FARNSWORTH- HIRSCH FUSOR
HOW IT WORKS
The Farnsworth-Hirsch Fusor is the most simplistic fusion device to ever be designed. It operates under the principle of Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) and uses an electric field to heat and fuse ions. The design of the fusor consists of a vacuum chamber which contains several ports for fuel injection, power input, pressure measurement and observation. The main functions of the Fusor are that of the vacuum system, power supply and deuterium gas line. The vacuum system rids the chamber of air so that pure deuterium fuel can be introduced. After a low pressure of deuterium is present within the chamber, a high voltage potential is applied upon a cathode (negative charge), which comes in the form of a metal cage within the center of the chamber. Since the cage or “inner grid” is at a negative potential, the positively charged deuterium ions accelerate towards it, where they fuse and release energy.
MEDICAL ISOTOPE RESEARCH
Medical isotopes are elements which can be utilized for several medical procedures such as dementia diagnosis and cardiac ventriculography. These isotopes are produced through the neutron bombardment of U-235, which then decays into a desired isotope such as Mo-99. Using its neutron flux, the Fusor can act as a medical isotope generator which has benefits over other conventional isotope generators, one of which is its ability to be stationed in the hospital where it is used, increasing yield and decreasing transportation cost.
Terrorism and explosive weaponry are threats which continue to put the populous at risk each day. Whether it be at a high-density airport, or in a desert minefield, explosive detection technology is a must as it allows for the detection of a plethora of explosives. Neutrons are excellent for this purpose because of their ability to probe certain materials to reveal their explosive nature, allowing for their presence to be detected. The Fusor provides the neutrons needed to do so all while decreasing cost and spatial issues when compared to other detection methods.