Analysis of shots we did in March gives more convincing evidence of high ion energies, certainly more than 40 keV (440 million degrees) and probably above 65 keV in the best shot (715 million degrees). These are very encouraging results, as they are as good as or better than those obtained in Texas at peak currents that were nearly twice as high.
In all three cases, Ti exceeds 40 keV, and in the best shot it exceeds 65 keV. This is strong additional evidence that FF-1 is achieving ion energies comparable to those in the Texas A&M experiments in 2001, but at currents of only 700 kA, as compared with the 1.2 MA used in Texas. This is encouraging, and we will no doubt have much stronger evidence of high ion energies as we get more shots at higher currents. For comparison, ion energies of around 100 keV will be enough to ignite pB11 fuel, given adequate density
One of the objectives is to achieve 2 million amperes of current. If the peak current target is achieved then it would appear that the energies will exceed 100 keV.
Lawrenceville Plasma Physics will continue to adjust their system to achieve the higher current and energies before shifting to deuterium and heavier gases and then proton-boron.
* At 25kV (kilovolts): Produce 1 MA (million amperes), determine optimum gas pressure
* The third goal is to test the theory that adding a small axial magnetic field, and thus a small amount of angular momentum, to the plasma will greatly increase the size of the plasmoids and thus the efficiency of energy transfer into the plasmoid.
* The fourth goal is to increase the charging potential on the machine, by 5 kV steps, up to the full capacity of 45 kV and in the process achieve a peak current of about 2 MA with deuterium
* the fifth goal is to confirm the Texas results of high temperature and density, but with far more complete diagnostic instruments.
* The sixth goal is to confirm LPP’s theory that heavier gases will lead to higher compression and to thereby achieve gigagauss fields. This will involve running with combination of D (deteurium), He (Helium) and perhaps N (Nitrogen) and will also involve replacing the electrode with shorter ones, which they predict will be optimized for the heavier gases. These experiments are more complex and will be more time-consuming.
* The seventh goal is to demonstrate some fusion burn with pB11 (proton-boron) fuel.
* The eighth and final goal will be to demonstrate the scientific feasibly of producing net energy with pB11.