Science stories of the week

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by wegs, Jan 31, 2021.

  1. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 71 years old Valued Senior Member

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  3. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

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    And...hot off the press:
    https://phys.org/news/2021-08-major-nuclear-fusion-milestone-ignition.html
    Wow - That 70% mark referred to earlier has now gone to 100%! Given what was uncovered earlier, that's still very disappointing. yet as this para proclaims:

    "While the latest experiment still required more energy in than it got out, it is the first to reach the crucial stage of 'ignition', which allowed considerably more energy to be produced than ever before, and paves the way for 'break even', where the energy in is matched by the energy out."

    Ah yes - that tricky but crucial ~ 100x distinction between 'ignition' and 'break even'. Well actually the latter mark is still not even close to being 'a eureka event'. Why? I left out previously another problematic issue in p6 #117. The evidently needed critically prepared cryogenically cooled state for each of those multi-layered peppercorn sized deuterium/tritium spherical target capsules:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Ignition_Facility#NIF_and_ICF
    2nd para:

    "NIF is designed primarily to use the indirect drive method of operation, in which the laser heats a small metal cylinder instead of the capsule inside it. The heat causes the cylinder, known as a hohlraum (German for "hollow room", or cavity), to re-emit the energy as intense X-rays, which are more evenly distributed and symmetrical than the original laser beams. Experimental systems, including the OMEGA and Nova lasers, validated this approach through the late 1980s.[23] In the case of the NIF, the large delivered power allows for the use of a much larger target; the baseline pellet design is about 2 mm in diameter, chilled to about 18 kelvins (−255 °C) and lined with a layer of frozen DT fuel. The hollow interior also contains a small amount of DT gas."

    Further, as mentioned 3rd para here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Ignition_Facility#National_Ignition_Campaign
    minute quantities of dust (and elsewhere that article - condensed water vapor) spoils things.
    Just consider the logistical nightmare those factors alone implies. We have already covered that a repetition firing rate of ~ 10/s is required for a viable system. Each tiny deuterium + tritium capsule is a very carefully multi-layered arrangement exquisitely sensitive to any impurities present. That alone suggests a time consuming prep process for each and every tiny pellet placed on the assembly line. Fed into and aligned to the very precise center of the laser focus ignition site. Machine gun style. Now recall from quoted para above that each and every pellet has to be cryogenically cooled to ~ 18 Kelvin. Might as well say ~ 4 Kelvin as only liquid Helium can practically get to even the former figure, and as soon as outside the cryogenic cooling core, each and every pellet will be subject to relatively rapid heating.

    That last issue alone would seem to be quite a problem, especially given the ignition site was VERY recently and necessarily subject to 100 million Kelvin + temperature as dictated by the fusion 'break even' requirement. And just how the hell can these utterly conflicting requirements be simultaneously met?! Well one could try and email the gurus in charge of it all at NIF. But I wouldn't be one holding my breath expecting a satisfactory response if any. A case of PR/spin reigning supreme?
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2021
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  5. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    In stride with this topic, I think there's an ''art'' to convincing people to believe certain things, but from my observation, you can't change people's minds. They have to want to change. That said, I think many people (find it easier) to believe kind, thoughtful ''pseudo-scientists'' over actual scientists, even if the latter is telling the truth. Is it worth the time to try to ''educate'' people who believe in pseudo-science?

    Anyway, something new to think about this week. . .

    https://www.sciencenews.org/article/on-the-fringe-book-science-pseudoscience
     
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  7. Hercules Rockefeller Beatings will continue until morale improves. Moderator

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    Yes, absolutely it is worth it. Politicians typically conduct themselves in a manner that appeals to their electorate. They play to their base. If the base is uneducated pseudoscience believers, then we end up with government policy that reflects that. If we want forward-thinking politicians that make evidence-based decisions, then that will be driven from the bottom upwards.

    Of course, exactly how we educate pseudoscience believers is a whole other thing. Easier said than done.
     
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  8. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

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    Unfortunately, that goes both ways. People want easy answers. "Aliens did it," is easier to handle than, "I don't know." And people want to think they know something that other people don't know.
     
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  9. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    It is easier said than done, but patience can go a long way with making strides forward. (Patience on both sides, trying to at least listen to one another.) Exclaiming with an authoritative, condescending tone ''You're wrong, I'm right,'' usually leads nowhere productive. But, there probably comes a point when one needs to accept that some people can't be ''saved'' from what they hold fast to believing.

    There's no fun in ''I don't know.'' lol

    Although, I don't swiftly dismiss (what seem to be) unusual experiences that don't have immediate, logical answers as gullibility on the part of the person claiming the experiences, simply because they want to be taken seriously.
     
  10. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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  11. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    ORFIELD LABORATORIES in South Minneapolis is the home of a space that was once dubbed “the quietest place on earth” by Guinness World Records. (As of 2015, that title now belongs to a quiet room developed by Microsoft in Washington state). The lab is called an anechoic chamber, meaning there is no echo as the room absorbs 99.99 percent of sound. It is used by various manufacturers to test product volume and sound quality—and it can also drive a person mad.

    https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/orfi...et-chamber

    Sounds like an incredibly eerie experience, trying to process the lack of ambient noise.
     
  12. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

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    Be interesting to have an overhead drone shot showing how big is the zone where the grass keeps growing - i.e. where the sheep aren't going. (Worked hard there to get the rhyme just right.)
     
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  13. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

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    Can't recall the movie title but a flotation tank was employed to drive people bonkers - total sensory deprivation - mind torture - no burns or bruises needed.
     
  14. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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    At first, it seems like it would be a really deep meditative experience, until you hear the sound of your heartbeat or air rushing into your lungs as you have a panic attack.

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    That would be too strange, the only sounds to be heard would be coming from one’s self.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2021
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  15. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

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    Yeah hypersensitivity and all that. Apparently the mind needs constant feedback from the environment above some threshold level - otherwise it starts to hallucinate in an attempt to compensate. Not a good place to goooooo.

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  16. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

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