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Re: [Phys-L] proton-boron laser fusion

On 06/23/2014 10:41 AM, David Marx wrote:
I was just reading an article on a new approach to achieve fusion called focus
fusion. I was wondering if any plasma fusion experts on the list could
comment on it and whether it's an approach that is expected to work.

There are two questions there:
a) Is hydrogen-boron laser fusion a real thing, and
b) Will this form the basis for a viable power industry.

The answer to the first question is definitely yes.
-- The reaction p + ^{11}B --> 3α is a real thing.
-- That reaction produces no neutrons, which is a
tremendous advantage in a power plant. OTOH
there are minor side-reactions to worry about.
-- Making the reaction go turns out to be 100,000
times easier than previously thought.
-- There has been steady progress in making pulsed
lasers with super-high peak power.

As to the second question, I have no idea. It's hard
to tell where the hype ends and the facts begin. The
answer would require a detailed /comparison/ with the
alternatives, such as covering the entire Gobi desert
with solar cells.


It's fairly easy to find information on stuff like this
using google /scholar/. Google scholar results tend to
be far more informative than generic google results.
The name "focus fusion" is not helpful, but more
descriptive terms can be used:

That leads to documents such as: