Theory of the Dense Plasma Focus as Fusion Device and Experimental Results

Eric Lerner, LPP Fusion, Inc.
October 18, 2017, 11:00am - 12:00pm, EBU-II 479



The Dense Plasma focus device offers a very different and possibly much shorter route to practical fusion energy than the tokamak. Its functioning relies on utilizing natural plasma instabilities rather than attempting to suppress them. In this seminar we will discuss the current state of quantitative theories of the device, experimental results and near-term plans to test the ability of the DPF to operate with hydrogen-boron (pB11) fuel.



Eric Lerner, President and Chief Scientist of LPP Fusion, Inc., has been active in dense plasma focus (DPF) research for over 30 years. Beginning in 1984, he developed a detailed quantitative theory of the functioning of DPF. Based on this theory, he proposed that the DPF could achieve high ion and electron energies at high densities, suitable for advanced fuel fusion and space propulsion. Under a series of contracts with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, he planned and participated in carrying out experiments that tested and confirmed this theory. In addition, he developed an original model of the role of the quantum magnetic field effect on DPF functioning, showing that this effect could have a large effect on increasing ion temperature and decreasing electron temperature, which would reduce unwanted X-ray cooling of the plasma. Experiments under his direction at LPPF have demonstrated record high confined ion energies, using the mega-ampere  FF-1 plasma focus device.

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