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Mr. Fusion
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Well, Phil has got the
January 15, 2003 — 17:21

Well, Phil has got the ion gun design

on his fusor.  <heh>  Very cool.  Runs with less
power, more easily controlled and still has higher neutron counts.  Gotta
love this stuff, eh?

I did some DWF renderings of the clone of the multipactor ion gun
patent and posted them on the
fusor.net forum.  Phil mentioned he was
looking at a multipactor design, and this was likely the patent.  Hopefully
it’ll be of help.

Got SIMION 7.0 today.  Not a bad program at all.  The demo is
incomprehensible to someone like me, so I was glad to see the real version
actually worked like I thought it would – I kept banging my head against
whatever they did to cripple the freely downloadable version.  The manual
is a satisfyingly thick, 1.25" of 8.5 x 11 paper entity, chock full o’ detail
about using the program.  This thing is an order of magnitude less in price
than something of comparable utility to the Field Precision offerings. 
They also have terrific student discounts, so rock on.

We’ll see how long it takes me to start modeling even simple things.  It
would be most excellent to have an analytical model of the chamber so I can play
mind games with myself.  <heh>  Delusions of adequacy, I know. 
Every one of these analytical/visualization tools are non-trivial to use because
it’s a non-trivial system.  But I should be able to get a simple grid
modeled with a single ion.  Dave Cooper has promised to upload a SIMION
Model which does just that, so that’ll be cool to see.  So at least the
diligent and talented can reproduce this :)  We’ll see how well I make out.

Amateur Ion Gun Design
January 13, 2003 — 17:19

Well, the fusor.net forum is really
heating up (remember, I’m a geek, so scale "heating up" accordingly).  Phil
Fostini started off the

by making a wonderfully generous offer of an ion gun to those
that helped him design them from the parts he was making available. 
Garrett Young and Phil are busily designing their first version.  I think
the entire process is pretty cool.  A while ago Garrett was pushing for a
more distributed fusor equivalent to ITER – amateurs colluding with each other
to share knowledge and resources in this amateur research.  So far, people
seem to be responding.  <heh>

From what I can tell, though, the first version will likely work.  The
design, however will need some focusing electrodes I think.  I did some
quick sketches in CPO-3D and it’s clear that of the ions created, most will hit
the BeO insulator – assuming a point ion source with momentum directed in a cone
towards the accelerating electrode.  I’m not sure, but the accelerating
electrode may quickly become a decelerating electrode.  I’m also thinking that the electric
field from the fusor cathode may not have much effect through the BeO
insulator with a small hole down the center.  I’ve been trying to model
this with CPO-3D, but I haven’t had much time to do so.  I’ll try some more

It could well be that the BeO insulator will block the decelerating effect of
the accelerating electrode (i.e. once past the electrode, the ions will be
re-attracted back towards the now decelerating electrode).  So the scheme
might actually work.  I do think that unless focused in some way, it’ll be
hard to get more than a small percentage of the generated ions to go down the
hole in the BeO insulator.  But even if they only get 10% of the ions, it
will still be very cool.

And lord knows the second version of the ion gun will be far, far better. 

<heh> I just love this stuff.

Plasma Diagnostics
January 10, 2003 — 17:18

Well, I’m feeling much better about things.  Usually a warning sign to
small furry animals who might be innocently underfoot.  Garret Young asked
a while ago on the fusor BBS "where’s the science".  This got me worrying
more about things that I had already worried about a lot.  Science is
asking questions, forming theories, making predictions, constructing and
performing experiments, gathering data, analyzing the results and comparing
results with predictions.