Dr. Bussard thought that a full scale net energy Polywell Fusion program could be done for $200 million. What could be done to advance the knowledge base that wouldn't require that kind of commitment?
I have been giving some thought to what the next step in the Polywell Fusion experiments might be. Here is what I have so far:
I think a continuous operation experiment (LN2 cooled Cu magnet coils described at WB-7x Design) could reach .45 T for about $20 million. Most of that going into power supplies. That is a rough estimate: +/- 5 million is probably 1 sigma.
If I was begging that is one place to start.
Or maybe forget the big power supplies and go for a pulsed small superconducting model. If a lot of neutrons (1E12/sq cm Second) were not generated (or only generated in pulses) MgB would be a good candidate for the coil material if the coils were totally custom.
Heck it might be good just to buy an MRI machine for the coils. An MRI can be had for about $1 million. If you can get just the coils they might only be $200K. A WB machine built like that could be done for probably $5 to $7 million. If it shows good pulsed results pony up for the power supplies. And start thinking about a 100 MW machine.
Why hasn't Polywell Fusion been funded by the Obama administration?