Archives for the month of: February, 2019

I happened upon wattsupwiththat.com nearly a dozen years ago in its beginnings. I’ve been a fan and regular reader ever since. If you are concerned about the future, as regards the climate, there is no more thorough source of information than WUWT. Given my devotion, and effort, and the fact I have been unable to read all the articles, much less all the discussion and comments, I know no one can review the entirety of the contents archived here, but if you do so with an honest heart and determination to consider all things, you will be an expert. (You’ll need some other research sources as well, of course.)

I encourage anyone and everyone to regularly visit https://wattsupwiththat.com/ and learn. Scott Adams asserts it is too hard to become an expert in a field without actually earning your living in it, but I am confident he’s wrong. I think he is, too, but that isn’t persuasive, and persuasion seems to be Adams’ core.

I can’t persuade you. Anthony can’t either, but you might grow and change if you try to educate yourself, if you try to prove assertions wrong by looking at the actual data rather than putting your faith in the high-priests of the technocracy. I say persuasion is an illusion. The only true persuader is pain, the pain of trying and failing, not the pain of coercion or force. Humanity seems to have abandoned the false alarm of climatism, but the alarm wails on. The sirens are funded by autocratic billionaires, but even more so by our governments. I’m worried the alarms will be loud enough to continue the failing efforts too long. Money corrupts science, government money even more. Humanity seems to be reluctant to let go of alarmism, and it seems determined to try all the failed and failing efforts. Humanity seems always ready to try anything rather than do nothing, no matter the likely suffering resulting from ill-conceived plans. The efforts for environmentalism accomplished the good they could. Then they went past. Now, they cause more harm than good. The efforts now called “Green” are causing suffering. Gradually, people are realizing the facts. “Green” is now a synonym for unnecessary suffering and coercion by force, the monopolistic force of the state. Eventually, the pain caused by “Green” will become too much, and people will turn on it. I hope we can walk away from “Green” with excess suffering resulting from a lust for revenge upon the needless suffering caused by the perpetrators of “Green.”

Fox News recently ran a story on a young boy who seems to have set up a tabletop fuser. Impressive kid. https://www.foxnews.com/science/teen-builds-working-nuclear-fusion-reactor-in-memphis-home

Here is a better article: https://www.commercialappeal.com/story/news/2019/01/28/beifuss-file-memphis-youth-jackson-oswalt-builds-home-nuclear-fusion-reactor/1977266002/

And there is this: http://discovermagazine.com/2010/extreme-universe/18-do-it-yourself-basement-fusion

If deuterium is injected into a 20k- to 50k-volt vacuum, it will ionize and some of it might fuse. If it is fusing, half will result in tritium and a proton, and half will result in helium-3 and a 2.45 MeV neutron. The D-T might fuse to helium with a 14.1 MeV neutron, and the D-He3 can fuse to helium and a proton (but it needs a much higher temperature to matter). Temperatures are near a billion degrees, so too high to imagine. Given a good vacuum, there is nothing to heat except the injected deuterium, and since there is so little of it the extremely high electrical energy input results in extremely high temperature for the very few atoms.

High enough vacuum and high enough electrical energy should make it possible, but I’m skeptical.

Bubble neutron detectors are reported as reliable for a few months after manufacture.

https://inis.iaea.org/collection/NCLCollectionStore/_Public/34/083/34083281.pdf and Youtube videos available. The neutron bubble tubes should bubble only for neutrons (and stray cosmic rays), not x-rays or other likely background radiation.

So, again, it should be doable, and fresh bubble neutron detectors should be reliable, but I remain skeptical.

The bottom line for me, putting a few thousand dollars and oodles of hours into generating a few bubbles in a dosimeter which will remain unconvincing to someone who worked in nuclear fission and fusion science, well, it just isn’t impressive as hobbies go. I do suppose there are very many options that would be more time consuming, more expensive, and less rewarding, so to each his own.

What would convince me would be regular checks of the vacuum equipment with a regular Geiger counter. Once it is reading significantly, then I’d believe you were fusing atoms and generating neutrons that activated your steel. But then, all you have to show for it is a high electric bill and the hassles of disposing of low-level radioactive waste.

Putting together a high-vacuum system is nontrivial.

Detecting protons outside the vacuum chamber is impossible because the chamber walls absorb them. X-rays are plentiful because the ionized deuterium smacking the chamber walls causes x-rays. Nothing nuclear required. So, the only evidence of fusion is neutrons. Given there are reliable ways to detect neutrons, proving fusion isn’t terribly hard, but neutrons with megaelectronvolts energy are true nanocanons. Most of the neutrons produced will be absorbed by the vacuum chamber walls, but many will get through, especially through a viewport. MeV neutrons do extensive damage (on a nanoscale) to anything they hit, including you. Working with the fusion device will give the user significant radiation dose. So, knowledge of useful safety precautions is advised.

Back to the kid who prompted my thinking, his setup is impressive. I’ve worked with such vacuum systems, and the challenges are daunting. A turbopump is a difficult and finicky machine. (It is an electric jet engine working opposite as one does on an aircraft; it sucks instead of pushes.) I know what would be involved with the electrical system, but I’ve never worked with that level of voltage. The young man’s accomplishments are significant. I suspect he has a solid radiation-safety knowledge, too. (And his parents probably did their homework, too.) All in all, good stuff.

Will amateur accomplishments in fusion, in combining deuterium into tritium and helium isotopes, lead to breakthroughs in energy production? I can’t imagine how. It might lead to some technically skilled and ambitious people who do other good things. I’ll stay hopeful.

Source: Proverbs 15:32 He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.

By steering clear of instruction, you dis yourself; by taking rebuke and correction to heart, you understand even your own mind.

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