1. Subscribersonhouse
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    09 Jan '14 15:59
    http://phys.org/news/2014-01-fusion-instabilities-lessened-unexpected-effect.html

    One of these days and it looks like sooner than later, fusion will pass breakeven in energy generated.
  2. Joined
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    09 Jan '14 16:403 edits
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    http://phys.org/news/2014-01-fusion-instabilities-lessened-unexpected-effect.html

    One of these days and it looks like sooner than later, fusion will pass breakeven in energy generated.
    I bet that will happen eventually.
    But, personally I intuitively judge there to be a high probability that, by the time that happens, both renewables (esp solar energy ) and off-the-grid electric storage systems would have become so cheap and economical that we would have little need for fusion on Earth and thus the fusion research would have been done with little reward in return -but we shall see.

    And, once solar power and off-the-grid electric storage systems become ultra-cheap, I predict virtually no fusion on Earth would ever be used in the far future; there would be no point! -solar energy alone would produce vastly more energy that we could possibly 'need'.

    However, fusion power would probably be used for some spaceships in the far future where and when antimatter is not used as fuel. This is assuming that 'warp-drive' well forever stay in science fiction and never become reality.
  3. Subscribersonhouse
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    09 Jan '14 17:31
    Originally posted by humy
    I bet that will happen eventually.
    But, personally I intuitively judge there to be a high probability that, by the time that happens, both renewables (esp solar energy ) and off-the-grid electric storage systems would have become so cheap and economical that we would have little need for fusion on Earth and thus the fusion research would have been done with li ...[text shortened]... his is assuming that 'warp-drive' well forever stay in science fiction and never become reality.
    It's possible, fusion in space is actually easier to accomplish than fusion on earth, since you don't have to worry too much about radiation, your designs can be dirty, say a long tubular affair a kilometer or more long and you are in a cabin at the far end where it would be a lot easier to shield from excess radiation, one plug under your feet kind of thing as opposed to a total spherical radiation shell.

    But people are spending billions on fusion and if it ever flies I suspect plants will be built. We need all the help we can get energy wise and I don't think we will be free of fossil fuels for a long time.

    Perovskite solar cells looks like the best bet so far for cheap solar though.
  4. Germany
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    09 Jan '14 20:40
    It's a long-running joke in the physics community that no matter the date, fusion will always happen 50 years from now. But hey, we at least seem to be closer to it than 50 years ago.
  5. Subscribersonhouse
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    09 Jan '14 22:37
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    It's a long-running joke in the physics community that no matter the date, fusion will always happen 50 years from now. But hey, we at least seem to be closer to it than 50 years ago.
    Now it's all the way down to 49 years๐Ÿ™‚
  6. SubscriberPonderable
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    10 Jan '14 09:48
    Originally posted by humy
    I bet that will happen eventually.
    But, personally I intuitively judge there to be a high probability that, by the time that happens, both renewables (esp solar energy ) and off-the-grid electric storage systems would have become so cheap and economical that we would have little need for fusion on Earth and thus the fusion research would have been done with li ...[text shortened]... his is assuming that 'warp-drive' well forever stay in science fiction and never become reality.
    photovoltaics will nevber be cheap if we have to rely on silicon technology. There is just such a lot of energy involved in gettig the panels in the first place.

    Plus We gained a lot from fusion research. Advances in Ultra high vaccum and plasma physics. Problem have been solved which were unkown to exist 50 years ago ๐Ÿ˜‰
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    10 Jan '14 12:23
    Originally posted by Ponderable
    photovoltaics will nevber be cheap if we have to rely on silicon technology. There is just such a lot of energy involved in gettig the panels in the first place.

    Plus We gained a lot from fusion research. Advances in Ultra high vaccum and plasma physics. Problem have been solved which were unkown to exist 50 years ago ๐Ÿ˜‰
    photovoltaics will nevber be cheap if we have to rely on silicon technology.

    that may be true, but, the operative word there is “if”; we will NOT have to rely on silicon technology because silicon-crystal-based solar cells will be replaced by much cheaper non-silicon-crystal cells such as organic solar cells. Thanks to the recent fantastic breakthroughs in research into these alternatives which just keep on flooding in, solar panels will become much cheaper within the next few years for sure.
  8. Subscribersonhouse
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    10 Jan '14 13:03
    Originally posted by humy
    photovoltaics will nevber be cheap if we have to rely on silicon technology.

    that may be true, but, the operative word there is “if”; we will NOT have to rely on silicon technology because silicon-crystal-based solar cells will be replaced by much cheaper non-silicon-crystal cells such as organic solar cells. Thanks to the recent fantasti ...[text shortened]... t keep on flooding in, solar panels will become much cheaper within the next few years for sure.
    Anyone know much about this Z pinch machine? How would they scale it up if they go past breakeven? It sounds like they blow out some kind of membrane for each fusion shot. With inertial laser fusion, you keep dropping little nuggets of fuel but how would that happen with the Z machine?
  9. Joined
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    10 Jan '14 13:151 edit
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Anyone know much about this Z pinch machine? How would they scale it up if they go past breakeven? It sounds like they blow out some kind of membrane for each fusion shot. With inertial laser fusion, you keep dropping little nuggets of fuel but how would that happen with the Z machine?
    I don't believe the Z pinch machine is ever going to be remotely viable for power generation.

    But it's a useful tool for studying nuclear explosions.


    It basically consists of a ring of vertical wires equidistant around a target fusion pellet.

    They discharge the equivalent of the entire US power grid through the wires which
    induce magnetic fields which make them implode at tremendous speed, impacting and
    compressing the target which causes fusion and a small fireball, and blast of radiation.

    which looks like this....

    http://physicscentral.com/explore/action/images/fusion-img6.jpg


    This wrecks the several ton steel core of the machine, which is taken out and replaced.

    They currently fire about once per day (time it takes to rebuild the machine).

    To generate useful power would require firing several times per minute and somehow capturing
    the heat given off while replacing the core of the machine after every firing...


    To say that this isn't practice is an understatement... But talking about it as a possible power source
    might well be a good way to help secure funding for it's nuclear weapons research value.


    Laser confinement or Tokamak designs have promise... Z-pinch... not so much.

    http://physicscentral.com/explore/action/fusion.cfm
  10. Subscriberjoe shmo
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    10 Jan '14 21:51
    http://www.ted.com/talks/taylor_wilson_my_radical_plan_for_small_nuclear_fission_reactors.html
  11. Subscribersonhouse
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    10 Jan '14 23:26
    wOriginally posted by joe shmo
    http://www.ted.com/talks/taylor_wilson_my_radical_plan_for_small_nuclear_fission_reactors.html
    Yeah, saw that. The idea being multiple passes of the ions and such. He is no doubt a genius. It remains to be seen if it will work in the real world however. It would be great if it would. He would be the youngest billionaire on the planet most likely๐Ÿ™‚

    I am still waiting to see if the cold fusion deal by that Italian bunch, what is it, LINR, something like that, they claim to have sold a working unit to someone, DARPA? We'll see if that is just a big scam. I hope it is not a scam, we need all the help we can get!
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