Letter: And Migma Facts

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 t

Jan 20, 1990
David Bird

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.
If successful, migma promises virtually aneutronic (neutron-free and nonradioactive) energy with small-scale power plants that can be made as large as necessary by "stacking" (adding of migma modules). Migma power plants will be friendly to the environment and the rate-payers' pocketbooks. Utilities will be able to afford them.

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
Director
Advanced Physics Corp.
Princeton, N.J.