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Z-Machine and power generation

by Laurent GUERBY Tue Jun 20th, 2006 at 04:55:46 PM EST

This Agoravox article looks like mad scientist writing about the Z-Machine:


Là se niche en effet la promesse d'âge d'or de l'énergie sans pollution, pour rien et pour tous. Avec une dizaine d'années de recherches intelligentes, on devrait pouvoir mettre les centrales nucléaires au placard, même si cela dérange quelque peu l'ordre actuel. Qu'est-ce qu'on attend ?

(Poor) Translation:


The gold age of free energy for all without pollution is at hand. With about 10 years of research, nuclear power plants could be a thing of the past, of course this does not fits well the established order. What are we waiting for?

Is the physics of this stuff as interesting power generation wise?


Display:
The Wikipedia article does not suggest this technology is being considered as a method of practical power generation. It may however be safer and, in the long run cheaper, than current nuclear power stations.
by Gary J on Tue Jun 20th, 2006 at 07:39:44 PM EST
Agoravox indicates all information is from Jean-Pierre Petit, who is mostly notorious as a "UFO-logist" and also other hobbies, like "archeology" - pretending the pyramids of Egypt were made with synthetic stone cast on location rather than carved blocks...
I let you infer the reliability of the claims. Besides, the machine radiated more energy than the kinetic energy of the plasma (presumably because of fusion ?), but that does not mean it has a net return: the kinetic energy eventually injected into the sample is a ridiculous % of the total energy spent to warm um and set in motion the whole thingie ( which then runs for just nanoseconds..)
That makes it just one more machine with marginal ability to fusion light atoms (such thin wire machines have been shown to fusion nanoscopic amounts of atoms many years ago, at much lower temperature). Whether it will catch up with the two leading technologies envisioned for power fusion (tokamak and laser shooting) remains to be seen.
As for the "straight-fusion mininuke" story, just look at the picture and the size of the machine (and they're not showing the tons of water needed for the Marx generators). Then you can imagine how practical it is...

Pierre
by Pierre on Wed Jun 21st, 2006 at 05:20:14 AM EST
I was assuming the Wikipedia article was accurate and this process produced more energy, in a useful form, than was put in. If these things are not true then its a non-starter for power generation.
by Gary J on Wed Jun 21st, 2006 at 10:45:19 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks!
by Laurent GUERBY on Wed Jun 21st, 2006 at 03:37:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually the cast stone theory isn't so dodgy (read here), and Jean-Pierre Petit is indeed a UFO-logist, but worked for a long time as a research director at the CNRS (French national research center), which should make him less of a crackhead (but not necessarily much less) as his approach in the UFO domain has been to study the science of it.
by Alex in Toulouse on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 07:47:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes I remember his studies of magneto-hydro-dynamics as the propulsion system for UFOs. But he really seemed stubborn in never considering all the impossibilities pointed at by critiques. As for CNRS, I met quite a number of crackhead there during my Ph D. And wasn't Benveniste also CNRS (the one of the "memory of water" thing) ? So some of them are not just crackheads, they're outright crooks.

Pierre
by Pierre on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 07:56:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In a way I am always lenient towards scientists who put forward new ways of looking at things. If they're flat wrong, they become known as crackheads, but when they turn out to be right, they end up with a nobel prize.

That said I fully agree with you that working at the CNRS is not a guarantee of an empirical mindset ;)

by Alex in Toulouse on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 08:02:24 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If they're flat wrong, they become known as crackheads

I disagree. You're not a crackpot just because you're wrong. You're a crackpot if

  • you make logically inconsistent statements and adhere to them after careful correction
  • you use thought experiments that contradict real experiments
  • you use works of fiction as if they were facts
From this situation it is easy to slide into the depths of crackpotness, where
  • you compare yourself favourably to Einstein, Newton or Feynman
  • you compare yourself to Galileo and your critics to the Inquisition


A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 08:11:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for a more thorough definition ;)
by Alex in Toulouse on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 08:16:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I think you're actually a crackhead if you smoke crack.

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 08:20:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Ach, I was hoping you wouldn't notice that.
by Alex in Toulouse on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 08:25:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I disagree. You're not a crackpot just because you're wrong. You're a crackpot if

    * you make logically inconsistent statements and adhere to them after careful correction
    * you use thought experiments that contradict real experiments
    * you use works of fiction as if they were facts

It's lucky you'll never find anything like that happening in economics or politics.

</snark>

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 11:21:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In economics or politics, you're a crackpot for pointing out that's what the mainstream is doing </snark>

A society committed to the notion that government is always bad will have bad government. And it doesn't have to be that way. — Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 11:23:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Nobody appreciates my genius.

</metasnark>

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 11:27:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If something sounds too good to be true it usually is.

Or well, there is one Z-machine that sounds too good to be true, but still is true. Behold the Z-20!

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.

by Starvid on Wed Jun 21st, 2006 at 01:24:09 PM EST
Very interesting. And the price is a bargain, even after the discount is gone. But don't you fear the brush motor will wear out quickly ?

Pierre
by Pierre on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 04:17:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Alex in Toulouse on Fri Jun 23rd, 2006 at 07:26:50 AM EST


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