X-ray energies continue to increase to hundreds of keV. Shots taken at the end of October have shown very high X-ray energies. LPP can’t yet say precisely how hot the electrons producing the X-rays are, but it is clear that the typical X-rays emitted must have energies of around 150 keV, with large fractions at 200-300 keV, above the minimum goals we have set for our spin-off X-ray inspection application. The total amount of X-rays emitted (tens of mJ) are still far short of the goals for this application, and more data will be needed to get a precise measurement of the X-ray spectrum and the electron energy distribution, but we are excited about the progress thus far.
More rugged spark plug designs are being manufactured.
Dr. Michael Brown, Professor of Physics at Swarthmore University, was asked by the Abell Foundation to prepare a progress report on LPP’s project. The review was very thorough and the report is quite favorable: “I was generally very impressed with the operation at LLP,” Brown wrote in his summary. “The group has clearly made significant progress in the past year. The operation is very professional and the procedures they follow are scientific. I feel that this work is worthy of support.”
Dr. Brown’s basic concern was with the indisputable fact that our current results are several orders of magnitude away from demonstrating the scientific feasibility of net energy. We addressed that gap in our comments on the report. Dr. Brown made several useful recommendations concerning better statistics, determining the isotropy of the neutron emissions, better graphical presentation, and better marshalling of evidence. We are taking these recommendations seriously and should be able to implement them quickly