Robert Bussard's fusion project at Energy Matter Conversion Corporation was aimed at investigating Proton-Boron fusion, because it is clean and produces no high-energy neutrons. I was really hoping this was a follow-on to that work. The device Bussard called a Polywell actually shows some serious potential to revolutionize nuclear power globally. It even shows enough promise that the US Navy has been funding some small-scale experiments. It's unfortunate that Bussard died before he could see the potential of the Polywell realized, but it would be nice to see it succeed none the less.
You don't need a RED. The season 6 finale of House was shot entirely with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR, a camera body which these days can be had for under $3K. Admittedly lenses will set you back a bit, but you could probably still set up a high-def capable recording studio for less than $50,000 including a couple camera bodies, lenses and motion stabilizing rigs.
Why they threw $168 million at this and not Robert Bussard's Polywell fusion reactor is beyond me. They even had Dr. Bussard come and talk about his project at one of their Google TechTalks back in 2006... but no, Google isn't interested in clean and virtually limitless power. Participating in a gigantic construction project in the middle of nowhere is more their speed.
Bussard believed that $200 million was what would take to get a full-scale test reactor built that would prove out the net-gain fusion capabilities of his design. He'd been working on the project with limited funding by the US Navy to stay off the radar of the DOE. All fusion research in this country is dominated by the DOE and their as-yet unproven approaches and they tend to restrict federal funding from going to a new approach. Once the information embargo was lifted, Bussard was invited to speak at a Google TechTalk and show everyone what he'd been working on for the prior 11 years during which he'd not published a damn thing.
It's been five years. Five years since that talk and to the best of my knowledge there has been no significant financial contribution into this radical piece of technology that would completely revolutionize domestic energy production; nothing outside of a few million here and there from the US Navy.
I have to say that I'm disappointed.
Surface doesn't use FTIR, it uses a vision-based system. It was detailed by Popular Mechanics.
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