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darkthund3rd3m0n 04-03-2008 11:56 AM

Extension to "Star Trek, Think It's Our Future?"
 
For you science people out there I was wondering...is nuclear power efficient?

I'm a huge science fiction fan...and when it comes to power generation I've watched amazing stuff...zpm's (stargate), quantum singularity, etc
I'm in the process of studying chemistry in physics in college to better understand it but for now could any of you answer it?

will we find a (better?) power source other than nuclear?

i ask this because right now the best we got in interstellar travel was project orion, im not sure what it is now never looked into it...
are we coming closer to perfecting matter-antimatter power generation/something equivalently as efficient or have we reached a temporary peak?

*Edit
thanks all...sorry livingston i forget to "cite" you...i only put the title of YOUR topic
dont worry...biologists are welcome to :]
and fan has a good point in the last line

Livingston 04-03-2008 12:19 PM

matter-antimatter is one of the largest releases of energy known. If we could harness that, it would be one hell of a power source, but we can only create very minute amounts of antimatter which is probably a good thing.

I like the concept of the ZPM in Atlantis. Also I remember a TNG episode where they said the Romulans use a quantum singularity for their power source and that's alot of power. But as far as interstellar space travel, like you said, Orion is the best we have, ion propulsion is much more efficient and faster than conventional rocketry but as for possible energies out there, like with Trek, warping space would be the best, most efficient way of crossing space, but the power it would take to warp space is enormous, they use matter-antimatter in Trek, it's probably the best bet if enough could be created to use as fuel. I can't think of anything we could do feasibly or even theoretically that would be more powerful, but I'm not a scientist. A few of the people on this forum are students in science, they can probably add more.

NCC-73515 04-03-2008 12:58 PM

Sorry - biologist :p
Why not use ATP? :D

FanWriter45 04-03-2008 02:26 PM

"Is nucular power efficient?" Well, compared to what? Compared to buring coal, yes, it's vastly efficient. Compared to fusion (should we ever be able to create and sustain a fusion reaction) no, it isn't.

It also depends on how you define "efficient." Fission reactors today still create radioactive waste, which no one wants to deal with. Compare that to, say, photovoltaics, or wind generation, and you could argue which is cleaner, and which is less dangerous.

There will be, no doubt, new sources of energy available in the future. Matter/anti-matter is one possibility, zero point energy is another, geo thermal, orbiting powersats, tidal, helium 3 reactors...

Or if republicans keep running things the way they are, the survivors will heat their homes with burning wood, and/or Llama dung.

Livingston 04-03-2008 03:02 PM

I like that last line of your post Fan!

I remember a line in Trek IV dealing with fusion, something about Spock explaining how humans used to use nuclear power before the much more efficient fusion era came about. Forgot about fusion, it would be a great power source once we can actually sustain it.

FanWriter45 04-04-2008 05:25 AM

Fusion: it's what powers the universe. (I think using what powers the stars is a much more viable option for building a civilization on, than feeding off the decaying remains of a previous epoch.)

Zardoz 04-04-2008 06:10 AM

Personally, I think those apes will take over....lol


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