We're well on our way to fusion, folks. Today we achieved plasma for the first time at around 2kV. What an exciting and inspiring experience this has been!
Sophia and Kobi installed two gas valves to the chamber, one for gas injection and one for pressure release. We installed tubing on the helium tank, so we now can directly hook the helium up to the vacuum chamber. With the new valves attached pressure leaks a little again, so we need to tighten everything up on them. All that we need to obtain plasma is an electrical system
Today Sophia, Kiana, and Brett installed the electrode, tightened EVERY SINGLE BOLT, and removed the mass spec sensor. We managed to maintain a 5e-10 Torr vacuum with very little (but not zero) loss. (Is it normal to slowly lose some vacuum in a system like this?) In any case, it seems that we're ready for the next steps: power and gas.
We moved into our new lab today! We have significantly more space now. Kobi and Brett installed the second vacuum sensor and removed the top section. We reached 5e-10 Torr before shutting it down—far lower than what we need for fusion! We noticed that the system has a very slight leak somewhere in the chamber which will require further investigation.
Check it out! We have a functional roughing pump that pulls down to .300 Torr. The turbo pump will take it down much further.... We'll test that tomorrow!