The "polywell" is a type of nuclear fusion reactor that uses an electric field to heat ions to fusion conditions. It is closely related to the magnetic mirror, the fusor, the biconic cusp and the high beta fusion reactor. A set of electromagnets generates a magnetic field which traps electrons. This creates a negative voltage, which attracts positive ions. As the ions accelerate towards the negative center, their kinetic energy rises. If the ions collide in the center, they can fuse. The polywell is one of many devices that use an electric field to heat ions to fusion conditions. This branch of fusion research is known as inertial electrostatic confinement. The polywell was developed by Robert Bussard, as an improvement over the fusor. His company, EMC2, Inc., developed the initial devices for the U.S. Navy. A Farnsworth-Hirsch fusor consists of two wire cages, one inside the other, which are often referred to as grids. They are placed inside a vacuum chamber. The outer cage has a positive voltage against the inner cage. Typically, deuterium gas is puffed in this chamber. It heats up past its ionization temperature, making a positive ion. Because the ions are positive they fly towards the negative inner cage. If they miss the inner cage, they will fly right through the center of the device at high speeds. They can fly out the other side of the inner cage. As the ions move outward, they feel a Coulomb force which directs them back towards the center. Over time, a core of ionized gas can form inside the inner cage. They continue to pass back and forth through the core until they strike either the grid or another nucleus. Most strikes with other nuclei do not result in fusion, but occasionally the strikes are sufficiently energetic that fusion results. Grid strikes can raise the temperature of the grid as well as wear it down. These strikes conduct away mass and energy from the plasma. Wiz Science™ is "the" learning channel for children and all ages. SUBSCRIBE TODAY Disclaimer: This video is for your information only. The author or publisher does not guarantee the accuracy of the content presented in this video. USE AT YOUR OWN RISK. Background Music: "The Place Inside" by Silent Partner (royalty-free) from YouTube Audio Library. This video uses material/images from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polywell, which is released under Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ . This video is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ . To reuse/adapt the content in your own work, you must comply with the license terms.
Dr. Robert Terry - Polywell Fusion Reactors - 19th Annual International Mars Society Convention