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My Theoretical Fusion Reactor- Looking For Feedback

  1. May 27, 2015 #1
    Ok, so before I begin, I'd like to point out that I'm a 16-year-old GCSE student from the UK. Therefore all of my physics knowledge above high school level is self-taught, so I am by no means an expert.

    Anyway, I plan on building a deuterium reactor this Summer as a personal project, and I've been going over some various ideas. But I still need some help from experienced physicists to determine the viability of my idea.

    Now, most of you are probably familiar with the Farnsworth-Hirsch Fusor. Only their original design did not actually do any fusion. In short, I plan on building a Farnsworth Fusor, only with deuterium thrown into the mix.

    In order to generate the high voltages needed, I have a few ideas. My first idea is to use a transformer to step-up 240V mains to a minimum of 20kV, ideally higher, while also slashing the current to around 30mA. That way, if I do manage to electrocute myself, it should just be a "fun experience", rather than a lethal one. Of course, this still won't be ideal for fusion, so I'll add a bridge rectifier to convert the AC to DC, giving it more concentrated power.

    My other idea arose yesterday, when I put metal into my microwave (not entirely intentionally, although I did just sit there and watch after I noticed my mistake, mesmerised by the sparks). I put a bowl with a silver rim into the microwave, and sparks were created. This got me thinking about how can sparks appear when the ring is continuous (i.e. they are not actually arcing from one surface to another, but rather are appearing on a single, continuous surface). I concluded that the energy from the microwaves must be giving the electrons in the air enough energy to jump to the bowl (or vice versa), although I'm still not entirely sure. Can anyone help me with this? My reason for asking is that I'm considering the viability of using microwaves to create the voltages, but this will not be possible (or at least directly) if my idea about electrons in the air is correct.

    That's because the reactor will be an inertial reactor, and will have to be held in a vacuum to work. So without any air present, the microwaves will not be able to create these sparks (again, if my theory is correct). To remedy this, I was thinking that I could simply add in some high-resistance wire, run a current through it, and then this would free electrons in the air, which could arc to the metal. With enough energy, successful collisions from the inertial force, and a tank of deuterium, I believe that this could fuse the nuclei. Please do bear in mind that I'm not talking about a microwave oven, I'm thinking of something much more powerful.

    And to any of you who think this could be a serious health risk, I agree entirely, but what's the fun without a little danger? Thank you in advance to anyone who can shed some light on the subject! :)
  2. jcsd
  3. May 27, 2015 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Sorry, we do not discuss dangerous activities here on the PF. Thread is closed.
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