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Author Topic: Thoughts about the Ur-Quan...  (Read 31660 times)
Art
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Re: Thoughts about the Ur-Quan...
« Reply #120 on: September 01, 2004, 05:32:19 am »

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Whew, finaly read through it all, interesting.

Glad someone mentioned the photon teleportation.

As for a good source of potential energy why not stick a long bit of wire into orbit and grab some "free" electrons.  As I understand it we have done a test similar to this but the wire burned up from nowhere to put the energy that got built up.

Think about how moving current through a bit of wire in a cylindricle shape gives you a magnetic field.  Now take a magnet and spin it inside the coil of wire and you get energy.  Finaly take a long bit of wire and set it in orbit perpendicular to the north/south magnetic line and notice some energy produced, the problem then would be a way to get the energy down to earth.  A microwave would be dandy if you like lots of fried fowl and crispy airliners...

As for the light weight material for a dison sphere, it would need to be strong enough to counteract or capture the solar wind.  Though if it did manage to deflect the solar wind back on the sun our sun would last a bit longer (probobly only a bit).
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Art
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Re: Thoughts about the Ur-Quan...
« Reply #121 on: September 01, 2004, 05:34:11 am »

Sorry about the previous junk post...

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Whew, finaly read through it all, interesting.

Glad someone mentioned the photon teleportation.


Right, but as I said, it's not teleporting a photon, it's giving a photon far away the same quantum state as another photon.

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As for a good source of potential energy why not stick a long bit of wire into orbit and grab some "free" electrons.  As I understand it we have done a test similar to this but the wire burned up from nowhere to put the energy that got built up.

Think about how moving current through a bit of wire in a cylindricle shape gives you a magnetic field.  Now take a magnet and spin it inside the coil of wire and you get energy.  Finaly take a long bit of wire and set it in orbit perpendicular to the north/south magnetic line and notice some energy produced, the problem then would be a way to get the energy down to earth.  A microwave would be dandy if you like lots of fried fowl and crispy airliners...


This was Nikola Tesla's idea for generating free power, right? Unfortunately Tesla was famous for grossly overestimating the regularity of various kinds of vibrations and fields, so that he thought that the Earth's magnetic field would be as reliable and easy to generate power from as a magnetic turbine (never mind the engineering problem of getting the wire up there in the first place). My understanding is it probably isn't.

A much easier way to do it would be to just have solar power satellites placed in geosynchronous orbits that would beam energy down to Earth in the form of microwave lasers. It wouldn't be too hard to clear "safe" airspace around the receiver stations and to try to put them somewhere where there wouldn't be too much damage to wildlife, and the Sun's energy, unblocked by atmospheric effects, would be very abundant and reliable.

What I meant by "powered by the Earth's rotation" would be a curiosity-style device like Foucault's Pendulum that uses the actual physical rotation of the Earth to maintain some constant motion. (Foucault's Pendulum demonstrates the rotation of the Earth; it's a swinging pendulum that rotates around the floor it's suspended over during the course of a day because of the Earth rotating under it.)

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As for the light weight material for a dison sphere, it would need to be strong enough to counteract or capture the solar wind.  Though if it did manage to deflect the solar wind back on the sun our sun would last a bit longer (probobly only a bit).


Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the solar wind (subatomic particles released by the Sun) would exert significant physical pressure on a Dyson sphere; at least, it would be many times less than the "light pressure" exerted by the Sun's light. References you hear to solar sails refer to using the pressure of sunlight to move a spaceship around; though it would be a poetic connection, solar wind and solar sails don't have much to do with each other.

Also, what's the basis for saying we could reliably deflect solar wind back into the Sun, or that this would make the Sun last longer? It wouldn't actually reverse the using up of the Sun's hydrogen in nuclear fusion.
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Re: Thoughts about the Ur-Quan...
« Reply #122 on: September 01, 2004, 05:02:15 pm »

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Also, what's the basis for saying we could reliably deflect solar wind back into the Sun, or that this would make the Sun last longer? It wouldn't actually reverse the using up of the Sun's hydrogen in nuclear fusion.


the sun sheds a bit of it's mass all the time, if we could deflect that back into the sun it *might* increase it's life *a little*.  The mass that is shed is actual matter (it looses mass via matter-energy conversion but that energy being released also pushes some matter out).  I don't know that we could deflect the released mass back to the sun but I figure an 'air tight' disons sphere would do the trick.

The deflected mass would put back the thrown out fuel.
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Re: Thoughts about the Ur-Quan...
« Reply #123 on: September 01, 2004, 07:33:02 pm »

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People had mentioned that 100% efficiency was impossible because of the loss of energy as waste heat (in machines). You disputed this, because heat is still a form of energy and no energy is lost. I don't know the degree of your own understanding of thermodynamics, which may be greater than mine, but you gave the impression that you were saying energy inefficiency amounts to the disappearance of energy.

I put "lost" in between quotes to prevent that interpretation.

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I tried to clarify by explaining that the Second Law of Thermodynamics applies to an increase in entropy or disorder. If you feel I insulted your intelligence I apologize; this is a forum for general conversation, not a forum for professionals or technically trained people or a private conversation where we all know each other's credentials.

This is all basic highschool stuff. Assuming the worst (knowledge) is one thing, but if you spend as much text on it as you do, it is not very hard to see it it rather patronizing.

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Well, yes, except that just "making heat" is not the actual purpose of any machine. Machines by definition do work by applying energy in a particular way. There's always something you want to heat, and some things you don't care about heating, and any heating device can't help but heat some things you don't care about heating -- that's wasted heat.

The efficiency of a device is measured in what part of the energy input is being used for it's intended purpose.
The purpose of a heating system for a room would be to heat up its environment.
If the heater is placed ineffectively (for instance by putting it next to an open window), then there is a low efficiency for the purpose of heating up the room, but that is not a property of the heater.

Consider a machine consisting of an electrical heater and a pack of batteries. Its purpose is to convert the energy from the chemical bonds in the batteries into heat.
To this end the machine has a spiral through which the electricity is fed.
But also (for instance) the wires in between the batteries and the heater give off heat. For a device whose purpose isn't heating (a computer for instance) that would be wasted energy. But for this heater, it doesn't matter.
You make a good point in saying you'll never be able to harnass all of the energy that will be released in the form of radiation. Something put in front will re-emit some energy in the form of radiation. Now you could say that it will eventually bump into an air molecule or the wall, but those are not part of the machine, and hence cannot be counted to the machine's efficiency.

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If you aren't actually building a machine but are interested in the philosophical exercise of making heat, then that's not a problem

No I'm not. Not for this discussion at least.

Some general remark not made to you in particular, that has not been made yet: conservation of (matter-)energy only has to hold for a closed system. Entropy may increase locally.

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Re: Thoughts about the Ur-Quan...
« Reply #124 on: September 01, 2004, 09:22:49 pm »

Entropy may decrease locally, you mean. But yes, that's what the whole discussion on quasi-perpetual motion machines is about; if you have a big source of energy around like the Sun, then for the purposes of a tiny open system like Earth it should be possible to get huge amounts of energy that won't run out, if we can figure out how.

I will endeavor to reduce the length of my text in the future, especially on preliminary points; you're right that I've probably been giving the wrong impression of my opinion of other posters' prior knowledge.
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Re: Thoughts about the Ur-Quan...
« Reply #125 on: September 02, 2004, 08:13:10 pm »

Basic-Highschool-stuff?
Yr 10 Physics are the top of basic, and I havent done anything NEAR to this, and most of this is pretty much lost on me...I should read some more science fiction, I guess =p

If a machines entire purpose was to produce heat, and since heat makes molecules vibrate (energy), couldn't you harness the vibrations on such a tiny scale as to convert it to say, electricity?
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Re: Thoughts about the Ur-Quan...
« Reply #126 on: September 03, 2004, 05:23:00 am »

About 11 years ago, I had an idea that took advantage of the concepts of efficiency and "seaonal performance factor"
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http://www.energyquest.ca.gov/glossary/glossary-h.html#heating_seasonal_performance_factor
HEATING SEASONAL PERFORMANCE FACTOR - A representation of the total heating output of a central air-conditioning heat pump in Btus during its normal usage period for heating, divided byu the total electrical energy input in watt-hours during the same period, as determined using the test procedure specified in the California Code of Regulations, Title 20, Section 1603(c).

Efficiency is always < 100%, but HSPF can be greater than 100% (and almost always is) because it's just translating energy from one place to another, not transforming it.  

My Idea was this:  A team of huge heat-pumps that take heat from the atmosphere, put that heat into a steam-turbine, use the electricity the turbine makes (most industrial turbines are >93% efficient) to power the heat pumps.  I've got a page around somewhere with the math involved, and it barely squeaks out ahead.  The biggest problem would be getting the heatpumps to actually combine enough heat to boil the water; once the target temperature raises, the HSPF drops.  Self-contained Alcohol turbines might be better as long as the heatpumps didn't get too hot (lower boiling point).

I was really keen on the idea until I found out that Iceland had been doing something similar (but far more efficient) for a long time.  Instead of using ambiant heat from the atmosphere, they use geothermal for the heat source.  Since the target temperature is almost equal to the source temperature, HSPF can be huge.   another invention of mine that someone else invented first (and applied better). Sad
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Re: Thoughts about the Ur-Quan...
« Reply #127 on: September 03, 2004, 06:16:51 am »

True, but after about 20-30 years they have to close down the plant for about 50 years to wait for the rocks to get hot enough to make superheated steam (200c). So it's not really a renewable source of energy, as the money involved to build it would be astronomical...
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Re: Thoughts about the Ur-Quan...
« Reply #128 on: September 03, 2004, 07:05:02 am »

I don't think they'd have that problem, since Iceland is located
along a fault line. They have a huge amount of heat reaching the
surface constantly.
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Re: Thoughts about the Ur-Quan...
« Reply #129 on: September 03, 2004, 07:54:33 am »

I started thinking about entropy and came up with this: the entire universe is headed towards total thermodynamic equilibrium (aka heat death of universe) as per to the laws of thermodynamics. As I understand it, total equilibrium means that all the energy and matter (the same thing in some respects) are distributed evenly along the whole universe so that it is impossible to get any more energy out of anything. However, if the universe keeps expanding and therefore there is more and more space to fill, how can thermodynamic equilibrium ever be truly achieved?

I'm also wondering two other things: how did we end up here from simple questions about Ur-Quan and why isn't Art registered yet?
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Re: Thoughts about the Ur-Quan...
« Reply #130 on: September 04, 2004, 05:47:11 am »

This could also raise the question about how big the universe is?
Does it have a fixed size? Does it wrap around on itself? Does it
just keep going?
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Re: Thoughts about the Ur-Quan...
« Reply #131 on: September 04, 2004, 06:13:29 am »

From what I know current research indicates that the universe will keep on expanding. I've also read that time and space don't exist unless there is something (matter/energy) actually occupying it. Therefore before the big bang the entire universe was quite literally subatomic-sized. Can't say I really understand that but that's what wiser minds than mine have told. I guess one way to look at it would be that nothing exists unless observed. Without matter and energy there is no way to measure time and space in any way so they don't exist.
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Re: Thoughts about the Ur-Quan...
« Reply #132 on: September 04, 2004, 03:06:13 pm »

I can't see microwave rays....

What WAS the original topic? And why ISNT Art registered?
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Re: Thoughts about the Ur-Quan...
« Reply #133 on: September 04, 2004, 05:24:47 pm »

Crowley, it's a bit different on how you look at it (did that make sense?!).

Lets take an age old question. If a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one around to observe it's fall, does it make a sound? The answer is YES. It does, but nobody was around to have observed the sound being made.

The same can be said for space-time. If there was no matter and no energy, space-time would still exist. But, with no objects to enact upon or observe them, what would be the point? This empty universe may as well have no dimensions and be timeless for it would not matter because there is nothing for space to enforce dimensions on and nothing for time to pass for.

Same end result I suppose, but different ways of seeing the same problem.

Oh, and think of the universal equilibrium thing as a the curve denoted by 1/x or 1/x^2. Always approaching, but never actually achieving, that certain point (zero, or infinity).

Has anyone ever read "The Last Question" by Asimov by the way? It does cover, rather entertainingly, the end of the universe Smiley
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Re: Thoughts about the Ur-Quan...
« Reply #134 on: September 04, 2004, 06:56:26 pm »

Or for that matter, The Resturant at the End of the Universe by Douglas Adams. Another funny look at the end of all things.

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Lets take an age old question. If a tree falls in the forest, and there is no one around to observe it's fall, does it make a sound? The answer is YES. It does, but nobody was around to have observed the sound being made.

Technically, for sound to exist, there must be a receiver, a listener, or
a medium for the vibration to reach. If there is literally no one and nothing
around when the tree falls, it would not make a sound. However, since
forests tend to have things (such as other trees, animals, etc) in them,
then it would make a sound.

I agree that in a universe with no matter or energy, there would be no space or time. Since space and time need reference points to be messured, they could not exist in a vacuum.
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