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Old 01-03-2018, 12:02 AM   #41
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Default Re: Accumulators: A concept for GURPS Spaceships

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Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
That's why I said 'vingean singularity level'.

That's the form Vinge thought it would take, but the idea of the singularity is that it's a cutoff point in history, beyond which we can't predict anything meaningful because technology has advanced to the point of obviating everything in our experience. The super-duper-magical AIs might understand the universe so well, after exponential increases in intelligence, that they could make anything happen, leaving us like chimps dealing with humans, or worse.

I have never for a moment believed that the pure Vingean 'computerageddon' was a valid concept, not 25 years ago and not now. Though I've seen reasonable arguments that the period from ~1840 to 1950 could be seen as a transport/communications/warfare 'singularity' from the POV of previous time.
Why specifically Vinge's singularity and not just the singularity? How is it like Vinge's model and not Kurtzweil's or Bolstrom's?
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Old 01-03-2018, 05:14 PM   #42
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Default Re: Accumulators: A concept for GURPS Spaceships

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...thus, by Ohm's Law (E=IR or more accurately I=E/R) voltage happens. Any EMF generated is a byproduct of the fact that the battery is releasing electrons.
It's actually the other way around. The metals/salts in the battery have an inherent voltage (EMF) differential dependent on the chemistry of the combination of salt/ions/metals/acids. The current flow depends on the load attached across the voltage. If you put a wire across the battery then the only 'load' is the internal resistance of the battery, which is quite low. As a result, LOTS of current flows, usually heating up the wire and making it combust, or simply get hot enough to melt the guts of the battery.
In electronics you pretty much always have a voltage differential and the actual current drawn depends on the load. You can create 'current sources' but they are basically self-modulating loads that balance out resistance with the real load so the real load sees a constant current.
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Old 01-08-2018, 12:23 AM   #43
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Default Re: Accumulators: A concept for GURPS Spaceships

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Why specifically Vinge's singularity and not just the singularity? How is it like Vinge's model and not Kurtzweil's or Bolstrom's?
Mostly just because Vinge is the name most generally associated with the Singularity idea in SFnal circles, he's the name that comes to mind for me rather than the others.
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Old 01-08-2018, 06:50 PM   #44
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Default Re: Accumulators: A concept for GURPS Spaceships

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Are you seriously trying to assert that batteries generate fixed current regardless of the circuit they're in? You have to know that's completely inaccurate. EDIT: That's blatant violation of conservation of energy stuff.
No. The chemical composition of chemical batteries will have varying current based upon the resistance of the external circuit. But the chemical action produces electrons not voltage. Granted, by Ohm's Law, the three are highly interconnected but the chemical action produces electrons.
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Old 01-08-2018, 06:52 PM   #45
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Default Re: Accumulators: A concept for GURPS Spaceships

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It's actually the other way around. The metals/salts in the battery have an inherent voltage (EMF) differential dependent on the chemistry of the combination of salt/ions/metals/acids. The current flow depends on the load attached across the voltage. If you put a wire across the battery then the only 'load' is the internal resistance of the battery, which is quite low. As a result, LOTS of current flows, usually heating up the wire and making it combust, or simply get hot enough to melt the guts of the battery.
In electronics you pretty much always have a voltage differential and the actual current drawn depends on the load. You can create 'current sources' but they are basically self-modulating loads that balance out resistance with the real load so the real load sees a constant current.
I am an electronics technician, not an engineer. This is what I was taught.
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Old 01-08-2018, 07:38 PM   #46
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Default Re: Accumulators: A concept for GURPS Spaceships

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No. The chemical composition of chemical batteries will have varying current based upon the resistance of the external circuit. But the chemical action produces electrons not voltage. Granted, by Ohm's Law, the three are highly interconnected but the chemical action produces electrons.
That's true in a sense, but it's a rather tortured sense. The chemical action 'produces' (at one end, 'consumes' at the other) electrons to (and from) the electrodes. But the reactions also point to a specific electrochemical, and thus electrical, potential.

It should be fairly obvious that the chemistry in a battery doesn't have any direct dependency on the resistance of the external circuit. What the resistance does is determine (in combination with the voltage) a rate limit on the flow of electrons which is (under typical conditions) the rate-limiting step in the battery reactions.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:24 AM   #47
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Default Re: Accumulators: A concept for GURPS Spaceships

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I am an electronics technician, not an engineer. This is what I was taught.
I'm an engineer, but I hung out with the technicians running the labs a lot when I did my undergrad degree. I learned an awful lot of practical skills from them that weren't taught in the classroom.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:26 AM   #48
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Default Re: Accumulators: A concept for GURPS Spaceships

Getting back to Accumulators, it seems the only pseudo-realistic tech that makes sense is superconducting loops. Anything else requires a fair bit of handwaving to explain the energy density and discharge rates. I also wonder if star-trek style plasma could do the job? Maybe store the plasma in rings and draw the power down as you need it. Could use superconductors to help with efficient confinement of the plasma to generate containment fields...?
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:14 AM   #49
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Getting back to Accumulators, it seems the only pseudo-realistic tech that makes sense is superconducting loops.
There are issues with superconducting loops, too, when we're talking about Smithian energy storage densities. Our current physics might not allow for any means of duplicating those accumulators, at least the ones in use by Kimball Kinnison's time.

Actually, given that the great powers all have access to total-conversion power plants by KK's time, the only real reason for them to use accumulators at all would be speed of delivery, and maybe emergency backup. Otherwise, you could store your energy in a very safe stable high-density form, i.e. matter. If you've got total conversion tech, you can store energy as something like blocks of lead or other compact material, and not have to worry about accidental discharges or anything else until you need it. Furthermore, your storage density is E=mc^2, so a gram of whatever equals 25 gigawatt-hours. That's pretty good.
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Old 01-22-2018, 08:23 PM   #50
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Default Re: Accumulators: A concept for GURPS Spaceships

Apparently the replicators in Star Trek fed off a stock of generic matter rather than trying to create matter from energy from scratch. The generic matter was reconstructed by the replicator which was much less expensive energy-wise. Storing fuel as matter for total conversion seems a similar concept.
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