Steve Jackson Games - Site Navigation
Home General Info Follow Us Search Illuminator Store Forums What's New Other Games Ogre GURPS Munchkin Our Games: Home

Go Back   Steve Jackson Games Forums > Roleplaying > Roleplaying in General

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-14-2022, 05:07 PM   #2741
Anaraxes
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
(modern lasers are rather inefficient)
I don't think the National Ignition Facility has put any real effort into making their lasers efficient. ITER aspires to be a functional 500 MW reactor if and when it works. NIF is instead a scientific testbed. One of their main research areas is the design of the fuel pellets and changing the timing and shape of the laser pulse to improve yield. The lasers themselves have been around for over 20 years; I couldn't tell you how old the design is. One source I saw mentioned the lasers were 1% efficient (that is, 200 MJ input to get that 2 MJ pulse that produced the 3 MJ of power from the target pellet). That source claimed that the lasers could be made about 40% efficient, which is a pretty significant difference. Not enough even then to break even (5 MJ -> 3 MJ). That's fusion for you.

But NIF doesn't spend their money on that, because even terrible efficiency is good enough for their purpose. (It might take minutes to charge up those 200 MJ, but they're only igniting pellets one at a time anyway, resetting instruments, changing things for the next experiment.) A real reactor using their results is going to have to care a lot more about the laser efficiency.
Anaraxes is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-14-2022, 06:05 PM   #2742
Varyon
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anaraxes View Post
I don't think the National Ignition Facility has put any real effort into making their lasers efficient. ITER aspires to be a functional 500 MW reactor if and when it works. NIF is instead a scientific testbed. One of their main research areas is the design of the fuel pellets and changing the timing and shape of the laser pulse to improve yield. The lasers themselves have been around for over 20 years; I couldn't tell you how old the design is. One source I saw mentioned the lasers were 1% efficient (that is, 200 MJ input to get that 2 MJ pulse that produced the 3 MJ of power from the target pellet). That source claimed that the lasers could be made about 40% efficient, which is a pretty significant difference. Not enough even then to break even (5 MJ -> 3 MJ). That's fusion for you.

But NIF doesn't spend their money on that, because even terrible efficiency is good enough for their purpose. (It might take minutes to charge up those 200 MJ, but they're only igniting pellets one at a time anyway, resetting instruments, changing things for the next experiment.) A real reactor using their results is going to have to care a lot more about the laser efficiency.
1% efficiency would be consistent with the mention in the article I linked, where it stated the lasers required "hundreds" of MW to produce that 2 MW beam. And reading about how the whole contraption works sounds like this wouldn't be something feasible for power generation, with how much goes into producing the fuel pellets (and how incredibly consistent they have to be - I forget if it was this article or a different one, but there was mention of a previous experiment that had produced somewhere around 70% of the laser's energy and that they had a lot of difficulty trying to reproduce because that one happened to have had a basically perfectly-shaped fuel pellet), even if it had perfectly-efficient lasers and could readily cycle through fuel pellets (I think the article mentions the current setup can basically do around one fuel pellet per day). It's a major milestone, but one with a whole heaping helping of asterisks.
__________________
GURPS Overhaul
Varyon is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2022, 01:37 AM   #2743
Irish Wolf
 
Irish Wolf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Earth, mostly
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

According to Dr. Alex James, a physicist who publishes science explainers on TikTok under @popculturescientist, the NIF facility uses lasers whose design is more than 20 years out of date, because their goal was to reach ignition with laser inertial confinement rather than to produce useful power. A more modern facility might be able to get a better result, although without somewhere for the fusing plasma to be it can never become a generator in and of itself.
__________________
If you break the laws of Man, you go to prison.

If you break the laws of God, you go to Hell.

If you break the laws of Physics, you go to Sweden and receive a Nobel Prize.
Irish Wolf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-16-2022, 04:30 PM   #2744
L.J.Steele
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

Ok, which of you needed to blow up this hotel aquarium for your game?

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-63996982

I wish I'd known about it when I ran a Fate of Cthulu scenario in Berlin,tho
L.J.Steele is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-19-2022, 05:13 PM   #2745
tshiggins
 
tshiggins's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Denver, Colorado
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Irish Wolf View Post
According to Dr. Alex James, a physicist who publishes science explainers on TikTok under @popculturescientist, the NIF facility uses lasers whose design is more than 20 years out of date, because their goal was to reach ignition with laser inertial confinement rather than to produce useful power. A more modern facility might be able to get a better result, although without somewhere for the fusing plasma to be it can never become a generator in and of itself.
This definitely qualifies as a, "major step forward," breakthrough and not a, "world-changing, right now, right now," breakthrough.

If they continue to improve the outputs, somebody else will certainly start trying to do it with better lasers, so each side of the problem will get worked.

There's no "bad news," here; just maybe good news that got a little over-hyped.
__________________
--
MXLP:9 [JD=1, DK=1, DM-M=1, M(FAW)=1, SS=2, Nym=1 (nose coffee), sj=1 (nose cocoa), Maz=1]
"Some days, I just don't know what to think." -Daryl Dixon.
tshiggins is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2022, 09:44 AM   #2746
ak_aramis
 
ak_aramis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Alsea, OR
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

Quote:
Originally Posted by tshiggins View Post
This definitely qualifies as a, "major step forward," breakthrough
Not particularly. It's a simple case of iterative refinement. And not even a particularly important one outside the "Yes, we can show past 5 sigma that you can generate enough energy to possibly maybe catch enough to fire a second pulse...


The sustained fusion by the Europeans this summer was as important or more so... because the European program has established a partial scale efficiency curve, and that they're near the bottom of it, and as the tokamak gets bigger, the ouput in joules released per joule input is climbing with size.

Simply put, LICF isn't likely to be infrastructurally useful since it's incredibly short duration. And that's what their hubub is about...

Not quite hucksterism, but definitely not discouraging hyperbole in the press.
ak_aramis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2023, 03:52 AM   #2747
Inky
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: UK
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

Apparently there are radioactive gemstones. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ekanite
__________________
Looking for online text-based game at a UK-feasible time, anything considered, Roll20 preferred. http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=168443
Inky is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-12-2023, 09:20 AM   #2748
DanHoward
 
DanHoward's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

"Can we go swimming; are there any sharks?"

"No, there aren't any sharks.... the crocodiles ate them all."

https://abcnews.go.com/International...ry?id=24862582
https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-12-...hark/100714276
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/139834...ueensland-aus/
__________________
Compact Castles gives the gamer an instant portfolio of genuine, real-world castle floorplans to use in any historical, low-tech, or fantasy game setting.

Last edited by DanHoward; 02-12-2023 at 09:23 AM.
DanHoward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-13-2023, 12:12 PM   #2749
Luke Bunyip
 
Luke Bunyip's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: The Kingdom of Insignificance
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanHoward View Post
"Can we go swimming; are there any sharks?"

"No, there aren't any sharks.... the crocodiles ate them all."
A mate was visiting people up near the Kimberleys, and one day they all went down to a local river to have a swim. As they were getting ready to hop in, someone ran up a tree and started scanning both banks of the river, up and down stream. After a while, they gave a thumbs up, and everyone hopped in.

"What was that about?" my friend asked. He was told that they'd been checking to see if there were any crocs on the river banks.
"So, the cost is clear?" Oh no, he was told. They had hopped in the river because they could see crocs basking on the river bank. That meant that they were not hungry, which in turn made it comparatively safe to go for a swim. If they were hungry, the crocodiles would slip into the water for a pre-dinner lurk.

My mate declined to have a swim.
__________________
It's all very well to be told to act my age, but I've never been this old before...
Luke Bunyip is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-16-2023, 03:40 PM   #2750
L.J.Steele
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Default Re: Real-Life Weirdness

I was reading a review of a book on measuring and measurements and found this:

Of course, I'd heard about pyramidology, this idea that there's some other mystical aspect to the pyramids in Egypt it's something we now see as part of the ancient aliens-style conspiracy theory. However, it literally comes out of metrology. Simon Schaffer, who is this incredible scholar in the UK, who does a lot on the history of science, history, and philosophy of science (and is one of my intellectual inspirations) has written about it, so I got into it from his work.

The Napoleonic campaigns in Egypt involved a lot of measurement, and that is where the West gets the first accurate measurements of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Basically, they decide that the pyramid was measured out in this unit they call pyramid inches which happens to be pretty much the same as the British Imperial inch, and they conclude that it is the same inch that was handed down by God, which was meant to be contained, encoded in the pyramids for all time, for all generations, and therefore to move away from the British Imperial system is to flout God's expressed wishes.

--
So there you have it, divine justification for abhorring the metric system.
L.J.Steele is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
blueberry muffin, fermi paradox

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Fnords are Off
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:48 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9
Copyright ©2000 - 2023, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.