DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

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Aresen
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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

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Warren wrote: 03 Jan 2019, 22:18
Pham Nuwen wrote: 03 Jan 2019, 21:47 YOU PEOPLE NEED TO STAY ON TOPIC!!!! ARE THERE TRANSFORMERS OVER THERE OR NOT???
What are you, seven?
They're going to dig up the Tycho Magnetic Anomalie.
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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

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Clear night tonight. Trying to catch the eclipse. Partial eclipse starts in 8 minutes.
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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

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Looks good from here.
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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

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Quickest eclipse viewing ever. "Yep, that's an eclipse, now back inside because it's 8 degrees."
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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

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It was cloudy here. Annoying given how often it's clear here.
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Eric the .5b
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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

Post by Eric the .5b »

People apparently spotted a meteorite hitting the moon during the eclipse. Here's a short, interesting video on that and impact-monitoring of the moon.

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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

Post by thoreau »

Researchers have used high-speed cameras to watch the supersonic motion of air out of an opening champagne bottle.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02829-5

Image

They were at the most appropriate university in the world for this research.
Gérard Liger-Belair at the University of Reims Champagne–Ardenne in France and his colleagues used a camera that records 12,000 frames per second to film corks bursting from the necks of champagne bottles.
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Aresen
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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

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thoreau wrote: 25 Sep 2019, 13:40 Researchers have used high-speed cameras to watch the supersonic motion of air out of an opening champagne bottle.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-02829-5

Image

They were at the most appropriate university in the world for this research.
Gérard Liger-Belair at the University of Reims Champagne–Ardenne in France and his colleagues used a camera that records 12,000 frames per second to film corks bursting from the necks of champagne bottles.
Many bottle of champagne were sacrificed to produce this video. The researchers had the world's worst hangover.
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JD
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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

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Every form of life on earth uses DNA and/or RNA to encode its biology. But are those the only possible ways?
...scientists from the Earth-Life Science Institute (ELSI) at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and Emory University explored the "chemical neighborhood" of nucleic acid analogues. Surprisingly, they found well over 1 million variants...
https://phys.org/news/2019-11-dna-milli ... cules.html
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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

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A lump of 5700-year-old "chewing gum" has revealed a wealth of information about its owner - not only her entire genome, which has revealed that she had dark skin and hair but blue eyes and was lactose-intolerant, but also that she carried the Epstein-Barr virus and pneumonia, and her last meal before chewing the gum included duck and hazelnuts.

https://www.cnn.com/2019/12/17/world/an ... index.html
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-sho ... -years-ago
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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

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Bunk?
The results of decades of research by Emeritus Professor Heinrich Hora, HB11's approach to fusion does away with rare, radioactive and difficult fuels like tritium altogether – as well as those incredibly high temperatures. Instead, it uses plentiful hydrogen and boron B-11, employing the precise application of some very special lasers to start the fusion reaction.

Here's how HB11 describes its "deceptively simple" approach: the design is "a largely empty metal sphere, where a modestly sized HB11 fuel pellet is held in the center, with apertures on different sides for the two lasers. One laser establishes the magnetic containment field for the plasma and the second laser triggers the ‘avalanche’ fusion chain reaction. The alpha particles generated by the reaction would create an electrical flow that can be channeled almost directly into an existing power grid with no need for a heat exchanger or steam turbine generator."

HB11's Managing Director Dr. Warren McKenzie clarifies over the phone: "A lot of fusion experiments are using the lasers to heat things up to crazy temperatures – we're not. We're using the laser to massively accelerate the hydrogen through the boron sample using non-linear forced. You could say we're using the hydrogen as a dart, and hoping to hit a boron , and if we hit one, we can start a fusion reaction. That's the essence of it. If you've got a scientific appreciation of temperature, it's essentially the speed of atoms moving around. Creating fusion using temperature is essentially randomly moving atoms around, and hoping they'll hit one another, our approach is much more precise."

"The hydrogen/boron fusion creates a couple of helium atoms," he continues. "They're naked heliums, they don't have electrons, so they have a positive charge. We just have to collect that charge. Essentially, the lack of electrons is a product of the reaction and it directly creates the current."
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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

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Sounds fishy, but I can't say for certain.
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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

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"The hydrogen/boron fusion creates a couple of helium atoms," he continues. "They're naked heliums, they don't have electrons, so they have a positive charge. We just have to collect that charge. Essentially, the lack of electrons is a product of the reaction and it directly creates the current."
I don't understand. Does the boron spit out a couple of helium nuclei in order to fuse with the hydrogen? In which case there's a couple extra electrons flying around. Or are we creating mater out of the energy released from the fusion? In which case we're actually creating excess charge. I thought charge was conserved though.

Is charge conserved?
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thoreau
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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

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First, I would expect an electrical engineer to know that charge is always conserved.

Wiki says that the reaction is 11B + 1H -> 3 4He + 8.7 MeV. Boron has 5 protons, H has 1, and the 3 heliums have a total of 6 protons, so no charged particles were created or destroyed. I'm guessing that the helium atoms are all ionized by the energy of the reaction, and the electrons are flying off somewhere, to be collected by electrodes.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boron#Proton-boron_fusion

It appears to be a concept that others are studying, so apparently not crackpot. And this reaction doesn't generate neutrons, so far less radiation damage to the reactor. It might work. I suspect the hard part is doing it efficiently enough that you get more out than you put in.
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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

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Isn’t a naked Helium atom an Alpha particle? Which is easy enough to shield, especially compared w neutrons, but there’s still to me a bit of not considering the cost of a free lunch in this thing.
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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

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Also, does it matter that the other Boron isotope, 10, has a super high neutron capture cross section? (Which is to ask, how expensive is it to isolate the two main isotopes of boron?)
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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

Post by thoreau »

Yep, alpha particles.

I think the basic concept of boron/hydrogen fusion is fine, and I am intrigued by pumping in the energy by accelerating the protons to react before things can thermalize. However, I question whether their nonlinear laser acceleration approach will be as efficient as they are hoping.
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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

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HB11's Managing Director Dr. Warren McKenzie clarifies over the phone: "A lot of fusion experiments are using the lasers to heat things up to crazy temperatures – we're not. We're using the laser to massively accelerate the hydrogen through the boron sample using non-linear forced. You could say we're using the hydrogen as a dart, and hoping to hit a boron , and if we hit one, we can start a fusion reaction. That's the essence of it. If you've got a scientific appreciation of temperature, it's essentially the speed of atoms moving around. Creating fusion using temperature is essentially randomly moving atoms around, and hoping they'll hit one another, our approach is much more precise."
Now that I’m reading this again (and reading through that link on Proton Boron fusion, which says it exists at significantly higher temps than D T fusion) -his ‘using a dart’ thing sounds a lot like what every fusion researcher in my lifetime has been working towards.
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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

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thoreau wrote: 21 Feb 2020, 20:53 First, I would expect an electrical engineer to know that charge is always conserved.
Of course. In EE land that is an absolute truth that I wouldn't believe could ever be violated.
I don't keep up with the latest developments in high energy fiziks land. I thought maybe the quantum field theory bunch may have come up with some way to create charge.


Accelerating particles with lasers to create fusion is nothing new.
Also, that 8.7MeV is way more energy than required to ionize a few helium atoms. So this doesn't make sense
A lot of fusion experiments are using the lasers to heat things up to crazy temperatures – we're not.
Like okay, you're not randomly accelerating your fuel by heating it up, but it's going to come out hot after if fuses.
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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

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Raising the temperature means raising the average energy, including the energy of things that don't end up fusing. They are betting that if they only raise the energy of a few things, and set them up to fuse, then they can get fusion without making everything ungodly hot. Don't get me wrong, it will be hot, but not as hot as in other fusion schemes.

We'll see if they are right.
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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

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Yeah okay. It just doesn't seem like collecting a few ions is enough of a payout to make it profitable.
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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

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Warren wrote: 22 Feb 2020, 10:52 Yeah okay. It just doesn't seem like collecting a few ions is enough of a payout to make it profitable.
Well there is also the 8 MeV. That's excess energy that could be used to run a heat engine.
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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

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lunchstealer wrote: 22 Feb 2020, 17:27
Warren wrote: 22 Feb 2020, 10:52 Yeah okay. It just doesn't seem like collecting a few ions is enough of a payout to make it profitable.
Well there is also the 8 MeV. That's excess energy that could be used to run a heat engine.
Except they are expressly saying they aren't going to do that.
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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

Post by thoreau »

They're somewhat vague about what they will do with the 8 MeV per fusion reaction. However, if they can get enough fusion reactions that the energy released exceeds the energy lost to protons that don't start reactions, and if they can do this without the machine destroying itself in short order, then I am confident that somebody will come along and solve the problem of what to do with all that energy.

I am less confident about the first part.
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Re: DB's absolutely amazing sci/tech thread

Post by Eric the .5b »

I did like the self-awareness of, Yeah, we're not committing to something like 'this will be working in X years', because y'all have been hearing that since before a lot of us were born.

It'd be unspeakably cool if this panned out, but, well, that's an "if" you can establish orbit around.
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