DPF Collaboration Formed

On Sept. 17, fifteen experienced DPF researchers from Europe, Asia and the United States met at a workshop in Warsaw, Poland, and agreed to set up a closer web-based collaboration network.

The workshop was organized by the International Scientific Committee of the International Centre for Dense Magnetized Plasmas, a group of several dozen DPF researchers. At the suggestion of LPP’s Lerner, participants agreed to set up a web location devoted to the exchange of data, unpublished results, useful programs, as well as published papers. The closer collaboration will enable researchers, including LPP, to test hypotheses against other ongoing work and to suggest experiments to other groups with different devices and instruments.

The workshop participants also agreed to organize an international workshop exclusively devoted to DPF research to be held either in Warsaw or Trieste, Italy, in October, 2012. Funds will be sought to allow participation from the dozens of DPF groups in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The workshop followed the PLASMA 2011 conference in Warsaw from Sept. 12-16, a gathering of some 100 plasma researchers mainly from Europe. Lerner presented recent results on Sept. 16 in a 45-minute review and then focused on the most important points in ten-minute comments at the subsequent DPF workshop. Other DPF researchers were struck by the tight correlation of neutron yield and voltage spike that Lerner reported, which represented a major achievement for a device as historically variable as the DPF.

Researchers reported a number of important results at the conference and workshop. Chris Hagen reported achieving 1012 neutrons with the 1-MJ Gemini DPF in Las Vegas, but has been unable to push past this level. LPP attributes this to electrode size, as Gemini’s electrodes are twice that of FoFu-1. The large DPF at Warsaw, PF-1000, has electrodes 4 times the size of FoFu-1’s. The PF-1000 team’s lead scientist, Dr. Pavel Kubes, reported confined ions at 20-30 kiloelectron volts (keV). This is one-fifth the average energy achieved by FoFu-1, and consistent with what LPP would predict for their device. PF-1000 will be shutting down next month for 18 months of upgrades, but not before an ambitious experiment that will attempt to directly measure the magnetic field within its plasmoid. Such measurements could bolster theoretical models of the DPF.

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