Polywell being discussed afar!

Point out news stories, on the net or in mainstream media, related to polywell fusion.

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Gandalf
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:19 am

Polywell being discussed afar!

Post by Gandalf »

Ok, this isn't news, and it probably shouldn't be terribly surprising, but at least it might be entertaining...

So I send my kid to Spain over the summer to hopefully learn Spanish. The kid gets chased off the beach by Moochelle Obama and finds that winning the world cup causes mayhem, and has far more fun that me. And no, I'm not adopting.

So this kid and some friends find themselves wandering around a port outside Marbella - where many of the high-priced yachts are owned by Arabs who like to vacation in Spain. Two of these Arabs standing near a fancy yacht were overheard having a heated conversation.... about a POLYWELL FUSION REACTOR in NEW MEXICO.

My kid heard this and didn't give it a second thought, probably cuz he's heard his crazy nerd of a dad talking about this over dinner at least once a month for the last few years.

If only I could have been a barnacle on that boat!


-Gandalf-

zbarlici
Posts: 247
Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 2:23 am
Location: winnipeg, canada

Post by zbarlici »

Holy Blistering Barnacles Gandalf! One thing`s for sure is the polywell better damm well be fully and thouroughly studied for its feasibility right where it is now in New Mexico, or before you know it those arab yachts be the FIRST ONES to be fitted, royalty fee free, with exhaust extender pipes spanning to the main deck where the party clown be fillin up them "arrabica coffee & first polywell" party balloons! :lol: :oops:


Somehow i think $200 M is just a little sneeze for the UAE Sheikhs.

JohnP
Posts: 296
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2007 3:29 am
Location: Chicago

Post by JohnP »

zbarlici wrote: Somehow i think $200 M is just a little sneeze for the UAE Sheikhs.
Not if the polywell wrecks their economy. On the + side, they might get cheap water desalination out of the deal, and some darn fine vegetable gardens.

Gandalf
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:19 am

Post by Gandalf »

Scenario 1: World energy prices skyrocket. Since nearly all fertilizer in the industrialized world is derived from fossil fuels, food prices also soar. Global violence ensues as the moral boundary between aggression and starvation is easy to cross. Without cheap oil derived fertilizers, the natural nitrogen cycle of the planet can sustain only a fraction of it's current population...

Scenario 2: The world is taken over by a small group of powerful eco-fascists who force everyone but themselves to emulate the Amish. We get the horse and buggy and plain dress, but without the moral foundation. Soylent Green becomes a reality.

Scenario 3: New technology like the Polywell ushers in the new 'energy age'. Old cartels fall, wealth and power centers around the world adopt, change, or vanish. Desalinization, ammonia synthesis, and insanely large greenhouses full of highly modified tulips come to dominate the economy. World population soars to 27 billion by 2080. France initiates a major planetary conflict when the president's genetically modified wife is stolen by a wealthy tycoon from New Troy, Mars. Arabia becomes known for fine Tupperware and indoor snow skiing.

Everyone stands to benefit from innovations like the Polywell, including Arabia.

-Gandalf

Skipjack
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Joined: Sun Sep 28, 2008 2:29 pm

Post by Skipjack »

Gandalf sums up my feelings pretty well.

CaptainBeowulf
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Post by CaptainBeowulf »

The smarter Arabs will be contemplating the day when their oil reserves run low. That will entail their economy being wrecked anyway. If they can jump on a new technology and develop it while they still have huge amounts of money, they can avoid that... everyone will have their own reasons for trying to get a headstart on fusion tech when it starts to look feasible.

TallDave
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Post by TallDave »

It probably doesn't matter much. Arab oil is ridiculously cheap to extract (sub-$5 by some reports), and they aren't very good at anything else because they're ridiculously repressive. SA reportedly doesn't even make its own drill bits.

Funny story though.
n*kBolt*Te = B**2/(2*mu0) and B^.25 loss scaling? Or not so much? Hopefully we'll know soon...

AcesHigh
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Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2009 3:59 am

Post by AcesHigh »

JohnP wrote: Not if the polywell wrecks their economy. On the + side, they might get cheap water desalination out of the deal, and some darn fine vegetable gardens.
not if they buy the rights to produce Polywells and sell them around the world... and use their oil only to make plastics.

they already know their oil isnt forever.

BenTC
Posts: 410
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:54 am

Post by BenTC »

CaptainBeowulf wrote:The smarter Arabs will be contemplating the day when their oil reserves run low. That will entail their economy being wrecked anyway. If they can jump on a new technology and develop it while they still have huge amounts of money, they can avoid that... everyone will have their own reasons for trying to get a headstart on fusion tech when it starts to look feasible.
Like Dubai...
wikipedia > Dubai wrote:Today, Dubai has emerged as a global city and a business hub.[7] Although Dubai's economy was built on the oil industry, currently the emirate's model of business, similar to that of Western countries, drives its economy, with the effect that its main revenues are now from tourism, real estate, and financial services.
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

Emmet
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Post by Emmet »

Scenario 3: New technology like the Polywell ushers in the new 'energy age'. Old cartels fall, wealth and power centers around the world adopt, change, or vanish. Desalinization, ammonia synthesis, and insanely large greenhouses full of highly modified tulips come to dominate the economy. World population soars to 27 billion by 2080.

-Gandalf[/quote]

There's a mistake in your theory: By rise of wealth the birth rate decreases. Once hunger is finished, thanks to "insanely large (I'd rather guess insanely high) green houses", then we will have the opposite problem - slow but steady population decrease worldwide. We will then need something like a moral change to keep family reproduction stable...(don't call me Taliban please!) :twisted:
stone-bronze-iron-carbon-boron

Gandalf
Posts: 36
Joined: Fri Apr 16, 2010 5:19 am

you caught me

Post by Gandalf »

Emmet, you are correct. I guess I was trying to make a tongue-in-cheek point that with essentially limitless energy, we can desalinate all the water we need and synthesize all the fertilizer to feed and _properly_ care for a lot of humanity. Not necessarily any more probable than today, but possible.

I have no idea what it will do to human reproduction statistics if the average human lifespan is greatly extended. If I were to live to 300 years of age, I'd be doing that which causes more humans for as much of those 300 years as possible. I can even imaging having multiple batches of kids.

-Gandalf
There's a mistake in your theory: By rise of wealth the birth rate decreases. Once hunger is finished, thanks to "insanely large (I'd rather guess insanely high) green houses", then we will have the opposite problem - slow but steady population decrease worldwide. We will then need something like a moral change to keep family reproduction stable...(don't call me Taliban please!) :twisted:

BenTC
Posts: 410
Joined: Tue Jun 09, 2009 4:54 am

Re: you caught me

Post by BenTC »

Gandalf wrote: I can even imaging having multiple batches of kids.
But (speaking generally) how many women would you find wanting to have those batches of kids?

Even if humans could live to 300 years, would women's fertility extend any further than today (and would they want it too?)
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

Betruger
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Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 11:54 am

Post by Betruger »

I don't know how accurate this is, but it seems to me that the wise thing to do with multiple centuries' healthy lifespan is to amass much more wealth (ie potential energy) for more payoff later. Essentially a more drawn out and higher magnitude work/earning/spending version of today's regimen.

As far as kids go, it seems to me there'd be a lot to gain for just about anyone to raise kids after having accumulated more years' worth of wisdom than parents do on average today. Kids would gain from their parents' comfier finance and better wisdom. As the saying goes: Grandparents are parents with a lot of experience.
I'm no woman, but as I see it, I'd earn enough to guarantee my kids could grow in safety and comfort. No dependence on anyone else for their sustenance. Fifty or a hundred years of earning would easily ensure that. It'd be myopic to rush into it as today.

As far as energy goes, if you combine it with longer lifespans, and considering that the planet still has lots of material resources to exploit, I think it's reasonable to divert middling govt humanitarian aid to its citizens towards the most needing, so that only the very poorest are helped.
Anyone above some relatively lower threshold would, given plentiful energy and lifespan, have more than enough means to earn their way to self-sufficiency if not comfort at least as good as what's considered satisfactory today.

The real growing pains, IMO, is psychological. The free-er people get and the more they're left to their own whims, the less they're forcibly channeled into inevitably dull and dissatisfactory life provided by standard issue govt help, bondage in mediocre labor, etc, and the less incentive there is to act responsibly, charitably. Religion's supposed to chaperone this kind of behavior, but that dogma can't last as it is today... Not when you've got people exploring and colonizing space, modifying their bodies in relatively freaky ways for function or leisure, etc.

The real test for humanity in the near future is to quit being so lazy, to more fully exploit its potential.

jsbiff
Posts: 106
Joined: Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:33 pm

Post by jsbiff »

Honestly, if it happens, I don't think in the big picture, it matters who holds the patents. It'd be nice (from my pespective as a U.S. citizen/resident) if it was a U.S. Corp, but patents aren't forever. If polywell works, it will be useful far, far after the patents expire. Polywell isn't an iPad - we're going to be using Polywells, if they work, for millennia, most likely.

One thing I've mentioned before, and I'm going to mention it again - I think it's 'too soon' for fusion power. That might seem like crazy talk, but here's the reasoning:

We have this vast stockpile of spent nuclear fuel, which currently is a very long lived mess. The only way to deal with our spent fuel problem, is to reprocess and burn it, to make it a 200-300 year problem. The only way we're going to go to the expense to reprocess and burn the spent fuel, is if it is economical to do so. The only way it is economical to do so is if we use something like the IFR/PRISM reactor concept to be able to produce electricity and sell it at competitive prices while simultaneously getting rid of the long-lived waste - in effect, making it profitable to dispose of our spent fuel.

If Polywell works well, using proton-Boron 11 fusion, that will likely produce energy far cheaper than even an IFR/PRISM reactor can. I've seen posts on here from people saying that there are concepts for hybrid fusion/fission reactors, which could even apply to a Polywell, where you put spent fuel in the polywell and burn it. I don't know for sure, but I suspect that any such scheme would be *more expensive* than a straight p-B11 polywell reactor, making it so that the hybrid, while producing plenty of energy, does so at a higher cost than a p-B11 polywell, and so the profit incentive for investing in the more expensive fusion/fission hybrid reactor will likely not exist.

Therefor, we'll never burn the spent fuel.

I might be wrong, but only if I'm wrong that a hybrid reactor will be more expensive than a straight fusion polywell.

chrismb
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Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 6:00 pm

Post by chrismb »

jsbiff wrote:Honestly, if it happens, I don't think in the big picture, it matters who holds the patents. It'd be nice (from my pespective as a U.S. citizen/resident) if it was a U.S. Corp, but patents aren't forever. If polywell works, it will be useful far, far after the patents expire.
What patents? There are none in force as far as I know.

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