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Goshin
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61 - 02-01-2009, 16:46
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Or how about

Everyone discounted the IEC due to Farnsworth's reactor and the grid problem. Bussard himself was working on an IEC that used grids for years. Finally, some way, they figured out that this would not work and some other method to trap electrons and keep them circulating would be needed. They made this discovery only a few years ago. He was then using money siphoned from the tokamak reactor research (that has been ongoing for 4 decades, which he was a major player in founding) to create experiments to prove his hypothesis.

This guy sat at vice president on the atomic energy council, hypothesized the Bussard ramjet in the 60s, and the fission rocket for space flight in the 50's. He had enough money to crate WB-5 which briefly validated his idea. Then in 2006 the navy's alternate power source funding was completely cut by Bush to fund the Iraq war. His machine blew up do to an instability and he needed an additional 2 million to re-create it.

To create a full on demo, which would need to be made to determine net energy output, would cost 200 million, as the energy output scaled in pretty well compared to the size of the machine.

SO now that is finally being built.
 
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MrGone
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62 - 02-01-2009, 16:50
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$5 for a shirtless picture in front of the fusion reactor
 
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cyclozine
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63 - 02-01-2009, 17:05
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it's funny when joe schmoes think they have access to more information than the thousands of multibillion-dollar investors and private equity firms out there

edit: not you in particular goshin
 
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Last edited by cyclozine; 02-01-2009 at 17:12..
Goshin
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64 - 02-01-2009, 17:13
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I think it has something to do with the fact that a lot of big science types, and a lot of governments, have already spent a fortune on tokamak reactors, and ITER is the last step to see if it was all for naught. Meanwhile, only 5 years or so ago, the IEC has completely changed direction. Like a huge ship turning, it takes a long time to switch gears, if they wanted to.

Lots of people have entire careers based on the tokamak. Tons of researchers and grad students, scientists, a big work force of smarties all trying to crack the puzzle. **** canning them instantly isn't a palpable option.
It's a lot like the NASA shuttle workforce problem. Is there a better rocket that can be built from scratch without using any of the existing infrastructure or jobs? Most likely. Is it politically ever going to happen? No.
 
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Goshin
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65 - 02-01-2009, 17:49
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Bussard's reactor Versus the Tokamak reactors:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBfsq80EgOs
 
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CarpeIppon
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66 - 02-01-2009, 17:50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
It's not a farnsworth reactor. I had a bunch of **** typed up and i ****ed up, so let me summarize
Dude, we get it. But it is still a reactor that harness nuclear forces, so its still subject to massive government regulation and oversight, which a barrier to private investment.

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Originally Posted by Eggi View Post
yea but that doesnt make sense

i place my faith in occams razor here

does it make more sense that
a) the most viable fusion power solution based on collaborative research over the years is now being supported by multiple governments because its the most promising (aka ITER)

or

b) some dude with a small amt of grant money has created a working fusion plant where large research efforts with billions of dollars have failed despite the best efforts of lobbyists and big business who want to quash progress for the sake of short term profit
He isn't "some dude". He was one of the most prominent fusion physicists and he was the assistant director of the Atomic Energy Commission.

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Originally Posted by cyclozine View Post
it's funny when joe schmoes think they have access to more information than the thousands of multibillion-dollar investors and private equity firms out there
Like independent investors criticizing giant Wall Street banks?
 
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Goshin
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67 - 02-01-2009, 17:55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarpeIppon View Post
Dude, we get it. But it is still a reactor that harness nuclear forces, so its still subject to massive government regulation and oversight, which a barrier to private investment.
Ya, that wasn't directed at the government regulations thing. That was more directed at Mushashiasiasha's picture, and people stating it wont work due to "x", though this machine has solved for 'x'.
 
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cyclozine
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68 - 02-01-2009, 18:07
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Originally Posted by CarpeIppon View Post
Like independent investors criticizing giant Wall Street banks?


how is that even relevant to thinking you're privy to a scientific breakthrough through a youtube video, while "big energy" is stopping the information from getting to venture capitalists who spend billions of dollars just looking for this kind of innovation?
 
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Goshin
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69 - 02-01-2009, 18:08
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There's a pretty good blurb somewhere about why VCs would not want to invest in this project just yet. I'll see if i can look it up and repost it here if you'd like.
 
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cyclozine
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70 - 02-01-2009, 18:11
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yeah that sounds pretty interesting
 
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Goshin
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71 - 02-01-2009, 18:16
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found it
I am not enough of a physicst to judge whether or not this thing will work technically, but I think the problem is that it won't work financially, $2e8 is just too much money for someone to put up for a risky venture like this (yes, even Serge Brin and Larry Page, they have their financial guys to take care of their portfolio and this kind of thing is way off the curve w.r.t. risk v.s. amount invested for such financial guys).

It is not entirely clear to me why it would take that much. Does a new factory need to get built to make these things, or maybe there is some expensive material, platinum or the high temp superconductor material? Does Dr. Bussard have a business plan?

The typical Series A early stage startup funding in Silicon Valley is somewhere around $5e6 these days if the founders have a track record, and that is expected to last a year or so. The VCs are usually looking for a business track record together with a technical track record. Clearly Dr. Bussard has the technical track record, Jim Benson was mentioned and he might be a candidate for the business track record (though I think most VC types would not see it that way, despite what the alt.space community thinks of SpaceDev), but I believe he's busy with other projects. In some cases, with a really good prototype story, companies are able to raise something like $4e7 to $6e7 on their Series B round. Many of the new clean tech/solar energy companies, like Mirasole, are seeing that kind of funding. The money is really there, the VCs complain that they just aren't seeing any good deals.

If there is some way the proposal can be restructured to fit into the comfort range of your typical VC, I think you might have a much bigger chance of getting funding. That and line up a superstar business type, with at least one $8e8 to $1e9 valuation exit under their belt (aquisition or IPO, doesn't make a difference) to help round up the investors and lead the venture.

Fusion with space related aspects thread
that starts the discussion and the next 4 posts are in relation to it. Written in '07, dunno if anything would have changed. A decommissioned fusion plant would be as radioactive as a particle accelerator, so really, the public just needs good information and not hearing the word "nuclear fusion" and freaking out.
 
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cyclozine
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72 - 02-01-2009, 18:34
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ahh

i understand what these guys are saying, and it just sounds to me like there's very little investment because no reasonable degree of feasibility has been established.

these guys are talking about 100m like it's big bucks, but cmon, people have poured billions into far less significant technologies, and we're talking fusion power here.
 
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Last edited by cyclozine; 02-01-2009 at 18:37..
Durak
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73 - 02-01-2009, 18:56
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tokamaks are the closest we have come to a self-sustaining fusion reactor

also while D-T reactions do produce radiation, it's orders of magnitude less than typical fission reactors

i think we are at worst 50 years away from a commercial fusion reactor if governments are series about ITER and keep funding it

like a typical scientist the only reason he thinks his idea is the only feasible one is because it's his idea
 
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Goshin
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74 - 02-01-2009, 18:59
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have you not read anything here durak?

The guy founded the tokamak research of the 70s/80s and realized it would never come to fruition, so he decided to start running different projects.

We'll see what happens in the next 5 years. the 100MW demo will be impressive.
 
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Durak
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75 - 02-01-2009, 19:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
have you not read anything here durak?

The guy founded the tokamak research of the 70s/80s and realized it would never come to fruition, so he decided to start running different projects.

We'll see what happens in the next 5 years. the 100MW demo will be impressive.
the scientific consensus has been that tokamaks are the future. and while i acknowledge this guy for bravery and thinking outside the box, i also trust what the scientific community has a majority on

if he is right good for him, but bashing tokamaks is his way of saying "i am the only one with the right idea" which is not really motivated by science as much as it is for personal gain
 
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CarpeIppon
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76 - 02-01-2009, 19:07
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Durak View Post
the scientific consensus has been that tokamaks are the future. and while i acknowledge this guy for bravery and thinking outside the box, i also trust what the scientific community has a majority on

if he is right good for him, but bashing tokamaks is his way of saying "i am the only one with the right idea" which is not really motivated by science as much as it is for personal gain
People unwilling or unable to critically evaluate an idea come up with the term scientific consensus to try to make an argument without presenting facts, as if science is determined by a vote.

and I am sure you can find a huge number of physicists that will tell you that tokamaks will not create sustainable power.
 
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Last edited by CarpeIppon; 02-01-2009 at 19:12..
Durak
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77 - 02-01-2009, 19:11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CarpeIppon View Post
People unwilling or unable to critically evaluate an idea come up with the term scientific consensus to try to make an argument without presenting facts, as if science is determined by a vote.
science is determined by consensus sometimes, for good or bad

publications are peer-reviewed and the facts and evidence presented with-in are deemed either credible or not

while this system does sometimes fail, science has been progressing pretty rapidly in the past few hundred years for you to discount it
 
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Goshin
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78 - 02-01-2009, 19:13
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Tokamaks have been developed for 40 years with billions of dollars with nothing to really show for it. This guy helped FOUND THAT PROGRAM. He realized his MISTAKE 20 years earlier and shifted his attention to different methods of fusion reaction. Now he has something to show for it. P.S. He is dead.
His vision was to sell his technology to ANYONE. Be it the russians, the chinese, anyone who would give him 200 million to run a full scale demo, as the US Navy cut his funding. He didn't want personal gain. He was one of the giant brains of the last half of the 20th century.
 
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Durak
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79 - 02-01-2009, 19:20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goshin View Post
Tokamaks have been developed for 40 years with billions of dollars with nothing to really show for it. This guy helped FOUND THAT PROGRAM. He realized his MISTAKE 20 years earlier and shifted his attention to different methods of fusion reaction. Now he has something to show for it. P.S. He is dead.
His vision was to sell his technology to ANYONE. Be it the russians, the chinese, anyone who would give him 200 million to run a full scale demo, as the US Navy cut his funding. He didn't want personal gain. He was one of the giant brains of the last half of the 20th century.
nothing to show for it??

they've developed reactors that have already produced megawatts of power, more than what your dude is doing

look up JET as one reference

problem now isn't achieving fusion it's making it sustainable in terms of cost and energy in vs energy out
 
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Durak
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80 - 02-01-2009, 19:23
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http://people.ece.cornell.edu/hammer...w(1-25-08).pdf

see slides 11-13

ITER is gonna produce 500 MW
 
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