Some day Asian children won't be the only ones having fun with death robots.
Well, not yet it isn't. But the idea of real life Gundams is getting a lot closer to reality.
American defense contractor Lockheed Martin has issued a statement declaring it has made a technological breakthrough in developing a power source based on nuclear fusion. It's hoping to have a prototype ready in five years — and a small, functional unit ready by 2024.
It's a big claim, but if they're being honest it could be a huge development. The company is basically saying that it's figured out a way to harness the same kind of nuclear reaction that heats the sun and that this process can be replicated in compact form to power cities and vehicles on Earth.
Quickly, nuclear fusion is the process of making a single heavy nucleus from two lighter nuclei. The change in mass produces a considerable amount of energy. Harnessing fusion has been the Holy Grail of physics, a game-changing solution that could provide a virtually unlimited source of cheap energy.
Lockheed Martin says it can be done on a very compact scale, and that it can build a reactor small enough to fit on the back of a truck and ship around the globe. The reactor could also be used to power a U.S. Navy warship, and eliminate the need for other fuel sources that present logistical and cost challenges.
Last edited by Xarpolis; 10-16-2014 at 02:19 AM. Reason: This needed a great picture.
Some day Asian children won't be the only ones having fun with death robots.
Viable fusion reactors have been the holy grail of energy production since forever. Huge scientific organizations spend megabucks researching it with mediocre results. Sandia's Z Machine, Berkley's NIF laser, and numerous American and European groups have tried different versions of toroidal reactors, among many other endeavors. Most have not even achieved neutral energy production (produce more than they consume). Beyond that, there is repetition rate difficulty, parts wearing out fast and becoming highly radioactive, and numerous other challenges. They are always "10-20 years" away from being viable. Like since the 50s.
So I hope there is a breakthrough, but I'm highly skeptical. If they are successful, Lockheed could easily become the biggest energy company on the planet overnight. Perhaps the most powerful company, period. In fact, Lockheed developing this tech is more than a little terrifying since they produce so much military hardware.
The primary driver for the technology is specifically for laser weapons on ships and planes (That's where lockheed got the funding for it). What really pisses me/disappoints me is that if Lockheed is really this close, why isn't this the next Manhattan project? If 10 billion turns five years into six months, it'll be worth every penny in climate change damage it prevents. The time to act is now and the cognitive dissonance and tunnel vision that fusion energy investment currently has is holding back us as a species. If you have cheap energy fresh water becomes limitless, food becomes limitless, recycling all materials becomes viable and I'm sure thousands of other ideas no one fathomed/thought possible will become a reality. We need this tech yesterday :/
The past 60 years of fusion research pretty clearly demonstrates that it won't. It doesn't really seem to matter how much money you throw at fusion, it's always just 10 or 20 years away. That's not to say that we won't figure it out eventually, I'm sure we will. But it's probably going to take some fairly big leaps in various science and engineering disciplines before we do, and it's not really possible to somehow figure out exactly where to target the research dollars to speed it up. ITER is turning in to a massive, massive sink hole of money, and it might not advance things to any significant degree. 50 billion dollars and counting, when it was supposed to be 5 billion. And actual fusion is still 10+ years out.Originally Posted by Tripamang
source for the article claiming they have a breakthrough:
Lockheed Martin Pursuing Compact Nuclear Fusion Reactor Concept Lockheed Martin
Usually miniaturization starts after the fundamental problem has been solved. Trying to jump ahead to a powerful fusion reactor on a truck is pretty ambitious when this has been such an elusive technology for 6 decades. That they spend so much effort talking about how much easier the problem is to solve at a small scale rather than describing how cool it is that they solved the problem period is troubling.
I couldn't find the patents they've filed, but it seems like the only info we have is their word that they've made a breakthrough. It's probably bullshit but here's to hoping!
$50B a day is how many vaccinations for babies? 4 years? I certainly wouldn't want to have millions of babies die just to pay for welfare for PhD students!
Use the dead to power the reactor. Solves the fuel and recycling problem!
Bro don't even try to pull that shit after what you just did.
I could see major military uses for a miniaturized fusion tech that is still not yielding positive net energy if they spend a massive amount of coal fired energy to synthesize the fuel for the reactor but then are able to mount that reactor into drones or planes that can kill any enemy aircraft with a light speed weapon that is still amazing. Power density issues is the major thing standing in the way of air mounted energy weapons so maybe they just solved power density and not the other issue since really it is two separate issues.
Yeah they definitely have credibility that most other groups don't, but not knowing anything about LM's internal politics that press release could mean just mean some VP of marketing wanting to drum up some interest in LM and getting some random shots of one of their labs and abuse some statements by some Director. It's not like there's any evidence that one of the principle researchers ran into a board room of executives with papers showing that his zany idea is ground breaking and would work and now he can go home to watch his son's big game just in time to see him make the touchdown pass to win and resolve his coming of age troubles.
so would a fusion reactor be dangerous like a nuclear reactor? would we be storing fusion rods under the desert too?
While the actual fuel may not be rods you have to store for 100K years, the parts of the machine exposed to the reaction tend to become very radioactive from neutron flux. And then you have to deal with them.
Guys we all know what "5 years" means right?
MWS Natural "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving black people approaches 1."
FUSION | Open Letter on Fusion).
If Lockheed really is where they think they are, then theres no reason that we can't dump huge amounts of money into something that will literally transform our world into a better, sustainable and hopefully more fair place to live.
I'm calling alien tech on this one.
Hopefully he gets that foot taken care of.
Fusion furore : Nature News Comment
I find it amusing how legitimate someone can think a project is based on how well done the web page is hah. They are starved for cash, I don't think they have the money to hire a web developer to fix that hideous mess.
If Cad was elected dictator for life next year, my first order of business would be to allocate 50% of the defense and brown-people slaying budget to 1> NASA, 2> fusion research, 3> genetic engineering research. And I'd supervise it personally and make sure it did not turn into some government program pile of shit.
We are figuratively shooting ourselves right in the face by using fossil fuels on the scale we are using them. Especially when the technology exists to have emissions-free nearly unlimited electricity.
It's a good thing you said figuratively, that could have been a disaster otherwise.
I've said it before and I'll say it again, I don't really see the huge benefits that come from developing fusion power. We already have thousands of years' worth of resources available for fission power and the latest generation of nuclear plants can't melt down either. The only real problem a working fusion plant solves is reducing the amount of nuclear waste generated, and that's hardly a world-changing breakthrough.
We don't use nuclear power because people are simply irrationally afraid of anything to do with radiation, and discovering a workable method of fusion will not change this.
Additionally, fusion plants actually leak radiation, unlike fission plants. Hydrogen gas is very difficult to 100% contain. Of course, we're talking about extremely tiny amounts of short-lived tritium here, but good luck getting past the hurdle of selling this little factoid to the scare mongers.
Last edited by Xequecal; 10-18-2014 at 01:01 PM.
I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt atm. I know that at least one of the military's designs has gotten the money for the next stage of testing...
Past all that, yea, I got nothing. Fission is pretty good too and if you check my post history, I've been railing on people for not building fission reactors for years.
If cavemen had internet, this is what the thread on fire would have looked like.
The Military Industrial complex would love to get the fuck away from fossil fuels and have real motivation to do as such. Sad as it is to say, they're pretty much the only entity on the planet that could make this happen and would want this to happen.
Won't believe it till I see it.... *shrug*
In one of his smarter acts as president, Bush Jr sunk significant money into the Human Genome project. It was a success; it is already starting to pay dividends in individualized medicine and we are just scratching the surface of its usefulness. So more money into genetic engineering is well spent. According to the doctors I've heard speak on the subject, the next easy step is to bring data correlation into medicine. Establishing which genes allow a particular treatment to be effective or ineffective is extremely valuable.
Fusion research is fine, but it is pretty well funded as is. The bigger immediate impact would be opening the door for modern fission plants to replace fossil fuel plants, investing in the research of enabling technologies for better electric cars and accelerating the release of self-driving vehicles. Those 3 things would cut our reliance on fossil fuels MASSIVELY.
And yes, NASA needs real funding and a clear set of goals. I think they are pretty well aligned on goals, but their funding is shit. Bump it up and establish the United States of Space, bitches.
edit: fix grammar
Last edited by Haast; 10-20-2014 at 07:51 PM.
Not sure that's butthurt as much as it is academic shit talk. "We are highly skeptical" translates to "Fags are so full of shit their gay partners need to get a doctor to unfuck their gastrointestinal tract from their reproduction system."
A for-profit company makes an outrageous claim that is not feasible or even physically possible at this time?
News at 11.
ScreamCo has plans for a new pocket sized battery that will contain enough energy to power a fleshlight for 1,000,000 years or power at YT-1300 Light Freighter in at least 11 parsecs.
My statement and Lockheeds have the exact same amount of cred.
If scream co had built one vehicle as complex as any of these maybe you'd have a better point, skepticism is good but it's not like it's some Italian scam artist making the claims either.
List of Lockheed aircraft - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
So tell me fanaskin, what does creating aircraft have to do with manufacturing a massive heat withstanding tokamak on the scale they claim to be able to do?
You're the expert here and all. I can't wait for your well educated reply delving into stable plasma dispersion and magnetic containment. I mean, you wouldn't DARE be just talking out your ass right?
Complete genome is here:
Zaire ebolavirus isolate H.sapiens-wt/GIN/2014/Kissidougou-C15, comple - Nucleotide - NCBI
I'm selling DIY genome kits. Comes with 1MM ea of base pairs, desk magnifying glass, fine tweezers, and an Ez-Bake oven. $1,499. Send SASE to my address. Please allow 4-6 weeks for delivery.
How does it feel to know that a man that mans a toll booth has a better grasp on simple concepts like the difference between building a flying machine and building a sustainable fusion reactor(in a smaller form factor no less)? Or that a man that mans a toll booth can see when a company that makes it's bread and butter killing people is going to make a claim like "We Will Save the World" to appeal to its share holders (note the spike in their share price on the 16th after a long drag).
So, since we have established that I, the toll booth man, can understand these things, what do YOU do?
Last edited by Screamfeeder; 10-21-2014 at 08:10 AM.
To be fair, LHM has been involved in Energy for a long time, so its not really out of left field.
Energy Lockheed Martin
It would be hysterical if they got it and made the $50 billion tokamak being built in France obsolete before its even finished.
If we get our working prototype in 5 years, then awesome. But we won't. They want funding and adoration. Half of their published material even has the "PATENTS PENDING!!" copy you see in late night infomercials.
Last edited by Screamfeeder; 10-21-2014 at 02:26 PM.
With regards to the Lockheed release, it's possible they have made a breakthrough but I'd be sceptical about how significant it is. ITER is burning trough money but they are making progress slowly. One of the major issues is that whatever you make a fusion reactor out of, it has to withstand intense neutron bombardment, and the only way to find out how well it does so is to make one. If you have to keep rebuilding your reactor every few years then fusion might not be viable, so knowing what kind of materials work best is crucial.
Engineering the costliest boondoggle in mankind's history has to count for something. The F-35 project costs more than the GDP of all but about 10 countries in the world.
However, I have no idea what their recent record is in the energy domain. Hopefully better than their recent aviation endeavors.
The F-35 being a flop is more related to the Pentagon having their heads up their asses and making ridiculous demands of the project in an attempt to reduce costs. Hello decision to go with one engine. It's the classic, client always being right, bull shit that forces engineers to do a little "day drinkin". LM should have pushed back and told the boys in blue how bad their idea really was.
Then again It's hard to say no to your sugar daddy, no matter how degrading it might be. So management at Lockstep Martin says make it happen, too afraid to upset big poppa G. The engineers say, "It hurts, please make it stop, it's not supposed to work like that!" Lots of nasty internal emails, hemorrhaging, and a few bonus size bottles of lube later and oila... they managed to make something that flies. Now of course time has proven that just getting something off the ground is no longer going to cut it.
I mean that tricked worked at Kitty Hawk, but if the Wright brothers had been funded by the US government, they would have been required to build something that could mount a cannon and drop cavalry into the enemy trenches. Saying no, that can't work, is not a sign of weakness if you have the math to support it. But there are lots of physics-lly impaired people that call the shots and think that with enough money you can design your way out of anything.
So maybe this announcement is just a desperate PR stunt to try and gloss over the F-35 incendiary strike fighter with it's internal combustion engine. I mean hell, who wouldn't forgive them for making a multi-billion dollar piece of shit if they went ahead and turned available energy into an ∞ symbol. And they don't even need to show anything for their claims for like another 10 years... by then they will have built a plane that works or something. PURE FUCKING GENIUS.
You write that post like the engineers actually minded they got more, higher billable hours on that contract.
I know there are a few guys in every firm sitting squarely in the autistic spectrum that actually care that what they design, works. They are the ones that never get promoted into management because they are such good "foot soldiers". It's the ones that shovel shit out the door like they are cleaning stalls, those are the ones that get to hang their hat up a few pegs higher. But why shouldn't they be compensated, killing your sense of ethics and integrity is hard and painful work.
Anyways, I am not saying Lockheed Martin is free of blame, I am just saying shit needs to get spread around more.
Where can I find more information on toll booths?
As to Lockheed - ITER is a $40 Billion hunk of junk. Tokamaks are a dead-end for Fusion - we've been working on them for 60ish years, if they were at all feasible we'd be a lot closer: I think it's telling that the US and Japan collectively said "fuck it" to fighting to get the ITER built in Japan instead of France. Lockheed's compact reactor is just one of several approaches - Z-pinch fusion being developed at Sandia, the Helion guys (also truck sized), Etc. Anything is better than throwing money at and/or beating the dead horse that is ITER.
Are graphing calculators also responsible for the decline in bee populations tad?
Tad, tell us how the LM fusion reactor ties into the latest Obama conspiracy theory
Lockheed needed the top sekret cargo on MH370 for their reactor so Obama ordered Iran to steal the jet for us.
Is the reactor powered by mangos? Or whatever that fruit was in the cargo hold?
Sorry guys but tad is right about that one. I'm not good at math, I'm bad at it in fact. Given this fact it is still shocking to me how much worse at it people who are about ten years younger are. Putting calculators in the classroom forces the teachers to be lazy.
We're not talking about complex advanced concepts. We're talking about the basic ability to subtract or divide, or even understand what a fraction is and how it works. Then you have common core bullshit making it even worse.
TL; DR Medium Prob and Hard Prob
Neither of those equations involve complex mathematical concepts. Doing the actual arithmetic isn't the challenging part of any branch of mathematics.
Someone get Khalid in here.
What exactly are you arguing for Tad? Going back to spending time teaching people how to use slide rules over calculators? What are your feelings on the abacus?
Abacus is fine too. Still big in China, which seems to be doing okay in the math department. Nobody should be using calculators or CAS to learn math - slide rules, log tables, abacus, pen & paper: all good. Calculator, graphing calculator, CAS: bad.
Re-railing: the point being one reason we're not making the scientific progress towards fusion that we should be is that we're not producing enough scientists and engineers and a big reason for that is we have been teaching math wrong ever since the introduction of cheap calculators.
At the end of the day the average person is rationally lazy and will use the easiest, fastest way to accomplish something. I find math hard as do 99% of the population and the only way to learn something that is hard is skull sweat - calculators removed a lot of the skull sweat and has resulted in a lot mathematically illiterate adults.
Also Common Core is fucking retarded.
Common core is shit, but you think we are gonna inspire the next generation to make more engineers and scientists by taking calculators out of the class room? That's a pipe dream.
That's a good idea up until high school, but you really expect kids to do logs, exponents, long division, quadratic formula, etc....by long hand? So they could maybe get through 3 problems during a one hour test. Brilliant.
Literally the easiest part of mathematics is doing rote calculations, which is the only thing the slide rule is going to help you with. Calculators (and computers) remove the tedium of mathematics and make computations possible that people couldn't dream of years ago. I would be hard pressed to think of something less useful for a student atm than doing rote calculations with a slide rule instead of learning how to solve those problems with a computer. You can teach square roots and logarithms without a slide rule, its absolutely silly to say you need that in order to give them an understanding of it.
You just made the same argument against calculators that I've seen you make against instanced raids.
Let me elaborate again: on the front side of my Versalog II if I set my hairline to 4 on the D scale I have immediately: 1/4 (CI) Cube of 4 (K), Square of 4 (A), Root of 4(R1), 2/3 Root of the Cube of 4 (K/A) 3/2 Power of the Square of 4 (A/K) (not to mention e to .004 and e -.004 and 4pi 1/4pi). Seeing these relationships and working with numbers in this visual way is a fuckton better than a graphing calculator where you put in numbers and it thinks for you.
You know what else were hard problems? Atomic Fission and Landing on the Moon. The maths for both were done mostly with slide rules and blackboards.The reason we aren't making more scientific progress towards fusion is that fusion is a really hard problem.
TL;DR you don't know what the fuck you are talking about if you think the average student is learning math properly today and if you think the problem with fusion is "It's hard" and not "we are fucking up teaching our kids math and science"
Tad, Khalid is a mathematics professor, or at least I'm pretty sure he is
@Beagle You can do all that with slide rules - that's how the cool kids did it in the 1960s. Look at the spoilered image - back side tan/sin/cos trig functions and both degree and radian measure (SRT scale Black marks are radians) as well as exp function up to e^10. If people want scientific breakthroughs we have to do better at producing scientists in this country and that starts with re-introducing skull sweat to math. But in a fun way - frankly slide rules are also a lot more fun than your average scientific calculator.
I don't think it will happen we'll just get Common Core 2.0 and more mathematically illiterate students, but that doesn't mean that I shouldn't tilt at that windmill.
We won WWII with B-52 bombers, Sherman tanks, and M1 Garands, and lost Vietnam with M-16s, helicopters, and jet fighters. Obviously if we would have fought Vietnam using WWII era implements we would have been successful. Tad logic.
We have a lot of fucking problems with getting kids into, and being successful at, both science and math. Replacing calculators with slide rules is about 134th on the list of things that need to be done to address that.
I dunno that bringing slide rules back would fix that. I'm fairly sure it wouldn't. But it's better to have them do those 3 problems by hand and think about the numbers they're manipulating while they're learning than to teach them how to play a test like a game. The question seems to becoming more and more "Can you push buttons on a calculator in the right order?" rather than "What is the right order to push these buttons in?". Which might be a subtle difference, but it is a crippling one when people who, honestly, are otherwise fairly intelligent get flummoxed dealing with arbitrary division or subtraction.
Addition and multiplication are easier and seem less problematic.
They used those because the computers at the time were massive pieces of shit, the massive part being literal.You know what else were hard problems? Atomic Fission and Landing on the Moon. The maths for both were done mostly with slide rules and blackboards.
Ever noticed how in 1971 scientists were looked up to and glorified by society a lot more and we as a country took pride in our strong public education system? There weren't too many home schoolers back then.
The $$ also rewarded scientists alot more then too, nowadays alot of stem people are bled into finance sector.
Last edited by fanaskin; 10-22-2014 at 02:39 AM.
A very good virtual slide rule: Pickett rules are noted for having Ln scale on the slider (reverse side from default unfortunately unlike a real rule you can flip the slider) which has a lot of interesting and powerful abilities uncommon in slide rules.
Basically I think you should all go to ebay and pick up a Versalog or a Pickett. Download some instruction manuals. Learn how to use it and then come back to this discussion. I don't think enough of you (I'm looking at your Beagle) get exactly how powerful slide rules are.
Virtual Pickett N3-T Slide Rule
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