Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, Inc. (LPP) is a research and development corporation whose primary goal is the scientific demonstration and commercialization of a compact nuclear fusion generator that will provide cheap, clean, safe and abundant energy for the world.
The LPP approach uses a device called a dense plasma focus (DPF) to burn aneutronic fusion fuels that make no radioactive waste, a combination LPP calls “Focus Fusion.” LPP has taken major strides towards their goal. On March 23rd, 2012, they published in the peer-reviewed journal Physics of Plasmas a record- breaking report on their confinement of plasma with energies equivalent to 1.8 billion degrees C in their Focus Fusion-1 (FF-1) machine. They collaborate with plasma focus researchers around the world, including Iran’s Plasma Physics Research Center, Kansas State University, and the University of Utah, while the intellectual property of Focus Fusion is protected by our US Patent #7,482,607, “Method and apparatus for producing X-rays, ion beams and nuclear fusion energy,” with international patents filed.
Net fusion energy is like a tripod, and needs three conditions to stand (or in the LPP case, get more energy out than is lost). Despite FF-1’s low cost of less than $1M, the results LPP published showed FF-1 has achieved two out of three conditions—temperature and confinement time—needed for net fusion energy. If they were able to achieve the third net fusion energy condition, density, they could be within four years of beginning mass manufacture of 5 Megawatt electric Focus Fusion generators that would scale to meet all global energy demands at a projected cost 10 times less than coal. While we still must demonstrate full scientific feasibility, FF-1 already achieves well over 100 billion fusion reactions in a few microseconds.
The LPP approach uses only well-verified, conventional physical theories (this is hot fusion, like the Sun and stars) but involves four scientific and technological innovations that allow LPP to overcome previous limitations.
These innovations are:
1. an accurate model of DPF functioning;
2. use of the quantum magnetic field effect to reduce X-ray cooling;
3. design of an efficient photo-electric X-ray capture device; and
4. injection of optimal angular momentum into the plasma with an axial magnetic field coil.
Building on initial support from JPL, LPP has raised over $2M million from some forty private investors including the Abell Foundation of Baltimore. otherwise qualified investors in order to successfully conclude the research phase in 2012-2013 and support the transition to development. Technical risk remains as we pursue our third and final criterion for success, but we are confident these risks are justified by our achievements thus far and the potential for our technology to enable sustainable peace and prosperity for all humankind. We are seeking a further $2M from accredited or otherwise qualified investors in order to successfully conclude the research phase in 2012-2013 and support the transition to development. Technical risk remains as we pursue our third and final criterion for success, but LPP is confident these risks are justified by their achievements thus far and the potential for their technology to enable sustainable peace and prosperity for all humankind.
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Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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