Focus Fusion: The Fastest Route to Cheap, Clean Energy
Google Tech Talks
October, 3 2007
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.