Nanotubes are cool. The problem right now is there is no way to produce it in large quantities. Yet. Imagine the changes in architecture and engineering if we are ever able to produce it in the same quantity we currently produce steel. Architects would be able to design some incredibly beautiful and bizarre bridges and skyscrapers.
Origin of Hydrogen
hojon..I read somewhere years ago that they found large deposit of encapsulated exceptionally pure uranium in Africa and there was evidence of self catalysing or whatever the word is. In other words the large mass of very pure uranium 2?? had begun a fission cascade right in the ground many thousands of years earlier. This of course left tell tale evidence in the surrounding rock and the body itself. The odds against this happening are astronomical according to the article. What do you think did aliens bury it there to nuke us off the planet? (joking)
Yes this it true. 3 million or so years ago, the ratio of U235 to U238 (?? It's been a while, I believe "normal" Uranium is 238 right?) was right at about the same ratio that we shoot for when we enrich it for our reactors today. Something like 3%, it's at less than 1% naturally today. Add some water and it's basically a reactor set up like we have now.
Note: My numbers above may be off, it's been a while.
Xander- what I was getting at is that fission is easier to make in the sense that the amounts of materials required and the technology to build a small fission bomb is within the grasp of many third world countries. To build a fusion bomb requires a little more engineering and precision. Essentially a fission bomb can be built to much lower tolerances than a fusion bomb.
Some University is developing a laser that will bump up production into the Kilogram/day range compared to the gram/day production they currently have. Granted its in no way near steel!! But hey, its an infant technology. I forgot which University it was. I think the article was on Smalltimes.com or something.
with nanotubes you can build even an elevator to a spacestaion in stationary orbit!!! I can't wait to see that! :))))
As I recall, the awareness of natural nuclear reactions was triggered by the discovery of certain crystals that had unusual color. I didn't realize that there were so many sites discovered:
http://english.pravda.ru/main/2002/10/17/38299.html Nuclear Reactors Existed on Earth Two Billion Years Ago
Natural nuclear reactors found in Africas Gabon
Nuclear physics is a relatively young science. Humans created the first man-made nuclear reactor only about 60 years ago, in 1942. However, nuclear reactors existed on the planet two billion years ago. So far, science knows of 17 nuclear reactors located in Gabon, an African country.
All of these natural reactors were found around uranium deposits in Oklo and Bangomba, in the southeast of Gabon. Nine of 17 reactors were found on completely depleted uranium deposits. These ancient reactors were found in 1972.
The French chemist Bugzig, who worked at one of nuclear fuel factories, paid attention to an unusual correlation of uranium isotopes in the ore, uranium 235 and uranium 238. This basically makes up 0.007202, whereas Bugzig discovered 0.00717. There were several variants to explain the strange correlation of uranium isotope in the ore. It was originally believed that the ore was poisoned with spent nuclear fuel. However, when they measured the radiation level, it turned out that this theory was wrong.
Then it became known that the uranium ore with an extremely high uranium 235 constituent was mined in Gabon. At first, it was a mystery why the ore was enriched with the given isotope. Some believed that the uranium deposit was contaminated with spent UFO fuel. Others said that the ore was mined from the place where an ancient civilization stored its radioactive wastes. However, further research showed that the unusual ore appeared in a natural way. The products of deep radioactive decay found in the ore proved that nuclear reactions happened on the site of the uranium deposit two billion years ago.
Natural nuclear reactors were possible because of the fact that there used to be more uranium 235 on Earth there is currently.
A nuclear reaction requires not less than three percent of 235 isotopes in uranium. In addition to that, there should be good space and no neutron-absorbing materials. The reactors in Gabon worked for about one million years.
It is impossible for such natural nuclear reactors to appear nowadays. The uranium 235 concentration in nature is very low now. Natural reactors are of huge interest to scientists. The reactors are unique objects that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. They allow us learn a lot about our planet's history. They also give us an opportunity to explore the consequences of such long operation of nuclear reactors. Furthermore, the study of the ancient reactors will be helpful in terms of developing radioactive waste disposal technologies.
Of course, the good old fashioned 'LIttle Boy' pipe style fission bomb is a wee bit simpler than the 'Fat Man' spherical style fission bomb.
One is very complex, highly efficient, and very hard to build. The other is a pipe with one end blocked off, and a half-grapefruit of plutonium mounted to it. At the other end is the other half of the grapefruit (not fixed), and a charge which when detonated forces the mobile portion into the fixed portion.
Of course, it's a little more complex than that...
The rather worrying thing is the development of back-pack sized/briecase sized bombs, and the fact that the Russians (or more accurately the Ukranians) have got a few missing. Only 40 or so (allegedly), so, not that big a problem.
Fission is dirty as a power source. In real terms, each year a coal-fired power station will be more polluting, but when a fission plant goes wrong...
Fusion is problematical. Chief problem is centre of sun is very compressed, so it doesn' have to be THAT hot to instigate fusion. Fusion tokomaks cannot produce the same level of sustained pressure, and thus have to be hotter, far hotter, than the centre of the sun to instigate fusion. Not insurmountable perhaps, but fusion power is over two decades overdue by some reckoning.
Cold fusion is very likely to be phooey.
Anti-matter might actually be leap-frogged as a power source if they figure out how to tap zero-pooint energy. This simplistically is the nothing is made of. In the hardest vacuum, there is a constant 'bubbling', like a fizzy drink. This bubbling is energy, but it balances out at zero (this is a really vauge description). It's postulated that a chance cascade of this bubbling lead to the big bang, but again, I'm being really vauge.
If it were possible to tap this, then the amount of energy 'contained' in a coffee mug would boil the Earth's oceans dry.
Of course, if we figured out how to tap it, we'd probably destroy the planet's biosphere by using so much energy we pushed the temeratures too high.
Still just clever monkies. Not that clever, and still monkies.
Still just clever monkies. Not that clever, and still monkies.
An endless power source that gives unlimited energy might be just the thing for us to play w, and then blow up the earth, cut it in pieces, etc. Maybe some idiot would figure out how to destabilize the sun. Then, goodbuy monkies. We are doing enough damages w what we have at this time.
There are so many things that we know little or nothing about.
The "Little Boy" bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima was the only such weapon ever built by the US. It was considered so simple and reliable that it wasn't even tested before it was used. It was also very inefficient and the needed Uranium very difficult to produce. However, the necessary amounts of Uranium have been produced and if some idiot gets his hands on enough of it building the bomb will be easy.
Regarding "suitcase" bombs. I guy I've been talking to for several years on a military history board works for a think tank that specializes in this stuff. He says the smallest bomb ever made in the US weighed about 350 pounds, and that Russian bombs are bigger than that. The danger of a scenario like "Peacemaker" with a guy strolling through Manhattan with a bomb on his back is not possible.
So if fusion releases energy... and fission releases energy, where is the conservation of energy?
Is it in the release of particles which will reduce the weight of the atoms?