Thursday, December 25, 2008

This post is sort of a collection of alternative fusion techniques (vs. tokamak) . I'll add more as I find them.

Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) reactors - aka "fusors"
The primary researchers as of late have been Robert Bussard (deceased) and George Miley. I met George at a Lockheed colloquium at the Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto. He was trying to pitch a modified IEC that would basically have holes poked in it to create a thruster. I think his hope was that Lockheed (et al) would fund him, and then he would eventually get them to realize that, oh, by the way, if this is scaled up it's a fusion reactor! He recommended p-B11 as the fuel, because it tends to be aneutronic.

Levitated Dipole Experiment, (LDX) - MIT project that uses large suspended electromagnets.

Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF):
Saw this in the latest issue of Popular Science.
The company profiled in the article is General Fusion in Canada, led by Michael Laberge.