Skip to comments.Can world's largest laser zap Earth's energy woes?
Posted on 05/03/2010 11:05:02 AM PDT by JoeProBono
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shhhh don’t tell anyone... ;)
Thats true too. We’ll be linking pro-boards together for the interim. Or are they also CA based?
I did a lot of the instrumentation for it.
Thanks GeronL. This project has been around forty years in some form or other in various places, and it has revolved around, “we just need to build it a little bigger next time”. Bupkis. As with the various magnetic containment schemes (best known is the Tokamak, but there’s Pinch, and a couple of others; my personal favorite is the two independent / maverick engineers in Canada who plan to harness fusion using, basically ignition timing), continuous operation is elusive. And obviously, the bigger the energy needs from the laser, the more difficult continuous operation would become. Escaping neutrons (which can’t be contained by magnetic methods) gradually destroy the machinery. In the case of controlled fusion, it seems to me that bigger is NOT better.
So your saying if it doesn’t work on a small scale it won’t help to make it bigger?
I believe it.
Maybe we could build a plasma energy pipeline from the sun?
Isn’t aneutronic fusion the best option for fusion? It cuts out the steam part and greatly reduces radiation.
The late Gerard K. O’Neill was a big advocate of moving population and industry into orbit. My view is, that will work better for robots, because robotic systems are neither sentient nor human, nor does anyone give a damn about “robot rights”. Having a fixed-sized, carefully (even fanatically) controlled habitat for humans is the fastest way I can think of to destroy liberty for said population. And that is exactly what has happened each time it has been tried on Earth.
But he suggested building enormous photovoltaic arrays, and beaming the power to microwave downlinks on the Earth’s surface.
Uh, I’m pretty sure (ahem) that would result in continuous heating of the atmosphere (and that’s around the clock, or nearly so), and a large no-go zone (and environmental disaster zone) around the downlink sites.
And the downlink sites would be of fixed size and capacity, and, well, recursion to paragraph one...
I would suggest sending robots FIRST and then when we know the lay of the land and then sending robots to look around and explore, including ones that can look for microbes and virus-sized things. THEN if it looks good we can send robots that can build habitats, pre-fab and using local materials like sand-dirt to make mooncrete or marscrete or something. Followed by sending a science team.
I would only really suggest colonizing habitable worlds, and then by land grants to those willing to go. They would have to know that the “government” they will have is very tiny and only does very few specific things.
I think a colony owned by colonist/shareholders would be the best idea.
I have started (I never finish) stories on my board.... like this one where a colony faces being inundated by “refugee’s” from a ruined Earth.
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