29 08 2009

YES! Check this business:


Here it is with the color levels adjusted so you can see more:


This is really really exciting.

First thing I learned is you need some gas in that chamber to start a plasma. I started at pressures around  1 e-6 torr and got nothing. What you really need is pressures above 1 e-3 torr. My gauge doesn’t work in this range, so I was flying blind.

I had to install a valve to leak air into the chamber to keep the pressure where I needed it:


Just playing with this device for 10 minutes gave me more of an intuition for plasma than most of the reading I’ve done on the topic.

I’m now one small step away from first fusion. FUCK YEA.

Day One

3 06 2009

What a day.

First off, we have achieved FIRST VACUUM. Connected the small chamber to the pump. So far I’ve got it down to 3e-7 torr and dropping steadily, which gives us a green light for the Fusor:


We had an initial false start which was caused by poor connection on the last conflat to be connected. The last flange is always the hardest because there is more weight on the system. The setup is pretty precarious, and only serves to check first vacuum.

Secondly, Deez successfully fabricated the fusor core:fusor_core

Here is a time-lapse of day one:

Going all the way

24 02 2009

Yesterday, I told my boss at the day job that I’m going fulltime on prometheus fusion perfection starting May 2009. 

Fuck the recession. I’m doing this. 

Man that feels good.

Fire the Laser!

13 02 2009

Today we will fire the danger laser! I have the plumbing for the water cooling working. For this we take a field trip to my friend Stuart’s shop. He has 240V mains and a variable power supply. Here are the lasers:


The labels are a bit ambiguous for the electrical connection. Is the chassis the anode, and both leads on the top the cathode? I think this must be the case. Poking around with an electrical multimeter, I find there is almost no resistance between the two terminals on top. But when you test between the either of the terminals and the chassis you get a different resistance depending on the direction of the test, which is from the diode’s electrical bias.



We will be testing these current limiting power supplies (originally from NASA)


Here is the full setup.


Bucket of distilled water for the heat exchanger (we must have run this at too high a voltage, you can see it melted a little):img_3234

And the verdict? Success! Here is a video of the setup, and a video of the trial run.img_3236


9 11 2008

Now we have the completed polywell shape, with connectors:


Now we can export to an STL file, and produce our first physical object (in plastic to begin with).

First Success

21 10 2008

Check this out. A truncated dodecahedral Polywell rendered in CAD.

I created this using ruby to pass draw instructions to mged (the main command line tool for BRL-CAD):

require 'matrix'
phi = (1+Math.sqrt(5))/2
icosahedron = Matrix[
[0, +1, +phi],
[0, +1, -phi],
[0, -1, +phi],
[0, -1, -phi],
[+1, +phi, 0],
[+1, -phi, 0],
[-1, +phi, 0],
[-1, -phi, 0],
[+phi, 0, +1],
[+phi, 0, -1],
[-phi, 0, +1],
[-phi, 0, -1]

icosahedron.row_vectors().each_with_index do |v,index|
`/usr/brlcad/bin/mged -f -c test3.g 'in torus#{index}.s tor #{v[0]} #{v[1]} #{v[2]} #{v[0]} #{v[1]} #{v[2]} 1.0 0.125'`

This basically iterates through the vertices of the icosahedron, and draws a torus normal to the origin. Now we are tantalizingly close to having a CAD file we can render in metal.

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