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Encyclopedia > Inertial electrostatic confinement

Inertial electrostatic confinement (often abbreviated as IEC) is a concept for retaining a plasma using an electrostatic field. The field accelerates charged particles (either ions or electrons) radially inward, usually in a spherical but sometimes in a cylindrical geometry. Ions can be confined with IEC in order to achieve controlled nuclear fusion. A plasma lamp, illustrating some of the more complex phenomena of a plasma, including filamentation. ... ... Properties The electron (also called negatron, commonly represented as e−) is a subatomic particle. ... The deuterium-tritium (D-T) fusion reaction is considered the most promising for producing fusion power. ...


Approaches to IEC

US3530497 — Hirsch–Meeks fusor. The two concentric electrodes can be seen in the center of the reaction chamber.
US3530497 — Hirsch–Meeks fusor. The two concentric electrodes can be seen in the center of the reaction chamber.

The best-known IEC device is the Farnsworth-Hirsch Fusor.[1] This system consists largely of two concentric spherical electrical grids inside a vacuum chamber into which a small amount of fusion fuel is introduced. Voltage across the grids causes the fuel to ionize around them, and positively charged ions are accelerated towards the center of the chamber. Those ions may collide and fuse with ions coming from the other direction, may scatter without fusing, or may pass directly through. In the latter two cases, the ions will tend to be stopped by the electric field and re-accelerated toward the center. Fusors can also use ion guns rather than electric grids. US3530497 - Hirsch-Meek fusor This image is ineligible for copyright and therefore in the public domain, because it consists entirely of information that is common property and contains no original authorship. ... US3530497 - Hirsch-Meek fusor This image is ineligible for copyright and therefore in the public domain, because it consists entirely of information that is common property and contains no original authorship. ... US3386883 - fusor -- June 4, 1968 The Farnsworth-Hirsch Fusor, or simply fusor, is an apparatus designed by Philo T. Farnsworth to create nuclear fusion. ... A 1960s single stage 2 MeV linear Van de Graaff accelerator, here opened for maintenance A particle accelerator is a device that uses electric fields to propel electrically charged particles to high speeds and magnetic fields to contain them. ...

The fusor's popularity is largely due to the fact that simple versions can be built for as little as $500 to $4000 (in 2003 US dollars), making it accessible to hobbyists, science fair contestants and small universities. Even these simple devices can reproducibly and convincingly produce fusion reactions, but no fusor has ever come close to producing a significant amount of fusion power. They can be dangerous if proper care is not taken because they require high voltages and can produce harmful radiation (neutrons, gamma rays and x-rays). The Sun is a natural fusion reactor. ... Properties In physics, the neutron is a subatomic particle with no net electric charge and a mass of 940 MeV/c² (1. ... This article is about electromagnetic radiation. ... In the NATO phonetic alphabet, X-ray represents the letter X. An X-ray picture (radiograph) taken by Röntgen An X-ray is a form of electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength approximately in the range of 5 pm to 10 nanometers (corresponding to frequencies in the range 30 PHz...

Two newer approaches both try to solve a problem found in the fusor, which is that some ions collide with the grids. This heats the grids, sprays high-mass ions into the reaction chamber, pollutes the plasma, and cools the fuel. The Polywell uses a magnetic field to trap a quantity of electrons, fuel ions are then accelerated directly into the middle where they are trapped by the electron cloud that forms a "virtual electrode". Another modern approach uses a Penning trap to trap electrons in a system otherwise similar to the Polywell.[2][3] WB-6, the latest experiment, assembled Polywell is a gridless inertial electrostatic confinement fusion process utilizing magnetic mirrors designed by Robert Bussard under a Navy research contract, designed to overcome the losses in the Farnsworth-Hirsch fusor and create a breakeven fusion reactor. ... Penning traps are devices for the storage of charged particles using a constant magnetic field and a constant electric field. ...


According to Todd Rider in A general critique of inertial-electrostatic confinement fusion systems, net energy production is not viable in IEC fusion for fuels other than D-T, D-D, and D-He3, and that breakeven operation with any fuel except D-T is unlikely. However, it was recently shown by Rostoker in [1] that Rider's calculations are baseless and without merit.


  1. ^ R. Hirsch, "Inertial-Electrostatic Confinement of Ionized Fusion Gases," Journal of Applied Physics 38, 4522 (1967).
  2. ^ R.W. Bussard, "Some Physics Considerations of Magnetic Inertial-Electrostatic Confinement: A New Concept for Spherical Converging-flow Fusion," Fusion Technology 19, 273 (1991).
  3. ^ D.C. Barnes, R.A. Nebel, and L. Turner, "Production and Application of Dense Penning Trap Plasmas," Physics of Fluids B 5, 3651 (1993).

Fusion power
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Atomic nucleus | Nuclear fusion | Nuclear power | Nuclear reactor | Timeline of nuclear fusion
Plasma physics | Magnetohydrodynamics | Neutron flux | Fusion energy gain factor | Lawson criterion
Methods of fusing nuclei

Magnetic confinement: - Tokamak - Spheromak - Stellarator - Reversed field pinch - Field-Reversed Configuration - Levitated Dipole
Inertial confinement: - Laser driven - Z-pinch - Bubble fusion (acoustic confinement) - Fusor (electrostatic confinement)
Other forms of fusion: - Muon-catalyzed fusion - Pyroelectric fusion - Migma The Sun is a natural fusion reactor. ... A semi-accurate depiction of the helium atom. ... The deuterium-tritium (D-T) fusion reaction is considered the most promising for producing fusion power. ... A nuclear power station. ... Core of a small nuclear reactor used for research. ... Timeline of significant events in the study and use of nuclear fusion: 1929 - Atkinson and Houtermans used the measured masses of light elements and applied Einsteins discovery that E=mc² to predict that large amounts of energy could be released by fusing small nuclei together. ... A Plasma lamp In physics and chemistry, a plasma is an ionized gas, and is usually considered to be a distinct phase of matter. ... Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD) (magnetofluiddynamics or hydromagnetics) is the academic discipline which studies the dynamics of electrically conducting fluids. ... neutron flux n : the rate of flow of neutrons; the number of neutrons passing through a unit area in unit time via dictionary. ... The fusion energy gain factor, usually expressed with the symbol Q, is the ratio of fusion power produced in a nuclear fusion reactor to the power required to maintain the plasma in steady state. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The deuterium-tritium (D-T) fusion reaction is considered the most promising for producing fusion power. ... Magnetic Fusion Energy (MFE) is a sustained nuclear fusion reaction in a plasma that is contained by magnetic fields. ... A split image of the largest tokamak in the world, the JET, showing hot plasma in the right image during a shot. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Stellarator magnetic field and magnets A stellarator is a device used to confine a hot plasma with magnetic fields in order to sustain a controlled nuclear fusion reaction. ... Reversed-Field Pinch is a toroidal magnetic confinement scheme. ... A Field-Reversed Configuration (FRC) is a device developed for magnetic fusion energy research that confines a plasma on closed magnetic field lines without a central penetration. ... A Levitated Dipole is a unique form of fusion reactor technology using a solid superconducting torus, magnetically levitated in the reactor chamber. ... Inertial confinement fusion using lasers rapidly progressed in the late 1970s and early 1980s from being able to deliver only a few joules of laser energy (per pulse) to a fusion target to being able to deliver tens of kilojoules to a target. ... In inertial confinement fusion (ICF), nuclear fusion reactions are initiated by heating and compressing a target – a pellet that most often contains deuterium and tritium – by the use of intense laser or ion beams. ... The Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. ... Bubble fusion or sonofusion is the common name for a nuclear fusion reaction hypothesized to occur during sonoluminescence, an extreme form of acoustic cavitation; officially, this reaction is termed acoustic inertial confinement fusion (AICF) since the inertia of the collapsing bubble wall confines the energy causing a rise in temperature. ... U.S. Patent 3,386,883 - fusor — June 4, 1968 The Farnsworth–Hirsch Fusor, or simply fusor, is an apparatus designed by Philo T. Farnsworth to create nuclear fusion. ... Muon-catalyzed fusion is a process allowing nuclear fusion to take place at room temperature. ... Pyroelectric fusion is a technique for achieving nuclear fusion by using an electric field generated by pyroelectric crystals to accelerate ions of deuterium (tritium might also be used someday) into a metal hydride target also containing detuerium (or tritium) with sufficient kinetic energy to cause these ions to fuse together. ... Migma was a proposed inertial electrostatic confinement fusion reactor designed by Bogdan Maglich around 1973. ...

List of fusion experiments

Magnetic confinement devices
ITER (International) | JET (European) | JT-60 (Japan) | Large Helical Device (Japan) | KSTAR (Korea) | EAST (China) | T-15 (Russia) | DIII-D (USA) | Tore Supra (France) | ASDEX Upgrade (Germany) | TFTR (USA) | NSTX (USA) | NCSX (USA) | UCLA ET (USA) | Alcator C-Mod (USA) | LDX (USA) | H-1NF (Australia) | MAST (UK) | START (UK) | Wendelstein 7-X (Germany) | TCV (Switzerland) | DEMO (Commercial) Experiments directed toward developing fusion power are invariably done with dedicated machines which can be classified according to the principles they use to confine the plasma fuel and keep it hot. ... Cutaway of the ITER Tokamak Torus in casing. ... Split image of JET with right side showing hot plasma during a shot. ... JT-60 (JT stands for Japan Torus) is the flagship of Japans magnetic fusion program, run by the Japan Atomic Energy Research Institute (JAERI), and the Naka Fusion Research Establishment in Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. ... Categories: Stub | Nuclear technology ... The KSTAR, or Korean Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Reactor is a magnetic fusion device being built at the Korea Basic Science Institute in Daejon, South Korea. ... The Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST, internally called HT-7U) is a project being undertaken to construct an experimental superconducting tokamak magnetic fusion energy reactor in Hefei, the capital city of Anhui Province, in eastern China. ... The T-15 is a Russian nuclear fusion research reactor, based on the (Russian-invented) tokamak design. ... DIII-D or D3-D is the name of a tokamak machine developed in the 1980s by General Atomics in San Diego, USA, as part of the ongoing effort to achieve magnetically confined fusion. ... Tore Supra is a tokamak français en activité après larrêt du TFR (Tokamak de Fontenay-aux-Roses) et de Petula (à Grenoble). ... The ASDEX Upgrade divertor tokamak (Axially Symmetric Divertor EXperiment) went into operation at the Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik, Garching in 1991. ... The Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor (TFTR) was an experimental fusion test reactor built at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (in Princeton, New Jersey) circa 1980. ... The National Spherical Torus Experiment (NSTX) is an innovative magnetic fusion device that was constructed by the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) in collaboration with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Columbia University, and the University of Washington at Seattle. ... The National Compact Stellarator Experiment (NCSX) is a plasma confinement experiment being conducted at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. ... The UCLA Electric Tokamak is a low field (0. ... Alcator C-Mod is a tokamak, a magnetically confined nuclear fusion device, at the MIT Plasma Science and Fusion Center. ... The Levitated Dipole Experiment (LDX) is a project devoted to researching a type of nuclear fusion which utilizes a floating superconducting torus to provide an axisymmetric magnetic field which is used to contain plasma. ... The H-1 flexible Heliac is a three field-period helical axis stellarator located in the Research School of Physical Sciences and Engineering at the Australian National University. ... The Mega Ampere Spherical Tokamak, or MAST experiment is a nuclear fusion experiment in operation at Culham since December 1999. ... The Small Tight Aspect Ratio Tokamak, or START was a nuclear fusion experiment that used magnetic confinement to hold plasma. ... Magnetic coils and plasma of the Wendelstin 7-X stellarator Plasma vessel of Wendelstein 7-X Wendelstein 7-X is an experimental stellarator (nuclear fusion reactor) currently being built in Greifswald, Germany by the Max-Planck-Institut für Plasmaphysik (IPP), which will be completed by 2012. ... Tokamak à Configuration Variable (TCV): inner view, with the graphite-claded torus. ... Look up demo in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Inertial confinement devices
Laser driven: - NIF (USA) | OMEGA laser (USA) | Nova laser (USA) | Novette laser (USA) | Nike laser (USA) | Shiva laser (USA) | Argus laser (USA) | Cyclops laser (USA) | Janus laser (USA) | Long path laser (USA) | 4 pi laser (USA) | LMJ (France) | Luli2000 (France) | GEKKO XII (Japan) | ISKRA lasers (Russia) | Vulcan laser (UK) | Asterix IV laser (Czech Republic) | HiPER laser (European)
Non-laser driven: - Z machine (USA) | PACER (USA)
A construction worker inside NIFs 10 meter target chamber. ... The Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) is a scientific research facility which is part of the University of Rochesters south campus, located in Rochester, New York. ... The Nova laser was a laser built at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1984 and which conducted advanced inertial confinement fusion experiments until its dismantling in 1999. ... The Novette target chamber with two laser chains visible in background. ... Final amplifier of the Nike laser where laser beam energy is increased from 150 J to ~5 Kj by passing through a krypton/fluorine/argon gas mixture excited by irradiation with two opposing 670,000 volt electron beams. ... The Shiva laser was an extremely powerful 20 beam infrared neodymium glass (silica glass) laser built at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in 1977 for the study of inertial confinement fusion and long-scale-length laser-plasma interactions. ... Argus laser overhead view. ... The single beam Cyclops laser at LLNL around the time of its completion in 1975. ... The Janus laser as it appeared in 1975. ... The Long Path laser was an early high energy infrared laser at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory used to study inertial confinement fusion. ... Physicist Frank Rainer (inset), who was involved in laser research and development at LLNL since 1966, holds the target chamber seen at the center of the larger picture. ... Laser Mégajoule (LMJ) is an experimental inertial confinement fusion (ICF) device being built in France by the French nuclear science directorate, CEA. Laser Mégajoule plans to deliver about 1. ... LULI2000 is a high-power laser system dedicated to scientific research. ... GEKKO XII is a high-power 12-beam neodymium doped glass laser at the Osaka Universitys Institute for Laser Engineering completed in 1983, which is used for high energy density physics and inertial confinement fusion research. ... The ISKRA-4 and ISKRA-5 lasers are lasers which were built by the Russian federation at RFNC-VNIIEF in Arzamas-16() with the ~2Kj output ISKRA-4 laser being completed in 1979 and the ~30Kj output ISKRA-5 laser which was completed in 1989. ... The Vulcan laser is an 8 beam 2. ... The Asterix IV laser in Prague (commonly reffered to by the acronym PALS for Prague Asterix Laser System) is a high power photolytically pumped iodine gas laser which is capable of producing ~300 to 500 picosecond long pulses of light at the fundamental line of 1. ... HiPER is an experimental laser-driven inertial confinement fusion (ICF) device currently undergoing preliminary design for possible construction in the European Union starting around 2010. ... Zork universe Zork games Zork Anthology Zork trilogy Zork I   Zork II   Zork III Beyond Zork   Zork Zero   Planetfall Enchanter trilogy Enchanter   Sorcerer   Spellbreaker Other games Wishbringer   Return to Zork Zork: Nemesis   Zork Grand Inquisitor Zork: The Undiscovered Underground Topics in Zork Encyclopedia Frobozzica Characters   Kings   Creatures Timeline   Magic   Calendar... The PACER project, carried out at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the mid-1970s, explored the possibility of a fusion power system that would involve exploding small hydrogen bombs (fusion bombs)—or, as stated in a later proposal, fission bombs—inside an underground cavity. ...

See also: International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility The International Fusion Material Irradiation Facility, also known as IFMIF, is an international scientific research program designed to test materials for suitability for use in a fusion reactor. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Fusor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2912 words)
The approach is known as inertial electrostatic confinement.
Farnsworth reasoned that he could build an electrostatic confinement system in which the "wall" fields of the reactor were electrons or ions being held in place by the multipactor.
Electrostatic pressure from the positively charged electrodes would keep the fuel as a whole off of the walls of the chamber, and impacts from new ions would keep the hottest plasma in the center.
Inertial electrostatic confinement - definition of Inertial electrostatic confinement in Encyclopedia (228 words)
Inertial electrostatic confinement (often abbreviated as IEC) of a plasma can be achieved with electrostatic fields which accelerate charged particles (either ions or electrons) directly, in a confined space.
Ions can be confined with IEC in order to achieve nuclear fusion.
The Farnsworth-Hirsch Fusor is a specific implementation of an IEC device which is popular, since costs for building a simple one can run between $500 to $4000 (in 2003 U.S. dollars).
  More results at FactBites »



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