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Alternative to Tokamak Fusion Reactor

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 9 years ago | from the fun-with-government-spending dept.

Power 266

Sterling D. Allan writes to tell us OpenSourceEnergy is reporting on a "far more feasible and profoundly less expensive approach to hot fusion". Inventor Eric Lerner's focus fusion process uses hydrogen and boron to combine into helium which gives off tremendous energy with a very small material requirement. Lerner's project apparently only requires a few million in capital investment which is a far cry from the $10 billion being spent on the Tokamak fusion project.

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first post! FE@R 0ur B1G g@y N1Gger C0ckz! (-1, Offtopic)

capninsano (913991) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958352)


Eric Lerner (1)

whig (6869) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958355)

Isn't he the guy that wrote the book, "The Big Bang Never Happened"?

Re:Eric Lerner (0)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958477)

Even if so, remember the Big Bang is only a theory. Theoretical discussion is irrelevant compared to practical methods for energy production.

My point is: Discrediting Lerner's proposed method just because he rejects the Big Bang, would be nothing more than "poisoning the well". Science cannot progress with prejudices (*cough* intelligent design *cough* ).

The only question to be asked is: "Can Lerner's fusion method be verified, and is it viable?"

Its a BIG hint... (1)

imsabbel (611519) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958580)

Big bang&co, i.e. early universe cosmology, and fusion stuff like now proposed dont share that many similarities.

How big are the odds that there guys is better than anybody else in 2 not very much connected fields?

Re:Eric Lerner (2, Insightful)

ceejayoz (567949) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958658)

The only question to be asked is: "Can Lerner's fusion method be verified, and is it viable?"

If it were free, sure.

If it costs millions of dollars to verify, then there are additional questions to be asked to establish whether that investment is worth it in the first place when it could go to other research studies as well.

Re:Eric Lerner (4, Interesting)

deglr6328 (150198) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958858)

While it is unsurprising that someone who thinks "intelligent design" is a relevant criticism of real science also thinks the Big Bang is "just a theory" (said as if it had been merely dreamt up by a drunk on his way home from the bar last night), it is a huge HUGE tipoff to nuttery when a supposed astrophysicst rejects one of the most successful theories ever devised in all of cosmology. And when respected UCLA physicists start pointing out the glaringly obvious mistakes [ucla.edu] in said anti-big bang theories, well, that's pretty much when the house of cards comes tumbling down isn't it? No your comment is not insigtful in the least. Rather, it is an appeal to ignorance. Though if you realy do require a specific refutation of this focus fusion bullshit (and that's what it is so why mince words) you need only look to this 1995 doctoral thesis [mit.edu] by Todd Rider which effectively kills off any possiblity of nonequilibrium fusion reactions (such as Fusors and pyroelectric fusion devieces) of ever producing net energy. The Focus Fusion device even if it actually DID achieve the temperatures claimed (and no, it does not) would belong to this class of non-starters.

Re:Eric Lerner (1)

Epistax (544591) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958485)

Well, I don't think you should dismiss him because of that, because there's absolutely no reason to decide that nothing happened before a big bang, such as a big crunch.

If it's impossible for information to be destroyed, then it's impossible for information to be created. Information just exists, and is manipulated. Therefore, (convinced in my mind at least), there is no "start of universe".

Re:Eric Lerner (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958520)

Maybe ... however that doesn't mean that the Universe isn't cyclic. For all we know, there have been trillions of Big Bangs, with an infinite number yet to go.

Re:Eric Lerner (1)

Epistax (544591) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958539)

Yep I have no problem with at, as long as "trillions" means infinite. The point is that whatever existed before still exists the same way that a black hole does not remove information (as was recently popularly examined).

Re:Eric Lerner (1)

ToasterofDOOM (878240) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958694)

Even if so, that is an ad hominem argument, and irrelevant.

PS - I am studying argumentation, and that identification made me proud of myself lol.

Can any one say "Cold Fusion" (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958365)

If it is so simple and cost effective why do we not have it now if not yesterday.

Re:Can any one say "Cold Fusion" (1)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958480)

From TFA: "Part of that theoretical equation has been proven. Part has yet to be proven."

Re:Can any one say "Cold Fusion" (2, Interesting)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958802)

There hasn't been a proof-of-concept yet.

I don't see why though, since he only needs $1.5 - $2 million dollars. With all the money we throw at such horrible research, why the NSF can't throw $2 million this way is beyond me.

Who knows? Maybe it's literally too good to be true and scientists that know the lingo, know it?

Byproducts (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958369)

This reaction has been known to be an easy method of acheiving fusion for a long time. The problem is that the byproducts are just as nasty as fision reactions, so there is essentially no benefit.

Re:Byproducts (1)

JamesTRexx (675890) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958438)

What would those be then? From reading TFA it looks like a clean and efficient power source. He wouldn't think of sticking these in a neighbourhood if there was a risk to it.
And it looks like it can be built as long as there's no "political" objection.

Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads ... (5, Funny)

notpaul (181662) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958372)

From TFA:

"The Dense Plasma Focus device is roughly the size of a coffee can."

Size of a *coffee* can ... hmmm ... coffee ... coffee-makers ... *Mister* Coffee ...



Re:Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads .. (0, Redundant)

tsa (15680) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958426)

Hahaha ROFLOL!

Re:Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads .. (1)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958511)

Seriously though, how this small "coffee can" size device could hold a temperature above 1 billion degrees inside without melting. The copper will melt just above 1000 degrees. With a 1 billion degree plasmoid just couple of inches from the inner wall, how will the whole thing not turn into gas? I understand that there will be a vacuum created inside and there will also be hydrogen and boron gas flowing during the operation. The pulse will be at about 1 Mhz.

The last time I checked there was vacuum between us and the sun and we still get a good deal of its energy, what about a couple of inches of distance. Can any physics major explain? Thanks.

Re:Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads .. (2, Funny)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958608)

I'm not smart enough to explain it, but I can give you some examples that show it's not totally insane. The inside of a CRT is something like 100,000F. But it doesn't melt the glass and then 3 nanoseconds later the faces of everyone watching it.

Re:Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads .. (2, Informative)

sco08y (615665) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958853)

The inside of a CRT is something like 100,000F. But it doesn't melt the glass and then 3 nanoseconds later the faces of everyone watching it.

It's like walking on coals. Coals get red-hot at about 600 degrees Farenheit, due to black body radiation. People can walk on them, though, because human flesh is much denser. (It also helps if you do it right after the morning dew, and it's a bad idea to linger.) The coals are hot but the total amount of energy isn't that high.

It's a bit like having a very high voltage but a low amperage in a circuit. Another example of a plasma having a very high temperature but very low total energy is the temperature of interstellar space [wikipedia.org] : it can be millions of degrees hot, but have a handful of atoms per cubic meter.

Re:Roads? Where we're going we don't need roads .. (1)

Wizard Drongo (712526) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958538)

Indeed. Although, in related news, no white-haired crazy-eyed crackpot's have come out of the woodwork with a "flux capacitor". Although the British Government have been losing a fair amount of plutonium recently. However, fingers point to the blatant incompetence of BNFL Sellafield workers, rather than Libyan terrorists.

Reverse Particle Accelerator (4, Insightful)

CustomDesigned (250089) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958596)

The coffee can sized device is very similar to a plasma rocket [space.com] engine. The rocket engine trys to keep the plasma symmetrical for nice controlled thrust. Focus fusion "snaps" the plasma filaments like a whip. At the tip, where a leather whip exceeds the speed of sound, the magnetic compression in the plasma is enough to ignite fusion. The plasma is then ejected in one direction at high speed, like the rocket engine. Ironically, the major problem plaguing conventional magnetically confined fusion is that the plasma "leaks" out in high speed jets. Both plasma rockets and focus fusion recognize that this can be a feature rather than a bug.

The neat thing is that the reaction ejects beta radiation (electrons) in all directions, but ejects the alpha particles with the plasma in one direction. The actual fusion generator is the size of a refrigerator, with the coffee can near one end. The larger device captures the beta radiation with a shell around the reactor and has a target at the other end to collect the alpha radiation. The result - fusion reaction produces current directly! The next refinement *decelerates* the speeding alpha particles through a magnetic field, converting their kinetic energy to electricity before it heats up the target. That is the "reverse particle accelerator" aspect. Beta radiation ejected in the same direction as the alpha beam is "lost" and becomes heat at the target. Future refinements will make the alpha beam as narrow as possible so as to minimize the number of beta particles it takes with it.

After the proof of concept, engineering challenges include materials to collect beta radiation without becoming dangerously radioactive, materials to collect alpha radiation (hopefully low speed after magnetic decceleration) without becoming dangerously radioactive, and shielding to stop the occasional neutrons (from impurities, and the random nature of nuclear reactions). Will also need to store energy to "crack the magnetic whip" to drive the reaction, and meter precise amounts of ionized fuel. I'm not convinced that too much fuel won't be dangerous.

Potential dangers for home fusion (4, Interesting)

CustomDesigned (250089) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958735)

Assuming the proof of concept works, I can see a number of potential hazards:
  1. Magnetic deceleration coils fail. Alpha beam disintegrates target, and parts of your home beyond it. There is probably a way to do this on purpose to create a beam weapon. However, as soon as too many alphas start escaping, the device will lose power and stop working.
  2. Fuel metering fails. Too much fuel causes a meltdown. Should not create long lived decay products, so the mess can be cleaned up. Igniting too much fuel near or even in the fuel supply should *not* create an H-bomb, because all the material to be fused must be confined. The heat from igniting fuel will simply scatter any other fuel nearby. The necessity of ionizing the fuel first prevents cramming enough fuel into the plasma to create a bomb.
  3. Shielding fails, and device leaks beta, alpha, or neutrons. There should be gieger counters nearby to turn it off in such an event. Leaking alpha particles can result in a voltage difference between your home and the reactor, which could be hazardous. This can be measured and also trigger a shutdown.
  4. Fuel is contaminated with fusable reactants that produce many high speed neutrons. Again, need gieger counters with auto-shutoff. Just like you have CO alarms for your gas furnace.

Re:Potential dangers for home fusion (1)

Crispy Critters (226798) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958845)

You are forgetting about the mean free path of electrons or alphas in air. It's more like a few cm or less than tens of meters.

You should be worrying about neutrons and gammas.

Skeptical.... (5, Funny)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958375)

Cheap, no long term radiation, efficient direct to electricity, sounds like everything we've ever dreamed of...

And yet... not assasinated by the oil industry...

So it must not actually work. Q.E.D.

Re:Skeptical.... (2, Informative)

Persol (719185) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958440)

Yeah, well if you follow the road past this project, the organizations involved aren't very 'mainstream'. The majority of the projects supporters appear to be free energy advocates (pesky law of energy conservation). This is scarily close to all the other slashtivements. The guy is looking for funding, doesn't really seem to have much in the way of scientific support, and is using a US Patent Officer (most intelligent people around) as his main public supporter. You'll notice on the site, and the sites it links to, a lack of scientific information. And no... I'm not usually this cynical.

Re:Skeptical.... (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958441)

Not surprising. Mr. Lerner is a well-known crackpot - having wack jobs like him running around detracts from the developmnet of real alternative energy sources, much to the benefit of the mega oil companies. It would be much more likely that he is being funded by the oil companies than assassinated by them.

He is a perfect fit with tabloid web sites like slashdot.

Re:Skeptical.... (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958462)

So it must not actually work. Q.E.D.

Q.E.D. = Quite Easily Demonstrated.

Re:Skeptical.... (1)

TrueKonrads (580974) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958490)

Latin. quod erat demonstrandum (which was to be demonstrated). Please, don't confuse the people

Re:Skeptical.... (1)

gatzke (2977) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958565)

My math anal (Anal Math) teacher in HS told us it was "Quinton Et Dinner" wher "et" is Alabamian for "ate". Not sure why that stuck with me for the last decade or more...

Re:Skeptical....SAT (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958590)

Please, don't confuse the people

Next you're going to tell me that SAT does not stand for Saturday Afternoon Test.

Re:Skeptical....SAT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958630)

Next you're going to tell me that SAT does not stand for Saturday Afternoon Test.

He would be right to tell you that. SAT stands for Silly Admissions Tax.

Re:Skeptical.... (1)

Shano (179535) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958872)

Ahem. According to the Bluffer's Guide to Maths, which is pretty much my sole maths book these days (the other one wasn't returned by the last person to borrow it, and I mostly use notes and/or Mathworld), QED does indeed stand for Quite Easily Done. And QEF in fact stands for Quite Easily Fiddled, not Quod Erat Faciendum as previously thought.

Re:Skeptical.... (1)

Schemat1c (464768) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958484)

Cheap, no long term radiation, efficient direct to electricity, sounds like everything we've ever dreamed of...

And yet... not assasinated by the oil industry...

From article...Lerner's persistent quest to find other federal monies has thus far been unfruitful. "This administration does not want to fund any serious competitor to oil or gas,"

Why assasinate when you can just cut off monies? Very effective and much cleaner than killing.

Re:Skeptical.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958583)

He is being suppressed by the government [erols.com] , so I'm not sure...

More information (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958376)

For more information see: http://focusfusion.org/ [focusfusion.org]

Dubious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958385)

"Purports to be a far more feasible and profoundly less expensive approach to hot fusion, in contrast to what the international project (ITER) in France is pursuing." I'm not a native speaker, but the first sentence in the linked article seems to be missing a subject. And I'll stay the hell away from so-called "scientists" who cannot write correct sentences.

Re:Dubious (1)

deesine (722173) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958445)

I'll stay the hell away from so-called "scientists" who cannot write correct sentences.
Just so long as you stay away from grammar technicians who don't know the difference between nuclear fission and nuclear fusion.

I'm suspicious (4, Funny)

evil agent (918566) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958387)

As for possible accidents with the reactor, there is "not really anything that could go wrong," and, because of the way the reaction stops immediately, "there is [no possibility] for runaway." Lerner affirms, "It's 100% safe."

Sounds like something Mr. Burns would say.

Re:I'm suspicious (1)

SlashSquatch (928150) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958395)

That's why you're the public and I'm the, uh, science talkin guy.

Re:I'm suspicious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958429)

safety issues aside, how does this alternative fusion device work? the article mentions ion particle streaming out coupled with transformer...

"This direct coupling is one of the primary advantages of this technology. It sidesteps the centuries-old approach of converting water to steam in order to drive turbines and generators."

so ITER creates steam to generate power? i'm not sure if that's accurate or not. i understand how tokamak act as plasma confinement device, but how does one extract power from tokamak?

Re:I'm suspicious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958816)

http://www.jet.efda.org/pages/faqs/faq4.html [efda.org]

Q: Even if you could sustain fusion for prolonged periods, how do you extract power from the reactor?
A: A nuclear fusion power plant would be no different from a "conventional" power plant in the sense that the path of energy to the grid would be via a heat exchanger to a steam generator to turbines. The heat would be extracted from the lithium "blanket" inside the reactor wall which would absorb the neutrons created by the deuterium/tritium fuel.

Q: What is a "lithium blanket" and how does it work?What happens to the neutrons after they're "absorbed" by the lithium blanket?
A: The Lithium blanket is a layer of Lithium that will surround the burning plasma in a potential fusion powerplant. It will absorb the energy from the fusion neutrons produced in the plasma, boiling water via a heat exchanger, which will be used to drive a steam turbine and produce electricity. The Lithium will also react with the neutron to produce Tritium (a heavy form of Hydrogen) which will be used as a fuel for the plasma, along with Deuterium (another heavy form of Hydrogen).


Re:I'm suspicious (1)

zerus (108592) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958464)

I'm susupiscious because they claim that high energy x-rays can't produce long lived radioactive waste. Apparently they haven't heard of photoneutrons. That and the plasma temperature for the H-B reaction is 10 times that of D-T, making it pretty difficult with standard materials. It looks like a viable research project though. My only concern with the researcher is that if this guy agreed to publish this article to a non-conventional journal to get more funding and awareness, then he's probably going to get it, but at the ire of the plasma fusion community, which usually spells doom for long-term funding.

Re:I'm suspicious (1)

rakslice (90330) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958704)

Sounds like something Mr. Burns would say... about his shoes.

(i.e. So what?)

Re:I'm suspicious (1)

evil agent (918566) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958851)

So what? Take this quote:

Burns: Oh, meltdown. It's one of those annoying buzzwords. We prefer to call it an unrequested fission surplus.

Still don't get it? Let me explain. Describing your system as "100% safe" is completely unprofessional and, frankly, delusional. If Lerner hasn't found something unsafe about reactor, then he hasn't looked hard enough.

Equal time for cranks? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958389)

Why does slashdot give time to cranks who purport to have achieve something revolutionary, but really have no idea what they're talking about?

Re:Equal time for cranks? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958424)

So as to not offend anyone's liberal sensitivies. This sort of politically-correct, offend-no-one, every-opinion-is-equal sentiment is perfect for nutcases and crackpots to dig their claws into.

Re:Equal time for cranks? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958619)

Funny how it's the conservatives who seem to be asking to have their every-opinion-is-equal thinly-veiled creationism taught in biology classes.

Re:cranks? (0, Redundant)

Ozwald (83516) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958526)

Um, that's an awefully negative statement without any actual reason. Do you have any actual Informative (moderators, you suck) information that can tell me that this technology will fail? From the article it sounds like the next big thing after hydrocarbons, hell, I would love to see it either to be a proven success or failure. If it succeeds, well then HOLY SHIT! If not, oh well.

But to say some dumb post that says it's a dumb idea and gets moderated to informative? Sigh, it's slashdot.


Re:cranks? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958571)

I agree, this guy is not a crank. Cranks are ignorant and stubborn or sometimes just plain crazy. This guy seems like a different breed. "Inventor" claims to have designed small, cheap fusion reactor, gets money from investors or governments, doesn't produce anything, and then moves on to the next scam^H^H^H^Hinvention. It's the new perpetual motion machine.

Re:Equal time for cranks? (1)

Tlosk (761023) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958654)

>>Why does slashdot give time to cranks who purport to have achieve[d] something revolutionary, but really have no idea what they're talking about?

It depends on whether you view the slashdot readership as passive or active. On average slashdotters are smarter than your average bear, who better to suss out the truth of who is a crank or to pick up the kernal of a good idea and run with it? I know personally I've had several insights (sometimes from material in an unrelated endeavor) that I've been able to pick up from the boards and run with them in my own work.

The one area I would agree with you though is I also wish the summaries given on the main page were more critical and less prone to reporting everything as fait accompli and with baited breath. If for no other reason that you then have to wade through hundreds of posts ranting about trivial criticisms and metaposting.

Re:Equal time for cranks? (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958755)

Because it comes from a site called "Open source energy" and here on /. Open Source is canon, therefore all you need to do is mention those words and you are guarenteed to get your story accepted. Ask Slashdot is by far the worst(but not the only) offender in this regard. People just tack on the word FOSS just to ensure their article will get accepted. If that word isn't there, your chances of getting accepted drop significantly. Slashdot has turned into a religious organization, not a a news site

Byproduct is Helium. Hmmmmm (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958405)

focus fusion technology in which hydrogen and boron combine into helium

I want one of these in my car so I can suck the exhaust fumes and talk like Mickey Mouse.

Wow. They'll save the earth. (2, Funny)

DieByWire (744043) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958418)

Wow. It even has the support of the 'Integrity Research Institute,' and all the resources of erols.com behind their website.
Integrity Research Institute (IRI) is a non-profit corporation dedicated to helping establish integrity in scientific research, primarily regarding the physics of energy, whether it is in the technical, human health, or environmental area.

Too bad NASA's funding funding for him dried up. What do they know about physics, any way?

Send in the Clowns! (2, Funny)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958432)

far more feasible and profoundly less expensive approach to hot fusion

I recall when Cold Fusion was actually considered a possibility for essentially limitless clean energy that a bunch of environmentalist clowns arrived on the scene proclaiming that cheap clean energy would be the worst thing that could possibly happen. That, my Gawd, with cheap clean energy we would just end up with more people using up even more of the planet even faster. While my memory may have faded over time, a prominent name I believe was at the forefront of these claims at the time was Jeremy Rifkin.

I certainly expect their reappearance any time now.

Re:Send in the Clowns! (2, Interesting)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958624)

"When a man cannot be pleased nobody tries."

And I certainly have no interest in pleasing Jeremy Rifkin or anyone like him. I thought once of buying him a pair of wooden clogs, like the ones a certain group of people used to throw into factory machinery.

It doesn't seem occur to people like this that an unlimited power source would open up the entire solar system for exploitation. Regardless, countries like China and India are "using up even more of the planet even faster" without such an energy source, so in the long run we'd be better off having it.

Securing funding (1)

jitterysquid (913188) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958439)

Why does this guy keep going to governments for funding? They have too many interests pulling them all over. Wouldn't it be better to strike a deal with an energy company? Go talk to Shell, or Exxon. This technology might take 30 years to create easily deployable power plant modules. That's about the time that we'll be down to sucking fumes out of the ground in reallyremotistan. Whatever company has a solid piece of energy technology under their belt when that time comes will win.

I can't imagine losing a couple mil towards this guy to either prove or disprove the tech would put a dent in any company's bottom line. Make a contract where if he screws up he spends the rest of his life scrubbing oil tar out of supertanker holds.

He's probably crazy. But there's a slim chance he might be right.

Re:Securing funding (1, Troll)

Schemat1c (464768) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958514)

Why does this guy keep going to governments for funding? They have too many interests pulling them all over. Wouldn't it be better to strike a deal with an energy company? Go talk to Shell, or Exxon.

I'm sorry but Shell, Exxon? That is the government.

Re:Securing funding (0)

woolio (927141) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958699)

Oil only has value because it is in high demand and is a scarce resource.

A new method of generating huge amounts of cheap energy will cause energy prices to fall. Which translates to less $$$ for energy companies (unless they manage increase their profit margin without getting undercutted [cartel, anyone?] ).

Please remind me again, why Exxon, Shell, Mobil, and other OIL COMPANIES are going to be interested in making this happen?

In terms of goverment, energy is also a national securtity issue. Ties between countries are often heavily focused on energy trade. What is Saudi Arabia going to sell to the world if the world doesn't need (much) oil? Sand!?!? ROTFL!

This guy should be going to electric companies instead, not oil companies.

Re:Securing funding (2, Informative)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958573)

I suspect he is a crock. I don't know enough physics to prove or disprove him wrong. For a present day physicist he doesn't have that much stuff published in scientific journals. I checked his publications on arXiv.org [arxiv.org] and he only has his paper talking about his new reactor and the other one how the universe is not expanding and some other one. Also claiming to build a "new" "clean" and "cheap" energy source that other scientists just couldn't figure out just sounds a little suspicious, if you know what I mean...

Mmmmm... astroturf (4, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958442)

by Sterling D. Allan
Open Source Energy News -- Exclusive Interview

I suppose occasionally major scientific advances are announced in press releases, but since 99.999% of the time it's somebody jumping the gun, I think I'll let it go.

I do find it interesting that the article describes him as an "inventor" rather than a "physicist". Somehow when proposing a radically different model of the universe, the former always rings of "I was puttering around and I found something I didn't understand, therefore it must be both correct and completely novel."

None of this is proof that he's wrong, but the crank-o-meter is pushing towards the red zone. Which is too bad, because apparently he's an extremely smart man with a lot of valid research to his name.

Cooks and crackpots (5, Informative)

Eukariote (881204) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958449)

Some simple checks can prevent this sillyness from perpetuating. Bob Park's "What's New" column http://www.bobpark.org/ [bobpark.org] is an amusing and up to date reference for this kind of thing. Here is what he has to say about the "Integrity Research Institute" (the name alone should have raised a red flag): http://www.searchum.umd.edu/search?q=%22integrity+ research+institute%22&site=&btnG=Search+UM&output= xml_no_dtd&sort=date%3AD%3AL%3Ad1&ie=UTF-8&client= UMCP&oe=UTF-8&proxystylesheet=UMCP [umd.edu]

Re:Cooks and crackpots (2, Insightful)

Talinom (243100) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958865)

But wait, there's more. Over here [bigbangneverhappened.org] you can read up on some more of his theories as well as a link to a paper on his homepage [bizland.com] titled Prospects for p11B fusion with the Dense Plasma Focus: New Results [bizland.com] from 2002.

Now if this is such promising stuff here then why has it been collecting dust for the past three years? Perhaps our local plasma experts can wade through the technical data in the above mentioned paper and enlighten the rest of us.

Re:Cooks and crackpots (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958878)

I see in one link the "Integrity Research Institute" refers to the work of one "T. Townsend Brown" on "Gravitational Isotopes". Whats a Gravitational Isotopes?

http://soteria.com/brown/info/patappl.htm [soteria.com]

See here for a site that references both T. Townsend Brown and Cattle Mutilations, Crop Circles, etc.

I never heard of Eric Lerner until now but you have to ask yourself what he's doing hanging round the "Integrity Research Institute".

There's a long history of 'nut cases' (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958450)

Some researchers are actually persecuted. They receive no funding. They are ostracized from the research community. Later, they are proved right. On the other hand, there is an even bigger community of nut cases and frauds. I have no way to tell which this guy is.

Experiments have been done and results have been obtained. Until someone can adequately explain those results then they are worthy of research.

Cold fusion is an example of something where there are some results that people have found worth researching. It's not like cold fusion will actually happen or that the process in tfa will actually produce economical power; that's not the important part. The process is worth studying until we can explain what's happening.

Business plan? (1)

Crouty (912387) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958454)

They claim to know how much money they require for what?

For all of the fundamental engeneering problems of hot fusion? I really doubt it.

Of Plasmaks and Prizes (-1, Offtopic)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958456)

Back when the cold fusion brouhaha hit, I ran across an intriguing idea of achieving p-B11 (p=proteum=Hydrogen-1 and B11 =Boron-11) fusion using artificial ball lightning, called the Plasmak. No adequate explanation of ball-lightning has yet been concocted resuling in reproducible free-floating plasmoids, and the guy (Paul Koloc) doing the work seemed to have a somewhat plausible idea. (And he did have background with the Spheromak group at the University of Maryland.) Most importantly there were actual photographs of these plasmoids floating in the open air without continuous power input! So I looked into it seriously for a while. During this time I also ran across others who were looking into a variety of p-B11 technologies including one of the founders of the US Tokamak program, Robert W. Bussard with his resurrection of Philo Farnsworth's inertial electrostatic confinement device sometimes called the Farnsworth Fusor.


  1. all the foment in the air.
  2. the fact that the Tokamak was to fusion as the Shuttle was to cheap access to space.
  3. I had been working on getting NASA out of the launch service business via grassroots legislation [geocities.com] .
...as the, then, Chairman of the Coalition for Science and Commerce (that had been successful in passing the Launch Services Purchase Act of 1990, requiring NASA to buy commercial launch services whenever possible) I decided to go around to the various fusion contenders and come up with a set of about 10 milestones they all agreed would be worthy of prize awards, and came up with some legislation that would have awarded a series of $100M prizes, each for acheivement of one of those milestones.

This was 1992.

I never got very far with this legislation myself but about 3 years later, Bussard decided to submit this legislation -- with a kicker: He blew the lid off the early history of the Tokamak program in a letter sent to all the Congressmen and laboratories responsible for fusion technology [geocities.com] wherein he said this:

The DoE committment to very large fusion concepts (the giant magnetic tokamak) ensures only the need for very large budgets; and that is what the program has been about for the past 15 years - a defense-of-budget program - not a fusion-achievement program. As one of three people who created this program in the early 1970's (when I was an Asst. Dir. of the AEC's Controlled Thermonuclear Reaction Division) I know this to be true; we raised the budget in order to take 20% off the top of the larger funding, to try all of the hopeful new things that the mainline labs would not try.

Each of us left soon thereafter, and the second generation management thought the big program was real; it was not. Ever since then, the ERDA/DoE has rolled Congress to increase and/or continue big-budget support. This worked so long as various Democratic Senators and Congressmen could see the funding as helpful in their districts. But fear of undermining their budget position also made DoE bureaucrats very autocratic and resistant to any kind of new approach, whether inside DoE or out in industry. This led DoE to fight industry wherever a non-DoE hopful new idea appeared.

Five years later, after working with Koloc and recovering the original images, I discovered that the photographs of the Plasmak plasmoids were almost certainly an artifact of the way CCD arrays shift their images out: The plasma discharge is time symmetric which, combined with the shifting of the image out of the CCD array, produced the illusion of a prolate spheroid. The discharge was so bright it overcame the CCD mask and exposed the image as the image was being shifted out of the array.

This was highly disappointing to but it, along with Bussard's disclosure, shows how deceptive these things can be and why a prize system is superior to providing government funding for politically backed technical ideas.

Moreover this disappointment is minor compared to the failure of the US government to take the idea of prize awards seriously. Indeed, Walt Anderson, who funded the CATS Prize, (precursor to the X-Prize) is now in prison. [armadilloaerospace.com]

Re:Of Plasmaks and Prizes (1)

Council (514577) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958584)

the Tokamak was to fusion as the Shuttle was to cheap access to space.

I just attended a talk on Tokamaks and ITER by one of the major guys working at a Tokamak on the west coast somewhere. It really gave me a lot of interesting information -- namely, that they hold a lot of promise. The US recently rejoined ITER, an international collaberation between China, Russia, Japan, the EU, France, and (I hear) soon India. [iter.org]

The goal of ITER is to construct a large Tokamak, and after that, a demonstration of the use of the technology in a commercially attractive power plant. I questioned the guy during the talk and was surprised to learn that there don't appear to be any huge theoretical leaps required for this to work.

IIRC, in 2003 ITER was named by some major government list as the #1 priority of 28 for energy research for the future.

So, what I have learned: Tokamaks are getting really good, and they hold a lot of promise in the next number of years. Interesting note: the efficiency, roughly the ratio of power out to power in, scales with size. That's why they're building the ITER tokemak to be monstrously huge.

Re:Of Plasmaks and Prizes (5, Informative)

deglr6328 (150198) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958593)

Wow Baldrson this must only be what, the 500th [google.com] time you've posted this nothing letter here as being something that "blows the doors off" the government's past projects in fusion energy? Goodness, are you perhaps hoping to get a better response here this time than you did when you posted nearly the exact same nuttery to the hyper-racist "Stormfront.org" where you apparently tried to tie the "inhibition of pioneering culture in the US" to..... wait for it.... yep THE JEWS [] !? Hat's off to you! You truly are a first rate interweb whackjob!

Re:Of Plasmaks and Prizes (0, Offtopic)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958717)

Diving into the system the way I did -- giving it the the benefit of the doubt -- and coming to conclusions deserves a bit more respect than someone sitting around behind a semi-anonymous persona and a keyboard calling "whack jobs" people who have done real work.

Re:Of Plasmaks and Prizes (4, Funny)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958805)

calling "whack jobs" people who have done real work

no one ever called you a person who has done real work.

Congressman Packard (0, Offtopic)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958825)

Congressman Packard did [slashdot.org] . There have been a few others. :)

Slashdotters tested? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958465)

Wouldn't this be some sort of test to verify if slashdotter are not yet complete m/b-orons?

If so, from the previous (funny) comments, we seem to be passing it with brilliant colors.

Interesting (4, Interesting)

i_should_be_working (720372) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958489)

Their method of heating the plasma to temperatures hot enough for fusion seems to be by using particles accelerated by magnetic reconnection. [wikipedia.org] (hmm.. that wiki needs love)
  Magnetic reconnection [pppl.gov] in traditional fusion reactors is seen as a bad thing because it shoots particles in unpredictable directions that often can't be contained by the confining magnetic fields. So it results in a loss of plasma density and also eventually puts small holes in the sides of the reactor.
If these particles are that energetic it seems to make sense that they could be used to heat the plasma if they could be controlled. No idea if they are energetic enough to be used alone though.

That magnetic reconnection thingy is also what causes the northern lights.

site with more information (1)

Councilor Hart (673770) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958502)

For those among you (including me) who have never heard about focus fusion, here is a link: focus fusion [focusfusion.org] .
It is not cold fusion, but one of the many alternatives [plasmas.org] to the tokamak. Although a tokamak is still seen als the best candidate for a earthly fusion reactor.
Oh, nobody happens to have a job opening in plasmaresearch for a newly graduate?

What about hydrogen (0, Redundant)

g3n0m (662130) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958504)

They use hydrogen and boron, but where do you get hydrogen... you can use eletricity or get it from fossile fuels, but I don't see this problem being mentioned anywhere in the article. If you take the energy needed for producing hydrogen, I wonder if the reaction really breaks even.
If the output is anywhere near what they are promising, then i would think that this should be a problem, but I still can't help myself and wonder...

Re:What about hydrogen (1)

lotus_out_law (878076) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958560)

Not quite.
The H2 produced, say even by electrolysis of water using fossil fuels, for this needs to be a miniscule amount.
Since the hydrogen here is used for fusion - remember the basic E=mc^2 theory.

So what we are comparing here is 'a chemical reaction, where the enery put in is to break the covalent bonds only' with fusion where matter is converted to energy (with a high o/p).

So if at all it works (which I am really really skeptical of), the break even is easily achievable

Re:What about hydrogen (1)

hdante (771422) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958874)

Simply stating:

H + B -> 3 He + ~10.000.000 eV
H2O + ~10eV -> H2 + O2

See, for example, this [wikipedia.org] and this [gsu.edu] .

We can see that this reaction is really benefical, because it removes dihydrogen monoxide [dhmo.org] from the environment. ;-)

Re:What about hydrogen (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958566)

They use hydrogen and boron, but where do you get hydrogen... you can use eletricity or get it from fossile fuels, but I don't see this problem being mentioned anywhere in the article. If you take the energy needed for producing hydrogen, I wonder if the reaction really breaks even.

You take the excess energy from the fusion and split water to get the hydrogen. The hydrogen+boron11-> 3x helium + energy. The reaction would produce way more than enough energy to split measily chemical bonds for hydrogen and oxygen. The question is can it be made to break even with all the other losses in the system such as the magnetic confinement.

The main problem with Fusion has never been getting the energy to get the hydrogen. That consumes a pitiance compared to all the magnetic sheilding and other requirements needed in containing, controlin and continuing the fusion.

Chemical Energy Nuclear Energy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958581)

The chemical energy needed to break the bonds between H atoms and O atoms in H20 pales in comparison to the nuclear energy gained by combining a proton (H nucleus) with the boron nucleus.

Re:What about hydrogen (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958719)

Breakeven wouldn't be possible if you were burning H with oxygen to produce energy. This is the idea of fusing it with another element. Even though usually people think of 2 hydrogen atoms fusing into helium, fusion is possible right up until you get somewhere around iron (though it gets less efficient the farther you go). While H+B would be a bit less efficient, a side effect is that it produces some high energy electrons that can be converted directly to eletricity. This is different from H+H which produces usable energy in the form of heat, which has to turn water into steam.

Burning H releases modest energy, fusing it (or just about anything else) releases metric shitloads of energy.

Interesting. (1)

TwoTailedFox (894904) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958512)


Don't tell me Companies like Microsoft and IBM have had a monopoly on power... well, yay, to the Open-Source Energy people. Make Energy Free!

Re:Interesting. (1)

StarfishOne (756076) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958740)

Now that you mention "make", I use this as a small jump ;)

In O'Reilly's Makezine [makezine.com] (which is a very nice read I must add), there was an interview regarding this subject [makezine.com] :

It was an interview with Ed Storms, who "is leading the effort to take cold fusion off the back burner by moving it into the garage."

Very interesting read:

"The idea that you can have a fusion reactor on your tabletop for, say, $1,000 in materials and equipment, is disorienting. Maybe this explains why so many scientists prefer not to take it seriously." (Overview [makezine.com] )

A quote from Wikipedia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958552)

"For 3He-3He, p-6Li and p-11B the Bremsstrahlung losses appear to make a fusion reactor using these fuels impossible."

Where's my 5 megadollars? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958553)

Dear Venture Capitalists,
I have a plan for a fusion reactor, called (let's say) the fotoforce fusor. Not only does it produce free energy from hydrogen and (let's say) manganese, but if you stand within 3 meters of it, it will also cure you of cancer and (let's say) baldness too. I'm sure you were thinking about giving five million dollars (5M$) to the focus fusor project, but since my fusor can be built using only a coffee can and a ball of twine, you should invest in me for the amazing price of a paltry 2 million dollars (2M$). I may have nothing to show for it in 10 years, but you'll get the same nothing as the focus fusor for one-fiftieth of the price of ITER. You shouldn't think twice.
Dr. James Medubi, Ph.D.
University of Lagos

If I trust the physics papers on the web (4, Informative)

Frumious Wombat (845680) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958555)

The correct response to this article is,

(a) yes, H-B fusion (aneutronic) is possible, but...

(b) it requires very high temperatures, and suffers from a variety of energy loss mechanisms which make getting usable energy from it difficult. This is similar to when I was in grad-school, and everyone was whispering about Muon-catalyzed fusion, which turned out to be impractical for energy extraction as well.

IANA(N/P)P (i am not a nuclear/plasma physicist), but the papers I skimmed suggest that you could use this method, mixed with a conventional Deuterium/tritium mixture, to get cleaner fusion and better burn rates. Of course, not being a physicist, it's possible that the journals I found the citations in are the physics equivalent of Journal of Pointless Chemistry.

http://scitation.aip.org/getabs/servlet/GetabsServ let?prog=normal&id=APCPCS000406000001000216000001& idtype=cvips&gifs=yes/ [aip.org]

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=ArticleUR L&_udi=B6TVM-3WN77X7-19&_coverDate=06%2F17%2F1996& _alid=331683658&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_qd=1&_ cdi=5538&_sort=d&view=c&_acct=C000050221&_version= 1&_urlVersion=0&_userid=10&md5=fad383390465b806fd1 b90abff541fee/ [sciencedirect.com]

Probable Translation: Another backyard inventor who can read enough of the literature to be encouraged, but not enough to admit the drawbacks.

Secondary Translation: I canna' change the laws of physics, Captain.

Re:If I trust the physics papers on the web (1)

srleffler (721400) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958713)

Physics Letters A is a reputable journal. The other paper was from a conference proceedings, not a peer-reviewed journal.

Re:If I trust the physics papers on the web (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958734)

But haven't you heard? We no longer need hard to generate muons, we'll simply turn the hydrogen into hydrinos! The electrons orbit the proton at a much smaller distance, making fusion that much easier to achieve. Hydrino-catalyzed fusion is the wave of the future.

oh darn..... (1)

inexion (903311) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958592)

sounds like one more possible invention like so many more that were better alternatives to their counter-parts

Slashdot Needs a Science Editor (5, Insightful)

jpgrimes (15330) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958594)

As a scientist I'm dismayed by the number of people who always believe in science conspiracies (like here where he says the only reason he didn't get funding was the tokomak). It's hard to decide how useful this method really is from the article as it's not a science article, but I have some doubts.

What people need to realize about science like this is that if he can make this work he will be lauded and made very rich. Although science does make mistakes, occasionally supporting wrong theories and such, overall it progresses by natural selection (and those who are correct get high end jobs because of it). I would love to disprove dark matter or dark energy because that would make me really well known. But yet I read about how the entire field of astronomy is so stuck on it that they won't look at other possibilities (but we do and they don't work with what we know).

If this guy is correct he should be able to convince most other scientists in his field (which he hasn't been able to do). This isn't always due to science (some people can't communicate and sometime politics plays a role) but generally it is.

I wonder how many theories have been posted on slashdot now that are just like this. Slashdot has been around long enough that someone could go back and look at the current state of these theories. How many are still, "waiting for that big moment" even after they go some funding. More importantly, I think slashdot should make more of an effort to put up articles when they show something has been disproved (like that article a few weeks ago arguing against dark matter in galaxies which used the wrong gravitational potential). Somebody with a science background should at least edit the original slashdot post so that people could get a better background before deciding that the future of energy production is safe.

call me a sceptic, but... (5, Interesting)

arkhan_jg (618674) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958597)

For a start, this is on opensourceenergy.org, which also hosts a number of articles on electromagnetic over-unity devices, i.e. the 'free energy' crowd. Not good company to keep if you want to be taken seriously.

In addition, Eric Lerner is a believer in the plasma universe theory; he wrote a book on the matter called 'the Big Bang Never Happened', which apparently makes him popular with the evolution-denier crowd. Again, questionable associations.

He's also criticised [aip.org] the peer-review scientific process, calling it open to fraud. Just unfortunate that peer-review has not been kind to his own research, I imagine.

I'm no physicist, but it seems his process passes a short, extremely high current from a coffee-can sized copper electrode through a low-pressure hydrogen-boron mix.

The current's magnetic field forms a small hot ball of plasma, a plasmoid, (without external magnets) and when the current's magnetic field collapses it induces an electric field that heats the plasmoid so much, it ignites fusion reactions that create more electrons & ions, which can be converted back into electricity via an advanced transformer that converts an ion stream to electricity.

So basically, pass an electric current though low-density hydrogen-boron in a coffee can, and you get spontaneous fusion - so much so, you get over-unity? Somehow, it strikes me as a little too easy to be true.

Shockingly enough, Lerner has yet to demonstrate over-unity, but that's because the government is so in bed with the oil-companies, they won't give him any money. NASA gave him some money, looked at his results, and dropped him.

I won't call him a junk-scientist, but I think I'd like to see some peer-reviewed and repeated evidence of his results before I lend his theories much credence.

Maybe, maybe not (1)

drwho (4190) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958638)

Described the way it is, it sort of makes sense. But so does John Titor. That fact that he is being dis'd by NASA doesn't mean much - they are famous for bureacratic bungling and this wouldn't be any different. Neither does it surprise me that he hasn't received any funding. The world economy couldn't easy handle such a paradigm shift. That doesn't mean that Exxon, BP, Shell, and various governments don't have departments to do research into these types of developments. It is to their great benefit to do so, even if they don't tell the public what they discover.

I admit I'm ignorant at this level of physics. I've also learned that even friends of mine who know much more about it than I do, are too easy to judge someone as a crackpot, or portray them as a misunderstood genius, because of various personal reasons.

If there were some micro-capitalization scheme for this, I might buy in. If I could get a share of this invention for $20, I'd risk it. The chances of success are better than a lottery ticket.

Re:Maybe, maybe not (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958843)

The world economy couldn't handle this? Of course it could, this would be patented. No need to worry about Brazil or Nigeria or Cambodia building one of these, if they tried. we'd use WIPO to castrate them economically.

Extending patents to 50 years would soon ensue, and it would grandfather in the cheap fusion patent, no doubt.

No, the energy companies don't assassinate people who can do this stuff, they buy them up and exploit it. I have doubts that they've ever needed to so far.

From a Thermodynamic perspective (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13958691)

FTA "Imagine! At the flip of a switch, going from room temperature (or from the temperature of boiling water in the case of the liquid decaborane fuel), all the way up to a billion degrees, and then up to 6 billion degrees, all in a fraction of a second; then with another flip of the switch, when you are done, going back down to ambient temperature. And in the interim, you have produced excess energy from fusion -- safely, cleanly."

A Billion Degrees! Are you kidding me. Alright, lets use the good old First Law of thermo. Now remember a Tokamak Fusion reactor reaches temperatures of 100 Million degrees C. Now I haven't crunched numbers but its obvious that the energy needed to raise the temperature of Hydrogen to 1 Billion degrees is a lot greater than the energy needed to raise the temperature to 100 Million degrees.

Another problem from the above quote is the heat transfer. Now it was difficult enough to build a Tokamak that could withstand 100 million C but the article doesn't mention how a focus fusor will survive a temperature an order of magnitude higher.

Another heat transfer issue from the quote is that apparantly they will fire this thing up for such a small fraction of a second that that the fusor can cool from 6 Billion degrees C to room temperature in no time flat. Yeah ok whatever you say. How much energy could you possibly produce in such a sort time. Not enough to breakeven I suspect. The power requirements to heat something to 1 billion degrees in less than a second must be greater than astronomical. What conductor could they possibly be using?

Well thats what this AC has to say about that. This Idea is BS

Migma reactor is another fusion concept (2, Interesting)

NewIntellectual (444520) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958857)

Dr. Bogdan Maglich came up with an interesting idea that he dubbed the Migma reactor, which involves high energy particle beams that are bent by magnetic fields to constantly loop around the center of a chamber, where they would undergo high energy collisions and enable fusion of elements at much higher temperatures than Tokamaks and related concepts. This kind of fusion can occur without neutron emission, which would be much cleaner than the radioactivity-inducing fusion reactors now under development.

Some URLs are at: http://www.rexresearch.com/maglich/maglich.htm [rexresearch.com] ,
with a good bio page on Maglich at: http://www.hienergyinc.com/company/bio_maglich.htm [hienergyinc.com]

Integrity Research Institute (5, Informative)

cohomology (111648) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958869)

A teeny bit of fact checking is in order.

The glowing praise in the article comes from the Integrity Research Institute,
which doesn't even have its own domain name: http://users.erols.com/iri/>

The web site lists three directors:

  Director 1: (also President and Chairman) Dr. Thomas Valone
      Physics, engineering, and teaching background

Sounds good.

      Inventer of the Photonic Rejuvenation Energizing Machine and
      Immunizing Electrification Radiator

what the fuck?

  Director 2: Jacqueline Panting Valone
        General Manager of M.A.M.S.I., a representative of several suppliers of
        microwave components and subsystems to OEM, military and commercial

Could have a solid technical background.

        Ms. Valone is also a strong advocate of holistic health, including
        electromagnetic medicine and is responsible for the Health programs
        of our Institute.

Holistic health seems respectable. I am more than my symptoms.
But "electromagnetic medicine?" Give me Maxwells Equations,
not new-agey energy-fields-surround-us.

        In her spare time, she volunteered for The Hospice Program of Broward
        County where she assisted patients in their transition and helped family
        members cope with their loss.

Very important work. She sounds like a good person.

        Ms. Valone is a doctorate candidate of Naturopathy at Trinity College of
        Natural Health and is certified through the College of Natural Health
        Professionals, CNHP.

Never heard of them. What does this have to do with physics?

    Director 3: Wendy Nicholas


              2001 Johns Hopkins University Rockville, MD

        * Continuing Education student in Telecommunications

May be a wonderful, capable person. Why is she on the board of directors?

Bush and his oil cronies won't like this... (0)

CmdrTaco on (468152) | more than 9 years ago | (#13958877)

I'm sure they'll find a way to not fund this and discredit it.

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