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February 04, 2011

Lawrenceville Plasma Physics ruggedizing research nuclear fusion machine

Lawrenceville Plasma Physics is ruggedizing their dense plasma focus fusion machine. A thicker tungsten rod will now require a much bigger spark plug and the widening of the hole in the electrode plates. They are doing this to end mechanical and electrical breakdown of the insulators. They want to press on to 45 kilovolts.

The fourth of eight goals is to increase the charging potential on the machine, by 5 kV steps, up to the full capacity of 45 kV and in the process achieve a peak current of about 2 million amps with deuterium.

Increasing the current (by increasing the voltage is where a lot of performance improvement is expected.

Scaling with increased current, I^5 scaling to 1.4 MA (55 times more power)

Optimization of axial magnetic field (3 times more power)

Scaling with increased current, I^4 scaling from 1.4 MA to 2.8 MA (16 times more power)

So far LPP has been achieving much faster scaling, almost I^7.

Changing the fuel to pB11 should enable an increase of 160 times (higher reaction rate at 600 keV, more energy per reaction, and more compression)


The smaller rod is the old one and the larger is the new rugged rod



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