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Topic Title: Jamie's Fusion Project vs ITER
Topic Summary: Updated: New Review Slams Fusion Project's Management (at ITER)
Created On: 05 March 2014 06:21 PM
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 05 March 2014 06:21 PM
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jarathoon

Posts: 1041
Joined: 05 September 2004

BBC video story...

"Young scientist Jamie Edwards in atomic fusion record"

"A 13-year-old boy has become the youngest person ever to successfully carry out atomic fusion, as Danny Savage reports"

[Just beating the record set by the American, Taylor Wilson http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taylor_Wilson ]

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-26450494

http://jamiesfusionproject.blogspot.co.uk/
(not quite up to date, but this at least gives clues to how he did it, which the BBC makes no attempt to try to communicate)

The latest on ITER comes in a recent article in Science Magazine (behind a paywall)

"Updated: New Review Slams Fusion Project's Management"

Updated: New Review Slams Fusion Project's Management

Basically a new project plan is due when the current director steps down in June 2015, which will presumably push first fusion into the 2030's.

Whether or not the first Fusion Electricity Generation Demonstrator Plant (DEMO) will be ready before Jamie Edwards reaches retirement is anybody's guess.




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James Arathoon
 05 March 2014 07:02 PM
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jarathoon

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What Jamie Edwards has achieved at 13 is really remarkable.

I am often critical of the BBC, but I did use a BBC model B Computer for my own undergraduate dissertation on Atmospheric Conductivity.

I link to it here to show how young students can create simple instruments for themselves to measure things like Alpha particle decays and cosmic rays storms.

http://mycommunity.theiet.org/...unities/files/56/5211

If anyone ever finds out the reason for the sunrise and sunset effects in atmospheric conductivity measurement time series please let me know...



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James Arathoon
 12 March 2014 02:24 PM
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jarathoon

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At last a story about how ITER engineers (American) are trying to increase productivity and reduce cost...

3-D printing yields advantages for US ITER engineers

How will the development productivity benefits of using 3D printers affect new fourth generation nuclear fission reactor research and development, for example Molten Salt Reactors?

Well we don't yet know because despite my best efforts these is no such programme in the UK. I don't know of one person in government that even has one day a week ring fenced for the task of helping molten salt reactor engineers build develop their ideas.



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James Arathoon
 13 March 2014 11:08 AM
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Zuiko

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Originally posted by: jarathoon
If anyone ever finds out the reason for the sunrise and sunset effects in atmospheric conductivity measurement time series please let me know...



large change in temperature and energy gradient (dT/dt and dE/dt is large and positive at sunrise and large and negative at sunset) >>>causes>>> increased turbulence and convection of charged particles in atmosphere >>>causes>>> increased conductivity

?

Edited: 13 March 2014 at 12:34 PM by Zuiko
 13 March 2014 02:00 PM
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jarathoon

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Originally posted by: Zuiko

Originally posted by: jarathoon

If anyone ever finds out the reason for the sunrise and sunset effects in atmospheric conductivity measurement time series please let me know...


large change in temperature and energy gradient (dT/dt and dE/dt is large and positive at sunrise and large and negative at sunset) >>>causes>>> increased turbulence and convection of charged particles in atmosphere >>>causes>>> increased conductivity

?


It is possible to make vertical wind measurements and correlate such things with atmospheric conductivity measurements. However the sun rise/ sun set effect seems to also occur when there are temperature inversions (hot air above cold air) and the vertical convection and turbulence is suppressed.

Other factors?
X-rays and cosmic rays definitely cause ionisation. To what degree the ultraviolet tip of the suns spectral output effects ionisation in the atmosphere I don't know. There may be chemical changes going on in the atmosphere (there certainly are in terms of aerosol at sunrise).

I still believe we will only fully understand these things when we can view and model the atmosphere as a whole; from the troposphere to the ionosphere and beyond. The strongest currents flow in the ionosphere and through their magnetism induce secondary electric currents in the earth's surface.

There is so much complexity there you need quite a lot of instrumentation to unpick exactly what is happening, and what is cause and what is effect.

My personal bias is that there is something fundamentally wrong with the underlying physics we use to describe the electrical workings of the atmosphere; I think that bias is still in place because all these sorts of questions were excited in my imagination first by reading Professor Fernado Sanfords book "Terrestrial Electricity". He had a qualitative framework which is very hard to disprove by qualitative arguments alone, and that is what really pushed my personal interest in science and experiment. Even though most of what he said is undoubtedly wrong in quantitative terms, e.g. highly charged planets accounting at least in part for the force of gravity, (and various bits of my dissertation including the appendices address some of these points) his argument that we don't yet have a fully complete and consistent physical theory of electrification lingers on unanswered for me.

To me this question is intimately linked to how we might gain a better understanding of how the various layers of the atmosphere interact with one another: from the space plasma above the ionosphere, down to the very weakly ionised air that we breathe. (For others this might be linked with a better understanding of superconductivity, or Fusion etc etc.)


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James Arathoon
 14 March 2014 09:55 AM
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Zuiko

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Have you plotted: solar energy provided to the atmosphere; atmospheric turbulence and electrical conductivity against time (say 24 hours) on the same graph?

What does this graph look like?
 14 March 2014 02:45 PM
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jarathoon

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Originally posted by: Zuiko

Have you plotted: solar energy provided to the atmosphere; atmospheric turbulence and electrical conductivity against time (say 24 hours) on the same graph?

What does this graph look like?


I don't know the exact interrelation. I am not sure if anyone has done measurments of this type.

I definitely think that vertical atmospheric air speed (rarely measured) and air conductivity are likely to correlate to some degree. The turbulent convective churning depends on a temperature gradient from ground to air. This depends heavily on the nature and reflectance of the ground surface (i.e. how much it absorbs solar energy and heats up). The amount of solar energy reaching the ground depends on the height of the sun on the sky, the distance the light has to travel through the atmosphere and the amount of cloud and aerosol getting in its way etc.

The sunrise and sunset effects do not seem to be a convective effect happening at the earths surface. However they may be in part be due to the ripple of solar energy sweeping across the full depth of the atmosphere at a particular location, around the time of sun rise and sunset.

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James Arathoon
 14 March 2014 03:32 PM
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Zuiko

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Originally posted by: jarathoon
I don't know the exact interrelation. I am not sure if anyone has done measurments of this type.


an instant search of google scholar throws up hundreds of results.


You have a statement:
Conductivity at sunrise and sunset increases.


You know at least one fact:
The change in energy provided by the sun at this time is maximum.


Make sense to do a very quick investigation into the two before complicating matters .
 14 March 2014 04:34 PM
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jarathoon

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Originally posted by: Zuiko


You have a statement:

Conductivity at sunrise and sunset increases.
.


The sunrise and sunset effects have reproducible rippled form for both positive and negative conductivities. First it increases to first peak then it deceases, then it increases in a small central hump, then it decreases slightly again and finally increases to a final large peak before coming back to the normal trace.

If you are interested in the phenomena, and have access to the paywalled scientific literature that the public has paid for, then you can search for more modern texts than my 1991 dissertation linked to above in the second post.


an instant search of google scholar throws up hundreds of results.


Quite a lot if the results on google scholar are prior to my 1991 dissertation. Most of these earlier measurements are not time series measurements recorded every minute and a half or so, and are not a good guide to the phenomena.

Someone may indeed have solved this problem and the results paywalled somewhere. My original statement was made to peak the curiosity of younger students reading this forum, rather than to enforce a particular way of looking at the problem (and how it relates to other phenomena) upon them.


You know at least one fact:
The change in energy provided by the sun [at a particular location on the earth] at this time [sunrise and sunset] is maximum.

That is not a fact, it is either a conjecture or a supposition.

As either a conjecture or supposition it is patently wrong. Ignoring the effects of clouds during the day the maximum change in the energy provided by the sun arriving at a particular location comes at the time of solar eclipse.

There are effects on atmospheric electricity at the time of eclipses and these effects can be compared with sunrise and sunset effects. Whether or not this has been done using high frequency time series measurement post 1991 I don't know.


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James Arathoon
 14 March 2014 04:48 PM
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jarathoon

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Presumably you propose to differenciate the cloud free daily solar insolation curve to determine the maximum rate at which the solar energy flux changes at any particular point on the earths surface?

Do you wish to take into account the cloud free path length of the light through the atmosphere into your calculation? This changes the intensity of the light and its spectral composition.



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James Arathoon
 14 March 2014 05:13 PM
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jarathoon

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Once you have done this you may then wish to take into account how light is scattered by the atmosphere?

I agree if you were aboard the International Space Station or living on the moon the transition in the energy flux at a particular location is most rapid at time of sunrise and sunset.

On the earth things are not quite as simple even if you exclude the effect of clouds.

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James Arathoon
 14 March 2014 05:19 PM
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Zuiko

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Originally posted by: jarathoon
That is not a fact, it is either a conjecture or a supposition.


At sunrise the location goes from having no sunshine to some sunshine and and sunset from having some sunshine to no sunshine.

If you plotted the levels of sunshine throughout the day and noted the change in sunshine, all other things being equal, this change would be a maximum.


OK, there are solar eclipses, but we are talking about a daily event, which is what your enquiry was about.

If I was looking at a phenomena that happened when the location goes from having no sunshine to some sunshine and vice versa; I'd be looking at the effect of sunshine, rather than poncing about making things more complicated than they need be.




Your posts are a stream of statements saying you don't know the answer. This is because you make things so absurdly complicated that you cannot even frame a question - which is why you are getting nowhere. You use ten words when one is enough. Look at the simple explanations first, if you get nowhere with that, then look further.




RE: your questions above. I intend to do nothing. You were the one stuck for inspiration for your problem. I suggest YOU do the work!
 14 March 2014 07:27 PM
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jarathoon

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Also there is also the effect of atmospheric refraction to consider...

All I am saying is what may be true of the solar energy flux reaching the top of the atmosphere, or at the International Space Station, is not necessarily true when energy flux measurements are made at any particular location on earth at the base of the atmosphere (even ignoring the effects of cloud).

I am not a teaching professor Zuiko, paid to emphasise what I do know over what I don't know. I know teaching professors always have to work this way; its part of their job description, to teach the state of the art in a particular field of knowledge.

I was taught in school that a gold leaf electrometer discharged because of charge leakage across its solid insulation. This is wrong when very good insulators such as PTFE are used - most of the charge leakage then happens thought the air. There are lots of other things I have been taught over the years that are false, when you take the wider context and complexities into account. Other people will find similar things in the course of their careers.

You and I disagree and no doubt will continue to disagree on some quite fundamental issues, even the definition of engineering as it happens...other people can decide for themselves.

(In my opinion engineering is not merely a branch of science and technology, but a completely distinct and independent discipline that can be traced right back to at least Ancient Egypt - you and the Oxford English Dictionary disagree. In my opinion technology is an output from the study of science and engineering, not a way of extending the field of science to include engineering as a sub-field. )

[Surveying and construction techniques have always having being a major and important part of engineering. In modern parlance the people who directed the building of the pyramids were engineers, not scientists or technologists]




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James Arathoon
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