Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Last week the New York Times reported that the Kearny Board of Education voted to 6 to 1 to settle their dispute. The settlement requires that Kearny teachers undergo Separation of Church & State training, and the Board of Education will issue a statement praising student Matt LaClair for raising the issue, while Matt LaClair will issue a statement commending the School Board.

On the right:Matt LaClair at a recent Hudson County DFA meeting.

In September of 2006 Matt LaClair recorded his teacher David Paszkiewicz proselytizing during class. Later in October, a meeting was held with the Principal, the teacher David Paszkiewicz, Matt and his father Paul LaClair in attendance. During the meeting Matt cited dozens of quotes from the teacher, Paszkiewicz then denied everything. Matt then produced Audio CD's he had burned of the "Sermonizing".

Later David Paszkiewicz publicly falsely portrayed the meeting with the Principal. If you get into trouble because you were recorded one time, what are the odds you would be recorded again ? Right, Matt had recorded the meeting with the Principal and the teacher. This second recording was publicly released proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that Paszkiewicz lied. Twice.

In February, Matthew?s parents, Paul and Debra LaClair, filed court papers on their son?s behalf saying that they intended to sue the district for violating his First Amendment and civil rights. They faulted the district for not protecting Matthew from harassment by other students and sought public corrections to some of the statements the teacher made in class.

New York Times

I encourage folks to attend the Monday May 21st Meeting of the Kearny School Board at 7pm. The Board will announce the settlement. At past BOE meetings the LaClairs have not seen much support, I know they would appreciate seeing some friendly faces. You can find the address and directions here.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

IEC Fusion, simple & elegant

Fusion is a simple and elegant idea. You smash 2 atoms together, they fuse into a smaller atom releasing energy. The difference in mass is released as energy according to Einstein's mass-energy equivalence formula E = mc². In simple terms the "fuel" needs to heated, put under great pressure and our 2 atoms need sufficient speed to fuse upon collision. For nearly 30 years the leading field of fusion research has been in Tokamak style devices. Tokamaks' provide pressure, heat and swirl the fuel in a donut shape.

One alternative to the Tokamak design that has gained attention during the last year, is Inertial Electrostatic Confinement or IEC Fusion. Recent research in IEC Fusion by Dr. Robert Bussard was described in the now famous google tech talk. IEC Fusion relies on speeding the fuel ions to collision, causing fusion. Test results in late 2005 with the WB6 device showed a very high output in relation to input, though a few magnitudes from break even.

Dr Bussard believes that if he scales up his one foot scale model to 9 foot that it will achieve net power, and be able to generate 100 mega watts of electricity. There are 2 scaling factors involved in this type of device: the power output scales as the 7th power of the size, and the power gain as the 5th power of the size. These scaling factors indicate a break even device would be about 6 foot square and that net power will be achieved with a 9 foot square device.

WB6 operating in November 2005.

Here's some eye candy for the geeks:

A 2 minute video showing a schematic flow of electrons & ions.

DR. Bussards website emc2fusion.org

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

IEC Fusion update..Tom Ligon: guest on "thespaceshow"

Tom Ligon sets up his demonstration IEC fusion machine, November 1998.

"SETI League photo, used by permission."

Listen tonight @ 10pm eastern.

Tom Ligon will be will be the featured guest tonight on The Space Show.com

1. The Tuesday, May 8, 2007 Space Show from 7-8:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time welcomes Thomas Ligon to the show. Tom Ligon is a science fiction author and a former employee of Dr. Robert W. Bussard's Energy/Matter Conversion Corporation. Tom will discuss Dr. Bussard's unique method for producing fusion, called Inertial Electrodynamic Fusion. A prototype device was run successfully in late 2005, and could lead both to terrestrial powerplants and high performance space propulsion systems. Listeners can talk to Mr. Ligon or the host using toll free 1 (866) 687-7223, by sending e-mail during the program using dmlivings@yahoo.com, drspace@thespaceshow.com, thespaceshow@gmail.com, or chatting on AOL/ICQ/CompuServe Chat using the screen name “spaceshowchat.”

The Space Show.com

Please watch this video and pass this around:
IEC Fusion for Dummies video.

......please rate the video too, thanks.

Dr Bussard is the former Assistant Director of the US Atomic Energy Commission, he was the father of the US Fusion effort from the 1970's into the 1980's. As the Assistant Dir. of the AEC, Dr. Bussard went to Congress and pushed the fusion research programs in the 70's that developed the Tokamak design.

Dr Bussard now advocates a different design. For the last 11 years he has been working under US Navy contracts, building small test devices.

WB4 in 2003. Yes, low levels of fusion can be created in a very small device.

WB6 in 2005. WB6 was run in steady state operation for a number of tests before a short stopped testing.

At the end of 2005, the Navy did not renew his contract. Since then Dr Bussard has given many lectures including the (famous in fusion circles) google tech talk of 2006.

Google Video here

DR Bussard was awarded the International Academy of Science Outstanding technology of the Year Award for 2006.

Why is this important? World oil production peaked in 2005

Dr Bussard says he can build a proof of concept reactor by about 2011. The ITER reactor in Europe will be finished by 2013, and the concept may be ready for power generation by 2025. The ITER is slated to cost 13.3 billion. More importantly $3 million keeps Dr. Bussard working. The next step is build variations on the 3 foot square WB6, to test tweaks in the design, before building a full size model. DR Bussard envisions the full size reactor core to be about 9 foot square. This means the cores can be mass produced and trucked or shipped by rail to generation sites.

When the father of modern fusion tells you the Tokamak wont work, he bears listening to. Funny thing about fusion, it occurs naturally in a sphere (the SUN), just like Dr Bussards design. The ITER reactor will try to create fusion in a donut or torus, which doesn't happen in nature. Its been pointed out to me that that is an oversimplification, yes it is, but I like it none the less.

Heres an overview of Bussards recent work with some really cool pictures.

This will give one a good sense of how the program has advanced over the years, and what to look forward to. Word had gotten around earlier this month that Dr. Bussard had received more funding thru the US Navy. This apparently is not true, Tom Ligon set that rumor straight.

Dr. Bussard's website.

Are you going to be in Dallas at the end of May?

The 2007 International Space Development Conference

(ISDA) will be held, May 25th thru the 28th, in Dallas Texas. Tom Ligon will be speaking on Sunday, about IEC/Polywell fusion and the potential for these devices to power space flight. This event is sponsored by NASA.

If the Navy could power its fleet with fusion, they wouldn't need very much oil, and if the need for oil went down dramatically, we wouldn't need that many Navy ships to help invade oil rich nations.

Right ?

Private funding is needed, its so obvious that the Exxon military industrial complex doesn't even want to look at this anymore.

The table below is from this paper by DR. Bussard, the right hand column shows exhaust speed of a particular fuel (left hand column).

QED Direct plasma thrusters

Fuel -->

(f) Mass

Exhaust speed m/s

p + 11B --> 3 4He

6.926 E13

11,800,000 m/s

p + 6Li --> 4He + 3He

5.472 E13

3He + 6Li --> 2 4He + p

1.277 E14

6Li + 6Li --> 3 4He


1.596 E14

17,800,000 m/s

3He + 3He --> 4He + 2 p

2.059 E14

20,300,000 M/s

De + 3He --> 4He + p

3.505 E14

26,500,000 m/s

The p~b11 fuel does not result in radioactive waste, so it doesn't irradiate the reactor or its surroundings. The generated alph aprticles can directly generate electricity.

Saturn in under 3 months, Mars in a month. Who needs friggin EXXON?