Category Archives: Fusion Engineering

Show & Tell at Dragon Con

As I was pointing out to a fellow scientist – this isn’t a “Mad Science Project” it is a “Creative Resource Redistribution Device.” Yeah, it is part of my mad science street-CRReD. Give me your money or I’ll … destroy the world? Perhaps, at least the tri-state area. hey, Dr. Doofensmirts is my hero. (I want a nemesis.)

Ok, so the Evil Geniuses for a Better Tomorrow are thinking on some CRRDs. Something unique for D*Con. There was a concept for a real Science Faire, but … well… there are too many weirdos who show up. I’ll not have someone torturing puppies and calling it a science project for my show. I may discuss some real work, but I’ve got a lot of limitations on that. I can talk in broad terms about some associated particle detection devices, neutron generation and detection, real science.

So I guess I have a couple questions for the audience. Mainly: What do you want to see? I think Dr. DNA, Granade, and myself can talk about “Failures in science” a bit. I’d like to rain on some billion dollar budget failures that we have lauded in the past. (No, I won’t go on a Global Warming rant, there is a difference between science failures and fraud.) Solar power, wind power, wave power – those aren’t science failures. The attempts to model the future of temperature is laudable…if poorly done. Sucking a billion dollars out of public coffers and giving it to your friends is fraud. 

A great example is the National Ignition Facility, which I love, but which does not produce what it was designed to do. Of course, neither does the Princeton Tokamak or frankly any other fusion facility. Heck, funny story. A young cadet performed a huge study of a neutron detector to get it properly calibrated to measure output at a fusion facility I shall not name. Afterwards, (as the second half of her senior thesis) she compared her calibration to actual results at the fusion facility.  Weirdly enough, the very carefully calibrated detector showed a whole lot of ZERO at the facility. (Much less than their internal and apparently badly uncalibrated system.) Apparently, their system detected the presence of electricity in the detector circuits, not neutrons in the lab. She had no idea why her detector “decided not to measure” that day. … Yeah. Poor kid. At least one of the fusion experiments the government is pouring money into is producing less neutrons than the average banana.  

You know what is really sad? I was trying to get my PhD in fusion. Can you imagine spending your life in that field? That is like a PhD in Bigfoot spotting and UFO analysis, only it doesn’t play as well for Reality TV.

Ya know, I think that is what we’ll do this year. Science Track, the reality TV Show!!! (I’m sure I’m crazy now.)