Nuclear Fusor PDF Print E-mail
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Sunday, 03 September 2000 03:08

One of X-Labs coolest demos is the Fusor, nicknamed the "Baby Star" for it's similarities to the properties of a star. The X-Labs Fusor is a small IEC  (Internal Electrostatic Confinement) Nuclear Fusion Reactor. It sounds scary, but our Fusor is not dangerous at all. It consists of three major parts: the high vacuum chamber, the power supply, and the high vacuum pump. The Fusor works by accelerating positively charged particles towards a negatively charged grid in the center of the vacuum chamber.  Many of these positive particles miss the negative grid and collide in the center of the chamber. These collisions are a simple and safe demonstration of Fusion. Unfortunately Fusion is not yet the solution to a limitless power source, because science has not yet created sustained Fusion. This means that we can't get more power out of a fusion system than we put in. Overall the X-Labs Fusor is an awesome demo that demonstrates science at ti's best. Below are more details about the X-Labs Fusor.   

The main parts of the Fusor are the high vacuum chamber, the power supply, and the high vacuum pump. 

High Vacuum Chamber: 

The Vacuum Chamber for the Fusor is used to create a high vacuum (very little air) for the fusion reaction to take place. It is very big and made of thick brushed stainless steal. It has a valve and port on top for connection to the high vacuum pump. It also has a high voltage feed through that connects the internal grid to the power supply. 

Power Supply:

The Fusor needs a high voltage potential to make the inner grid negative. Remember that the inner grid needs to be negative to attract the positive ions. The power supply creates the high voltage that allows the Fusor to work. Our Fusor power supply can go up to 15 thousand volts. We normally operate the Fusor at around 10 thousand volts for demos. The power supply uses a high voltage transformer to step up 115 volts from the power outlet to around 10 thousand volts for our Fusor to use. This electricity then goes through a full bridge rectifier circuit to change the alternating current from the transformer into direct current for the Fusor. A variable transformer controls the voltage going into the main high voltage transformer; this allows a variable voltage output on the high voltage side. The schematic for the Fusor power supply is below. 

High Vacuum Pump: 

The High Vacuum Pump creates a vacuum inside of the high vacuum chamber by sucking all of the air out of the chamber. A high vacuum is needed so the positive ions have a free path to accelerate towards the center of the chamber. We normally use a 2 stage mechanical vacuum pump with our Fusor. The Vacuum Pump needs to be able to reach around 10^-3 Torr or lower vacuum for the Fusor to work correctly. The Black device connected by a tube to the Fusor in the picture below is one of the vacuum pumps that we use with the Fusor. 

Much more information about IEC Fusors can be found at the links below.

Last Updated on Sunday, 18 July 2010 19:24