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Yeah, why

If I wasn’t a durn furriner I might be tempted to ask my Congress Critter. However, as I am, and I don’t have one, I will just repost this instead.

It seems to me that funding for the Polywell Fusion Project being run by EMC2 Fusion has stalled.
So I want to do something about that. When ever you post a comment on a blog use this tagline:

Why hasn’t Polywell Fusion been funded?

If the blog allows embeded urls you can post this:
Why hasn’t Polywell Fusion been funded?
or this:
Why hasn’t Polywell Fusion been funded?
<a href="">IEC Fusion Technology blog</a>

Contact your Congress Critters and President too.

House of Representatives
The Senate
The President

What is Polywell Fusion?

Easy Low Cost No Radiation Fusion

Rick Nebel Updates The Latest News


  1. mandrill says:

    If a Gov’t is not willing to fund such a promising technoloogy the they are fools (but we knew that anyway). Is this the kind of thing that can be picked up by private enterprise?

  2. El Draque says:

    If it were finally proved not to work, I think we’d have heard. Ergo, it might still work.
    Could be that the prospect of a working prototype, that would prove the point, is not even on the horizon.
    It took only a few years from Rutherford splitting the atom to the first atomic pile. Maybe Polywell fusion just isn’t quite so simple?

  3. NickM says:

    I dunno what point you’re trying to make ED.

    But… I have been in Rutherford’s lab in Manchester and he rebuilt the world for tuppence ha’penny. The first atomic pile was built by Enrico Fermi in Chicago. He did it for a dime in disued squash court. As far as anyone knew it could have gone seriously TU but they had grad students (it’s always grad students) with buckets of boron.

    As an undergrad my lab had on the wall Einstein’s blackboard. That is where I calibrated my spectrometer. under the watchful (if metaphorical) gaze of Albert Einstein.

    We have done extraordinary things for bugger-all money. And if the USG can’t find a couple of hundred million bones then frankly fuck ‘em. Someone else will. If they lack that vision then fuck ‘em. We are talking about the cost of a single F-22 here or a quarter of an Arleigh Brurke destroyer or what social services spend in Illinois in a week.

    I hope the government does fail to fund it. I hope we do. I will happily chip in some notes for my share of the IP rights. Hell, yeah! Because it’s a bloody good idea, because if it really works then it is two fingers up to the beards, because I am by training a physicist and will always support “jobs for the boys” and because… Well, I flatter myself to think that if I’d been around a hundred-odd years ago I would have invested in the improbable schemes of Mr Marconi, Mr Tesla and a couple of brothers from Ohio. Because their impossible dreams proved to be possible.

    And they changed the planet beyond comprehension.

    This post is composed upon a computer made in China to a plan formulated in Japan, running software from the USA, sitting on the lap of a Geordie blogging from Cheshire via a system in Brisbane.

    The ones and zeroes of it are almost whizzing through the fibre-optic or to the satellite (a Russian invention predicted by an Englishman) as I type. I have no idea where El Draque is. I have no idea because it doesn’t matter anymore. He could be in Stockport. He could be in Shanghai. He will be able to read it nonetheless.

  4. El Draque says:

    I read it, NickM.
    I am just an informed layman as far as science is concerned, my speciality is economic history, industrial revolution mostly.
    So I recognise transformative technologies – steam, rail, electricity, etc.
    So I take an interest in stuff which could derail the established order, or just provide energy without pollution.
    My point is, that the real transforming inventions work in the lab, are developed into a prototype in a shed, are launched as niche products for the rich and then go mainstream.
    If our elites were half as aware as they should be, they would know that trying fusion in a colossal doughnut that costs zillions to make fusion for a tenth of a second, is just not going to be scaleable for mass use. It’s just outdoor relief for the scientific classes.
    So I hope that Polywell fusion works, as I hope pebble-bed fission works as promised. Surely worth a punt, as you so rightly point out.
    But neither of them are actually new ideas, so – repeating myself – perhaps there are problems I haven’t heard about.

  5. Nick M says:

    PBR fission is very safe and produces low-level waste. But it produces a lot. It was invented in Germany and the RSA took an interest after the Greens in Germany vetoed it because if it’s nuclear the Greens hate it. And the Greens were in a coalition with the SDP in Krautland at the time.

    There are no intrinsic problems. It’s just engineering. Yeah it’s hard but it’s do-able.

    I am not dissing engineering there. Quite the reverse. Engineering is hard. Truly ground-breaking stuff takes effort to get to work. My once bitched to my supervisor about all the de-bugging. He said. That’s why they call it Research. He was right. The first antibiotic Salvesan 606 (treated syphillis) had the 606 in the name because it was compound 606 they’d tried.

    The concept can be tricky. The reality trickier and making it economically feasible is a bloody nightmare. It needs a different socio-political-economic structure to work. And government is not it. We had it in the past.

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