Saturday Slam

Blog Post



(Captioned Photo) A team of researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics (IPP) and the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wein) has found a way to control Type-I ELM plasma instabilities, which can melt the walls of fusion devices. The work is published in the journal Physical Review Letters and referenced at

For the method to work, plasmas must be heated to 100 million degrees Celsius in reactors. Magnetic fields enclose the plasma keeping the walls of the reactor from melting. The shell that forms around the plasma can only work because the outermost centimeters of the edge of that shell, called the magnetically formed plasma edge, are extremely well insulated.

There is however a problem with this way of enclosing the sun-level heat of the plasma. In that edge region, there are plasma instabilities, called edge localized modes (ELMs). ELMs occur frequently, during the fusion reaction. During an ELM, energetic particles from the plasma may hit the wall of the reactor, potentially damaging it.

The reactor is called a toroidal tokamak fusion reactor. In this reactor, ultra-hot plasma particles move at high speeds. Powerful magnetic coils ensure that the particles remain confined instead of hitting the reactor walls and damaging them.

How a fusion reactor works is complicated, and the dynamics inside are also complex. The motion of the particles depends on the plasma density, temperature, and magnetic field. How these parameters are chosen dictates how the reactor will function. When the smaller particles of plasma hit the walls or the reactor, instead of a round shape, the reactor takes on a triangular shape with rounded corners, but the shape is far less damaged than with a large ELM.

“It’s a bit like a cooking pot with a lid, where the water starts to boil,” Georg Harrer lead author of the paper explains. “If the pressure keeps building up, the lid will lift and rattle heavily due to the escaping steam. But if you tilt the lid slightly, then steam can continuously escape, and the lid remains stable and doesn’t rattle.”


Hadrian’s Wall, England

The Devil’s Causeway, which splits from Dere Street and runs right through Northumberland, was itself a boundary line separating pro-Roman treaty beneficiaries from the anti-Roman cattle herding groups in the wilder, hillier land to the west.  Therefore, the wall didn’t need to go all the way to the sea.

For those of you with an interest, the article linked here takes a dive into the subject.

In return for being left free by the Romans, they paid a hefty tribute in corn and probably supplied auxiliary soldiers. The Romans had been practicing this kind of protection racket for a long time before reaching northern Britain. They had introduced luxuries like wine, olive oil, and high-quality tableware to the southern kings since the first Claudian invasion in AD 43, and some of these kings received citizenship, while their sons were educated at Rome, which also served to bind their fathers’ loyalty.


Bullet Points

** The UFO Stuff Resurfaces – Really?

** When Sen. Fetterman (D-PA) 5150d himself at Walter Reed Hospital, his wife split with the kids on vacation.

** It’s worth remembering that democrat mayors sent SWAT teams shut down churches, restaurants, barbershops, and gyms, but cheered when ANTIFA and BLM burned and looted their way through their cities.  I’m not even going to start with the Canadian National Govt.

** The Best Sci-Fi deals with the weather, homosexuality, and slavery. (Washington Examiner)

**. As I’ve said for decades, the Russians are happy to negotiate until they get what they want. To the Russians that is the measure of a successful “negotiation”. If circumstances do not permit them to achieve their goals, they will not negotiate. This is not so much a criticism as it is an observation. It is just the way they look at the process and purpose of negotiations and diplomacy.

“But [Mr Putin] doesn’t want an off-ramp. The goals of this special military operation will be achieved. He says that all the time.”

** The Chinese Balloon trick worked. The media forgot about all of those documents in Pedo Joe’s garage. Wag the dog…

** In Europe, wearing white socks is a fashion faux pas. The sock color should match the color of the trousers, according to Europeans. A leaked memo from the Dutch Finance Ministry stated that wearing white socks is “transgressing the limits of decent dress behavior.”


Not around the corner –  but still local to me.

37 thoughts on “Saturday Slam

    1. Who am I to judge, maybe they have an arrangement, but to abandon your man when he’s in need doesn’t pass the smell test.

  1. Fusion reactor, fascinating but way above my pay grade. Reminds me of the Judge Smails reply when Danny the caddie was bemoaning the fact that his parents couldn’t afford to send him to college.

    “Well, the world needs ditch diggers also!”

    I will be over here in the ditch, if anybody needs hit in the head with a shovel let me know!

    1. The promise of fusion energy is not without risks. I don’t think that I’d want a fusion plant located down the street. To do it, you create a tiny sun, burning energy the way that a sun does. There are no control rods to manage the reaction. If it f-s up, the meltdown makes Chornobyl look like a back yard bbq.

      1. What’s the volume of the plasma at any given time? I always thought it was a minuscule amount, and not enough to melt the neighborhood, as it were, even if the entire system went down.

        1. I honestly don’t know, but containment remains the big problem. The good side is that if it does break containment, it’s not radioactive. Just fusing hydrogen.

      2. The idea of making the reactor more stable by making the shape of the plasma less ideal is counterintuitive. They turn the plasma shape from an ellipsoid into something more triangular making the ELM collisions more frequent but less energetic so less damaging. They’re creating more lower energy collisions to keep the system from creating the bigger and more damaging collisions.

        There’s a story that someone once asked J.B.S. Haldane, a famous British geneticist/biologist what a lifetime of studying biology had taught him about the preferences of God, should there be one. He answered, “He has an inordinate fondness for beetles.”

        For decades I’ve been saying that answer should be “an inordinate fondness for partial differential equations.” The behavior of the magnetic fluids at 100 million degrees C is described by both Maxwell’s equations and the Navier-Stokes equations, which are both sets of partial differential equations.

        1. VM…Popular Mechanics, Politics-R-Us, Practical Guns n Ammo, and Nuclear Science Today all in one place. I am getting an education on a daily basis.

          Love it!

  2. Looks like the Grand Canyon! I really enjoy visiting that hole in the ground, a place I use the word “wow!” a lot in walking the south rim…

    1. It is true that the Grand Canyon is just a big hole in the ground, but it’s a spectacular hole.

  3. A wall is a tax collection system where formerly a farmer could go to his neighbor and trade now he has to go thru a gate and who should be standing in the gate why the tax man

  4. “happy to negotiate until they get what they want.”

    Forty dollars for a [sex act]? That’s crazy! Who evah hoid of thoity dollars for a [sex act]? I’m a generous guy so I’ll give you twenty dollars for the [sex act]. Now here’s yer ten bucks, honey. You’re welcome.

    1. I recall being told, “I wouldn’t f you for a million dollars.”

      “That being the case, we’ve established you’re a whore and now we’re just negotiating the price.”

      1. I’m often paid in cash, and I like to pay cash…referred to in the industry as “stripper money”.

  5. So do the Chinese studying in our universities become bound to America, like Arminius was bound to Rome due to his education there?

    1. No.

      The Chinese who study in America (for the most part) group together with other Chinese, socialize with Chinese, eat Chinese food, and return home with a very imperfect understanding of America.

  6. In “Midnight on the Desert”, J.B. Priestley said, “I have heard rumors of visitors who were disappointed. The same people will be disappointed at the Day of Judgement. In fact, the Grand Canyon is sort of a landscape Day of Judgement.”


  7. Fetterman has has shown up for “work” as a CongressCritter maybe 15 days and I assume he now has top rate healthcare for life.

    1. I doubt that he was present all of 15 days. Maybe half that and didn’t understand anything nor could he communicate due to his impairment. Very woke.

      1. The latest update on Fedderman is that he can’t take care of himself and that’s one reason he’s still in hospital (Daycare). No wonder the missus copped a walk. The dems will keep him in office even if he’s a drooling vegetable.

  8. Yeah, SF in general has fallen far. There’s still some good stuff out there, but I long for the shelves in bookstores of the ’80s, filled to bursting…

    That’s a very pretty ridge. Would be cool to climb up there, if I were still 30.


  9. Hadrian’s Wall. Very spooky place to walk along on a dreary winter afternoon (of which there are quite a few). Of the probably 10 or so times I visited parts of the wall while I lived in the UK it was only sunny there on one occasion that I recall.

    Fetterman. Sadly a marriage of convenience that served it purpose. I wonder who the governor has lined up to take his seat or if he will phone in his votes from Walter Reed. Which brings up a question of whether his vote should count or not if he is truly not mentally competent.

    Fusion is just 30 years down the road…still. But the benefits are so great that we do have to keep up the research.

    Beautiful picture of the Arizona wilderness.

    SF, I don’t like what is now “mainstream SF”. I do agree with Kle that there is still some good stuff out there but you have to do a little digging to find it.

    1. I lived in Carlisle, a hundred yards or so from that end, which was turf, not stone. I had opportunity to visit the wall and came away with the same impression.

  10. We’ll see if they reactor holds together for any length of time under pressure… Re the rim, beautiful picture!!!

  11. Don’t put the emergency generators that run the emergency cooling pumps in the basement where the tsunami will flood them. I wish that Feynman could have pushed the head of a Westinghouse engineer into a tub of sea water on TV.

    Fusion is big science pork. The better answer is The US already got this working in the lab in the 1960’s, but it was abandoned because the fuel system did not lead to bombs. If the modern design overheats, a plug melts out of the reactor bottom, spreading the fuel out so it cools, and it fails safe. Lots of Thorium feedstock is available, although the EPA makes it uneconomic to mine in the US.

    1. On the bright side, Big Science Pork is pretty small, by Pork standards.

      Once, I would have said that it was also Pork going to people I like to see funded, but nowadays Academia has aligned itself with the enemies of Civilization.

      Thorium reactors would be nice. Somehow I don’t foresee much movement there from the crook / moron / traitor cabal in DC any time soon.



      1. “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them, and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” — Frederick Douglass

        If you want the right to keep and bear nuclear power, you will have to figure out how to defend that from enemies who want to strip it from you. That your enemies are your “countrymen” is just a fact of the battlefield.

Comments are closed.

Scroll to top