[ExI] Bussard fusion research?

Damien Broderick 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.

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list