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Author Topic: The upcoming energy crisis.  (Read 23533 times)
Death 999
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Re: The upcoming energy crisis.
« Reply #90 on: June 01, 2006, 06:34:56 pm »

1) Why is it absolutely certain that it cannot be converted, when science still doesn't have a full grasp of physics (there is still so much that is theory, and that is debated back and forth, like the accuracy of string theory?) For instance, zero point might have a different frequency in a higher dimension, or something crazy like that.

A: ZPE is, by definition, the energy that can't be extracted. So, if you can extract the energy, it sure isn't ZPE.

B: just because we don't know everything doesn't mean we don't know anything.

C: I can see one way around the restriction in A, but in order to get the energy out of empty space, you would, at a very minimum, have to break the ability of free space to carry a certain wavevector of electromagnetic radiation, across the entire universe. Assuming you could conquer the causality problems that entails, it is a really bad idea for reasons which should be obvious.
Extracting the energy of a local oscillator can be done, but it just involves lowering the resonant frequency... and we already know how to do that, it's nothing astonishing. And the amounts of energy you get out of it are craptacularly small.

2) Is it also impossible to convert lower frequency energies into ZPE? Send them on a one-way trip, basically? Could this be what happens to matter and energy when it reaches the singularity of a black hole (if such a thing is possible?)

I don't know what you're talking about, and I suspect you don't either.

3) Could ZPE be some sort of property of matter (IOW, it cannot be extracted, and matter cannot exist without it as a component, perhaps?)

You could say that; but instead of just matter, it would be more general.
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Death 999
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Re: The upcoming energy crisis.
« Reply #91 on: June 01, 2006, 06:44:19 pm »

My understanding of cold fusion is that people can't reproduce the initial reaction and nobody is sure whether it actually exists or not. A few years ago my class interviewed a scientist at SRI lab, and the impression I got from him was that they really believed it existed, they just couldn't make it work.

Anyway, some humor:
Cold Fusion: The Musical

This is right, pretty much.

There are several methods claimed to produce cold fusion.

One definitely works in principle, but is technically unachievable. That is, use a particle accelerator to produce muons, have those muons displace electrons in hydrogen. The muons settle closer to the nucleus than electrons, because they are heavier. This lowers the barrier to fusion greatly.
Problem: muons decay slowly for rare particles, but fast on the time scale of fusion, and anyway, they're hard to make. You'd have to make an incredibly precise muon factory and bury it in a vat of hydrogen.

Another uses a sound wave to make only very small regions of the hydrogen hot. This is the one that is controversial. It's controversial because it hasn't been reproduced and there were some bad experimental techniques used in the original work, and they over-hyped it.

There are some reasons that it might not have been reproducible elsewhere (necessary elements to the setup that they did not identify, and so were not reproduced), but at this point, it seems a dubious claim. Other groups are moving forward with this method; however, they are not trying to reproduce, but simply to produce in the first place, by methods they think are better.
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Deus Siddis
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Re: The upcoming energy crisis.
« Reply #92 on: June 01, 2006, 07:16:37 pm »

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B: just because we don't know everything doesn't mean we don't know anything.

Yes, but sometimes what you think you know turns out to be more complex (and other times simpler) than originally believed.


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I don't know what you're talking about, and I suspect you don't either.

If I knew what I was talking about, why would I be asking all these questions? Tongue

I'll restate, if ZPE is a reservoir of energy that cannot be extracted, can energy be put into it (the resevoir.) Can, say, visible light energy be converted into zero point energy?


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You could say that; but instead of just matter, it would be more general.

Do you mean a fundamental element of energy and matter, (and any other forms of anything that are discovered, like dark matter/energy?)
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Halleck
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Re: The upcoming energy crisis.
« Reply #93 on: June 02, 2006, 10:15:27 am »

If ZPE is infinite, physics aside, what would be the point of trying to *add* to it?

There is no such thing as "infinity plus one".
« Last Edit: June 02, 2006, 10:19:49 am by Halleck » Logged


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Death 999
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Re: The upcoming energy crisis.
« Reply #94 on: June 02, 2006, 06:15:43 pm »

I'll restate, if ZPE is a reservoir of energy that cannot be extracted, can energy be put into it (the resevoir.) Can, say, visible light energy be converted into zero point energy?

No, you can't get anything into or out of it. You can sometimes arrange matters so its existence makes a difference, but you have to bring the energy to do so yourself.


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You could say that; but instead of just matter, it would be more general.

Do you mean a fundamental element of energy and matter, (and any other forms of anything that are discovered, like dark matter/energy?)

Noo... I mean that if something has a wavefunction (i.e. if it exists), and it is subject to some potential (i.e. it interacts with other things), then there will necessarily be some energy in that interaction which cannot be removed. This is ZPE. If you find a way to remove it, then the energy of the new lowest state you found is the real ZPE.

Now, if our theories are even vaguely right, the kind of ZPE we're talking about here is totally inaccessible. We'd have to be about as off as nonrelativistic newtonian mechanics was from a quantum field theory, in order for this to be extracted.

Let's see how off it would have to be.... hmm... I think I found an analogy. It would be about the same as if someone managed to dig a hole in the Earth, kept going down... for 200,000 miles.

Or, it's as if "The Core" represented a valid scientific viewpoint.
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Deus Siddis
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Re: The upcoming energy crisis.
« Reply #95 on: June 02, 2006, 09:08:48 pm »

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If ZPE is infinite, physics aside, what would be the point of trying to *add* to it?

Is it infinite? I thought it was just unextract-able and in vast quantities. Anyway, I never said I had plans to convert visible light into ZPE, I was just asking if it was possible.


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There is no such thing as "infinity plus one".

No, there is no "infinity divided by zero," infinity plus one just equals infinity. . .at least, I think it does. . .


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Or, it's as if "The Core" represented a valid scientific viewpoint.

Ah damn, I had forgotten about that movie, now you've reminded my of its existence. . .

An example of infinite, unextract-able stupidness.
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Re: The upcoming energy crisis.
« Reply #96 on: June 08, 2006, 02:43:31 am »

This link gives a fairly recent overview of global energy (oil, gas and coal) reserves and production, it's pretty interesting (note the position of countries like Iran and Iraq). Of course the reserves are economically viable reserves, if energy prices go up, it'll increase a bit.

http://www.geohive.com/charts/charts.php?xml=en_oilprod&xsl=en_res
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Re: The upcoming energy crisis.
« Reply #97 on: June 08, 2006, 07:23:54 am »

Or, it's as if "The Core" represented a valid scientific viewpoint.
Okay.  I can understand that.  Wow.  That would take an alternate universe of some sort, or perhaps an alternate multiverse, assuming the existence of one multiverse in the first place.  I mean, I took and passed high school and college physics.  And I can point out a thousand wrong-headed ideas in that awful excuse of a movie.  More, if I'm given some time to think.  Half of the dramatic deaths were made comedic by just stupid, botched and backwards "science."

I think I now see why ZPE talk gets you riled up a bit.
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Re: The upcoming energy crisis.
« Reply #98 on: June 14, 2006, 11:57:30 pm »

This link gives a fairly recent overview of global energy (oil, gas and coal) reserves and production, it's pretty interesting (note the position of countries like Iran and Iraq). Of course the reserves are economically viable reserves, if energy prices go up, it'll increase a bit.

http://www.geohive.com/charts/charts.php?xml=en_oilprod&xsl=en_res


Is that list really a global energy overview... or a who's who of Bush's "axis of evil" ? Wink
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Lance_Vader
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Re: The upcoming energy crisis.
« Reply #99 on: June 15, 2006, 11:15:27 pm »

Is that list really a global energy overview... or a who's who of Bush's "axis of evil" ? Wink

Ummm...  Yeah.

You know those filthy American dogs at number three.  Bush wants to take over the U.S....

Oh, wait, he's the President already.

I don't even see North Korea on here.  Now, if he had named Saudi Arabia, Russia, Iran and Mexico as the axis of evil, then I could understand your comment.  As it is... you don't make sense, or at least not to me.  Maybe I'm just stupid.
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Re: The upcoming energy crisis.
« Reply #100 on: June 16, 2006, 09:24:58 pm »

More like the "Axis of countries we need to bring the gift of American-style-guns-blazing-democracy," really. True, he's working out of order what with the US and Iraq checked off the list before Saudi Arabia, but take the targets of opportunity as they come, right? Roll Eyes
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Re: The upcoming energy crisis.
« Reply #101 on: October 10, 2006, 02:17:38 am »

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Re: The upcoming energy crisis.
« Reply #102 on: October 10, 2006, 08:25:43 am »

ZPE is still too theoretical and/or fantastic to be used in any assumptions and "serious" theories.

Fossil fuels are obsolete, or rather are supposed to be. DESERVE to be.

Nuclear fission is a clean source of energy that will last us a long time if managed properly (the way fossil fuels weren't). Also, all the paranoia, controversy and sensationalism surrounding nuclear fission can be blamed only on human error, human deliberate and the manhattan project. Incidentally, I consider the manhattan project viable reason to eradicate the US off the globe - or rather, let's be fair: humanity in its entirety, seeing as the majority of the world's governments (including my own before the 1994 bullcrap) went 'Nuclear bombs! Yeah, we gotta get in on that!'

Assholes.

Nuclear fusion is a viable alternative, but is still in development.

Antimatter still has a loooooong way to go.

Ethanol/methanol is also very viable, particularly in the automotive industry.

So: Fission/fusion power for industrial/commercial use, alcohol for transport. Could work quite well, and is much cleaner than our present system of making the planet uninhabitable.

Geothermal power: Good concept, very viable. Clean.

Hydroelectric power: Yes, good idea, but dams cause far too much ecological impact to be viable. Remember the Yangtse river dolphin?

Solar power: Very good idea. Use an abundant natural resource that isn't going to turn the planet into a barren wasteland over time. Underused.

Discuss. (please note that my hatred for humanity is preferred not to be an item for discussion).
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Re: The upcoming energy crisis.
« Reply #103 on: October 10, 2006, 09:15:07 am »

All the alternatives are good ideas, but sadly they are all, except for nuclear power plants, still not efficient enough.
Chances are that even if we forced ourselves to use these alternatives now, we'd cause more damage to the environment then we would have, if we just stayed with fossil fuels for a while, until we developed some of the alternatives better.

The way I see it, as fossil fuels become more expensive, there will be more incentive to find a viable alternative, and sooner or later someone will come up with it.
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Re: The upcoming energy crisis.
« Reply #104 on: October 10, 2006, 01:14:57 pm »

Retooling to run vehicles on methanol actually requires very little modification to the vehicles themselves, and the price per litre of methanol is far lower. In addition, engines running methanol instead of petrol run cleaner and colder. The drawback here is that methanol without additives delivers lower performance than ordinary petrol (octane of 70-odd instead of 90-odd).

The only issue with conversion to methanol is retooling to produce the quantities required i.t.o. cost and environment impact. Sugar cane is a very good raw material to extract methanol from, and if I have to give up sugar in my coffee for a cleaner environment, I'm prepared to do so.
Reduce the number of cars and increase the number of scooters and bikes, and the amounts required go down even further. I travel to work every day. Most families around here have a car per license - one per kid and one for each parent AND the minibus/4x4 for weekend use. Excessive?

This just in - Popular Mechanics just ran an article about a (production) car with a 400KM range and a 0-100 of 4s, running ELECTRICITY! This is a technology worthy of mass production, IMO.
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