US Navy just patented a very compact fusion reactor.

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

  1. alxlwson

    alxlwson You Know Where I Live

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  2. spine

    spine 2[H]4U

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    If our energy needs are ever met, we will simply find new ways to expend it again. It will never be met.

    Humanity will never rest.
     
  3. Rockenrooster

    Rockenrooster Limp Gawd

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    MOAR POWAH!!!
     
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  4. Jagger100

    Jagger100 [H]ardness Supreme

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    I think there are practical limits. Say you're rich. How many mansions can you own? How many before staying in one feels like staying in a hotel and no longer feels like home?

    It takes x amount of energy to transport you where you want to go and this could expand, but some people don't want to be in constant travel. There is a limit

    It takes x amount to energy to heat or cool your home.

    Some of the big ones have limitations and a lot more would have to change before they grow all things staying otherwise the same. THe biggest driver for energy is actually population growth and that empirically so far curbs as the standard of living increases. So you're damned if you do damned if you don't.
     
  5. GoodBoy

    GoodBoy [H]ard|Gawd

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    Why bother with fusion, just make a dilithium reaction chamber. Lot's of power, plus warp drive too.
     
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  6. jardows

    jardows [H]ard|Gawd

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    Or it could be a ruse. Put something on paper that is publicly available. Now everyone is scrambling to try to "catch up" with their own designs, and waste resources they can't afford trying to copy the US Navy's success.
     
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  7. westrock2000

    westrock2000 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    So misinformed. Have you ever seen an AR-15? They weigh as much as 10 moving boxes and shoot 50 cal bullets. And before you rebutt my claims, you should know I would rather believe the words of those who make laws, then those who are subject to laws.



    ----I kid I kid
     
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  8. Legendary Gamer

    Legendary Gamer Gawd

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    We will never have cheap electrical power. There will always be someone around to capitalize on the technology. Whether or not it's being fed by one reaction mass or another doesn't really matter. Nothing in life is free. Commercially viable Fusion Technology should scare the shit out of us more than it doesn't. The moment the first one pops up, everyone will be vying for it willing to steal and or blow the shit out of anyone to get it. Unlimited power = unlimited danger.

    Don't get me wrong, I would love to see an electrical grid that rivals the shit in the roleplaying game Shadow Run or some sort of Cyberpunk setting. That would be great, I just expect that the topography of the Earth will likely change in short order with the advent of Commercially viable Fusion tech.
     
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  9. tangoseal

    tangoseal [H]ardness Supreme

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    I'd argue as long as Entropy is a law of the universe and we observe it, even a power grid that was truly free will eventually become not free because the entropy of the system of freedom will breakdown.
     
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  10. Nenu

    Nenu [H]ardened

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    It appears to me, if this is viable tech, it will be military.
    We wont get to see the benefits only how much bad it can do.
     
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  11. Skillz

    Skillz [H]ard DCOTY 2017

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    I want one small enough I can plant inside my body and power an exo suit.
     
  12. ChadD

    ChadD [H]ardness Supreme

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    Explode no. Release enough heat in the local area to instantly cook humans within a couple 100 feet. Yep

    It would be like opening the door of a million degree oven. Powering anything but military machines like subs and carriers with fusion is not going to happen unless someone really does find away to do it cold. lol

    Musk is still going to need batteries... and at this point seeing as he is invested in solar and city sized battery backups I think he might not want to see small lowish cost fusion reactors come on line over night either.
     
  13. Jandor

    Jandor Limp Gawd

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    Okay, you're right to some extent, but only considering this would be a reactor making huge energy, but if there is a fusion reactor made for a car, it means it will be such a tiny reaction that it will be easy to contain.
    But there is a problem and it's much bigger than that. If someone can build a compact fusion reactor, he is also able to build a compact nuclear fusion bomb using a chain reaction. And maybe it would be even easier than building a commercial reactor. This means an H bomb without plutonium or uranium but only the fusion material. And this is about what is what is going on Z-machines experiments.
     
  14. Jandor

    Jandor Limp Gawd

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    Not for free, of course, but very inexpensive and like Moore's Law will be more and more inexpensive with better tech, with time.
     
  15. tangoseal

    tangoseal [H]ardness Supreme

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    How does a fusion bomb work? Fusion systems to my understanding as as we know it has a Delta G < 0 thus it can't be spontaneous and it can't be runaway. It has to literally be forced to the most extreme limits of pressure and density to overcome the electrostatic forces of hydrogen nuclei. We know that electrostatics is far more powerful than gravity, but gravity is a different kind of force, a really really weak force. Thus you need gigantic amounts of matter that can coalesce into a mass dense enough to overcome electrostatic repulsion. Gravity is just the space time influence of mass on space time. Its matter forming a mass that actually warps space time. If enough mass exists in a given space and the density is sufficient then we can overcome repulsive forces and slam atoms together. In fact fusing H and He atoms is the limit of gravitational influence for these atoms to fall so deep in a space time warp that anymore warping of that space time and you get a black hole, and hell maybe a black hole singularity is the ulttimate form of fusion in which atoms are simply fused into a new element, maybe dark matter, or maybe just obliterated. No one knows. But I can ascertain that from our existing understanding of nuclear physics we just can't produce hot fusion on Earth in any sustainable manner unless we found a way to super compress matter into a mass dense enough to overcome electrostatics. Now were talking SciFi like Men in Black international where that little super gun they carried around had a main sequence star compressed to the size of a baseball inside a glass bottle. To me fusion is just science fiction on the scale of humanity. But cold fusion might be something else worth talking about but I dont think we are even close to that. I am sure we have alien tech that is far superior to fusion in some Darpa lab underground somewhere but thats all a "well never know" kinda scenario.

    Anyways, we have found life in space (my opinion). NASA already has. They are now softening the pulbic for it's release by leaking and slowly painting the picture over the next few years. I am almost certain we have anti-gravity aircraft, scalar weapons, and power generation that will blow your mind from our governments.

    https://www.space.com/29041-alien-life-evidence-by-2025-nasa.html

    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/wor...but-ignored-it-scientist-claims-a4261631.html

    So my point, a fun point is, if we have contacted life, not martians, but superior life forms, is it not possible that we have shit that will blow your mind that we are not ready to hear about as a species so governments just bury it in mountain research labs and play hush hush, including some form of fusion that we have been discussing for days now.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2019
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  16. serpretetsky

    serpretetsky [H]ard|Gawd

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    Fuel cells use chemical energy. For example, they can't extract energy from water.
     
  17. Dayaks

    Dayaks [H]ardness Supreme

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    We have reactors that can do over a minute now and are building ones that can do 10 minutes +. Imagine if we had a fusion race... instead of trillions blowing each other up.

    Oh well.
     
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  18. tangoseal

    tangoseal [H]ardness Supreme

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    I dream of the day that we dont need money and shit and wars and crap. Just the whole species pulls together. We could already be colonizing distant star systems right now, but as you said "Oh well".
    I agree with you.
     
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  19. DrLobotomy

    DrLobotomy [H]ardness Supreme

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    Stupid question...Why have Navy patent it and not NASA or Department of Energy or maybe the new Space Force?

    Seems strange.
     
  20. Smashing Young Man

    Smashing Young Man [H]ard|Gawd

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    Nor should humanity rest. We should keep pushing and pushing until will fill up every nook and cranny and niche in the universe we can. I daresay that's our duty as the only known sentient creatures in existence. The wonders of the universe aren't worth a lump of coal without sentient beings being to witness it.
     
  21. Mega6

    Mega6 2[H]4U

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    Yes and a hydrogen-oxygen fuel cell produces water as a by-product.
     
  22. Algrim

    Algrim [H]ard|Gawd

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    Fusion bombs work by by precisely detonating several fission bombs around a fusible 'core' which nets the required pressure and temperature to initiate fusion. It's a lot easier to do than create fusion reactors because you're not trying to contain the reaction; the whole point is to release the energy as an explosion.
     
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  23. serpretetsky

    serpretetsky [H]ard|Gawd

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    This is true. Why did you bring up fuel cells in this thread though?
     
  24. Wat

    Wat n00b

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    The more technology we get, the lazier and stupider we become.
    The only way we will do something ambitious in a short period of time is if we have no other choice.
     
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  25. Mega6

    Mega6 2[H]4U

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    because..

    A generator that doesn't run on water but simply uses Hydrogen and Oxygen with a byproduct of water. Very close concept.
     
  26. Mega6

    Mega6 2[H]4U

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    Let me google that..

    Seriously - frees our minds of menial tasks to concentrate on more difficult concepts (for some). Yeah, there are lots of lazy people. I agree.
     
  27. serpretetsky

    serpretetsky [H]ard|Gawd

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    Well I guess I would argue it's about as different of a concept as it gets, both practically in its application, and in the theory of how it works. But I suppose at that point we are just arguing opinions. :p
     
  28. Mega6

    Mega6 2[H]4U

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    Clean inexhaustible energy. Go ahead and argue if you want.
     
  29. Mr34727

    Mr34727 2[H]4U

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    No, we won't. Water separation requires more energy than can be produced from the hydrogen.
     
  30. serpretetsky

    serpretetsky [H]ard|Gawd

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    Chemically you are correct. Atomically, no. Hydrogen itself (regardless of how its chemically bonded) has an enormous amount of energy. But fusion is not easy.
     
  31. w1retap

    w1retap [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Or we will, by using water's quantum tunneling state to separate the hydrogen and oxygen. This is accomplished by passing cooled water through cyclosilicate. Don't doubt future innovation. ;)
     
  32. Wat

    Wat n00b

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    True. I have often wondered if water electrolysis would be a good energy storage medium for the 'unreliable' wind and solar energy generators. Take the excess energy produced and store as chemical energy instead of messing with batteries. Then use a fuel cell when the sun goes down or wind stops blowing.
    Probably not practical for the off the grid homeowner, but should be for utilities?
     
  33. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Problem with that method is abysmal efficiency of the process. I think net efficiency is somewhere around 30% or so. The molten salt solar method shows more promise.
     
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  34. bonehead123

    bonehead123 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Well, the thing is..... I have a news flash for yaz...

    IF the US Navy or other military branch is saying publicly that they are testing/developing some new tech, it is most likely already way beyond that point.... the press releases are just meant to keep the commies/terrorists etc off balance until such time that we actually deploy it for real, then they can spend the next few years & billions of their moolah stealing the specs & blueprints so they can produce cheap knock-offs, or just wise up & google it, whichever comes first HAHAHAHA (y) :p :wacky:
     
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  35. Jagger100

    Jagger100 [H]ardness Supreme

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    They're dopey enough to give it away to the world. NASA for sure right now, DOE upon the next administration.
     
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  36. Darth Ender

    Darth Ender Limp Gawd

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    free energy given to the world is a strategic decision that may make a lot of sense if you want to destabilize the entire middle east and any other country that relies on oil exports to make any money at all, while simultaneously accelerating the bejesus out of the standard of living to those countries that have a net cost to energy production.

    If you want a perpetual war against intangible ideas like terror or never ending wars against general topics like drugs, then that would seem like a good way to go.

    Then again, the hot countries that subsist off oil exports may use the free energy to air condition all their homes and people may calm down and look elsewhere for national wealth. I'm like 80% sure sustained high heat leads to irrational anger and violence in humans.
     
  37. Legendary Gamer

    Legendary Gamer Gawd

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    Honestly, there is too much money in Oil for the US to make a "strategic decision". Much of the world economy is based off of fossil fuels.

    There will never be "Free Energy", though it might be marketed as such. The infrastructure to push that energy to the masses will always be cited as necessary and always cost us something.

    There is no wide acceptance of / affordable electric car yet. By affordable I'm talking about a car in the 15k range. There isn't an electric car that costs less than 26,000 american dollars as far as I am aware at the moment.

    It won't be portable tech for decades if not centuries, then after buying a 200k-1M+ reactor you might get "Free energy" and the cost of the reactor might pay for itself in a lifetime or 20... Too bad the reactor likely has built in obsolescence and will fail in 5-10 years.

    I am not an eternal pessimist, I just don't see the tech doing anything good for anyone anytime soon. Not with the way the world's governments are always involved in pissing contests.

    The way to make the tech free would be for someone to pirate the engineering schematics of a functioning reactor and dump them on web and the dark web, openly. Kind of like the Grey Death legion disseminating the Helm Memory Core in 3025 to the entirety of the Inner Sphere (Battletech Setting). That would make it "free". Then every country would build it and find a way to monetize the free power .
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2019
  38. Darth Ender

    Darth Ender Limp Gawd

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    being a pessimist is great ...but i'd be wary of venturing into conspiracy theory areas.

    free energy has always been a term for just Really really cheap energy. Nobody believes that there would be no cost at all associated with the production and supply, just that it would be so cheap that it's cost isn't relevant. Like the worth of a penny is irrelevant even though it's still technically worth 1cent.
    This kind of pessimism just plays into the conspiracy theory that business interests of the status quo would buy/bury any tech that would limit or reduce their power.

    I dont think they have the chance to maintain that kind of control over such a tech. It would proliferate among too many parties who have no such loyalty and at that point there would be nothing they could do to stop it.
    Free energy will likely take the shape of a distributed production grid ...based on solar and batteries in the nearterm. Fusion would be ideal obviously, but how fast that happens really depends on how much of the navy you believe.

    as far as cars:
    everyone's definition of affordable is different. My v6 domestic american car costs just short of 40k (the v8 everyone would prefer is another 6-10k on top after taxes). If i wanted to drive a 15k new car, I'd be extremely depressed because the thought of driving a crapbox like that would kill my soul everytime i had to commute. At that price point, you would be far better talking about public transport or driving as a service or buying very used cars ( a market that electric cars haven't had a chance to really be part of yet due to time). Owning cars has been trending down for a while, as leasing has increased and a larger and larger portion of the young driving age public can't afford cars in general. The future of driving, both driven by costs and by automatation, is ride hailing fleets of robot driven taxi's. That's both the most environmentally efficient use of personal vehicles if personal vehicles are needed and the most cost effective for consumers as well as space efficient use of them (tons of space is wasted as parking spaces or vehicles you hardly ever use). In any case, an electric fleet would be substantially cheaper to maintain and operate than ICE. Even with current battery tech. Scale production is all that stands in the way of that price point.

    So while the argument here is that electric needs to be in the < 20k price range to be viable, mine is that owning any car is not viable anymore. The future is renting everything

    I think we have a few viable techs that will lead to us being energy independent even at local scales in the near future. But if the navy tech is real and not some crazy fever dream, then the time frame that energy independent will happen drastically decreases, as well as the things we can waste energy on without caring. The cost of desalination plants for instance to create drinking water would be extremely mitigated if all of the power needed to operate them was essentially zero. Heating and cooling homes in inhospitable zones will be viable to the poor (majority of people). you can think certain companies will control fusion reactors big or small, solar panels are here to stay and their efficiency has been steadily improving and cost falling with every generation and they last for decades. Even if you think the motivation of everyone is greed ....there are more people who directly benefit being their own energy producer than those who benefit from being the producer for others ...so the outcome is inevitable. The only thing uncertain is if the masses will own anything for that free energy to be realized at the personal level, or if it just becomes a means to improve lifestyles in an otherwise dystopian future where we all own nothing and everything is a service we subscribe to be in perpetual servitude to the 1%.
     
  39. MMitch

    MMitch Gawd

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    Funny that I fall on this thread, I just read that HydroQuebec is planning to invest in "Green/Clean" Hydrogen production with by separating it using electricity made from Green source. Although this may not yield higher than invested energy, hydro electricity is already a clean source and building experience and knowledge around this will only benefit us in the long term. They plan to provide hydrogen to Trucks and buses at first. No clue where that will lead to, interesting.
     
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  40. Verado

    Verado Limp Gawd

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    That's right. Hydrogen is an energy carrier. While it may not be perfect in terms of efficiency or even safety, it is absolutely clean if the electricity source used for production is clean.
     
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