-boron plasma toroid fusion, Paul Koloc, Prometheus II, Eric Lerner, Focus Fusion and EPS. I can go into their histories if you are interested

    I have been at this for a few months, you have seen the most important posts among my contacts with the Fusion players. Look over their web sites and tell me what you think. EPS seems the strongest and most advanced, and I love the scalability, cars, distributed power, airplanes, space propulsion, etc.

    Been sending my posted questions to academics, science magazines, and forums, not a whole lot of responses.

    Also, a Recent speech by Rodney Cox : http://www.borealis.gi/press/NEW-GOLDEN-AGE-IBM.Speech.6=04.pdf is very inspiring. The big line of the speech is about power being to cheap to meter.
    Thomas Friedman, of the Times, wrote a great column a few months ago. His dream of head lines he would read on return from sabbatical, the top one, China and America announce Manhattan Project for Clean Energy. The geopolitical implications of china's oil thirst as the paramount problem of our time.
    The New York Times> Search> Abstract

    Thank you for your attention

    Erich J. Knight
    Shenandoah Gardens
    1047 Dave Berry Rd. McGaheysville, VA, 22840
    (540) 289-9750
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 1, 2004 #2


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    I am not sure what you are asking for here. I don't think it would be possible to assess the stability of the proposed system without substantially more detail.

    Also, I'm sure you understand that there are very significant differences between the requirements for controlled fusion on the one hand and for directed energy weapons on the other. n[itex]\tau[/itex] is always the fundamental consideration in the case of fusion and energy on target is the main consideration for DEW. Probability of success in one endeavor has little bearing on success in the other.

    Again, in the absence of detail there's not much that can be said but it appears to me that part of your message suggests that enhanced "confinement" is due to enhanced magnetic fields due to electrons flowing in the device. I see two basic problems with that. Plasmas are diamagnetic meaning they tend to exclude magnetic fields (due to the gyromotion of electrons). In a pinch type device high currents produce magnetic fields strong enough to collapse the plasma radially. However, those devices are subject to streaming and "sausage" type instabilities. It's not clear to me from your posting just what exactly holds things together.
  4. Nov 1, 2004 #3

    I'm am asking for as broad a critical review as possible. The EPS site has links to all the theoretic papers, patents, and Clint Seward is very accessible to explain any particular points of his work.

    The point of my postings is to engage folks and hopefully come to some consensus on the viability of this specific approach to fusion power.

    I own a little Borealis stock, because I believe their quantum tunneling thermocouples are truly disruptive technology. I wish to be as sure about EPS before I buy their stock.

    Thank you for the reply
  5. Nov 4, 2004 #4
    Dear Folks

    After posting to several Science, physics and Energy forums I collected up comments (none from here! ) and questions and asked Clint Seward , president of Electron Power Systems, to respond:

    "Your most important point was that others have suggested that I should be
    able to demonstrate a collision of EST's and even a level of fusion with a
    few hundred thousand dollars and about a year. I agree. Here is what I
    need to do:

    1. Capture the EST in a way that I can measure them. I have designed a
    method in the last two months that will do this.
    2. Measure the density of the EST. This requirement is something everyone
    is asking for, and will enable me to get serious funding from sponsors.
    3. Collide two EST's. I have found a simple way to do this based on the
    TRISOPS work by Wells.
    4. Consulting work by Chen to verify the physics I have outlined for the
    5. Make and measure an EST based on Deuterium.
    6. Collide two Deuterium EST's.

    Each of these requires some cash outlays, so I am working them as I can get
    resources. Several people, including yourself, are considering helpful
    investments of $5k to $10k to 25K to 50K to 100k. Work will progress with
    any investment, no matter how small. Capturing an EST is a $5k investment.

    Your second most important point is that more people want to see more data
    and even a video. I have many of these, but have not published them yet. I
    have concentrated on the physics, which I feel I now know completely, and
    can get confirmed. This is a smaller effort, about $15k.

    You suggested an article from the SF Chronicle that you might send. Please

    Again, thanks for the call.

    Clint Seward"

    Also Eric Lerner of Focus Fusion sent this report on his progress:

    "Dear friend of Focus Fusion,

    <>Thanks for your support of and interest in Focus Fusion. <>

    I’m writing you to update you on our Focus Fusion project and to ask for your help. As you may know from our website or newsletter, this year we came very close to winning a $2 million grant from the Advanced Technology Program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), US Dept. of Commerce. The grant is to develop the dense plasma focus as a powerful x-ray source for infrastructure inspection, but the research involved is essentially the same as that required to reach fusion break-even. While NIST gave us high marks for the technical proposals and we passed Gate 1 of their procedure, we failed Gate 2, which judged the financial side of the plan. In the de-briefing, the NIST representatives assured us that we had an excellent chance of getting the grant in 2005 if we corrected some problems in our business submission.
    First, they said we needed more proof that we had tried to raise the $2 million privately and from other government agencies and were unable to. Second, since they will not fund facility rent, considering this an indirect expense, they needed to see pledges from investors that they would cover this cost for at least the first year, in the event the grant was awarded. We estimate that this will involve a maximum of $100,000. In addition, they wanted more evidence that state departments of transportation and other final customers would actually want the x-ray scanner if we succeed. (We have already started to receive these assurances. I’ve attached one from the California DOT.)

    <>Finally, they did say that they expected to see at least some small technical progress during the period since our last application in January, even though they realized that this would be limited by available funding. <>

    So I am writing you to ask you to do one of three things, any of which would be helpful to us. First, I would like to ask you to consider investing in Lawrenecville Plasma Physics, Inc.(LPP)’s x-ray source project. (NIST rules require this money go to a for-profit, rather than not-for-profit entity, so we applied on behlaf of LPP, not Focus Fusion Society). I’ve attached a summary of the project. This project contributes immensely to the development of focus fusion, but it also has a lower risk, and a faster prospect of financial return. Your investment will contribute in three ways: first, it will help to finance the small new simulation we will carry out to optimize x-ray production, increasing our chances of winning the NIST grant. Second, in the event we do win the NIST grant, it will aid us in accomplishing the project. While we believe we can succeed with $2 million, unexpected contingencies are always possible in research and more money is useful. Third, this money can go toward the $100,000 that we need for the first year’s facility rent. You can see LPP's overall business plan at our website, www.lawrencevilleplasmaphysics.com. <>

    Investments can be made by purchasing LPP non-voting shares at $120 a share in minimum blocks of 25 shares. By SEC regulations, to make this investment you must be an “accredited investor” which means that you have one million dollars in net worth (house included) or an income of $200,000 dollars year. <>

    If you can not make an investment in this project now, I would very much appreciate your sending me a letter, on your letterhead, explaining very briefly why you can’t do this (too high risk, insufficient funds available, not an accredited investor, etc.) We can use these letters as proof that we can’t raise $2 million from private sources in our next NIST application, so they are very important. You can send these letters either as hard copy to our new address: LPP, 11 Calvin Terrace, West Orange NJ 07052, or to my email address as a PDF file. This will only take you a few minutes, but is going to be invaluable to us. <>

    Third, you can make a contractual pledge to provide all or part of the $100,000 that we need to cover our first year facility rent in the event that we are awarded the NIST grant. This money will only be due IF we get the $ 2 million grant and are thus assured the funds we need to do the job. Again, this investment will be in the form of the purchase of LPP shares and will be subject to the same “accredited investor” restriction. <>

    I hope that you will be able to help us in one of these three ways. I look forward to your response. Feel free to contact me by email or at 973-736-0522. <>

    Warm regards, Eric J. Lerner <>
    Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, Inc. "
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