On the way in I was thinking about the debate about nuclear power going on at the moment. My opinion is that it’s a very necessary evil required until we find something reliable and better, such as fussion. This got me thinking about the whole fusion thing…
The tokamak design is troublesome, when you get up to high energies the electric currents in the plasma make it almost impossible to control, especially as the plasma has to go around a corner and hence it’s not symetrical. A better solution would be to have a cylindrical magnetic container, but magnetic bottles leak at the ends, it was tried in the 1950’s.
Now, what if we didn’t have worry about the plasma leaking at the ends? What if we couldn’t care less, because the leaking, hot plasma would merely be pre-heating new plasma fuel coning up the line?
Has anyone tried using a pair of magnetic bottle conveyor belts, say half a mile or a mile long, each taking cool plasma in at one end and heating it up and accelerating it (not to relativistic speeds though, this isn’t a particle accelerator) as it’s pumped by moving magentic bottles towards a reaction chamber at the centre? I envisage the reaction chamber using a pulsed magnetic bottle to finally heat and compress the plasma to reaction temperatures and pressures and then releasing the partly reacted plasma to be used to heat water and generate electricity, also to be cleaned up with the helium removed and fed back into the ends of the pipelines once again. Plasma leakage at the ends wouldn’t be a problem as the plasma would be cool enough for normal materials to cope.
I need a fusion physicist to tell me the problem with this design!