Got back from the
Hacker’s convention late last night. Had an absolutely fantastic time.
David Leibs roped me into talking about this project to the group, and it was
pretty fun. I talked to a couple of real physicists about it and had a
couple of great conversations. One was dubious of the magnetic cage
efficiently confining the electrons. Another thought I would have to get
to 10-9 in order to get the electron and ion guns working at all.
This is something I see as a possibility, but it doesn’t seem intuitively
The mean free path of a particle at 10-6 Torr is 50 meters.
At 10-9, the mean free path is 50 kilometers. The electron guns
will have only 20 to 25 centimeters path from the filament to the center of the
chamber. Ion guns should have similar distance. The entire chamber
is only 2.5 feet in length. So I think the system should be at low enough
pressure to operate the guns. The charts I’ve seen (see above) show that
10-6 is well within the range where I can operate the ion and
electron guns. But I’ve never built nor operated an ion gun before, and
this gentleman has.
However, I think that he was working with much larger particle accelerators than
I’m going to be. Something I’m definitely going to be on the lookout for,
in any event.
The picture on the left is of the rapid prototyping produced disdyakis
triacontahedron cage I had made. I had mentioned this earlier and several
people wanted to see a picture of it. I included a handsome quarter so
that the scale would be obvious.
I’m still waiting for an official quote on the new chamber design. It
wasn’t that much more expensive than the old design, so that’s good news.
Well, enough for now. Gotta sleep…