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Focus Fusion: The Fastest Route to Cheap, Clean Energy

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Published on Aug 22, 2012

Google Tech Talks
October, 3 2007

ABSTRACT

To bring the whole of humanity up to the living standards of the developed world requires a new source of energy that is clean, inexhaustible and much cheaper than any existing source -- fossil, nuclear, solar or wind. Fusion with hydrogen-boron fuel, which allows direct conversion of fusion energy to electricity, can be that source. It could cut energy costs more than ten-fold. It produces no radioactive waste and would be safe enough to situate in residential neighborhoods.

Of the three approaches to achieving hydrogen-boron fusion, focus fusion, using the dense plasma focus device, has experimentally achieved conditions that are closest to those needed for net power generation. It is the only approach that can utilize the high magnetic field effect, which reduces the cooling of plasma by x-rays, helping to achieve the multi-billion-degree temperatures needed for fusion. A currently-planned three-year, $2 million experiment, if funded, can demonstrate the scientific feasibility of focus fusion.

This presentation will review the history and status of focus fusion and briefly compare it to the two competing approaches, Field Reversed Configuration (recently funded by Paul Allen) and Inertial Electrostatic Confinement, championed by Dr. Robert Bussard, a recent Google Tech Talk speaker.

Speaker: Eric Lerner
Eric J. Lerner is President of Lawrenceville Plasma Physics in West Orange, NJ and Executive Director of the Focus Fusion Society. He has been an independent researcher in plasma physics since 1979, and has become internationally known for his studies linking cosmic plasma phenomena and laboratory fusion devices, especially the dense plasma focus. He has developed original theories of quasars, large scale structure, the microwave background and the origin of light elements. He is the author of The Big Bang Never Happened, published in 1991 by Random House. In 2006 he was a Visiting Scientist at the European Southern Observatory in Chile.

Google engEDU
Speaker: Eric Lerner

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Top Comments

  • vr66r

    Why aren't we working harder for this?

    · 13

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  • markandrewharris3

    This is good but we have moved forward and are now building a bigger tocamak that the world can use for testing and it could be that we have fusion power stations in about 30 years

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All Comments (27)

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  • Jordan Cooper

    I watched this whole thing from start to finish and understood about 50% of what he was saying, I think that deserves some kind of a reward :)

    ·

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  • happohammas

    Scatman!

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  • therflash

    Yeah, they've been saying the same thing for 40 years now, with tokamak. Let's cut the bullshit. Tokamak is fuuuuuuuuuuuuuckin' expensive, ineffective and it's constantly 30 years away from now. We keep building bigger and bigger and the result of those is always that we need even bigger. You can't make cheap energy if your reactor is as expensive as tokamak. Not to mention, that tokamak is still just glorified steam engine.

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    in reply to markandrewharris3 (Show the comment)
  • Derek Shannon

    goooood question

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    in reply to vr66r (Show the comment)
  • Derek Shannon

    Kickstarter rejected our proposal, boo-hoo...About time to try again, tho!

    ·

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    in reply to Olajide Balogun (Show the comment)
  • Olajide Balogun

    One word, Kickstarter- some one raised millions there for a project that does not even com close to the importance of this. This group should stop whining about lack of funding and get creative in finding funding.

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  • keebordcowboy

    because we have to go the gas stations, and spend our money. you see- the real problem is not that the CRUDE OIL will end..the real problem is when the flow of money stops. we can make electric cars and all this "green" energy propaganda we are fed with, we can not make a COST EFFICIENT container carrier for trans ocean trips on batteries. even a truck can't be done. all anything should be done COST EFFICIENT, so They get their money flow.

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    in reply to vr66r (Show the comment)
  • Richard Dunn

    No one funds what already exists and these are very primitive concepts, the word I would use is pathetic. People like this are left in place as noise to prevent advances which are doled out as rewards stolen from those who can. It is disgusting. This particular containment system was obviated in the '70's by the military. The answer actually appeared in a patent from the period that very few understood re. antenna theory. There are better ways. NDAs?

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    in reply to vr66r (Show the comment)
  • TaviYamato

    because of oil and natural gas companies :D

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    in reply to vr66r (Show the comment)
  • Eliezer Rosa

    Huge energy companies aren't allowing anyone to get in the way of them making money.. This means they would go as far as probably even killing a person that has plans for something like this.

    ·

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    in reply to vr66r (Show the comment)
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