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    I find it a bit odd that Nature would arrange parallel currents in the same direction to produce a mutual attraction. It almost seems to contradict the 2nd Law of thermodynamics. It's also the key principle behind Focus Fusion.

    ETA: I find Focus Fusion extraordinary in that a geometry has been discovered that just "goes with the flow" of natural instabilities in plasma to end up with this amazingly useful plasmoid thingie. I also like it because it works better the smaller it gets.
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    Hmm. I think maybe Peter Graneau might agree with you. Have you read "Newton vs. Einstein" by P and N Graneau?
    http://books.google.com/books/about/Newton_versus_Einstein.html?id=yNRUAAAAYAAJ
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      CommentAuthormaryyugo
    • CommentTimeAug 20th 2013
     
    The Skunkworks one I've seen before and it looks like a lot of very nonspecific hype looking for funding. Don't really know much about the others.
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    This is a quite thorough overview of the state of play in fusion today
    http://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/plans/-/plans/contestId/10/planId/1304006
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    Posted By: maryyugoThe Skunkworks one I've seen before and it looks like a lot of very nonspecific hype looking for funding. Don't really know much about the others.
    Nonspecific? They describe their technique in fair detail. Or are you against fusion on principle?

    As for funding - they are well funded because of their Lockheed affiliation.
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    Posted By: alsetalokinHmm. I think maybe Peter Graneau might agree with you. Have you read "Newton vs. Einstein" by P and N Graneau?
    http://books.google.com/books/about/Newton_versus_Einstein.html?id=yNRUAAAAYAAJ
    I've heard of Graneau. He might have been to STAIF back in the day. We've never met. I don't have any of his material. Is there any meat on the bone? - i.e. anything testable?
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      CommentAuthoralsetalokin
    • CommentTimeAug 20th 2013 edited
     
    Posted By: Andrew Palfreyman
    Posted By: alsetalokinHmm. I think maybe Peter Graneau might agree with you. Have you read "Newton vs. Einstein" by P and N Graneau?
    http://books.google.com/books/about/Newton_versus_Einstein.html?id=yNRUAAAAYAAJ
    I've heard of Graneau. He might have been to STAIF back in the day. We've never met. I don't have any of his material. Is there any meat on the bone? - i.e. anything testable?
    Of course. Peter is a Prof Emeritus, MIT, and was a Panzer commander in The Big One. Fils Neal is PhD Physics from Oxford. That's somewhere in England, I think.
    The argument of interest at the moment is between Biot-Savart and Ampere force laws. PG believes things like railguns, mercury boats and wire-explosion experiments support Ampere over Biot-Savart, or something like that. Lorentz is all mixed up in there too. Peter has some very nice wire-segmentation results that appear to show that the wire is pulled apart in the longitudinal direction by the Ampere tension, rather than pinched through by pinch forces like the alternative force laws predict.
    I think.
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    Heaviside. You forgot to mention Heaviside. And Maxwell.
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    Posted By: Andrew PalfreymanHeaviside. You forgot to mention Heaviside. And Maxwell.

    Calm down. Peter's woo is of a different order; it's very educated and well-argued woo. Find a copy and take a look.

    He is able to show that there would be huge savings if all electric utility lines are buried underground, for example.
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    Uhh...not on the day after the digging was done.
    Seriously though, what has basic physics got to do with the engineering issue of buried cables?
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    Or commanding a Panzer division, for that matter.
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    A Panzer driving across a scalar field? Or a longitudinal one? Say it ain't so.

    Seriously, if a person wants to seriously fuck with standard Maxwell, there are a kajillion ways to back up such assertions with experiments. I do not recall hearing about "Graneau modifications to Maxwell" in the mainstream. QED
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    Moving recent fusion stuff over here so I don't have to go looking

    I like this at first blush, because it's the size of a toilet roll and it generates 5 MW of fusion power. Maybe...
    Focus Fusion at Google in 2007
    Fully controllable, so runaway impossible, because it's pulsed at a few hundred Hz. No neutrons so no radioactive waste disposal. Estimated cost equivalent to paying a few cents for a gallon of gas. Direct conversion into electricity from both output ion beam and output X-rays at maybe 90% total efficiency. That knocks the competition's old school thermal conversion schemes for six. I'm excited about this. They seem to be at the head of the pack right now.

    I like the technology for its intrinsic Funk Factor - it exploits instabilities and generates teraAmps/second of compression (pinch) in tiny "plasmoids" which turn out to be self-stabilising. That's a nice synergy, because they have easily achieved the necessary containment time (tens of nanoseconds). They've also hit the temperature they need (1.8 billion deg C). Only one benchmark remains to be achieved, and that's plasma density. They need to get those plasmoids even smaller.

    If they can make the plasmoid about 15x smaller in diameter, they are pretty much past break-even, because that will give them the required density increase, which goes as the inverse cube. Right now they're working towards that by designing and building a new all-tungsten cathode. The present one introduces impurities into the plasma. So in the best of all possible worlds, we may see single-shot excess energy from fusion within months, not years.
    Then Phase 2 begins, where they have to do the tough engineering to produce continuous power. 5 years and $50M, they reckon.

    Here's where the latest skinny can be found
    http://www.focusfusion.org/
    http://www.lawrencevilleplasmaphysics.com
    https://www.solveforx.com/moonshots/aneutronic-fusion
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OM4talPKvtU
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    As for space propulsion (rather than energy generation), Focus Fusion also does that naturally. The little bugger directly produces a tightly focused particle beam of helium ions.

    I do believe I'm rooting for the little guy. Well, I usually do anyway. Despite the gigantic majesty of ITER
    http://www.iter.org/
    the guts of this thing can be held in the hand. Just add vacuum and a capacitor bank.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2013
     
    It would be nice if it worked. One wonders about contamination of the reaction by whatever that tube is made of.

    Have to find +something+ to cavil about, you see.
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    "Right now they're working towards that by designing and building a new all-tungsten cathode. The present one introduces impurities into the plasma."

    They've made awesome progress on just a couple of million bucks. I wish as a taxpayer I had a say about making planes costing billions and jollies to foreign lands costing trillions to alienate billions. I don't recall authorising my REPRESENTATIVES (you like that, right?) from spending my money that way.

    Had this program had access to just a tiny fraction of all this grunt-useless money, it would be a done deal already, or we would know that it isn't going to work.
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      CommentAuthorAngus
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2013 edited
     
    Posted By: Andrew PalfreymanI don't recall authorising my REPRESENTATIVES (you like that, right?) from spending my money that way.


    Not particularly. My own representatives waste my money too. But I haven't yet heard an alternative. Quite frankly I'd just as soon they wasted it as having it wasted directly by 51% (or 32%, whatever it is) of the idiots who live around here.
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    Aye, there's the rub
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      CommentAuthormaryyugo
    • CommentTimeAug 21st 2013
     
    Posted By: Andrew PalfreymanI like this at first blush, because it's the size of a toilet roll
    Then you should love Rossi's ecat because it is actually made of surplus toilet parts.