Future Energy eNews

Integrity Research Institute November 22, 2002

1) Government Official Attempts to Suppress Alternative Energy Breakthrough - Two fusion physicists have been threatened with firing at Los Alamos Labs and forced to recant spectacular results that promise cheap clean, non-radioactive energy and breakthrough billion degree temperatures because Tokamaks are more important.

2) Roswell Crash: Startling New Evidence -- SCI FI Channel Special - This two-hour special presents the "smoking gun" tonight (and repeated for the next two weeks). In addition to an archeological investigation into the site of the crash, and interviews with witnesses, a photo enhancement of the Gen. Ramey memo from a 1947 photo reveals the incriminating evidence of "victims of the wreck" shipped to Ft. Worth. Brian Gumbel is the host.

3) Space tourism 'viable at $15,000 a seat' -- Giving new hope for the future, Jay Penn of The Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo, California says he can get the trip down to an affordable price.

4) APS Surprisingly Shows Interest in Accountability in Physics a Week after IRI Conference -- Physicists are caught fabricating data. Online statement issued on improving education for professional ethics, standards and practices. The question is whether the standards also applies to journal reviewers.

1) Government Official Attempts to Suppress Alternative Energy Breakthrough

Los Alamos Orders Physicist to Recant New Fusion Results that Promise Cheap Clean Energy Billion Degree Breakthrough for Very Hot Fusion (Focus Fusion - May 28, 2002) http://www.focusfusion.org/press/press.html

Two fusion physicists have been threatened with firing at Los Alamos Labs and forced to recant spectacular results that promise cheap clean, non-radioactive energy. The results demonstrate the achievement of temperatures of over a billion degrees in a compact fusion device called the plasma focus.

For the first time of temperatures above one billion degrees have been achieved in a dense plasma. The breakthrough, achieved with a compact and inexpensive device called the plasma focus, is a step toward controlled fusion energy using advanced fuels that generate no radioactivity. This new technology holds the promise of providing an environmentally safe, cheap, and effectively unlimited energy source. Mr. Lerner announced the achievement at the International Conference on Plasma Science, a major scientific conference, in Banff, Alberta, Canada . The other leaders of the research team are Dr. Bruce Freeman of Texas A and M University (College Station, Texas), where the experiments were performed last August, and Dr. Hank Oona of the Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos, NM). The results have been submitted for publication to Physica Scripta, a widely-known physics journal. The technical paper is available at: http://arXiv.org/abs/physics/0205026.

These results are significant because temperatures above 1 billion degrees are needed to burn hydrogen-boron fuel. When hydrogen and boron fuse in a plasma focus they release energy in the form of a beam of charged particles -- nuclei of helium atoms. This beam can be converted directly to electricity through a kind of high-tech transformer. This would be much cheaper than producing steam to drive turbines as occurs in fossil fuel and nuclear-electric generator plants.

Another advantage of the hydrogen boron reaction is that it produces no high-energy neutrons (in fact produces almost no neutrons at all), and so does not create radioactive products in the reactor structure or elsewhere. In contrast, deuterium-tritium, the fuel planned to be used in the tokamak and other fusion reactor concepts, releases its energy in the form of high energy neutrons, creating radioactivity in the reactors and necessitating the same steam cycle that is in use today.

In addition, the plasma focus device is much smaller and cheaper to build than the tokamak. A tokamak fills a gymnasium-sized room and costs several hundred million dollars to build. In contrast, the Texas A&M plasma focus device is contained in a converted service station and such devices cost less than $500,000 to build.

The plasma focus functions in a fundamentally different way from other fusion devices. Tokamaks and most other fusion devices use powerful magnets to attempt to stabilize the plasma - the extremely hot, electrically conducting gas in which the fusion reactions occur. This task has been likened to lifting gelatin with rubber bands. Instead, the plasma focus takes advantage of the natural instabilities of the plasma, so that the plasma's own magnetic fields compress it and heat it. "The plasma focus works with the plasma, not against it," says Lerner.

The researchers expect that their findings will be controversial. "Unfortunately, the whole fusion field is still centered on tokamak research, and most researchers simply are not willing to look at other devices, especially those as radically different as the plasma focus," Lerner explains. As a result of this bias in the field, funding for the plasma focus has been extremely small. "I think the problem arises when funding is restricted and then scientists start to view each other as competing for funds," Lerner says. "I don't think that any of us should view each other as competitors for resources. I strongly feel that all alternative routes to fusion should be adequately funded. The fusion field as a whole needs more money."

The Texas experiment was funded by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory because of the possible use of the plasma focus in space propulsion.

To help fund further research, Mr. Lerner and some colleagues have recently set up the Focus Fusion Society, which intends to raise money from the general public for plasma focus research. (More information is available at the Focus Fusion Society web site, http://www.focusfusion.org.)

For opinions on this research by experts familiar with the plasma focus contact:
Dr. Alexander B. Kukushkin
Institute for Nuclear Fusion
Russian Research Center "Kurchatov Institute"
Moscow, 123182, RUSSIA
Tel.: 7 (095) 196 7334
Fax: 7 (095) 943 0073

Dr. Jan Brzosko brzoskoj@diana-hitech.com or
Dr. Charles Powell
(201) 223-9930
ext. 3#, 2#

2) Roswell Crash: Startling New Evidence -- SCI FI Channel Special

After presenting a scholarly conference recently at George Washington University on the topic of UFOs, the SCI FI Channel now offers another scientific presentation in a two-hour special. Considered by many to be the Holy Grail of all UFO stories, the Roswell incident has captured the imagination of the public for decades. This two-hour special, "The Roswell Crash: Startling New Evidence," reopens the case with a ground-breaking investigation that includes all-new eyewitness interviews, up-to-the-minute breaking revelations, and never-before-seen footage. From the initial news of a "disk" being recovered in the desert to SCI FI's latest "smoking gun" shocker, this special two-hour examination of the Roswell incident offers the definitive account of what may be the most important event of the 20th century. http://www.scifi.com/events/event.php3?event_id=6396&date=11/22/2002 (Disclosure Project Atty. Dan Sheehan is also interviewed.)

SCI FI Roswell Special Air dates:
Friday, 11/22 - 8:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m.
Monday, 11/25 - 5:00 p.m.
Wednesday, 11/27 - 12:00 p.m. & 11:30 p.m.
Monday, 12/2 - 2:00 p.m.
Saturday, 12/7 - 9:00 a.m.
Sunday, 12/15 - 9:00 a.m.






3) Space tourism 'viable at $15,000 a seat'

Ian Sample, 31 October 02 New Scientist www.newscientist.com

The time is ripe for developing a profitable space tourism industry, according to advisers to the US Air Force space programme. They have developed a strategy that they say could make space flight so cheap it could attract millions of space tourists within 10 years.

So far, space tourism has been open only to multi-millionaires. In 2001, American businessman Dennis Tito became the first space tourist, paying a reported $20 million for a place on a Russian Soyuz rocket that docked with the International Space Station (ISS). South African Internet millionaire Mark Shuttleworth followed earlier in 2002.

But it does not have to be so expensive, says Jay Penn of The Aerospace Corporation in El Segundo, California, which provides engineering research support for the US Department of Defense's space programme. "There is no fundamental technological reason why you can't achieve space tourism," he says. "We think we can get the price down to around $15,000 a passenger."

To gauge the potential market, Penn and his colleague Charles Lindley used a 1995 survey that asked people how much they would be willing to pay for a ticket into space. From this they estimated that a price tag of around $15,000 a ticket would pull in about a million passengers a year. They then worked out how to bring the price per flight down to this level.

Two-stage system

Penn and Lindley found that the cheapest and quickest way to get lots of people into space and back would be to develop a two-stage shuttle system. The first stage resembles a short, fat rocket with wings. This takes a smaller winged rocket to the edge of space, where it fires up its own motors to push it into Earth orbit.

The first stage glides back down to Earth to be refuelled for another launch. Meanwhile, the second stage docks with an orbiting space station, unloads its passengers, and collects previous passengers from the space station for the return trip.

In a forthcoming paper in the journal Acta Astronautica, Penn and Lindley say the reusable system will allow the number of flights to be stepped up dramatically to around 9500 a year, compared with the current 10 or so shuttle launches.

The fleet and infrastructure would take about seven years to develop, and could start to turn in a profit after only six years of flights (see chart).

Low maintenance

To make this viable, the rockets would need to work reliably for hundreds of flights with very little maintenance. This means ensuring that they are kept well within their design limits - unlike the shuttle's engines, which are sometimes run at 109 per cent of the power they were designed to withstand.

This would slash the number of ground engineers from the thousands needed by the shuttle, to a few dozen.

Another way to save money is to abandon liquid hydrogen as a fuel and use kerosene instead. Because the density of liquid hydrogen is very low, rockets need huge volumes of it to get them into orbit. This in turn means building vast tanks that are expensive to make and run because they have to be pressurised and operate at ultra-cold temperatures.

Kerosene is much denser, so the tanks can be made a lot smaller. It can also be stored at room temperature and is far cheaper, at around 15 cents per kilogram instead of $6 per kilogram for hydrogen.

Related Stories


House rules for space tourists agreed
1 February 2002


Space tourist vehicle unveiled in Russia
15 March 2002


Russia plans space tourist outpost
4 September 2001




Acta Astronautica

Aerospace Corporation



Miscellaneous Links of Value to Researchers

Renewable energy online college course


Researching scientific integrity and the future


Tesla Wardenclyffe Project


Zero-point energy power plant


Casimir device for liberating usable energy


Recommend espacenet for searching worldwide patents:


4) American Physical Society Apparently Responds to IRI Conference on Energy & Accountability

WHAT'S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 22 Nov 02 Washington, DC www.aps.org/WN

In what may be remembered as the summer of lost faith, physicists
woke up to find two separate cases of blatant fabrication in
physics research. And it wasn't just two loners: Ninov and
Schoen. They had as many as 15 coauthors on some of the papers
(WN 19 Jun 02). This was not supposed to happen in physics. In
some soft science maybe, but not in physics. At its meeting two
weeks ago, the APS Council revised the "APS Guidelines for
Professional Conduct" to spell out coauthor responsibility
www.aps.org/statements/02.2.html and added a "Statement on
improving education for professional ethics, standards and
practices" www.aps.org/statements/02.4.html

Courtesy of www.IntegrityResearchInstitute.org