Fusion Experiment Tracker
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Who would use the tracker? What primary tasks would they want to carry out with it? Here are some preliminary thoughts.
- Scientists clearing through information signal: keeping track of the field as a whole, scanning for gaps, info, inspiration, metrics for comparison and perspective, insight into other approaches;
- Scientists seeking capital: Fast track Peer review
- Students: seeking most current info on projects to work on;
- Educators: explanatory framework with real time data;
- Investors, taxpayers: improve comprehension, get more comfortable with decision making
- Creative Financiers seeking to develop a fusion funding instrument; feeding into crowdfunding portals;
- Philanthropists looking to see where they can have the biggest donor impact, especially in looking at the range of fusion organizations that are operating (fusion organization app, fusion philanthropy app);
- Policy makers: Policy insight, validation of policies,
- Game designers; feeding real time info into games & apps;
- Public: A way to know how the fusion endeavor is going, connection to history.
Here are some preliminary thoughts on how a fusion experiment tracker might appear. Apologies to those who point out its shortcomings. This does not represent the final widget:
Help us develop a dynamic
Fusion Experiment Tracker.
You pick your champions and underdogs. We promote the League.
Features in Development
The tracker will evolve to be a multi-platform app that everyone downloads to help them keep up with the unfolding progress of the fusion endeavor. It will alert folks to watershed events in fusion. It will be integrated into the Games & Apps and Consumer Products campaigns.
Basic requirements are:
- Data: Information on fusion experiments. Ironically the more information and experts there are, the muddier the information signal becomes, due to the sheer volume and complexity of the information and also opportunistic behavior on the part of experts and special interests who feel strongly about one experiment over another. The emphasis must therefore be on context and relevance of information and ways of making it comparable. Information that increases your understanding of the unfolding situation.
- Logic, Algorithms: The tracker can be organized around divisions, ranking, indices. It must be developed around the structure and logic of a fusion league. ITER, NIF, MTF, Dipole - what “divisions” do they fall under? Should there be “contenders” division and a “research” division? How about projects that are researching one facet of the endeavor? For example, the race for the best implosion driver or best implosion driver/target plasma combination for the Magnetized Target Fusion division can be its own trackable sub-category.
Basic features might include:
- Scrollability: The box above appears to limit the fusion contenders to 5. Obviously, there are more, and you should be able to scroll through them from one window with the option of drilling down into a separate window for specifics;
- Mapping: We may plot the various experimental approaches along the fundamental fusion parameter space map;
- Sortability: The tracker should be able to show clusters of projects sorted by various criteria related to their data. Sort by division (say, “Magnetic Confinement” or “Inertial Confinement” or ““Electrostatic Confinement” and so forth); “Most Positive Peer Review”; “cost”; “most recently in the news”, “random”. And sort by “Cost to complete research”.
The Tracker needs to be impartial. To that end, its development and maintenance must be handled by a trusted, impartial body - a referee, if you will. There could be referees from each division (IFE, MFE, etc), as well as the overall neutral referees.
The referee body and protocol would be ideally developed with the full collaboration of the fusion research community.
In the absence of full and enthusiastic cooperation from all fusion groups, the referees could be drawn from outside the community. This would take on more of the characteristics of a watchdog taxpayer group or consumer protection group. This is not ideal, but workable. It is also appropriate, given that the fusion community is at present funded by taxpayer money. They work for us.
Cooperation on the part of the fusion community is preferable, but not essential. We live in the information age, and have many tools at our disposal. The goal is transparency and legibility of information, and there is a lot of information in the public domain to pull from. It may not be the most current, but present sources should be good enough to get a baseline perspective of most experiments.
Feedback Welcome! We need your expertise!
We hope to design this widget in an open-source manner. Your feedback, participation, expertise, financing are required!
Preliminary comments on our placeholder box include:
One thing that did catch my eye was the picture of the Levitated Dipole Experiment. While I do love those guys, I am not sure it should be elevated to such a prominent status as a fusion approach. Also, if you want to highlight aneutronic, perhaps you should include a diagram and reference to Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC) concept.
Where is PJMIF?
We’re working on it! Don’t forget to give us your feedback, and also help finance this venture! This widget isn’t going to make itself.