Nearing Fusion

August 30, 2018 at 10:29 pm

Vacuum system – Complete

Deuterium line – Complete

Metering – Complete

High Voltage line – Nearing Completion

I expect to be fusing in the next few days, having spent today and yesterday preparing the high voltage line.  This involves stripping down RG-58 coaxial cable and attaching lugs and ground wires, immersing a high-power 100K resistor in motor oil and making connections.  Some pictures will follow.  The high voltage power supply is a Matsusada unit, specs are 30kV, 20mA, 600W.  It takes single-phase and is quite compact.

If I were to do this again I’d probably do the high voltage and vacuum before deuterium.  Deuterium without high voltage is useless.  If you have only high voltage and vacuum though you can spark a plasma in the chamber that looks like fusion, but isn’t actually fusion.  This is usually referred to as a demo fusor – something of a misnomer because it doesn’t actually demonstrate any nuclear fusion, only what it would look like!

I spent 6 weeks in London this Summer, working in UCL.  A few months ago I became interested in quantum computers and have been quite obsessed since.  Over the Summer I was working in Prof.  John Morton’s Quantum Spin Dynamics lab – They’re an experimental outfit working on silicon-based qubits.  It was a fantastic experience, blog post to come.  On that note, I wonder how personal I should get on blog posts… Should it be a stream of life updates (maybe I’d prefer to keep these to myself) or stick to articles on project updates?  In fairness I don’t do much blogging, anyone reading these posts wouldn’t have much insight into my day-to-day activities!  I do some writing but only a small portion of it makes it online here.  This post is from the top of my head, undrafted.

Another update – I’ve accepted a CAO offer for Physics (‘Physical Sciences’) in Trinity College Dublin.  Freshers’ Week is next week so I’ll be heading up then and will be living in Dublin for the foreseeable future.  If anyone would like to meet just email me:  tommccarthyprojects gmail.