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October 20, 2011

Lawrenceville Plasma Physics produced 150 billion neutrons in each of two shots on October 10

Lawrenceville Plasma Physics FF-1 (focus fusion project) achieved its highest fusion yield and achieved nearly I^5 scaling with current.

We are happy to report that FF-1 achieved a new record with the production of 150 billion neutrons in two shots on October 10. For some time during the recent post-upgrade shakedown, the device had not produced over 100 billion neutrons (10^11) repeatably, but this plateau has now been left behind with six shots over this level in two days of firing.

Equally important, the fusion yield has increased in the most recent shot series as I^4.7, very close to the I5 scaling that LPP’s theory predicts

1 trillion neutrons is equal to about 1 joule.

The need to rebuild switches has put the project about 18 months behind schedule.





The highest current shots of the promising new results were obtained when the LPP research team decided to raise the firing voltage while only using 8 capacitors, to better compare the new, higher current data with that obtained in May, when 8 capacitors were also used. This step from 35kV up to 40 kV will prepare the way for moving up to 45 kV, the highest voltage obtainable with the current device. Once the scaling of the fusion yield with the current is thoroughly understood with 8 capacitors, the team will return to further explore the high-pressure regime first explored last month, using all 12 capacitors. Improvements to FF-1’s ceramic “hat” insulator and related alignment capabilities are now ongoing, with firing expected to resume within a week.


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