THE FUSOR REACTOR: Philo Farnsworth

After assessing the work of Dr. Loff, Western theoreticians proposed that a complexly wound “magnetic bottle” might hold the superhot plasma long enough for nuclear ignition to occur. Everyone who was not yet disappointed to tears jumped into the “magnetic containment game”. Wrappings, symmetries, parallel Loff bars. Bars wrapped at angles, bars wrapped with coils, coils wrapped with opposing coils … the magnetic combinations were endless. After all of these magnetic foibles, most of the American and British magnetic containment systems failed to achieve their theoretical results during their very first few trials.

New resistant plasma phenomena blocked all hopeful progress in this venture. Plasma instabilities. Thoroughly disgruntled magnetic containment researchers found that as power was applied to the gases, instabilities, ripples, and pulsating oscillations suddenly appeared throughout the plasma channel. It seemed as if nature simply did not want hot electrical fusion to happen! Plasma channels wriggled like unwilling snakes against the magnetic bottle, shaking off all of their energy in a single wriggle. In some cases, the superhot plasma columns burst through their metal chamber walls. These circumstances were extremely dangerous. Quasi-nuclear explosions did occur in test sites, radioactivity spilling out into facilities.

The score being a miserable record of defeats, none of the most serious and highly funded hot fusion ventures, unfortunately, succeeded. Each project failed to deliver the promise of sustained nuclear hot fusion power. Because of the numerous failed magnetic containment projects, most physicists simply left the controlled hot fusion race altogether. In methodic succession, and after several billion dollars were spent, it became apparent that magnetic containment systems would not succeed at all. There were those who preferred to collect grants, assuring themselves of bureaucratically “safe” positions. Rather than risk their yearly salaries on radically new scientific ventures, they chose alternate related routes of employment. Survivalism. There were those who used the fusion projects in “throwaway” fashion just to survive.

There are those whose jaded personalities have taken a survivalistic stance, already accepting that hot fusion is a dead-end. A dead-end, but a steady income. Many researchers stepped down from the “performance risky” pedestal of success oriented hot fusion projects, assuming lower profile positions as hot fusion theoreticians. Books sell better and longer. The royalties continue after each unsuccessful project. It was easy to write papers and analytical discussions on the numerous failed projects, simply because there were so many failures from which to draw “copy”. Survival. Library shelves became flooded with these fusion-related papers and texts. But still no fusion reactor.


The loss of the Hot fusion Dream became another lost social quest, another socially prolific disappointment. It seemed that, after World War II, every potential new technology of promise was methodically assessed by regulators as “impractical and impossible”. Curiously and conspicuously, these assessments all coincided with the early war effort in Viet Nam. Obviously the re-alignment of national interests followed the re-alignment of old money in Indochina. And financial re-alignments have no problem with the loss of any socially vital developments. Whether or not a providential discovery becomes socially proliferated is no concern of theirs.

But the consequences did not become desperate for regulators. A disappointed society can be controlled. Each lost social dream becomes a new social malaise. National demoralizations manifest when social myths are deferred. Therefore, the synthetic manufacture of new and continual myths, of new “dreams”, is actively sought. Government propaganda mills replace each deferred hope. When once having dissuaded the natural flow of discoveries for the sake of old money interests, government regulators sponsor synthetic dreams to replace what they remove. But even the smallest child knows when a dream, a real dream, has been taken away.

Unfortunately and tragically, it is the adults who discover that the deepest dreams have not only been deferred, but made impossible to achieve. The production of alternative social goals and other myths makes its continual appeal for our attentions. Such false dreams are drawn from a rich surplus of dreamers and schemers found throughout the surplus American intelligentsia. Choosing one synthetic dream out of many has become regulatory policy. Bread and circuses.

The dream visions and goals, which a government hoists before the eyes of its citizens in state of the union messages, promotes a social poise, which can seem thrilling. Thrilling, for the spoken moment. But, if a dream vision has been truly obtained through the providential discovery source, then it alone succeeds. In the heart of every fantasy embellished dream, points a diamond truth. While the false prophets and their synthetic dream visions fell to the ground, like pretty paper kites in so many colored pieces, there was a truth to fusion. One man found it. The gross over funding of new hot fusion projects represents a means for maintaining public morale at a very subliminal level by means of a synthetic dream. It, however, is a funding campaign based in abject ignorance. Fusion was achieved. A successful fusion reactor was designed and tested. Tested, and forgotten.

The stubborn development of magnetic containers yet continues. Even the Russian Tokamak Reactor, however gigantic, cannot achieve the short-range controlled hot fusion objective. This is why their Western protagonists demand federal funding for another fifty years! During the 1970’s there were notable and alternative experimental systems, which employed focused laser light to trigger hot fusion in hydrogen gas. But these huge systems, however alternative in approach, proved grossly ineffectual. It was later discovered that Sandia Labs conducted these experimental baubles to cover a military project in which the hundred-yard laser played an essential role. Dreams deferred. Hopes disappointed.

If not for a single significant lost chapter in the history of hot fusion research, we would have grounds to accept the chatter of those who supply their own needs by publicizing the already fulfilled quest. All of the academic banter and poised public relations campaigns stand in conspicuous contradiction to an event which occurred in 1965, when a working controlled hot fusion reactor was both successfully demonstrated and discarded before 1966 under suspicious circumstances. Even as these newest magnetic containment projects are being designed and attempted, a controlled hot fusion reactor had already been routinely operated.