Polywell Patent

27 07 2010

In case anyone was wondering, this is the Polywell patent currently in effect:


UPDATE: Apparently, this is a patent application not a patent. It was rejected and has not been re-applied for… see comments.

EMI Next Steps

27 07 2010

Got some great feedback from the community about fixing our EMI problem. In summary:

  1. Try Lifting the USB’s ground on one side or the other.
  2. The last faraday cage we use was likely steel, which can have enough resistance to pass radio frequency. Try aluminum faraday cage.
  3. Use USB cable with ferrite bead like this one Dave purchased:

I have an electronics chassis I’ve recycled to try as the next faraday cage:

Dept of Health

23 07 2010

All photos.

Got a visit from the New York City Department of Health. They had several super hi-tech radiation meters. Dr. Karam on the left.

Neutron detector:

Taking readings while the fusor is running:

Generally they found that it’s producing a small amount of x-ray and neutron flux, but both were below harmful levels even at close range. Full report pending. Dr. Karam wants to do a longer test so the fusor can reach full neutron flux after bakeout.

ALSO: Just received this huge capacitor bank from ebay. I have to admit, this was an inpulse purchase!

48 X (1800 uF, 450V) capacitor bank. BAD ASS.


19 07 2010

All Photos.

David F. volunteered to help out Sunday:

We took another crack at running the DAQ in the face of wicked EMFs coming from the fusor.

David picked up a shielded USB cable for the DAQ:

With the DAQ close to the fusor, but not connected we were able to instantly crash it:

Next we put the unconnected DAQ in a makeshift faraday cage made from a small cabinet:

The cage and the lid are grounded:

Surprisingly, we were able to crash the DAQ pretty easily in this configuration! It’s possible that the panels that make up the cabinet are not connected electrically (seems unlikely). Next step is to upgrade the faraday cage to a made for electronics chassis, preferably rack mounted.

The only way we found to keep the DAQ from crashing is to keep it about 2 meters away from the fusor.

David also diamond filed the ceramic tube to fit inside the HV feedthrough ceramic:


16 07 2010

All Photos.

TV Asahi did a report from the lab:

We received the final ceramic for the Langmuir probe. It fits a little loose, but I think it will do.

Finally got a new drill… I’ve been borrowing my shop mate’s!

I started to explore the gas type calibration on the ion gauge. Until now it’s been set to air. But now we are running a deuterium atmosphere, so I tried setting the gauge to D2:


We saw the following difference in reading:

So 10 millitorr on the air setting is equilivent to 29 millitor on the deuterium setting. Big difference.

The lower pressure threshold to strike a plasma is ~20 millitoor in deuterium mode.


So it was noted on the fusor forums that I’m getting about 10% of the fusion I should be for the power going in. This is likely due to a leak or other contaminant in the chamber. Carl Willis suggested I drop rubbing alcohol into each gasket individually and check for a change in plasma color (hydrocarbons glow a steel gray compared to the purple of the deuterium plasma).I took a first stab at this but didn’t see any color changes. Here is a dropper of alcohol:

I also got a mirror for safer viewing of the plasma (the mirror does not reflect xrays):

Speaking of safety, I have a meeting with Dept of Health’s Dr.Karam. He’s a scientist and he sounds genuinely interested in the project. A radiation specialist, he is bringing a wide array of detectors to get a full profile of our radiation output. Should be really educational. Looking forward to it.

And finally I had lunch at Google NYC the other day:

Langmuir Probe

12 07 2010

All photos.

Most of the parts for the Langmuir probe are here.

The probe will connect via the rear 8″ conflat:

Unfortunately, this 8″ conflat holds the chamber up! So I whipped up an 80/20 solution:

You can see the chamber is supported on either side by 80/20:

Stuart has the long socket wrench we’ll need:

We have ceramic tubes left over from the fusor grid. However, they don’t quit fit together.  I’ll have to file the smaller one with a diamond file. Easy.

An open question:

Finally… I still need to purchase the super thin tungsten wire that will form the tip of the Langmuir probe. Anyone have a foot or so of thin tungsten wire?

Gearing Up

10 07 2010

All photos.

I’ve been gathering the parts necessary for the next round of experimentation.

High voltage feedthrough for the Langmuir probe:

8″ to 2.75″ reducer for the langmuir probe:

Trigatron to discharge huge capacitor. Everybody say that out loud: TRIGATRON.

It’s the coolest word ever invented. Spec Doc.

20V 3A benchtop power supply by Sorensen. This will power the heater on the superconductor’s persistent switch.

Also for the superconducting coils I got this benchtop dewar for the liquid nitrogen:

More 80/20:

And finally a 160-in-1 electronics kit. So much better than the one I had as a kid. My 12 year old self is SO JEALOUS!


6 07 2010

Wow. Last wednesday I woke up to a new world when the BBC and Gizmodo articles dropped.

Read all about it:

The definitive piece is by Quinn NortonNo Sleep ‘Til Fusion. This article is amazing – heartfelt and accurate. Quinn was there the night of the definitive fusion run. She even helped run the reactor. It was a night on the cusp. So exciting.

The same day Matthew Danzico from the BBC published Extreme DIY: Building a homemade nuclear reactor in NYC. This article took the story viral… it’s all over now!

CNN did a web writeup: Man builds web pages by day and nuclear fusion reactors by night.

CNN TV: Nuclear fusion the ‘Holy Grail’ of green energy?

CNN live interview.

My friend Olivia Koski was on this story from the start: Amateur Fusioneer Dreams of Clean Energy.


Gawker wins best of snark: The Gucci Employee Who Built a Nuclear Reactor in Brooklyn. “Artisanal nuclear fusion”. Pretty funny comments too.

Best comical artwork goes to racked.com: Gucci Web Developer Building a Nuclear Reactor in Brooklyn.

Most ridiculous headline goes to NYPOST: New Yorker found with nuclear reactor in Brooklyn warehouse. NYPOST also wins worst gross factual error: They state that I am building a fission reactor, which is incorrect… it’s fusion.

Worst comments go to Fox News: Gucci Designer Builds Nuclear Reactor in Brooklyn Warehouse.

We were covered by AOL, Yahoo! News, AP, France 5, Inside Edition, Huffington Post, Reddit, Digg, Hacker News, Slashdot, and a bazillion other outlets. I had reporters camping out at old apartments, calling my relatives, showing up at the lab. We got a visit from the NYFD and NYPD. Absolutely fucking nutz. The world went bonkers for this story.

Just as I planned…. mwahahahahaha!

Now everybody forget all about this so I can get back to work!  ;)

Fire Brigade

1 07 2010

All photos.

So the local fire house read about the project in the news and figured they would pay me a visit!

The guy on the left has a geiger counter in his hand! Awesome.

These guys pretty much made my day.

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