Frogfall Verified User
  • from UK . . . . " Non sunt miracula, sed ignorantia. Nescimus quid nescimus "
  • Member since Aug 25th 2022
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Posts by Frogfall

    I would certainly agree with THHuxleynew 's post above. The number crunching for a simple charge-discharge cycle isn't difficult, and as long as the resistors comply with an I2R law at all frequencies, then the calorimetry should work (and my crunching actually showed a slight power bias to the input side, too).

    However, we know the negative resistance characteristic of the spark gap results in bursts of RF noise (as seen on various oscilloscope photos). The effect of this noise on the heating characteristic of the output resistor is an unknown, as it is effectively ignored in the DC "temperature vs power" calibration method.

    I would suggest that we need to devise some extra resistor "temperature vs power" tests which use a range of frequencies, right up to those normally seen during discharge. We don't want to be caught out by any additional RF heating of the resistor - so this either needs eliminating as a possible source of error, or incorporating into the calibration chart.

    Its good that some people are running simulations ( Tibi.fusion  SM6FIE ) - but we do need to ensure that we don't introduce even more confusion.

    If I had the skills to use the software, I would have a go too (I'm not an electronics engineer - instead my professional background includes blowing things up and devising gruesome ways to kill people ;) )

    As I mentioned further up this thread, I was more concerned about the twin resistor calorimetry technique when I thought the device was being driven by a primary "pumping" oscillator (**). But as R1, C1 & the spark gap are acting as their own oscillator, I am less concerned. After all, even if C1 only partially discharges (and videos show that the discharge level does indeed vary when the input voltage is only marginally above the spark initiation voltage) - that means that an equally partial energy pulse drives the spark.

    I'm afraid I don't know how this circuit detail is meant to model the spark gap Tibi.fusion - maybe you can explain the logic in more detail, thanks.

    (n.b. (**) It appears that some of the Moray machines used some kind of pumping oscillator to drive the "tubes" - quite possibly using crude forerunners of the Tunnel / Gunn diode (initially his Swedish Stone, and then later a semiconductor "detector" of his own devising). He once claimed that his machine would still run without the peculiar detector, but its oscillations would be very uneven.)

    I know George has been using some sort of series inductor for smoothing (I'm now much less worried about that, since discovering the feed to the "device" is DC and not pulsed).

    If the post capacitor ripple still looks a bit much, on the oscilloscope, maybe running a few turns of the output wire around a lump of ferrite (or soft iron) might help. Whether you'd need an extra series diode, like George also uses, I don't know.

    Do you know how many fraud videos are posted on the internet?

    Should "they" investigate every one of them?

    Exactly - they would do better to just ignore them all. But if they do decide to spend some of my license fee money on an "investigation" of any kind - then just chatting to someone at a university, who hasn't got any more information than that shown in the video, is just "speculation".

    The BBC "Reality Check" series is meant to dig deeper and examine verifiable background data - and is certainly not supposed to resort to simply quoting someone's opinion.

    From the BBC:


    Videos said to show that rocks found in Africa can produce electricity have been viewed millions of times online.

    Some social media users are claiming they could be the answer to the continent's energy problems.

    That's a big claim, so we've shown the footage to experts who've explained to us why such properties are highly unlikely.

    The usual excuse - it must be fraud. No real "investigation" at all.

    Can these rocks really power light bulbs? No, say the experts
    Viral videos of minerals with apparent electrical properties are not what they seem.

    This teenager's improvement on the electric motor has attracted a lot of attention.

    Version of the story in the Smithsonian mag is a bit more comprehensive.

    This 17-Year-Old Designed a Motor That Could Potentially Transform the Electric Car Industry
    Robert Sansone's research could pave the way for the sustainable manufacturing of electric vehicles that do not require rare-earth magnets


    Sansone tested his motor for torque and efficiency, and then reconfigured it to run as a more traditional synchronous reluctance motor for comparison. He found that his novel design exhibited 39 percent greater torque and 31 percent greater efficiency at 300 revolutions per minute (RPM).

    So the performance increase isn't actually against a conventional SRM of a comparable size, but against a version of his own machine that has been bodged to run like a conventional SRM. Not quite the same thing.

    Still, it is great to see the spirit of invention is not dead in the young.

    So where do Fusor neutrons come from, if they are not fusion neutrons?

    Firstly, going back to ZETA, the researchers should have already known that neutrons could emerge from deuterium plasma experiments at conditions below which fusion was possible - as they were told as much by Igor Kurchatov, during his visit to Harwell in 1956.

    Read his speech here: kurchatov_1956.pdf

    At that time Kurchatov was still undecided about the main source of the neutrons - whether they were the products of spallation from plasma/container interaction, or whether they were coming directly from the squeezed & heated plasma, through the direct splitting of the deuterons.

    When Harwell eventually retracted its claim, it put the blame on spallation from the container walls. This also seemed to be the preferred explanation of US researchers who had encountered the same phenomenon.

    It seems that Kurchatov had come to the other conclusion - as a result of his own experiments - and informed Harwell of this. However, Igor Kutchatov's health was rapidly declining at that point (possibly due to complications from previous radiation exposure) and he died shortly after. (n.b. I'm still looking for a decent reference source for this later communication, if anyone here can help.)

    Of course the "agreement" by hot fusion researchers across the world (including those active in the Soviet Union) that spallation, and not deuterium fission, was the source of the neutrons, was financially expedient - in that it implied hot fusion was still possible, as long as someone found a way to ensure the plasma never touched the walls of the reactor.

    Had the "deuterium plasma fission" idea been accepted - then it might have killed the entire field of research before 1960. After all, fusion would be impossible if the deuterium plasma simply shed all its neutrons, at a relatively low temperature, and all you had left was a bunch of protons (i.e. hydrogen plasma).

    Getting back to the Fusor; this device would seem to have an advantage over the magnetic confinement devices, as the charge gradient should ensure that the plasma is kept well away from the walls. Yes, there might be spallation from plasma contact with the "cage", but this should have a smaller effect when compared to the walls of a Tokomak or Z-Pinch machine. Unfortunately, though, we still have lots of neutrons being emitted - even though the plasma temperatures are too low for thermonuclear D-D fusion.

    My guess (and it is still only a guess) is that the ailing Igor Kurchatov's idea of "deuterium plasma fission" was correct - and that the performance of Fusors is actually evidence.

    We've known since ZETA (late 1950s) that flying neutrons doesn't equal fusion.

    The Farnsworth-Hirsch Fusor produced neutrons in the 1960s - but wasn't fusion (despite what the online "Build a Fusor in your shed" crowd seem to think).

    Even JJThomson, in 1913, had evidence that his X3 (3He?) gas was coming from the eroding cathode material, along with Helium and Neon.

    We seem to be stuck on an ever rotating merry-go-round. :|

    The problem of talking about the Brown device is that just creates more fog.

    Hubbard supposedly sold his device, for a song, to a company dealing in Radium - and then went off to be a bootlegger, and an LSD evangelist. The Radium company couldn't make anything of the device, and the only references to it ever working at all are from old local newspaper accounts. It was never patented.

    Brown seems to have patented a "cargo cult copy" of the Hubbard device, in the hope that he could get it working before anyone found out that he wasn't an atomic genius. The patent is nonsense, and Brown later dropped the device and moved on to something else.


    An interesting take. It does appear that Papp was a competent technician, but a read of his patent puts doubts about his understanding of Physics. It's possible that he could of had a part time job at Atomki, and may have been requested to destroy the engine, but instead chose to take it and head to Canada. In any case the complexity of the engine makes it likely that it was not built by a single person but was a collaborative effort of several competent and knowledgeable persons. And don't forget the two explosions of record. They were particularly strong, indicating an unusual process at work. That the same process applied in both cases was indicated by the same low rumbling sound in the build up to each one.

    Somehow I doubt that he brought the engine idea with him in 1957 - although he did seem to be convinced that there was some strange explosive power source available, that was not publicly known about.

    His bonkers "submarine" was clearly meant to have some secret propulsion system which never materialised. The whole device looked more like one of his cartoon spaceships than a feasible vessel (he would have probably done well as a Hollywood sci-fi movie set designer).

    Papp did seem to be good at persuading investors to give him cash.

    A little aside about Joe Papp, and the source of his ideas…

    I always find it interesting to look at how, or where, any particular researcher or inventor could have gathered the information that led to their ideas. Nowadays lots of information is available via a few keystrokes, but in the pre-internet days you really had to have some direct sources of information – either through an area of work, higher education, general publications, personal experimentation, or via friends/relatives.

    Joe Papp left the Hungarian airforce around 1955/56 – where, in the latter stages of his national service, he was carrying out tests on parachutes. On leaving the airforce it is said that he was living as a cartoonist, and that he was arrested during the 1956 civil uprising and Soviet invasion. He then left Hungary, along with thousands of other refugees, and ended up in a Canadian refugee camp, working as an agricultural labourer.

    In later years he would tell people that he had spent time working at an atomic research establishment before leaving Hungary – but that doesn’t sound feasible, considering his airforce service, and subsequent rapid departure from the country.

    However it seems that the atomic research being carried out in Hungary, in the 1950s, does bear some relationship to the odd devices that Joseph Papp later built.

    An institute called “Atomki” was established in 1954, in Debrecen, and – despite a lack of funding – managed to carry out some impressive research.

    Atomki didn’t get its first (small) research reactor until 1959, and didn’t get its first accelerator until 1961. Hence, for most of the 1950s, they were using other means to create various radioactive substances for their experiments. Some of this would have involved exposing materials (e.g. gases) directly to naturally radioactive isotopes. Another technique was to create secondary radiation (neutrons, positrons, gamma), from various radioactive mixtures, and exposing substances to that.

    Essentially, these are all just ways to transmute elements into more useful ones for experimental work. Some of these things were being done in the very early days of nuclear research - but it looks like the researchers at Atomki might have refined the techniques still further, out of economic necessity.

    See this video, which possibly includes shots of researchers creating Helium-6 for the experiments that led to their claim of the first photo of a neutrino reaction.

    Interestingly, looking at Papp’s patents, he appears to be doing something very similar - by also exposing his “noble gases” to various radioactive substances. Unfortunately, though, some of the patent text seems to be garbled - for instance mixing up atomic number with isotope number. (The patent examiners have let the descriptions stand, as they probably didn’t fully understand, or even care about, the process being outlined.) So was this deliberate obfuscation, on Joseph Papp’s part, or did he actually file text that he didn’t really understand himself? And if it was the latter, where did the information come from?

    Maybe Joseph Papp’s tales of having previously worked in a Hungarian nuclear facility was just to hide that he was really getting his information from an employee at Atomki. That could have been a former airforce friend, or maybe even his own brother, Erno. Whatever happened to Erno? (Centre in photo, Joseph behind.)

    Frogfall suspiciously gives us only a negative incomplete view.


    Yes, true. It's a conspiracy. You've rumbled me as a 33rd Dan of the Illuminiod amphibian lodge.

    Maybe this 2002 obituary by Thomas Valone is more respectful. Future Energy eNews - Remembering Paul Brown, A Nuclear Genius.pdf


    Paul was the most courageous inventor that I have ever known. When he discovered that "The Moray Device and the Hubbard Coil Were Nuclear Batteries" (published in Magnets in Your Future, March, 1987), I was amazed.

    (n.b. I think these Paul Brown posts are detracting from the LEC thread, and belong elsewhere)

    I've long suspected that the designers of regenerative "Caloric" engines, such as John Ericsson (1803-1889) believed that Caloric possessed some form of inertia. I don't think Ericsson (or his contemporaries) could quantify it - but it might explain some of the design features of the early engines, which seem slightly bizarre today (with our currently accepted thermal theories).

    Just thought I'd post a little update.

    The sudden shifting of heat along a heated bar, plunged in water, could be amenable to calculation through variations of the Drude model for thermal conductivity.

    Note that the model involves laws (such as the Wiedemann-Franz law) rather than full theory, however it does give a route to introduce such concepts as phonons and "thermal inertia".

    If you are bored with the usual festive broadcasts, here is something a bit different.

    Today is the 45th anniversary of the Sex Pistols' last UK gig. It was on xmas day 1977, here in Huddersfield, and was a party and benefit gig for the families of firemen - who were on strike at the time.

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