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Mr. Fusion
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Magnetic Monopole
December 29, 2002 — 17:15

I posted an article a while ago on the news group

sci.physics.fusion
regarding ion acoustic standing waves in a spherically
contained plasma.  Basically, I wanted to find out what research had been
done in this area.  It’s been sitting there for several days without a
reply.  So I posted a more detailed message in

sci.physics.plasma
, hoping that perhaps that was a more appropriate
newsgroup.  The posting hasn’t showed up yet.  There might be some
problem with the moderator’s email, as nothing has shown up since Dec 24th. 
Oh well.  What’s strange about the lack of reply to my sci.physics.fusion
posting is just that.  Usually when someone posts something really stupid
on these forums, someone is always ready to point out the idiocy – sometimes
nicely, most of the time with a rather sharp pointy stick.  But nothing. 
Strange.  Hopefully my posting to the plasma newsgroup will produce some
response and some pointers.  I’ve been spending a lot of time trying to
find out all I can about analyzing and modeling these types of standing waves,
but to no avail.  It’s very strange.

But when I think about it real hard, I guess that it isn’t that strange at
all.  I’ve been wracking my brain trying to come up with analogous systems
that could produce these kinds of standing waves, and there isn’t any that I can
find.  The problem is that these waves happen on a closed surface – i.e.
the surface of a sphere – and that’s a very hard system to come up with. 
Think about it for a moment.  The requirements are very hard to come by. 
You need a system that is constrained to follow a spherical orbit.  There
are precious few systems that can meet this requirement.  All of them
require some sort of central attractor to the medium.  In the case I’m
investigating the system (plasma) is constrained into spherical flow by an
electrostatic force.  The only other system I can think of would be a
system that is constrained into spherical flow by gravitational forces. 
That’s it.  The only choices you’d have would be a system that is
constrained by an attractive force – gravity or electrostatics (as there are no
magnetic monopoles) – or a compressive force, like the surface of a balloon
pressing in upon the gas, keeping it spherically confined.  The compressive
case is not really like the attractive case, though.  In these systems, the
particles collide with the barrier and are reflected back into a spherical flow. 
Different dynamics.

So this is obviously an area where there is little research – well, any
research that I can find.  Just because I can’t find anything on the
subject doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.  After all, there’s a whole lot of
knowledge out there.  Also, I may not know how to formulate the question
correctly.  Like the sphinx, the net does not divulge it’s secrets without
the correct question being asked.  Oh well.  It’s kind of a catch 22. 
On the one hand, it’s a good omen that there is so little information out there
about the kind of spherical standing waves that I wish to study – virgin
territory.  On the other hand, maybe there isn’t much information for a
reason – i.e. it’s a dead end.  We’ll see.

Not much
else is happening.  The holidays are in full swing, and there’s little time
for other than reading and searching the net. Found a good graph of the various
fusion cross sections of interest.  No doubt as to why the D-T reaction is
focused upon so much.

I found some excellent patents, though.  They have been added to the
fusion links page.  The most interesting is
the patent Method For
Forming Magnetic Fields
.  This is quite a fascinating patent dealing
with polyhedral magnetic fields the confinement of plasmas and other interesting
applications.  The patent is quite dense, as patents tend to be. 
However, there are some tantalizing claims such as:

The inner portion of the field generalizes into a
monopole field, while the outer portion still shows the effect of the
proximity to the outer poles. When viewed "locally" within the structure, the
field is a monopole, but when viewed "globally" external to the structure, no
apparent monopole exists. The generation of a "local" monopole field does not
violate Maxwell’s first law, since "globally" the net integral does not result
in a monopole. But anything within the environment of the structure would
still react to it as if it were a monopole.

Very
intriguing, to say the least.  It’s going to take me a while to go through
this patent to see what the heck is going on, and whether it has any relevance
to my investigations.  Certainly the use of five fold symmetry in these
magnetic configurations have caught my eye, as well as the possibility of
producing a system local magnetic monopole.  If nothing else it would seem
to be a very fascinating area of exploration – yet another one in an endless
series of interesting areas of exploration…

Comments:
  • juan

    I have seen articles on internet,claiming that
    in certain fusion contexts one may not have
    div(B)=0 (tantamount to assuming a magnetic
    monopole) It seems linked to having magnetic
    field lines determined by Hamiltonian equations.
    One of these is by Philip Morrison.
    Im not a fusion physicist, but Im terribly
    confused by the whole issue.
    I hope it will soon become more clarified.
    Appreciate anyone who can shed more light on this.

    May 31, 2004 — 18:30
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