Monthly Archives: January 2008

Bussard Fusion Reactor Progress

As you may know by now, Dr. Bussard passed away after losing a battle with cancer, but his reactor lives on. Continued development is now being done by a five member team calling itself EMC2 fusion, with a navy contract (the navy funded the original research).

The next in the series after the WB-6 (originally to be called the WB7) has been built, and in preliminary testing, it has produced energy in accordance with Dr. Bussards calculations. So far, everything is going according to plan. It has not been operated at the full design power levels yet however.

If this unit lives up to expectations, the next reactor built will be a commercial power level reactor. The advantage of Dr. Bussards polywell inertial electrostatic confinement design is that only electrons have to be magnetically confined, and because they have 1/2000th the mass of a proton, this is much easier to accomplish. It does not require superconductive coils or exotic materials as with a Tokamak and the machine is physically much smaller and about 1/1000th the cost.

Further, it can operate with aneutronic fuels such as Be-11/Hydrogen and in so doing eliminate the need for heavy shielding and the neutron activation that comes with neutron producing fuels such as deuterium-tritium used in most other approaches to fusion.

That WB6’s successor is so far living up to design specifications provides optimism that inexpensive clean and abundant fusion energy may soon be available to the world. The small physical size of the machine will make it suitable for some transportation applications such as ships, trains, and possibly even large aircraft.

The economics of the machine will make cheap unlimited fusion power available even to the poorest nations on Earth. This single technological development may completely revolutionize life on this planet.

Gravity for the Masses

I ran across, “Gravity For The Masses“, doing a semi-random Google search looking for the latest and greatest in scientific breakthroughs.

I like this site; it’s kind of half-baked, but half-baked in a good way. A lot of thought in progress, which for me at least has the pleasant side effect of stimulating my own thoughts. I find myself agreeing with some things, disagreeing with others, but mostly I find myself thinking.

He seems to be on to some ideas, using completely different terminology, and actually some very different views, but some ideas that parallel some thoughts I’ve had.

For example, I think his take on how energy is connected, these connections are truly fundamental, well, I’ve had some thoughts along those lines but not exactly the same.

For example, the photon, usually it connects to electrons changing orbits; maybe billions of light-years apart. But, from the photons standpoint, it’s traveling at the speed of light, it sees infinite time compression, infinite length compression, so from it’s perspective, these two electrons are touching, and the time to get from one to the other is zero. From our perspective, maybe billions of light-years distance and billions of years time. So here is an area where I have had a similar concept though I’m sure I arrived at it entirely differently and we certainly differ in the details.

We are limited in our thinking by our perspectives, but a handful of people have been afforded the opportunity to step out of their ordinary perspective and I think that’s where breakthroughs come from. It’s probably also where psychotic behavior comes from and often there does seem to be more than a casual connection between the two.

As George Bernard Shaw said, “Reasonable men adjust themselves to their environment. Unreasonable men attempt to change their environment to suit themselves. Therefore, all progress is the work of unreasonable men.”

An unfortunate truth is that unreasonableness in and of itself does not guarantee progress, else this last seven years would have been presidential bliss.

I do feel this person’s site, ““, is a positive contribution, it provides some new perspectives. So go have a look, lots of reading material there, and regardless of the scientific accuracy, and I think those who think they can judge that accurately are terribly egotistical, it’s thought provoking.