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Thread: Giant Laser Has Produced Nuclear Fusion

  1. #11
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    we don't need to go to mars, I'm of the school of thought that we destroyed that planet and we were given a second chance here. The ISS? we are passengers on a different countries taxi which is pathetic. If we didn't have wars we could solve the majority of problems with earth. Solar could be on every home and feedback to the grid. No big government projects... get back to local gardens and power and security...anyway i think it is too late, civilization will destroy itself and we will have to start all over...oh well. I worked at LLNL and Sandia and SLAC and most universities on the west coast providing the laser clocks for their "experiments" in the 80's. My guess the end "in mind" is for land based laser weaponry. Things are a bit out of control, we are evolving too fast. The big govt. projects are used to "produce" the "economy" and keep us busy, because we are bored as humans, so we keep paying taxes, so we can start new "projects". *Grumpy old man spits loll
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  2. #12
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    Small scale sort of works, but at high cost, and the buffering for storage is a huge demand that few can meet. I have 12KWh of lead acid batteries, the kind used on oil rigs and other places where hazards must be minimised. I got lucky, paid 600 quid for 6, they're worth more than that each. Going cheaper makes no sense because it displaces hazards into situations where they won't be easily or safely managed, so the cost will be spent somewhere in the end, not avoided. Storage is far more important than source on small scale, and with lead acid batteries most of the capacity is used purely to keep a nearly full reservoir because otherwise the extremely expensive storage has an extremely short life! My system's only beginning to look useful again this winter after 10 weeks barely giving enough to keep the batteries healthy, nothing I can actually risk using. A few bad winters, or any other cause of reduction in bright light over time, and solar power on a local scale looks bad because feeding back to the grid doesn't solve the storage problem. I only solved it because I wanted to, and people here who are nuts about Saving the Environment think I have gone too far, and won't consider the real cost of doing this.

    So to big scales... Those will have to put storage and generation in one scheme. Trying to separate those demands probably leads to schemes that will fail in the long run. Right now I can think of two that may be viable, neither of them in serious use yet. One is thorium reactors. Until we manage fusion, thorium fission is probably the best nuclear process I've heard of, but it will take a lot of people to persuade their governments that nuclear bombs should cease to be first priority. India HAS the bomb, which is probably why it doesn't agonise afer getting it, and in turn puts effort into thorium reactors that no-one else does. The other big storage-generation scheme is tidal lagoons. The UK is seriously considering this now because it solves several problems. Right now the entire west coast is under constant attack from violently changing climate. Big coastal lagoons behind artificial reefs can provide better coastal defence than we've ever had before, and also store tidal flows on scales big enough for near-constant generation on a vast scale. People have pushed aside many smaller schemes because of impact on wildlife, but the bigger the scheme, the slower it can be. It may be possible that turgo wheels can be built so huge that their slow speeds and large apertures will allow animals bigger than dolphins to navigate through them unhindered while capturing enough energy to gear up to turbines whose fast-moving parts are inaccessible to anything that can get damaged by them. Which cuts both ways, it protects the smaller, faster more fragile stuff from external risk. Siting these in a coastal lagoon big enough to reach the edge of the continental shelf could mean the UK and Ireland, operating together, could become a major energy exporter to Europe, which would be big change from our current reliance on Russian gas!

    Less huge, but totally viable, might be Scotland's lochs as storage for hydroelectric power, again using turgo wheels. Most hydro schemes use a large head of fast water. In the long term that's expensive, and availability of power is uncertain. Low heads with huge but slow flow can be more reliable over longer periods, and like the big machines of the early industrial revolution, may last centuries. They will put less stress on the machines, and the environment. If a nation loses money in repeatedly rehousing a population forced to move by changing climate, people will quit thinking that climate change is about slightly unpleasant little inconveniences, and realise that we need the biggest engineering projects ever created, and also the simplest. Which may well rule out all nuclear efforts, but tide and sun (and probably geothermal heat for low grade heat sources to heat city buildings) are our best shot because once those systems are up and running we don't have to do a lot.
    Last edited by The_Doctor; 02-14-2014 at 18:34.

  3. #13
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    Now we're getting somewhere.

    The ISS is a huge boondoggle. The derivative technologies are a very inefficient way to solve diverse problems that don't necessarily have any relationship to the original purpose. This is frequently given as an excuse for huge expenditures that don't benefit the citizens or the taxpayers. The ISS is used for political purposes or for Russian millionaires. The science can be done for orders of magnitude less money with purpose built satellites.

    The more nuclear, in all its forms, becomes a part of more nation's utilities the more likely bits and pieces will make their way into the hands of the violent subcultures. I don't support this.


    532,

    I don't agree about the Mars origin, but I am in agreement with your depressing assessment and I would like to modify your scenario. I think western society will decrease and fade to be suppressed by a rougher and more primitive global struggle. The caliphate may fail, but horrific damage will be done as it is balanced by other violent self promoting social orders. Many of the advances in technologies will facilitate these changes. It will be a brave new world and it will be too small. Just as the internet scares the autocrats and drove the ballooning of the NSA the only real long term hope for humanity is a scattering (beyond the range of control). Mars looks a lot more attractive to me than Washington, Dubai or Beijing, I mean in the mid term and even Mars is too close for the long term.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by planters View Post
    The ISS is a huge boondoggle. The derivative technologies are a very inefficient way to solve diverse problems that don't necessarily have any relationship to the original purpose. This is frequently given as an excuse for huge expenditures that don't benefit the citizens or the taxpayers. The ISS is used for political purposes or for Russian millionaires. The science can be done for orders of magnitude less money with purpose built satellites.
    .
    .
    ...the only real long term hope for humanity is a scattering (beyond the range of control). Mars looks a lot more attractive to me than Washington, Dubai or Beijing, I mean in the mid term and even Mars is too close for the long term.
    You just knitted yourself a fine paradox. To live off-planet, let alone live on another one, will take adaptations that only the ISS currently comes close to doing. Little airtight domed edens on Earth won't cut it. Unmanned probes certainly won't. Doesn't matter who does it, or how, it must be done, or we must choose to stay put and defend what we have. The ISS is currently the only game out of town.

    As to defending earthly locality from the ravening hoardes, the scale will have to go up if the 'west' is really worried about the rest of the world. So it goes the same way as my previous post. Big coastal lagoons don't just defend against climate and weather and store tidal energy for power generation, make them big enough and you have a protected fishery, a large off-shore base for military defences for sea and air as well.

    In the long run life on Earth may well become a matter of vast fortresses if humans continue to breed and fill every niche available no matter what the consequences, and continue to fight each other for territory. If people won't build outwards and tame the ocean edges, the only way left is up, meaning that mountain ranges may become a refuge for energy capture and storage and a weird castle-like form of living, but that's even more expensive and hard to defend than the expansion off shore would be.

  5. #15
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    You just knitted yourself a fine paradox. To live off-planet, let alone live on another one, will take adaptations that only the ISS currently comes close to doing. Little airtight domed edens on Earth won't cut it. Unmanned probes certainly won't. Doesn't matter who does it, or how, it must be done, or we must choose to stay put and defend what we have. The ISS is currently the only game out of town.
    No. Just like my earlier post about big science/government/business corruption, the ISS is a scientific vampire. I am not arguing a fine point of funding optimization. The corruption runs deep. I do not have as intimate a history with big science as Laserman, but I have some knowledge of the machinations of its funding. About 20 years ago there was a research proposal that required a satellite to study the light decay curves from supernova. The measurements were to be done in the near and mid IR, so a telescope in orbit would be ideal. The unpredictable nature of supernova explosions meant that scheduling on the satellite would be difficult to coordinate and so utilization would be inefficient and funding on the order of $50 million was needed. At that same time it was becoming clear that the extremely dry conditions at the IR optimized telescopes in Hawaii and the soon to be commissioned VLT at Cerro Paranal would allow the research to done from the ground for a few million. But, the director at the institution where the research was based instructed the team that getting funding for the less expensive ground based project would not be as likely to be approved because NASA (or possibly JPL) needed some proposals to justify upcoming launches. The research was sent into orbit.

    In the long run life on Earth may well become a matter of vast fortresses if humans continue to breed and fill every niche available no matter what the consequences, and continue to fight each other for territory.
    Right. And the "West" is seemingly not worried enough about the the rest of the world. Doc, you're from the UK? Have you noticed any changes in London? There are small cities here in the US that have been "stocked" with "refuges>gangs" that are now lost to the west. You wouldn't want to go there unless you were an armed vigilante and you were looking for a fight.

    I don't want my decedents cowering in tunnels near the shore OR up on a mountain, but that is sadly where I think this is heading. I suggest the scattering not because of the attractiveness of domes vs forts, but because of the need to evolve away from a corrupt, central and very aggressive authority. "Don't fence me in".

  6. #16
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    While I'm sure someone will flame me for saying it, the demise of humanity will probably be the direct result of wealth inequality: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/...illion/283206/

    Now, if we can just convince those 85 people that Mars is BEAUTIFUL this time of year.....

  7. #17
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    not everyone can live off planet so the elite or those who really don't matter will be going there (at our slave expense to provide funding). We can destroy enough rain forrest to print enough money to go to mars...but why? so we can have another goal for mankind? big deal. What good is another planet if we have to destroy this one to get there. Were no lessons learned from Fukishama and Chernobyl? Sorry, but all nukes need to be shut down, only a bored human would come up with an idea like that to boil water. The wars will be the end of it all because people are not in tune with their spiritual side (and i don't mean god with the blue robe and white beard). It is all about greed and status, and we elect these psychopaths as if they are qualified to lead us...what does that say about us. Face the facts, we are destined to relive this destiny because we have not learned the lessons necessary to evolve spiritually with the planet and ringing of the cosmos. If one just studies ancient civilizations and marvel at the pyramids and massive global stone monuments, it is clear where we are heading as beings on this planet. Preparing accordingly only produces the illusion that you will be safe...in the end, no one makes it out alive. We are in the dawning of the age of Aquarius and a global shift in consciousness towards love, spirituality and self sustainability needs to become the norm...but I, for one am not optimistic. If you support wars or the system as designed you are the problem. I strive everyday to distance myself from "the system" and it only gets better in my own mind, which for me...is all I can do. We don't need sharks with freakin lasers on their heads...its all an illusion of bullshit...
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  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stiffler View Post
    While I'm sure someone will flame me for saying it, the demise of humanity will probably be the direct result of wealth inequality: http://www.theatlantic.com/business/...illion/283206/

    Now, if we can just convince those 85 people that Mars is BEAUTIFUL this time of year.....
    you are probably correct, however...you give the illusion of the monetary system the validity to continue its existence. We want to go to mars, and orbit the planet in a tin can in the name of science and build a laser big enough to start fusion or fission (my point is who gives a shit) or perform some other meaningless invention to revolutionize mankind...when there are hundreds of millions of fellow human beings laying in the dust bowl of Africa and other godforsaken lands, and all they want is a small bowl of rice, a clean glass of water and the fucking flies to stop buzzing their faces.
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  9. #19
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    You clearly didn't get my joke: Lets ship all these ass holes to an inhospitable planet!!

    I think we should go to Mars, but not at the expense of our planet. I also believe that there is more than enough wealth to go around (and probably have enough left over for a Mars expedition), but it is being hoarded by the super rich. Money is a tool, and like all tools, it should be used to build something rather than be locked up in some off shore shed.

  10. #20
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    no, I understood your "joke". Give me one good reason to go to mars (and justify its ROI)... how will mankind benefit from 50 people landing on a distant planet in the next 50 years. Of course there is enough wealth to go around...if not, just type into a computer the amount of wealth we need...its an illusion. FUN Discussion!
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