FIRST PLASMA

29 08 2009

YES! Check this business:

IMG_4015

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

IMG_4013

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:

IMG_4018

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:

small_chamber_setup

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:

img_3205

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.

img_3206

 

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

img_3207

Here is the full setup.

img_3224

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





Success

9 11 2008

Now we have the completed polywell shape, with connectors:

polywell_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'`
end

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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