- As of September 30, 2011, the WB-8 device has generated over 500 high power plasma shots.
- The newest device has an eightfold increase in magnetic field strength compared to prior WB series devices, with the expectation of higher performance.
- So far as we know, the group is led by Richard Nebel and Jaeyoung Park. The latest report has Mr. Park leading the group.
- What is known is that the experimentation facility is a fully outfitted to measure the confinement and the details needed to design the next step in the scaling of the machine to match the theory.
It is harder to find hard information on this than with the E-cat. But nobody's calling these guys frauds.
In general, I like the concept because it doesn't require heat. This was the hardest part to get my mind around. Everybody knows that fusion requires heat. But this doesn't require heat, it uses electrons. The electrons are confined and form a "well" deep enough to impart enough energy for fusion to take place. Beats constructing a huge building in order to house a tokomak which confines the plasma, which is hot enough to melt anything it touches. As opposed to melting your reactor, the Polywell's trick is to keep those electrons under confinement so that it will provide the energy necessary for fusion.
I look at the Polywell as a type of capacitor. A capacitor confines electrons and releases them when you need them. A capacitor is like a battery, but it doesn't hold nearly as much energy. If somebody can figure out how to hold as much energy as a battery, it would be a great step forward. A big technical problem seems to be in keeping the magnets cooled down. The magnets confine the electrons, and the magnets cannot be allowed to get too hot. I don't why, but it probably has something to do with their effectiveness. If they "thermalize", it is a show stopper.
I've spent a little time browsing the Talk Polywell forum. I don't like forums much. I guess it is a matter of taste. Not my bag, baby. A little Austin Powers lingo there.