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Tuckerfan
2005-Apr-28, 12:04 PM
Wonder how long this is going to be "just around the corner"? (http://msnbc.msn.com/id/7654627/)
Scientists say they have achieved small-scale nuclear fusion in a tabletop experiment, using tried and true techniques that are expected to generate far less controversy than past such claims.

This latest experiment relied on a tiny crystal to generate a strong electric field. While the energy created was too small to harness cheap fusion power, the technique could have potential uses in medicine, spacecraft propulsion, the oil drilling industry and homeland security, said Seth Putterman, a physicist at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Putterman and his colleagues at UCLA, Brian Naranjo and Jim Gimzewski, report their results in Thursday's issue of the journal Nature.

Candy
2005-Apr-28, 12:32 PM
Is this a proper response? =D>

TravisM
2005-Apr-28, 03:30 PM
I saw it yesterday evening before I left work, sortta dismissed it until I reread it thismorning over at CNN. I like it :D!

=D>

Darn good response! I bet they find a way to make it self-sustainable in the near future. Projects relying on this as a foundation will receive oodles of fundage! :D

Andrew
2005-Apr-28, 03:38 PM
Isn't a table-top fusion experiment rather old hat? Ever heard of a Farnsworth fusor (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fusor)? They've been around for decades and can be made small enough to fit on a tabletop. Like this one though, they are incapable of generating usable power output. That is not to say that what these scientists are doing is not useful or original, just that fusion reactions have been acheived with desktop apparatus reputably before.

electromagneticpulse
2005-Apr-28, 04:21 PM
I just read it on New Scientist (http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7315), I'm amazed. I knew about the Farnsworth fusor. I trust NS better than news sites because NS never says something’s the next big thing, or the next super fuel or that it'll provide unlimited power without saying the complete opposite.

But if they could size it up then it could be possible to produce more energy from the reaction. For example you could use more surface area to produce stronger magnetic fields.

crosscountry
2005-Apr-28, 04:23 PM
I just read it on New Scientist (http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn7315), I'm amazed. I knew about the Farnsworth fusor. I trust NS better than news sites because NS never says something’s the next big thing, or the next super fuel or that it'll provide unlimited power without saying the complete opposite.

But if they could size it up then it could be possible to produce more energy from the reaction. For example you could use more surface area to produce stronger magnetic fields.


what do you know about magnetic fields :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Jpax2003
2005-Apr-28, 04:36 PM
Potential uses in....homeland security.Huh? Do they intend to use desktop fusion to replace shredders? :o

DreadCthulhu
2005-Apr-28, 06:06 PM
Potential uses in....homeland security.Huh? Do they intend to use desktop fusion to replace shredders? :o

Actually, this device also makes for a portable neutron generator, which would be quite useful in detecting various explosives.

Van Rijn
2005-Apr-28, 07:12 PM
ToSeeked here:

http://www.badastronomy.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=21313&start=0&postdays=0&postorder =asc&highlight=&

It doesn't look like it will be useful for generating power. As a small neutron source, it might be useful, but there are other fusion based neutron sources. There's the IEC reactor, of course, but also a variety of other devices. For instance, another small device from 2001:

http://physicsweb.org/articles/news/5/11/14

Gullible Jones
2005-Apr-28, 08:28 PM
A small neutron source? It could be used as a trigger for something bigger...

Jpax2003
2005-Apr-28, 08:38 PM
An instigated gamma radiation could still be hidden by sticking the fissiles inside thick enough shielding, like inside an engine block cylinder.

sarongsong
2005-Apr-29, 07:10 AM
"...By using a larger tungsten tip, cooling the crystal to cryogenic temperatures, and constructing a target containing tritium, the researchers believe they can scale up the observed neutron production 1000 times, to more than 106 neutrons per second. (Naranjo, Gimzewski, Putterman, Nature, 28 April 2005).
The experimental setup is strikingly simple: "We can build a tiny self-contained handheld object which when plunged into ice water creates fusion," Putterman says."
http://www.aip.org/pnu/2005/split/729-1.html

publiusr
2005-Apr-29, 07:36 PM
I wonder if it is possible to combine different fusion tech. A palladium target for a laser in a tokamak--just hit it with everything.

Stregone
2005-Apr-29, 07:51 PM
Did anyone else think this was going to be a screensaver or wallpaper or something? :P