[ExI] Bussard fusion research?
thespike at satx.rr.com
Wed Jul 25 23:36:35 UTC 2007
The current, third-generation prototype uses six doughnut-shaped
electromagnets to create a cube in which to confine the fusion
reactions in a strong magnetic field. The original protype operated
in air and was just centimeters in diameter; the current design
operates in a vacuum chamber and measures roughly a cubic yard.
When all six electromagnets are energized, the magnetic fields meld
into a nearly perfect sphere. Electrons are in- jected into the
sphere to create a superdense core of highly negative charge. Given
enough electrons, the electrical field can be made strong enough to
induce fusion in selected particles. Positively charged protons and
boron-11 ions are injected into the sphere and are quickly
accelerated into the center of the electron ball by its high negative
charge. Protons and boron ions that overshoot the center are pulled
back with an oscillatory action of a thousand or more cycles.
If the negative charge of the core is high enough, the positively
charged particles will accelerate enough during their oscillations to
induce a fusion reaction. The boron-11 collides with a proton to
create carbon-12, which then splits into a helium nucleus and a
beryllium nucleus. The beryllium particle splits into two more helium
nuclei, resulting in a total of three helium nuclei, each of which
has almost 3 million electron volts of energy. The force of the final
splitting step drives the helium nuclei out of the center of the
reactor, where a surrounding electrical grid directly dissipates
their energy by generating electricity at a claimed efficiency of 95 percent.
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