THE HAYLETT NUCLEAR FUSION PROJECT
Above: The first fusor built by Alex and Ben was a Demonstration Fusor, shown operating at about 8500 volts and 5 or 6 milliamperes.
In the spring of 2005, Alex Haylett became fascinated with the work of Philo T Farnsworth, Gene Meeks and Robert L. Hersche in developing the Inertial Electrostatic Confinement Fusion Reactor. This type of reactor was dubbed a “fusor” by Farnsworth, and the name has stuck. Arguably, it is the only type of fusion reactor within the capabilities of the amateur science experimenter.
An enthusiastic group of amateurs continues to experiment with fusors, and Alex, with the assistance of his father Ben Haylett, is proud to be joining their ranks. Information about the group of amateurs experimenting with nuclear fusion can be found on the fusor.net website.
An unofficial division exists between those amateurs actually carrying out nuclear fusion, and those who have stopped at the Demonstration Fusor stage. In September, 2005, Alex and Ben successfully operated their Demonstration Fusor for the first time in the Haylett garage.
Above: Our Current Fusor, shown performing D-D fusion at around 26,000 volts and 8 milliamperes, and producing around 25,000 high energy neutrons/sec. (Approximately 50,000 D-D fusion events are occurring per second. About half destroy the two deuterium atoms, create an atom of Tritium, and release a 3.02 MeV proton. The other half destroy the two deuterium atoms, create an atom of Helium 3, and release a 2.45 MeV neutron.)
Fusion was successfully demonstrated for the first time by Alex & Ben on July 22, 2007! The Deuterium used was obtained from the electrolysis of heavy water – believed to be the first time that this source has been used successfully by an amateur.
Alex is currently a high school student, and his father Ben is an avionics instructor. Both live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
They are believed to be the 23rd amateur individual or team to achieve fusion, and the first in Western Canada.
For a list of amateurs who have successfully demonstrated nuclear fusion, see here.
(Scroll down to: 3. “TheNeutron Club”).
How Can Individuals Experiment With Nuclear Fusion? For an explanation of the Inertial Electrostatic Confinement fusion that we are experimenting with, we recommend the website of Brian McDermott, who first successfully demonstrated Deuterium-Deuterium fusion while still in high school. Here is a link to Brian’s Fusion Is Easy page:
CAVEAT<– These pages describe the construction and operation of equipment that is inherently dangerous. This includes, but is not limited to, the dangers associated with soft X-rays, ultraviolet radiation, high energy neutrons, and very high voltages. Of these, the principal danger, by far, is that presented by high voltage.
To contact Alex & Ben, send email to: robofusor at shaw dot ca
Next: Demonstration Fusor
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