PNeilson 9.9/2 wrote:Dr. Bussard raised his first $20 million or so of public financing for Polywell based on outrageous, unverified, fantastic claims. Any physicist asked about Dr. Bussard's claims 10 years ago said he was a crackpot. As the last of his money ran out a few years ago, on his sixth attempt at a polywell, he said he had a success. He had a tiny shred of data of questionable quality. He then spent several years without funding and died while popularizing his ideas and seeking funding. Oh, and he did write patents and has a polywell patent.
Thanks for that, PNielson. ee-tom's summary was an astoundingly inaccurate whitewash of the true situation.
In fact, until recently when an independent science review panel gave the Polywell a non-negative review**, the Polywell was frequently called "fringe science", and has been *compared* to the EESU. If EEStor submitted its tech for a similar review, perhaps it would now be considered just as respectable by the mainstream scientific community. Of course, since EEStor is not trying for a gov't grant, it has no motive to do so.
**Rather like LM's tech guys saying of EEStor's tech, "We don't see any reason why this can't work."
The point is this. Bussard had no real evidence. His equipment broke just after first readings and just before funding ran out.
Rick Nebel is a serious and careful person who thinks it is worth checking out. No-one at EMC2 is claiming it WILL work, just that there is no far no proof that it won't.
As far as theory goes, there is an MIT thesis which proves, under certain assumptions, that no pulse or fusor fusion method will work for advanced fuels, and the prospects for normal fuels are marginal.
The assumptions made in this work are questionable, Nebel claims that they do not apply to Polywell.
We don't know.
If I had to bet I would say chances of this working are small, but equally there is zero possibility of scam and delusion, the critical facts needed will be found over next two years.
BTW - the potential killer for all these high energy low confinement fusion attempts is Bremsstrahlung X-ray radiation from high-energy electrons.
Compared to EEstor. If DW was saying - we have this weird effect in baTiO3 that appears to allow high ED, we are going to check it out, I would be very positive. If 5 years later he had no evidence for it, but was asking for funding claiming he would be making thousands of EESUs shortly, while fudging the question of whether it actually worked, I would be less positive.
Assumptions: 1) E=1/2CV2
(Only dummies assume this)