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2 fusion devices

Portable fusion-based power source, tritium generator
  (+4, -7)
(+4, -7)
  [vote for,

disclaimer: as I was unfamiliar with the unique format for this site, my previous post was presented in manner I have since been informed is inconsistent with the style of this site. Per your requests, I have therefore deleted my previous post. Per Steve DeGroof's suggestion, I am making a new post consistent with this format.

Following is a variety of ideas on how to create two devices. Neither of these devices presently exists. The first one is a device long considered a "sci-fi fantasy", even with recent discoveries, conventional wisdom is that the obstacles involved in creating it are insurmountable. The second device is a original idea which I have never seen or read about, and to my knowledge has never been proposed prior to my posts here.

Following are a variety of ideas on how these two devices might actually be created. These include unique, original ideas of my own design on how to overcome the "insurmountable obstacles" referenced in current scientific literature, as well as by Lumpy and Steve DeGroof. These are my own creation, and have not appeared in any publication or technical article that I have read.

As such, the ideas I propose are completely untested, and I would welcome any constructive comments with regards to the viability of my ideas or any "laws of nature and/or physics" that they may violate.


A compact device which utilizes a enhanced form of "bubble" fusion in order to provide a portable power source.

"Bubble" fusion is an experimentally observed phenomena where high pressures are created in bubbles via accoustic cavitation. At present, the usefulness of current "bubble" fusion technologies are limited to laboratory curiosities, and are completely ineffective as a source of power. A small number of the alternative, a fission-based portable power unit, was developed by Russia during the cold war, but they proved to be highly dangerous, and have resulted in serious injuries and even lethal doses of radiation poisoning.

In order to be effective, a portable nuclear power generator would have to be:

1) small enough to be easily transported. 2) safe (from explosion and from radiation) 3) generate more power than it consumes.

With regards to the size issue, the nature of bubble fusion favors smaller sizes, especially when compared to other proposed methods for fusion power generation (which typically entail entire buildings or large complexes). Practical limitations aside, one can imagine the danger of imploding a sizable amount of deuterium to fusion-level pressures and temperatures!

On the matter of safety, deuterium-deuterium fusion generates some by-products, including radioactive tritium and neutron radiation. Shielding, as well as a means of containing, collecting or recycling tritium might need to be addressed. One way to potentially reduce radioactive products might be the utilization of tritium in secondary fusion reactions. With regards to non-nuclear explosions, the explosive nature of hydrogen, as well as the volatile nature of organic hydrocarbons that might be utilized as the implosion liquid, would need to be handled appropriately.

The third requirement is quite likely the most difficult to achieve, as the current method for inducing bubble fusion comes nowhere near it. This could be accomplished by using a combination of factors to improve efficiency, including the use of more effective implosion mediums, higher volumetric ratios, finely controlled implosions, achieving a higher percentage of fusion-level implosions, better fuel delivery, and use of secondary reactions.

For example, the current method utilizes deuterated acetone, as it was found to provide higher implosion pressure and temperature than that obtainable from previous unsuccessful experiments utilizing D2O (heavy water). Other "deuter"-carbons, as well as inorganic deuterated liquids, should be examined to determine those that provide higher and more consistent fusion-level temperatures, as well as optimum delivery of fuel to the fusion reaction.

Another idea would to be to provide for more controlled implosions. The current "bubble" method results in a large number of bubbles spread out over a relatively difuse area. Providing more control over the implosion process could dramatically increase efficiency. Examples might include the use of specially configured "implosion chambers", finely focused accoustic waves, possible use of interference patterns to concentrate desired accoustic pressures in specific areas, and other means to induce the desired location, sizing and consistency of the imploding bubbles.

Another idea would be to find ways to utilize tritium in secondary fusion reactions, potentially reducing radioactive by-products as well as providing for a sizable increase in power.

Fusion provides the potential for extremely high energy densities (consider the yield of the typical hydrogen bomb!) By tapping this enormous power through the use of controlled, micro-fusion implosions, such a portable power device could provide a nearly indefinate stream of power. Imagine, for instance, a car that never needed gas, never needed charging, and broke down from old age before it ever ran out of fuel! While such power would not be perpetual, as long as your peak energy usage was substantally below that of an H-Bomb explosion(!), the single-charge power life of such portable fusion power devices could easily exceed the lifetime of their owners!

Another idea is the creation of a desktop tritium generator. In the context of fusion power generation, tritium is a dirty radioactive waste product that you would rather get rid of. In a "perfectly clean" fusion power plant, tritium would be consumed in secondary fusion reactions.

However, it occured to me that a D-D micro-fusion reaction could also be used to intentionally generate tritium! Tritium has it's uses, after all, particularly in nuclear defense. As it decays fairly quickly, it also has to be constantly replenished. It's not the easiest thing to produce. So why not create a device that employes micro-implosion fusion and is specifically optimized to produce tritium?

Thus the "desktop tritium generator" idea was born.

In this case, portability is not a major concern, but could be of potential benefit for on-site silo production capability. Rather than a fusion power device, the deuro-carbon implosion liquid selection, chamber geometry, fuel delivery, accoustic parameters, etc. would all be optimized for tritium production, even to the point of favoring the tritium branch over other possible fusion reactions (to the extent possible). Another consideration is the selection of an implosion liquid that would maximize the ease of extraction of the produced tritium from the liquid.

It should also be easier to create this device over a portable power generator, as efficiency is not nearly as critical an issue. A fusion power device with a poor or negative efficiency might well be useless. In the case of a tritium generator, low efficiency might mean it just takes a little longer to work.

aspdesigner, Mar 14 2002

(?) Poetry http://www.dcwi.com...t/TSOTUF2_Intro.htm
Found whilse soaking in the Casimir effect and sonic cavitation notes. [reensure, Mar 14 2002]

(?) Nasa Publication in .PDF format (adobe) http://www.sti.nasa...tar/9706/author.pdf
[Bixbyte, May 27 2002, last modified Oct 21 2004]


       **Modified after [aspdesigner] complained of "profanity".   

       Your idea, asp, speaks of 'things that are possible'. Here, we take things that are possible, develop them to their logical conclusions and present as an original idea or invention.   

       It would be more appropriate, to talk about "a fusion powered car" and "a desktop tritium generator" giving constructional details of each.   

       In the present format, this idea does not belong here.
neelandan, Mar 14 2002

       This idea lacks adequate description and handling of the fusion by-products. For example, while one may mix deuterium and tritium and hope for DT reactions, one is also likely to get some DD reactions, and perhaps even some TT reactions. As stated, the DT reactions yield neutrons as a byproduct.   

       There is currently no known easy way to do all of the following safely in a small space, sufficient to allow portable fusion devices: 1) Absorb the energy of the neutrons, 2) absorb the neutrons, and 3)prevent formation of radioactive nuclides as a result of neutron absorbtion. In a LARGE space, one can simply use lots of plain ordinary hydrogen gas (pressurized for greater performance). Good old protium-hydrogen is the BEST neutron-energy absorber (via billiard-ball effect: the neutron is the same size as the proton, so much of the energy of the colliding neutron goes into the proton. A larger nucleus would be like a bowling ball compared to the billiard ball--the neutron would basically bounce off and keep most of its energy.) Also, when good old protium-hydrogen absorbs a neutron, good old fusion-fuel deuterium is formed. Great!   

       Meanwhile any TT reactions wil yield TWO neutrons, both of which have to be absorbed safely, the DD reactions will sometimes produce tritium plus a proton (no problem there), and sometimes produce helium-3 plus a neutron (about a 50/50 split, and of course the neutron must be absorbed safely). The tritium byproduct has already been mentioned as good fusion fuel.   

       It also happens the helium-3 is good fuel, too --in fact better than tritum, because a D/He3 reaction produces He4 plus a proton (no neutron to worry about!). And if a T/He3 reaction occurs, the result will likely be He4 plus deuterium, so again no neutron to worry about. In my opinion, the best thing to do with radioactive tritium is to let it sit in a radiation-and-heat-absorbing, energy-producing tank. The natural result of tritium decay is He3!!!
Vernon, Mar 14 2002

neelandan, Mar 14 2002

[ sctld ], Mar 14 2002

       Hi, Vernon!   

       Is microbubble fusion real? Last I heard, Brookhaven Labs was reporting no neutrons from their attempted confirmation. But I may be behind the news-front.
Dog Ed, Mar 14 2002

       Vernon annotating aspdesigner's idea - critical mass has been reached!
hippo, Mar 14 2002

       I've never seen him so bubbly!
thumbwax, Mar 14 2002

       Dog Ed, there was a report on another experiment, which was not subjected to peer review, and which was prematurely released to the press, which initially indicated that. However, a closer review revealed several flaws in the experiment, including use of the wrong type of neutron detector, and failure to account for shielding from materials present between the chamber and the detector. A re-examination of the raw data of this other experiment, taking these factors into account, revealed neutron emission consistent with the original study.   

       Due to the extremely low efficiency of this experiment, along with neutron attenuation by the implosion liquid, and the use of a high-energy neutron pulse to initiate the bubbles, these neutron emissions are slight and not easy to detect.   

       The neutron emissions were found to be sychronized with the timing of the implosions. But neutrons were not the only evidence observed in support of fusion.   

       Tritium production was also discovered. Moreover, the tritium levels were found to be proportional to the period of time the fusion device was operated. In addition, control experiments where only one factor was changed (such as replacing deuterated acetone with regular acetone), indicated that these effects were only observed when all the conditions for producing fusion were present.   

       Because of the controversy created by the unrelated "cold fusion" fiasco, an overabundance of caution was exercised. An internal audit of the experiment was performed by Oak Ridge, which concluded that both the tritium and neutron measurements were valid. The research also passed extensive peer review, as well as an additional internal review by Science Magazine before they agreed to publish it.   

       It is unfortunate that the preliminary results of a flawed experiment were leaked to the press and caused so much confusion about the validity of this research. Until such time as there is any accurate, peer-reviewed research which can properly refute this evidence, I do not think that we can reasonably discount this amazing discovery.
aspdesigner, Mar 15 2002

       Vernon is correct that the typical deuterium-tritium reactors that are the basis for most conventional fusion experiments would produce high-energy neutron radiation, resulting in the 3 problems he mentioned.   

       Some fusion researchers, expressing similar concerns about radiation from D-T devices, have suggested utilizing safer approaches for small-scale fusion, such as D-D fusion. (for example, "Non-Statistical Fusion Reactions In Atomic Scale Accelerators", by Brian Donovan)   

       The current bubble-fusion experiments are not based on radioactive D-T, but rather, the less energetic, but much safer, D-D approach!   

       T-T is not a concern, as tritium levels would not get high enough to support it. You are correct that the D-He3 reaction is a very good one, not only are no neutrons released, but it actually produces more energy than D-T! But Helium-3 is very hard to come by. It is, however, available as a by-product of our D-D reaction! D-D itself only produces a neutron in about half of the cases. It is also of much lower energy, making it safer and easier to capture.   

       In addition, the bubble fusion environment itself helps. The microscopic fusion reaction is surrounded by a comparatively large quantity of liquid hydrocarbons. As you know, hydrocarbons are an excellent material for absorbing neutron energy via elastic scattering, indeed, one of the most popular neutron-moderating shielding materials is polyethylene.   

       The implosion liquid can also be selected for maximum neutron moderation and absorption. Additional neutron absorption materials can also be utilized, such as boron, or lithium.   

       Lithium-6 is the most interesting, as it can not only absorb neutrons of the energy range produced by D-D fusion, but can also produce extra energy in the process, which could dramatically increase the power of our fusion reactor!   

       Li6 + n ==> T + He4 + 4.78MeV   

       The Lithium converts to helium-4 and tritium, along with a significant amount of extra energy. (This effect is also utilized in the Teller-Ulam configuration hydrogen bomb!) This is a nucleonic reaction and does not require heat or pressure, just neutrons in the correct energy range.   

       For added benefit, lithium could also be added into the implosion liquid, either in solution, or incorporated directly into the implosion liquid molecule itself.   

       Lithium would also be of great benefit for the second device, the "Desktop Tritium Generator", not just for neutron absorption, but because it could also nearly double tritium production!   

       For any straggling neutrons, a variety of shielding materials are available. For example, one company makes a product called "Neutron Putty", a 2.5cm thich layer of which can reduce thermal neutrons by 100,000x. For extra peace of mind, something akin to the "firewall" in present-day cars, could also be located between the engine compartment and the passenger area of a fusion vehicle, comprised of something like lithium polyethylene.   

       With regards to tritium disposal, the collection tank idea is good, you might also be able to periodically extract it and sell it to your local power company!
aspdesigner, Mar 15 2002

       Your attempts to trivialize this topic notwithstanding (nuclear-powered fake-fire fireplaces???), I strongly disagree. The successful development of this device could change society at a level not seen since the industrial revolution. Dependence on foreign oil would be eliminated, and gas stations, along with electric and natural gas utilities could all be rendered obsolete. Energy would shift from being something that has to be produced, distributed, and constantly paid for (gas, electric utility, etc.), to a one-time purchase, resulting in dramatic shifts in global economics and politics, as well as sparking additional scientific development heretofore impossible.   

       A bit more earth-shaking than australian crayfish, I think.   

       Intelligent comments (such as those by Vernon or Dog Ed) that address the technical viability or physics behind my ideas are welcome.
aspdesigner, Mar 15 2002

       It *is* interesting. And if the idea were for a desktop tritium production and resale device ("...sell it to your local power company!" - if Uncle Sam doen't catch you first), it might be appropriate for the HB. But it's not, so it's not.   

       I, too, find the possibilities amazing but posting an 'idea' just to speculate about someone else's invention is contrary to the purpose of the HB. Don't take it personally.
phoenix, Mar 15 2002

       With regards to your first comment, I refer you to the title and the last part of my original post - that WAS one of the ideas I proposed.   

       With regards to your second question, there seems to be some confusion that any such "invention" exists. It does not.   

       The scientific effect of "sonoluminescence" has been known since before many of us were born. Scientists have long theorized the possible existence of sonoluminescence fusion, and for many years scientists have attempted various experiments to prove this theory, utilizing a variety of methods and materials. Up until recently, all efforts to prove the existence of this phenomena were unsuccessful.   

       Scientists recently discovered that this effect is possible. They did NOT invent a fusion power generator, portable or otherwise. The experiment they used does not even produce any power! In addition, conventional wisdom is that the approach they took could NOT be used for fusion power generation. Indeed, even Oak Ridge National Laboratory (where the experiment was performed), issued a statement that the approach taken by these researchers could NOT be scaled-up for use in power generation.   

       If someone had a portable device that could even power a single light bulb, or even had devised a way that such a device could be constructed, I might see your point. But no one has done so. Please read the disclaimer section at the top of my post again for a better discussion of the issue you raised.
aspdesigner, Mar 16 2002

       I'm lost....can anyone please explain how you induce fusion in a crayfish?
dare99, Mar 16 2002

       Spirited debate is one thing, but personal attacks, allegation of sexual abuse of my neighbor's children, psychological illness & drug use, calling me a troll, and multiple derrogatory comments directed against both myself and others who have commented here, go well beyond the line of civilized discourse, and that message(s) was dealt with accordingly.   

       However, to be fair, I will acknowledge that they felt that:   

       * The concept of controlled nuclear fussion is "mumbo-jumbo" and "fantasy", regardless of any scientific evidence to the contrary.   

       * Anyone who does not agree with that must be a nut.   

       * Finding alternative energy sources is a waste of time, because the environment is more important.   

       Rather than go down to their level of personal attack, I will simply state that I do not agree with these opinions and leave it at that.
aspdesigner, Mar 16 2002

       I'm not sure, Dare, you think they might make a good fuel source? LOL
aspdesigner, Mar 16 2002

       I believe my comment above made it QUITE clear the reason for the deletion you referenced. You will note above that some of the comments that appear are critical of my ideas, and while I may not agree with them, I left them intact.   

       What I will NOT put up with, however, is unprofessional and slanderous personal attacks on my character posted in a public forum. I also do not appreciate someone who continues to post multiple repetitive negative comments about an idea, repeating issues already mentioned and discussed, simply to harrass me or attempt to force me to delete my ideas because you do not agree with them.   

       If you do not agree with my ideas, fine - just say so. ONCE. But do not keep at it perpetually. And stop trying to come up with excuses for why I should delete my post, such as your ridiculous suggestion that my defending my ideas on points raised by others constituted a "chat room" and was thus inappropriate for this forum. Or trying to trivialize the topic in order to justify why my post should be deleted. Or complaining that my providing details of my ideas was taking up too much server space. Or then finally resorting to vicious slanderous personal assaults when these other efforts to censor my ideas were unsucessful.   

       Or your latest effort, threatening to encourage several members to "gang up on me" in an attempt to ban me from the site entirely, while including yet another demand that I should delete my ideas.   

       I will NOT be bullied!!!   

       I also happened to notice that your older critical comment had also been deleted, one that I had already responded to. I am not sure why you would do this, perhaps you had second thoughts about what you had written. But is also occured to me that you might have done so with the intent of blaming it on me as well, in an attempt to make good on your threat. If the later is the case, I guess you never heard of server logs.   

       With regards to your threat, if you continue to insist that my decision to delete these vicious personal attacks was incorrect, I would be MORE THAN HAPPY to discuss the appropriateness of your comments with the owners of this site, including the fact that your actions were likely in violation of their TOS with their hosting provider.
aspdesigner, Mar 16 2002

       I would remind you that you were the one that started with the threats. Actually, "Not a threat - a bare FACT" I also found it highly inappropriate to threaten me over my deleting such an outrageous post.   

       Given the content of your deleted post, I find your reference to site etiquette very hypocritical. I also take offense at your continued false misrepresentations that I have engaged in wanton deletion of critical comments. As I already stated, I have left such comments intact.   

       I would agree that most of the comments here have been civil, it was your comment that I considered a vicious and slanderous attack.   

       Maybe I am being a little too sensitive, but I think when someone makes personal attacks, and accuses me of sexual abuse of children, pyschological illness, drug use, along with other derrogatory statements about me personally, and then posts such outrageous accusations on a public forum, I take offense to that.
aspdesigner, Mar 16 2002

       Please stop repeatedly LYING about me on this forum! You are well aware that I am NOT engaging in the deletion activity that you describe. To make this PERFECTLY CLEAR, the ONLY comments that have been deleted from this topic where your back-to-back comments of the aforementioned slanderous personal attack, and a very short message immediately after by another party (neeland, I believe, but I'm not sure), that referenced your child abuse allegation.   

       Moreover, I posted a message explaining the deletion of this inappropriate material. I even went so far as to provide YOUR criticisms in MY comment, just so that my appropriate editing could not be considered an attempt to stifle criticisms!   

       ALL of the other comments on this topic have been left INTACT. That includes an additional FIVE critical comments all made by YOU (two earlier ones which you have since deleted). It also includes a previous critical comment made by neeland, which I see has just been modified to be even more negative to the point of utilizing profanity.   

       I DID NOT come along and "start deleting negative comments". I DID NOT "repeatedly breached the rules laid out for all to see" as you falsely accuse me of, and I DID NOT "wiped out about a half dozen such annotations in the last few days".   

       These are all LIES.   

       You seem to think that by repeating your allegations often enough (three times in the same comment!), or couching your falsehoods with wording from the Help Page, that people might believe them.   

       For someone who professes a desire to have nothing further to do with me, you seem to be doing quite a poor job at it.   

       I have been very patient with your continuing and unrelenting onslaught of criticisms in this matter, but I cannot stand by and let you use this topic as a base from which to launch public attacks against my integerity, particularly when I am being accused of wrongdoing for deleting a vicious and slanderous personal attack against me by you in a public forum!   

       Therefore, I am hereby requesting that:   

       1) You volunteerly delete your inaccurate comment posted immediately above;   

       2) You recant these false accusations you have made against me (RE: wanton deletion of critical comments); and   

       3) You publicly appologize for your inappropriate vicious personal attack, and ackowlege that deletion of such was reasonable.   

       If you choose to decline my request, I shall pursue this matter against you formally.   

       Thank you.
aspdesigner, Mar 16 2002

       <snore> You think we haven't been thro' all this before with previous trolls. Get a life, it really is the best option. <plonk>
lubbit, Mar 16 2002

       If jutta or one of the moderaters are around and don't mind, could they find out who deleted what and tell us?
RobertKidney, Mar 16 2002

       I would welcome this as well, RobertKelley.   

       aspdesigner still waiting for that appology...
aspdesigner, Mar 16 2002

       Thanks for the feedback, bristolz.   

       I understand that. With regards to the false accusation that I have been actively deleting critical comments in this topic, an examination of the IP addresses in the logs will show that the only such deletions by me were of the inappropriate items indicated.   

       If this person doesn't come up with a sincere apology for these actions, I will provide a contact E-MAIL via either bakesperson@halfbakery.com or to the @pobox.com addy in Whois. Given the lengths to which some people seem to be willing to go to cause me problems, you can understand my current reluctance to post my addy publicly.
aspdesigner, Mar 16 2002

       trust me - there is no big deal posting your email address, it will give certain people an opportunity to chat through any differences in private and not spoil the family atmosphere we have here. This is all getting very silly.
po, Mar 16 2002

       My original, later modified, annotation has been reworded in the light of aspde's complaints of 'incorporating profanity'.   

       asp: However much you may defend it, your idea is not appropriate for this site. Talking about what somebody is rumoured to have done, and about things that would be very nice if only it were possible are frowned upon. Read the help file on "WIBNI".   

       Expect your ideas to be met with hostility. We routinely use extreme language to put down ideas we disagree with; it is something one learns to live with at the halfbakery.
neelandan, Mar 18 2002

       aspdesigner. Go away. No one's interested. Nothing personal.
goff, Mar 18 2002

       Fusion makes me nervous. Suppose that there existed a Bucket able to withstand temperatures in the millions of degrees. Of course my "super bucket" does not exist yet. It would probably be a gravitational Magnetic device of sorts. I take my super bucket and scoop up a piece of the Sun. Take this piece of Sol (fusion reaction) back to Earth to study it or figure out how to contain and control it. My question is once you attain the IDEAL fusion reaction, one where you make more energy than you put into it, can you stop it? (
Bixbyte, May 26 2002

       [Bixbyte] Of course you can. It's the same principle as with fission reactions - if the fuel for the reaction is removed, if the "bucket" is broken, or if the temperature is not high enough for the reaction to continue, the reaction will stop.   

       The main problem with fusion isn't stopping it, it's getting it to continue under controlled conditions for more than a few seconds.
cp, May 26 2002

       My opinion is that the entire earth will become the fuel. Once you start a fusion reaction, you will not be able to remove the fuel. It is a chain reaction at Millions of Degrees. I just can not put it out with a fusion fire using a fire extinguisher.
Bixbyte, May 26 2002


       For a start, anything denser than iron won't fusion-burn. Secondly, it takes a great deal of "heat" to maintain fusion burning, even for Hydrogen. Once you get into Helium or Carbon burning, this rises considerably. Even stars have to contract quite seriously to start these burning cycles within their cores. The ambient temperature of the earth, even at the site of a fusion neuclear explosion, wouldn't be enough to fuel this for a significant portion of time, especially when you consider the fairly low proportion of hydrogen around. Now shrug and say, "well, we learn something new every day. I shall no longer fear what i am ignorant of."   

       Learning a lot this week, aren't ya? ;op
yamahito, May 26 2002

       Dear Yamahito,   

       cut and paste this link:   


       There was an event watched by 2 satelites. I think it is called a Magnastar. Has three distinct Frequencies of radiation in the Gamma Frequency and moved faster than the speed of light.   

       Check the link out.
Bixbyte, May 27 2002

       First: there's an ability to use links at the top of the page.   

       Secondly: merde, Je parle le fracais comme une vache español; mais je crois que ils ont dire que "Son origine est un mystère."   

       Thank god for the babel fish..   

       Also, we are talking about things in a very different regime to that of fusion on earth.   

       Also, trust me, they did not move faster than light. It's most likely an optical illusion due to the angle we're seeing it from (It was explained to me by one of my lecturers a couple of years ago, but it's been a while.) I'd like to know where you got the magnastar/faster than light bit: perhaps that bit got lost in translation.
yamahito, May 27 2002


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