Sunday, May 23, 2010

And So, Good Night

I haven't blogged on any topic here in quite some time. This is a combination of fear and disinterest; this is a cobweblog from here out. Good night.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

An Interesting Interview With Dick Weir Of EEStor

GreenLiving has Yahoo video (not video, but all audio) of an interview with Dick Weir of EEStor, in what has to be the longest interview I've ever seen him do. Weir is claiming production in 2010 now; he's missed important deadlines before, so let your skepticism be your guide there. He also addresses (or claims to) a long-form post at outlining why the paramagnetic phase of the proposed barium titanate dielectric cannot do what he says.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Rick Nebel On The Limited Results

For what it's worth:
Here's what we know and what we don't know:

1. We don't have the spatial resolution of the density to see if the cusps are quasi-neutral on the WB-7
2. In one-D simulations the plasma edge (which corresponds to the cusp regions) is not quasi-neutral. Therefore, if the cusps are quasi-neutral it must be a multidimensional effect.
3. Energy confinement on the WB-7 exceeds the classical predictions (wiffleball based on the electron gyro-radius) by a large factor.

Our conclusion is that both the wiffleball and the cusp recycle are working at a reasonable level.

Also getting press elsewhere (Glenn Reynolds among others).

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Hugo Chavez Changes His Mind

President Hugo Chávez, buffeted by falling oil prices that threaten to damage his efforts to establish a Socialist-inspired state, is quietly courting Western oil companies once again.

Until recently, Mr. Chávez had pushed foreign oil companies here into a corner by nationalizing their oil fields, raiding their offices with tax authorities and imposing a series of royalties increases.

But faced with the plunge in prices and a decline in domestic production, senior officials have begun soliciting bids from some of the largest Western oil companies in recent weeks — including Chevron, Royal Dutch/Shell and Total of France — promising them access to some of the world’s largest petroleum reserves, according to energy executives and industry consultants here.

Their willingness to even consider investing in Venezuela reflects the scarcity of projects open to foreign companies in other top oil nations, particularly in the Middle East.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Mark Goldes, Where Are You?

Because your ultraconductors still haven't shown up.

How would you like your crow served?


Monday, December 22, 2008

EEStor's New Patent

There's so much noise — Slashdot, at The EEStory,, and EEStor Ultracapacitors — that it's hard to understand the major issues being bruited in the new U.S. Patent (7466536B1) filed recently by EEStor. Perhaps the most interesting part of this comes in this The EEStory discussion thread about the patent. This post in particular interests me (all lower-case typing is a direct quote):
i found it interesting that the patent describes taking the alumina and PET materials down to -150 degrees C! i'm no expert, but i doubt seriously that's a common practice. that's very cold.

maybe that's the magic fairy dust everyone has missed -- the use of extremely cold temperatures to modify the property of the materials in order to make this seeming violation of physics work.

i've been following eestor for years now and i don't think they've done it, but i do find the mention of ultra cold temperatures used in manufacturing very, very, very interesting. is the low temperature something that would have been done in weir's previous career in hard drives?

as others have said, r. weir is either one of the boldest liars out there or he's an extremely shrewd inventor.

We still, of course, don't even have a demonstration unit released, and there's plenty of good reason to be skeptical. But if they're liars, they're certainly keeping their mouths awfully closed, an awfully long time. It's entirely possible that there were design problems they assumed they could skate past that have proven more problematic than they first thought. It may not ever work, but that is not the same thing as a scam.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Well, It's Something: Polywell Review Panel Gives Thumbs-Up

From Alan Boyle's Cosmic Log blog, the panel reviewing the results of Dr. Nebel's recent Polywell work:
An EMC2 team headed by Los Alamos researcher Richard Nebel (who's on leave from his federal lab job) picked up the baton from Bussard and tried to duplicate the results. The team has turned in its final report, and it's been double-checked by a peer-review panel, Nebel told me today. Although he couldn't go into the details, he said the verdict was positive.

"There's nothing in there that suggests this will not work," Nebel said. "That's a very different statement from saying that it will work."

By and large, the EMC2 results fit Bussard's theoretical predictions, Nebel said. That could mean Polywell fusion would actually lead to a power-generating reaction. But based on the 10-month, shoestring-budget experiment, the team can't rule out the possibility that a different phenomenon is causing the observed effects.

"If you want to say something absolutely, you have to say there's no other explanation," Nebel said. The review board agreed with that conservative assessment, he said.

The good news, from Nebel's standpoint, is that the WB-7 experiment hasn't ruled out the possibility that Polywell fusion could actually serve as a low-cost, long-term energy solution. "If this thing was absolutely dead in the water, we would have found out," he said.

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