Through the grief of those closest to Dr Bussard some details are coming out.  Dr. Bussard was a cancer victim of two kinds who was in the last weeks enduring radiation and chemotherapy for the disease.

Reports are he worked continuously while in treatment and assembled a good team to continue the research and development of the IEC fusion method he has been developing from funding provided by the US Department of Defense.

When funding for the research resumed Dr. Bussard attracted a friend who is a PhD plasma physicist recently working at Los Alamos and a PhD whose experience is in experimentation.  Some staff from the previous lab in San Diego are on their way to join the team.

Dr. Bussard’s friends assert that he did everything he could to ensure that the work on IEC fusion will continue.

This morning M. Simon at Power and Control Blogspot posted an excellent eulogy that contains a brief list of some of Dr, Bussard’s most noteworthy work and a strong link list.  See:

Of note, Dr. Bussard was a trained engineer and added physics expertise as working requirements demanded until he became the preeminent magnetic confinement physicist/engineer in the field.  Dr. Bussard gained famed in his youth for his design of the Bussard Collector that is often referred to in futuristic science stories.

Mid career Dr. Bussard was Assistant Director at the Controlled Thermodynamic Reaction Division of the Atomic Energy Commision, one of the forerunning federal agencies of the Department of Energy.

Late career saw Dr. Bussard working on the Inertial Electrodynamic Confinement also commonly referred to by the anagram of IEC or the common term “polywell” that has been through six development phases and has entered the seventh.  Many physicists and engineers believe that the insights and research of Dr. Bussard have developed the best and most likely to become practical and commonly used devices to bring the potential of nuclear fusion to mankind.

We wish to express our regrets at Dr. Robert W. Bussard’s passing and extend our sympathy and heartfelt compassion to those family members, friends, co-workers, students and so many others touched by this generous and unassuming man.  His lasting legacy may well be the discovery of the physics and engineering that makes energy a common, abundant and low cost resource for mankind.



26 Comments so far

  1. Classical Values on October 9, 2007 3:27 PM

    Dr. Robert W. Bussard Has Passed…

    Tom Ligon who worked for Dr. Bussard has informed me that Dr. Bussard has died. A sad day for all of us in the IEC Fusion community. A great one has passed. We are all diminished by his loss. Fortunately……

  2. what are you looking at? » Blog Archive » more dead people… 8/ on October 10, 2007 12:04 PM

    […] Details On Dr. Robert W. Bussard Passing AwayOctober 9, 2007 […]

  3. Jessica on October 10, 2007 6:44 PM

    ooh, the inventor of the Bussard Collector!

  4. Henry Brown on October 12, 2007 4:05 PM

    Dr. Bussard was a gracious guy we will miss him. May our grandchildren remember him well.

  5. Michael Thomas on October 12, 2007 10:54 PM

    His dedication to saving mankind cannot be measured by a Nobel prize, Oscar, or other insufficient materialistic bobbels.

    Dr. Brussard was a hard charger always giving his best.

    Even if I didn’t always agree with him I held him in the highest esteem for his integrity and honesty.

    I am truly sadened for the lost of such a great spirit for mankind.

    God Bless Dr. Brussard for all his contributions to our existence.

    He is with the big guy now and I am sure he is at his right hand.

  6. R. Kiehn on December 10, 2007 8:23 AM

    I cried…
    for Bob and I were both (then young) colleagues and friends at Los Alamos, mutually involved with reactor designs for space power plants and rockets. I remember that he was a great fan of brownies, which his wife made for the both of us when I, then single, visited his apartment in Los Alamos for dinner and drinks.
    He was always intereted in plasmas and fusion, and analyzed the pacific high altitude H-bomb data that I collected when we both worked for J-10 under H. Hoerlin.
    Our last meeting was in San Diego, recently, where he and I discussed the importance of non-equilbrium systems.
    It is tough to realize that he is gone. There are not many of us left that have experienced the glory years of Los Alamos.

  7. Andrey Soubbotin on January 24, 2008 2:42 AM

    Death of Robert Bussard was a strike for me. I was planning to prepare a mutual report on fusion jet engine for flights in Solar System to be presented in 12-th International Conference on Information Fusion. The loss of Robert will influence negatively on fusion development and its revenues for people. He was a bright and agressively attacking person!
    – Andrey Soubottin,
    Bob’s collaborator in 1971 events

  8. Dr. Gilbert (Gilberto) Green on March 14, 2008 2:38 PM

    My relationship with Dr. Bussard began some 41+ years ago. With a chance meeting on our joint flight from two distinctly different business meetings. Mine from my assignment with the Mississippi Moon Rocket, test program in the Mississippi swamplands and Dr. Bussards flight from the prestigious Electro-Optical/Xerox, Pasadena, California.
    We formed what was to become one of the first “socio-economic management think tanks” BGA/Associates. The for-runner of the “Green Group” currently succeeded by
    Dr. Bussard’s “spirit and will is still the light which drives us all to apply technology to benefit all mankind”.
    He was and is truly my inspiration to apply his enlightened thinking to the problems confronting modern man.
    “Rest Roberto”

  9. Mark Van Deibert on July 15, 2009 1:17 PM

    Kellog Brown and Root

  10. Mark Van Deibert on July 15, 2009 1:26 PM
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  24. Dr. Gilbert Green on May 8, 2013 4:09 PM

    How goes the current development of the far reaching fusion design developed by Dr. Robert Bussard, EMC2 ?

    Is there a “public update” as to who has continued Dr.Bussard’s work?

    Signed, Dr. Bussard’s celestial brother…
    Dr. Gilbert (Gilberto) Green

  25. Max Thermo Burn on May 9, 2013 4:45 AM

    First of all I would like to say wonderful blog!
    I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was curious to find out how you center yourself
    and clear your thoughts prior to writing. I have had trouble clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out there.
    I do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes
    are wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin.
    Any ideas or tips? Kudos!

  26. Lino on April 3, 2017 1:44 PM

    Hi all,

    I’m interested in learning more about the practice and work of architect Elsa Bussard, who I believe was Dr. Robert Bussard’s mother.

    My appreciation and thanks to anyone who can reach out to me with any info at all.

    Thank you,

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