The article by Robert Crease about Bogdan Maglich and migma aneutronic fusion seems more like a gossip column than a scientific critique.
Notwithstanding Crease's comments on Maglich's personality, there remain facts not mentioned in the story about the research that Maglich, along with distinguished colleagues, has conducted over an 18-year period that bear national attention and scrutiny:
- Maglich has performed four experiments, Migma I-IV (1973, 1975, 1976, 1982), each one getting closer to the "reactor" conditions.
- The temperature equivalent necessary for an aneutronic reaction is 100 times greater than that needed for thermal fusion. That temperature was exceeded in Migma II (1975) at 15 billion degrees.
- Holding the temperature level - an ion confinement time of 25 seconds, 100 times longer than that achieved in the best "mainline" fusion experiments - was achieved in Migma IV (1982).
- The product, ion density x confinement time, needs to be additionally increased between 100 to 1000 times. A planned experiment awaits funding.
- The total cost of migma fusion research has been about $20 million (1989 dollar equivalents). The cost of the Migma V experiment is estimated at $2.0 million.
U.S. taxpayers have spent, since 1950, more than $20 billion on so-called mainline fusion, which has yet to achieve proof-of-principle. Congress funds the fusion establishment (through DOE) on a "maintenance basis," now at about $350 million annually.
Isn't it time to shift 1% or less of those funds to a promising alternate concept, migma aneutronic fusion?
- DAVID BIRD
- Advanced Physics Corp.
- Princeton, N.J.