Deuterium Fusion Starships IV

Friedwardt Winterberg’s fusion pulse driven space vehicles initiate fusion by injecting a rapid jolt of energy into the fusion target causing an implosion to high density fast enough that the fuel fuses before being blown apart and loses energy to brehmstrahlung. Vital to successful ignition is to rapidly compress the fuel to extremely high densities as well as injecting sufficient energy for the fuel ions to penetrate their mutual Coulombic repulsion barriers – normally the alike electric charges of protons repel.

But what if there’s a different way?

Leif Holmlid and colleagues have identified an ultra-dense form of deuterium about a million times denser than frozen deuterium. This Winterberg arxiv preprint discusses the implications of using such ultra-dense deuterium as a fusion target, concluding that the ultra-dense state is physically feasible and as a result it reduces the required 10 MJ impulse of energy to a mere 100 J.

Thus the new quantum-capacitor design theoretically has more than enough power (~1019 W/kg estimated) and enough energy storage (1 MJ/kg) to allow a very low-mass ignitor for pulsed fusion…

Digital Quantum Batteries, News at Technology Review and here…
Digital Quantum Batteries

…potentially allowing the construction of very compact space-craft if the ultra-dense state can be produced in large quantities. An earlier paper by Holmlid, Miley found small, ultradense clusters of deuterium in a metallic matrix. They speculated that larger amounts should actually be more stable, by making pressures on the enclosing matrix more even.

SO we may be justified in some speculation.


First – flat discs of ultradense deuterium fired as fusion targets for a “fusion runway” starship launch system. Ignited by a proton beam at a convenient standoff distance and the resulting plasma directed by a Mag-Orion style field.

Second – fuel tankage maybe reduced to a tiny percentage. Very large mass-ratios may become feasible – assuming easy deuterium access. Imagine a cluster of simple pulse units which fall-away as exhausted. The BIS Moon-rocket of 1939 used such a cellular design for a mass-ratio of ~1000. Assuming 0.063 c exhaust velocity that’s a dv of ~0.43 c. Not bad for a fusion rocket. Alan Bond’s fusion rocket paper of 1972 (in the JBIS of course) assumed a 22,000 mass-ratio (i.e. x10 Vex) thus a dv of ~0.63 c.

Third – antimatter spiking of the fusion target starts making sense. Ultradense deuterium has a decent chance of reacting with the antimatter and usefully thermalising the gamma-rays from the neutral pions produced. If (a very big if) ultra-dense anti-deuterium can be made, then reacting the two together may allow something approaching the dream-goal of 0.78c exhaust velocity for an antimatter rocket.

Fourth – what would ultradense matter do to incident gamma-rays??? Could it reflect them? If we can collimate gamma-rays then black-hole and antimatter rockets become reasonable… feasible even, when we can power-up the machines to make them. Ultradense deuterium might also allow force-feeding the attometre scale black-holes of a Crane-Westmoreland blackhole rocket.

Fifth – could multilayer implosions of ultradense deuterium allow higher-level fusion, even black-hole creation? Hopefully the LHC will tell us if black-holes are easier to make thanks to higher-dimensions.

Ideas, ideas… more later.