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Kid builds reactor

  1. Sep 18, 2003 #1
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 20, 2003 #2
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 20, 2017
  4. Sep 21, 2003 #3


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    are there any notes (preferablely his) about how did he build the reactor?
  5. Sep 26, 2003 #4

    Claude Bile

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    If that kid came second, I wonder who came first?!
  6. Sep 26, 2003 #5
    Just goes to show if you're intelligent enough, and you've got access to the internet, you can build just about anything.
  7. Oct 20, 2004 #6
    Makes you think huh :uhh:

  8. Oct 20, 2004 #7


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    is probably the best source around. This is a pretty old story.
  9. Oct 20, 2004 #8
    Incredible, I'm motivated to build one myself seeing that it can be done.
  10. Oct 20, 2004 #9
    It makes me want to go work on my mentorship project---- its only automating a light spectromter but its pretty cool... I will post pics when we start actual construction
  11. Oct 20, 2004 #10


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    I wouldn't call that a reactor.

    There's no way that device achieves fusion ignition.

    I'm sorry - physics says no.

    It would have to be at a temperature of million of degrees to
    achieve fusion ignition.

    That's why fusion is called "thermonuclear" fusion.

    Dr. Gregory Greenman
    Physicist LLNL
  12. Oct 25, 2004 #11
    Morbius, isn't this what fusion is?
  13. Oct 25, 2004 #12


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    What makes you think that the device does not or would not work? How do you explain the neutron emissions? I understand that the device is not suitable for energy production (there's a really nice paper at MIT about that) but that doesn't mean that there isn't fusion.


    The reactor is almost certainly a fusor (inertial electrostatic confinement), and others have also succesfully had fusion reactions (or at least neutron emission) from similar set ups starting, as far as I am aware, in the 60's.
  14. Oct 25, 2004 #13
    Putting out nuclear fire confusions with gasoline

    Morbius did not say the device could not work. He said it could not achieve fusion ignition.

    The sun is on nuclear fire. It has achieved fusion ignition, and it is still ignited. The device in question does not achieve ignition of nuclear fire, and the article is therefore wrong in describing it as containing a ball that is "literally, a small sun." The device merely achieves a singe fusion ~four times a minute.

    If a device were demonstrated that achieved a gasoline molecule oxidation ~four times per minute, would you call sum of those reactions inside the device a gasoline fire?
  15. Oct 25, 2004 #14
    Ah, I see. Thanks for clearing that up hitssquad.
  16. Oct 25, 2004 #15


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    I spent a night in Logan this summer. The next morning Utah State University was on my left as I drove toward nearby Logan Canyon and on to Bear Lake.
  17. Oct 26, 2004 #16


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    Because I work in the field of thermonuclear fusion for Lawrence Livermore
    National Laboratory - after receiving my doctorate from M.I.T.

    As for the neutrons - there are stray neutrons all over the place.

    However, if you are using only deuterium for the fusion fuel - then
    the fusion reaction would be the D-D fusion reaction which produces
    3.27 MeV of energy - of which 2.45 MeV goes into the neutron.

    So - if this device were producing D-D fusion, one would not just see
    neutrons - but neutrons of a particular energy 2.45 MeV.

    If the fusion fuel were a mixture of deuterium and tritium - then one
    would see the D - T fusion reaction which liberates 17.6 MeV of energy -
    of which the neutron gets 14.1 MeV. So one would expect to see
    a 14.1 MeV neutron.

    In order for fusion to occur - one has to have both the requisite density
    and temperature.

    All this machine does is make a diffuse plasma. Nothing "special" there -
    I have a "plasma globe" decorating my living room - no big deal.

    I don't believe it's particularly helpful to popularize the "pseudo-fusion"
    machines. It misinforms people about how truly difficult it is to
    achieve fusion reactions.

    Besides, there's plenty of progress on "real" fusion machines to talk about:


    Dr. Gregory Greenman
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2004
  18. Oct 27, 2004 #17
    DaimlerChrysler Aerospace markets tabletop fusion device

    • Appl Radiat Isot. 2000 Oct;53(4-5):779-83.

      The IEC star-mode fusion neutron source for NAA--status and next-step designs

      Miley GH, Sved J.

      Fusion Studies Laboratory, University of Illinois, Urbana 61801, USA. g-miley@uiuc.edu

      Based on research at the University of Illinois, a commercial neutron source has been developed by Daimler Chrysler Aerospace using a small grided-type Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) plasma device (Miley and Sved, 1997) This device employs a unique "Star-Mode" deuterium plasma discharge to create ion-beam driven fusion reactions in a plasma target (Miley et al., 1997a, 1997b, 1997c; Miley, 1999). As such, it represents the first commercial application of a confined fusing plasma. The Star-Mode discharge is an essential feature of this device since it minimizes ion-grid collisions and also allows tight beam focussing.

      PMID: 11003520
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2004
  19. Oct 27, 2004 #18


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    Miley, et. al. have a neutron source.

    They have a device for producing neutrons if that's what you want.

    However, if you want energy - which is the goal of fusion research -
    this device requires more energy to run it than you get out.

    Because of the operating principles of the device - it will ALWAYS
    require more energy to run than you get out of it.

    Dr. Gregory Greenman
  20. Nov 16, 2004 #19
    It amazes me how fast junk science gets around and how hard it is to put out fires like this one.
  21. Nov 17, 2004 #20


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    How, precisely, are IEC fusion reactors junk science? As far as I can tell, fusor reactors, for example, are well documented and repeatable.

    Unless the language has been changed recently, cold fusion notwithstanding, the problem is generally that people are apparently unable to distinguish the of fusion reactor and fusion power source. Of course, Hollywood isn't exactly helpful on that front.

    Fusion, even 'exothermic' fusion, has been possible for more that 50 years now -- a 15megaton hydrogen bomb (Bravo Shot) was set off on Feb 25, 1954. People have been trying to harness fusion power in a less destructive fashion since before then.

    The fusion power problem isn't just achieving fusion, but achieving contained and exothermic fusion.
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