US Navy just patented a very compact fusion reactor.

Discussion in 'HardForum Tech News' started by Jandor, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. Jandor

    Jandor Limp Gawd

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    This is crazy news because US Navy has patented some technologies the people would think is UFO technology. They had done this in recent months, and they are not used to do so.
    Not sure if this is patent troll or hoaxes meant to demotivate international competition.
    https://www.extremetech.com/extreme...ted-a-compact-fusion-reactor-but-will-it-work
    The reactor seems close to what Lockheed Martin was developing, a kind of Polywell reactor.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockheed_Martin_Compact_Fusion_Reactor
    Another crazy news is that Boris Johnson, UK actual prime minister, just dropped a small budget to put in place the future commercial British fusion reactor, meaning, as UK is the only country fully aware of US military advancement, may trigger the fact that UK knows something.
    The advances in fusion are fascinating.
    Most known experiment is the future Tokamak ITER reactor in France.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ITER
    This kind of reactor uses an toric magnetic field retained plasma. It's kind of an international Open Source project. After 20 years of international investment (tens of billions) the very blunt test reactor faces many unsolved problems, is very expensive technology, will produce a lot of radioactivity which may destroy the reactor and faces huge plasma instability problems. A commercial post ITER reactor is above our knowledge and spending of today. In fact ITER has become a way to spend money for the administration without results in the wrong direction. The countries only relying on unclever ITER solution are lost in the competition for the future of fusion energy.
    Meanwhile, for instance, Germany made a smaller, much cheaper and very clever Tomakak, of stellerator type which actually may surpass ITER. The stellerator adapts the toric ring to the form of the field needing much less confinement energy.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellarator
    The Z-Machine uses inertial confinement, meaning the retention of the fused elements are put into a tiny solid material.
    https://phys.org/news/2006-03-machine-billion-degrees-kelvin-hotter.html
    The Z-Machine was at first used to mimic nuclear bomb reaction, but it went much beyond that. It seems that the temperature are nowadays in US but also supposedly in Russia at tens of billions of degrees (much more than in the Sun) and the goal is to obtain aneutronic fusion, meaning no radiation at all, not only no radioactivity on the fused materials but also no self-destruction of the reactor (This is actually an unsolved problem in ITER). A commercial Z-Machine reactor will use pre-prepared pills of material containing the elements to fuse, will cost much less than a Tokamak. However the Z-Machine may actually be an experiment to produce nuclear weapons without uranium and plutonium, only containing compartmentalized fused elements for a chain reaction and the energy to light the first one.
    There are other ways tested but Lockheed Martin seemed confident it will obtain a compact fusion reactor by using a confined plasma into another electromagnetic field than the Tomakak which permits much better confinement. Actually it seems this is working very well and Lockheed Martin already put patents on most of his technology in 2018.
    Why we don't hear news about this is probably because the it is not already commercialized and because there are huge stakes.
    For instance US Navy also dropped in the past months a bunch of patents on UFO like technologies which are only feasible, but quite so, if they own the knowledge to build a compact nuclear fusion reactor, which seems to be the case.
    https://thelifehacker.org/2019/05/2...ircraft-with-ufo-technology-documents-reveal/
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
  2. termite

    termite [H]ardness Supreme

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    About time they put those aliens to work.
     
  3. DejaWiz

    DejaWiz Oracle of Unfortunate Truths

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    Paging Mr Musk...Mr Musk...Mr Elon Musk, you have miniature fusion reactor plans for your Tesla vehicles at the front desk.
     
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  4. GoodBoy

    GoodBoy [H]ard|Gawd

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    Fusion power generation has likely been in research stages for over 50 years, and along the way I would imagine that many things/technologies/processes discovered along the way have been patented.

    I would not take the fact that some patents have been filed as proof of success for an economically viable fusion reactor.

    Not being pessimistic, just realistic.

    It would be great for the environment if Fusion ever becomes practical, no more burning fossil fuels in power plants. With cheap electrical power, moving to electric vehicles would also become more cost effective thus more attractive. Cheap electricity plus a better battery technology would make gas powered cars obsolete. It can't come soon enough.
     
  5. jardows

    jardows [H]ard|Gawd

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    I'm of the opinion that many of the UFO stuff is just highly experimental, and highly classified technological tests. Nothing otherworldly, but very secretive, for good reasons.
    For a military to release without any announced ramp up technology like a cold fusion reactor, would put them at an extreme advantage, and the rest of the world will go nearly bankrupt trying to catch up. It would be a significant psychological blow to any enemies and rivals.
     
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  6. Gideon

    Gideon 2[H]4U

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    All I can think of when I see mini reactor.

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTqzyVUV3bvmNSgLxPzbixiKWbcKDtCMLuU4DINAuuTfH5bzcZsIQ.jpg
     
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  7. defaultluser

    defaultluser [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
  8. Dead Parrot

    Dead Parrot 2[H]4U

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    Wonder if this announcement was designed to steal some of the thunder from the Chinese weapons displayed during their recent anniversary parade? Of course, there is a big difference between advanced tech that is in the run to the patent office stage and less advanced tech that is at the "Ready to launch weapon, Comrade Commander!" stage. But there is always the possibility that the Chinese weapons were empty shells designed to look really cool.
     
  9. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

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    That sounds like a great idea, get in a car crash, destroy a city block. Reminds me of the cars in Fallout.
     
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  10. tangoseal

    tangoseal [H]ardness Supreme

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    Fusion doesnt explode like that nor does fission, otherwise Pripyat and Fukushima would have left mile wide craters and decimated millions of lives instantly Sigh...

    Your comment reminds me of the antigun people that think a pistol grip and a heat shield for a hand guard constitutes 50,000 bullets per second out of an AR15.

    You need a plutonium core almost in the shape of a near perfect sphere surrounded by meticulously placed shaped charges exploding inwards on the plutonium core to generate the necessary pressure to cause a fission chain reaction based explosion.

    A damn fusion generator in a car will not blow up a city block or a back seat for that matter for crying out loud.
     
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  11. Verado

    Verado Limp Gawd

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    B-b-but cars in fallout explode liek nukes if you shoot them
     
  12. tangoseal

    tangoseal [H]ardness Supreme

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    Of course they do! Wont be long before the fake news media claims nuclear weapon usage is blamed on too much gaming and movies.

    In the headlines,
    "Turkey's Erdogan, recently in control of 50 US nuclear weapons, detonated a 50mt nuclear warhead in Syria. To solve future nuclear weapons terrorism, we need to ban AR15s. We believe the Joker movie motivated his attack."

    Now to be on topic, I'm excited at development of UFO tech Haha. Fusion reactors are going to really allow us to get deep into space much easier and we can actually advance, At least America at minimum, to beyond stone age neanderthals.
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
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  13. cyklondx

    cyklondx Limp Gawd

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    lockheed martin was adverting for it activly years back 'trying to hire ppl from street' i.e. tv adverts... wanting to build compact fusion reactors.
     
  14. Dr. Righteous

    Dr. Righteous 2[H]4U

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    Agree; I've kept my eye on this tech for a long time. From everything I've read it still take more energy to create the fusion reaction than what the energy yield is.
    Yes it works, but the technology has not matured yet. It is still not economically viable.
     
  15. tangoseal

    tangoseal [H]ardness Supreme

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    Well think of it this way.

    The sun fuses the equivalent mass of Mount Everest from top to bottom every 1 second in the core in order to maintain its energy output. Anyone care to quantify the moles of Hydrogen every second?

    That's a fucking unbelievable amount of hydrogen atoms being smashed into helium. Unbelievable sums. And its sustainable for billions of years. We must really be advancing the tech if we can maintain it in drink bottle sized quantities of liquified hydrogen fuels.
     
  16. Verado

    Verado Limp Gawd

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    Why not sell fusion reactors to everybody so we can stop global warming. Nevermind that making oil,gas and coal obsolete would ruin the world economy..
     
  17. Hagrid

    Hagrid [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Sweet! I can't wait to own one. There should be cheap chinese knockoffs soon!
     
  18. kamxam

    kamxam [H]ard|Gawd

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    Want one of these for my car. :sneaky:

    1233008577988863592.jpg
     
  19. travm

    travm Limp Gawd

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    So the immense heat and pressure required to contain the fusion reaction, if interrupted and allowed to escape uncontrollably will do what exactly? quietly go pfffffft like a small balloon, or go KAFUCKINGBOOOOOM! Since we're talking about non-existant technology, my votes on the second.
     
  20. DejaWiz

    DejaWiz Oracle of Unfortunate Truths

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    Yes...mine as well!

    All I can picture is hitting a junker and seeing the awesome little mushroom cloud billowing up.
     
  21. tangoseal

    tangoseal [H]ardness Supreme

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    You need, like really need to study physics before making assumptions. And toss some advanced chemistry in there too.
     
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  22. travm

    travm Limp Gawd

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    What part of magnetically confined plasma sounds safe in an automobile collision to you?
    Perhaps you can enlighten me as to the pressure and temperature required to create this plasma?

    I don't think i'm the one who needs to study physics. This entire thread is based on assumptions, as this technology is non-existent. Just because someone has been able fuse a couple hydrogen atoms in a lab in a net negative reaction, does not mean this technology exists.
     
  23. Blakestr

    Blakestr [H]ard|Gawd

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    THANK YOU! It's not like it's a barrel shroud or anything!
     
  24. FrgMstr

    FrgMstr Just Plain Mean Staff Member

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    Stop the bickering. Get on topic.
     
  25. Burticus

    Burticus [H]ardness Supreme

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  26. 4saken

    4saken [H]ardForum Junkie

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    That last link has zero references, unless im missing it. Not buying it.
     
  27. THRESHIN

    THRESHIN 2[H]4U

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    I'll remain a skeptic, but I'm very hopeful for this. It would solve a lot of problems.

    The long standing issue with fusion is that although we can do it, creating the reaction requires more energy than what it produces. The theory is that we're doing it on far too small a scale hence experiments such as ITER.

    The German one mentioned is very interesting, but it has a downfall - that type of tokamak is notoriously difficult to control. The ITER design is much easier but far larger, less efficient and more expensive. Thankfully when a fusion plasma stream loses control the reaction simply ceases.

    So far everything is pointing to large scale (at least for now) is the way to go and that commercial fusion power production is still decades away. This is not a simple problem and there are many issues to solve. Controlling the plasma is just one. There's also worrying about the plasma destroying the equipment, how to produce better magnets, etc.

    So I'm skeptical on the grounds that nothing is anywhere close to making a viable fusion reactor let alone a compact one of any sort - even if bigger than a house.

    I want to hope that they have done it though. The benefits to mankind would be incredible. Near limitless fuel, no nuclear accidents. Yes there will be radioactivity but it will be far less than fission. Miniscule really. The waste will be almost nothing. Now how to make it work.....

    We did harness fusion many years ago, but so far only as a weapon. The hydrogen bombs are fusion devices. Small fission bomb of uranium and plutonium compresses tritium (thank Canada for that stuff) to trigger a fast uncontrolled fusion reaction. Nice boom.
     
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  28. tangoseal

    tangoseal [H]ardness Supreme

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    Imagine a fusion reactor in your server or data center relying on nothing but water to power the whole shebang! Talk about accelerating humanity to new heights. Medical, space science, research, travel, etc...
     
  29. Dayaks

    Dayaks [H]ardness Supreme

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    Fusion reactors use a way lot more than just water. I am also skeptical on small scale (since large scale barely works) and mainly due to the large amount of shielding required particularly for neutrons. It also takes a huge amount of power to get it rolling... and utilities to contain/sustain.

    I am all for fusion but I am highly skeptical of “small scale” reactors.
     
  30. Mega6

    Mega6 2[H]4U

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    To help contain the plasma of the fusion reaction, they are starting to use AI technology on the magnetic field.
     
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  31. Burticus

    Burticus [H]ardness Supreme

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    Alexa, increase power to the reactor field! "OK, playing 'Your Love' by The Outfield"

    Well, at least we can jam out a little before the reactor explodes. Good song. :)
     
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  32. Mega6

    Mega6 2[H]4U

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    The Navy is probably using the next iteration of Intel’s desktop chip for a plasma ignition source.
     
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  33. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

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    A lot closer to pfffft than you think. Yes, the temperatures are extremely high, but only a very small amount of matter is at that temperature at any given moment in time. Pressure is not generated in the traditional sense of having compressed gases, it's generated by magnetic fields. Expose that to the environment and it would literally just disperse. At best, it will be an intense flamethrower for a short second. The reason for this is as soon as the containment field fails, the reaction stops and whatever is left is just residual energy from hot gas.
     
  34. tangoseal

    tangoseal [H]ardness Supreme

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    This is all in theory man... I am not talking about in the next 20 or 100 years for that matter. Imagine in 250 years that yes we probably will have a generator that runs on nothing but water. Water has an incredible amount of energy potential in those hydrogen bonds and atoms.

    If we survive a thousand years as a species imagine we could have Ironman arc reactor sized generators that could power an entire building or spaceship. This all dreaming dude stop being so literal.
     
  35. Mega6

    Mega6 2[H]4U

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    It’s called a fuel cell.
     
  36. N4CR

    N4CR [H]ardness Supreme

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    Nothing new under the sun... Maybe we finally will see commercialisation of this tech practically identical to Tesla, Brown and many more.
     
  37. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Technically, water has very little potential energy in those bonds. The fusion of light elements into heavier ones is where the potential energy is, with hydrogen being the easiest to fuse. Also, once that hydrogen is fused to helium, we won't be getting that water back.

    Dream all you want, at least get your facts straight first.
     
  38. M76

    M76 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    What does the navy need patents for? They aren't a business protecting their investment. Anything a government funded agency "invents" should be free to be used to benefit all citizens. They did make it on taxpayer money after all.
     
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  39. tangoseal

    tangoseal [H]ardness Supreme

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    Didnt you hear FrgMstr tell everyone to stop bickering? Just have fun and imagine a little where this stuff could go, whether or not it fits in the contemporary model of physics. Maybe one day well actually find eezo and take the stars for our selves. Maybe one day well meet some aliens and they will laugh at us and say heres a cup of water we traveled 79,000 ly on in 30 seconds. Maybe we are just a computer simulation. I dont know - but how do you know these things? Can anyone possibly sit back and suggest they know these things? Earth used to be flat, and then it was round, and now apparently it is flat again lmao -- but no one knows anything in the huge universal picture - we know literally nothing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
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  40. etudiant

    etudiant n00b

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    There was a time when working models were required to get a patent.
    Since the emergence of software patents, it seems that hardware patent requirements have become softer.
    I think this is a BS patent foisted on the Navy by some snake oil guy with a very persuasive patter.
     
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