For those unfamiliar with D-D fusion, here's the relevant Wikipedia article: http://goo.gl/fFKWU We are a group of students at UMass Lowell that are building a type of fusion reactor called a Farnsworth Fusor. Fusion has been conventionally done by heating a gas to such a high temperature that the average particle of gas has enough energy to overcome the coulombic repulsion of another particles nucleus so that it can fuse. Instead we use 2 concentric spherical grids one of which is at a high negative potential to produce an electric field that accelerates the ionized gas to high enough velocities to fuse. The associated technology and cost of operations is many times less that the big budget fusion projects like ITER, while still producing a continuous nuclear fusion reaction. The system consists of a vacuum system which evacuates our stainless steel vessel. We then use a variable autotransformer to control an input voltage for our high-voltage transformer. The transformer supplies anywhere from negative 10,000 to 50,000 volts to our central grid. This video highlights our first plasma achieved. No fusion is actually ocurring in this video as the chamber is filled with air at medium vacuum pressure. To actually produce fusion reactions we will fill the chamber with it's fuel, deuterium gas.
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