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Old 10-16-2014, 11:22 PM   #41
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Interesting. I spent 5 of my last 5 1/2 yrs working as a QA guy for the government in a Lockheed Martin facility involved in missile defense stuff.
Marty, I'm a DCMA QA guy as well (for a few more days anyway) at a Lockheed plant too. The things I've seen this company do with simple airplanes has scared the crap out of me more than a few times. I sure hope it's a different team working on this!

Remember the Olympic suits Lockheed designed and which failed miserably?


Sent from my mobile device so please excuse grammatical errors.
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Old 10-17-2014, 11:38 AM   #42
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The corporate website carries more of the story.

Compact Fusion · Lockheed Martin

The picture of the reactor on their site reminds me of the design by Dr. Bussard.

Consider the “Should Google Go Nuclear” story:

Video at

http://www.askmar.com/ConferenceNotes/Should%20Google%20Go%20Nuclear.pdf
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Old 10-17-2014, 12:08 PM   #43
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I would expect a breakthrough to come from a place like Lawrence Livermore, not Lockheed.

If they truly had a revolutionary design, they'd have no problem getting funding and accelerating it, though of course, you never know with all the entrenched interests from the carbon-based energy industry influencing govt. policy.

But this announcement is being received in some quarters as a play for investors.

If they really had something, I would think both private and public investments would line up.

I hope this pans out, doesn't go the way of cold fusion, but have to be skeptical until proven otherwise.
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:22 PM   #44
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They're supposed to have a benchtop demonstration ready by the end of next year.

I won't bet on a breakthrough unless that actually appears. Meanwhile, for my benchtop neutron source, I'll stick with a Farnsworth Fusor.
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Old 10-17-2014, 01:37 PM   #45
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Time to get back to work on tabletop cold fusion again, I guess. Where are today's Pons and Fleischman teams?

Novel designs are often waylaid by circumstances. Here is a rather interesting example of it:
Astron (fusion reactor) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 10-17-2014, 11:06 PM   #46
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I would expect a breakthrough to come from a place like Lawrence Livermore, not Lockheed.
Or maybe from the yet to be finished International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor - ITER, with optimistic plans for deuterium-tritium fusion by 2027. A lengthy but interesting read -

A Star in a Bottle - The New Yorker
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Old 10-18-2014, 02:54 AM   #47
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I'm thinking this : V8 V-Fusion® + Energy | Home is the only Fusion Energy most of us will see in our lifetimes.
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Old 10-18-2014, 06:46 AM   #48
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Sounds like a bad George Carlin joke:
"A freak accident happened today--four freaks in an anti-matter powered bus hit two freaks in a fusion powered van. Authorities are still searching for San Francisco."
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Old 10-18-2014, 07:43 AM   #49
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Or maybe from the yet to be finished International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor - ITER, with optimistic plans for deuterium-tritium fusion by 2027.[/url]
These "big science" projects always struck me as more about rent seeking than science. Another example is NASA since Apollo.

I put more faith in more aggressive upstarts like Polywell or SpaceX. Maybe even Lockheed.
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Old 10-18-2014, 09:54 AM   #50
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These "big science" projects always struck me as more about rent seeking than science. Another example is NASA since Apollo.

I put more faith in more aggressive upstarts like Polywell or SpaceX. Maybe even Lockheed.
Some problems require the enormous resources of big science. The Large Hadron Collider would be a good example. I think controlled fusion fits here too.
The innovative upstarts are certainly more nimble and will have a role after breakthrough progress on the hard stuff.
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Old 10-18-2014, 11:08 AM   #51
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Pretty sure it's been the large projects which make the breakthroughs.

The private companies commercialize the breakthroughs but they rarely do the basic research, which is risky because it may or may not lead to products.

Only very rich companies like Microsoft could have a pure research arm and usually they partner with universities like Cambridge.

I guess there was a private company involved in sequencing the human genome but I believe the founder had university ties.
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Old 10-18-2014, 12:06 PM   #52
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Or maybe from the yet to be finished International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor - ITER, with optimistic plans for deuterium-tritium fusion by 2027. A lengthy but interesting read -

A Star in a Bottle - The New Yorker
A very good read, with enough description to describe how difficult it is to create a man-made sun.

For example, the magnet required to generate the field strong enough to contain the plasma for fusion will weight 1000 tons and stand 40 ft high. It uses 20 miles of a superconducting wire, that needs to be chilled to -267C (-449F) or 6 deg Kelvin.

The goal of ITER is to achieve fusion, but only momentarily, after spending a projected US$20B.

From the article, "ITER is being designed to run its highest-performing plasmas for up to five hundred seconds; but a real reactor would need to work continuously—something that no one has figured out how to do."

The problem is if and once fusion occurs, the hot neutrons that will be generated will escape from the plasma. The bombardment of the chamber wall will wear down all material known to man. Even walls made of tungsten were found to be eroded in exposure to much weaker plasmas.
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