Fusor running

Farnsworth–Hirsch fusor during operation in so called "star mode" characterized by "rays" of glowing plasma which appear to emanate from the gaps in the inner grid.

A fusor is a device that uses an electric field to heat ions to conditions suitable for nuclear fusion. The machine generates an electric potential difference between two metal cages inside a vacuum. Positive ions fall down this voltage drop, building up speed. If they collide in the center, they can fuse. This is a type of inertial electrostatic confinement device. A Farnsworth–Hirsch fusor is the most common type of fusor.[1]

Neutron sourceEdit

The fusor has been demonstrated as a viable neutron source. Typical fusors cannot reach fluxes as high as nuclear reactor or particle accelerator sources, but are sufficient for many uses. Importantly, the neutron generator easily sits on a benchtop, and can be turned off at the flick of a switch. A commercial fusor was developed as a non-core business within DaimlerChrysler Aerospace - Space Infrastructure, Bremen between 1996 and early 2001.[2] After the project was effectively ended, the former project manager established a company which is called NSD-Fusion.[3] To date, the highest neutron flux achieved by a fusor-like device has been 3 × 1011 neutrons per second with the deuterium-deuterium fusion reaction.[4][5][3]


  1. "Biography of Philo Taylor Farnsworth". University of Utah Marriott Library Special Collections.,2160. Retrieved 2007-07-05. 
  2. Miley, G. H.; Sved, J (October 2000). "The IEC star-mode fusion neutron source for NAA--status and next-step designs". Appl Radiat Isot 53 (4–5): 779–83. PMID 11003520. 
  3. 3.0 3.1
  4. "Phoenix Nuclear Labs meets neutron production milestone", PNL press release May 1, 2013, Ross Radel, Evan Sengbusch
  5., SHINE Medical Technologies, accessed 1-20-2014