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The Kardashev Scale

Discussion in 'Medivh's Tower' started by BlackEnvyX, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. BlackEnvyX

    BlackEnvyX

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    Main article - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kardashev_scale

    Tl;dr: The Kardashev Scale is basically a scale rating ours (and possible extraterrestrial) civilizations based on their level of technology. According to this scale we're below a Type I civilization.

    What do you think of this scale; furthermore, do you think with all the current bickering over useless things like racism and political correctness that we'll ever advance far enough to reach a Type I where we can be self sustained? It seems as though humanity has reached a plateau in terms of economics and that we're living in an age of decadence that we currently can't sustain.
     
  2. Zwiebelchen

    Zwiebelchen

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    The kardashev scale is flawed in the regard that it not only disregards physics (it is literally impossible to build a functioning Dyson Sphere, not only due to the limited amount of resources on earth, but also because there is no way to actually transmit the energy collected back to earth), but it also assumes that the advancement of a civilization is proportionate to it's energy consumption.

    Which is not the case, as we can already see today.
    In fact, I believe that the advancement of a civilization is completely independent of it's energy consumption: as technology advances, we become able to use energy more efficiently, without unwanted side products like heat.
    A Dyson Sphere would be an enormous waste of resources (and thus, energy, as matter is just a different form of energy anyway). Any species avanced enough to engineer a Dyson Sphere could basicly solve the energy problem without ever leaving their home planet.

    And we, as humanity, already know the solution to the energy problem without leaving our planet: it's called hot fusion. Before we are able to engineer a Dyson Sphere, we will have mastered hot fusion already, removing the need for a Dyson Sphere in the first place, rendering the Kardashev scale invalid.
     
  3. BlackEnvyX

    BlackEnvyX

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    What exactly is hot fusion and why has it not been implemented yet? Cost effectiveness? Political lobbying?
     
  4. Zwiebelchen

    Zwiebelchen

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    In short: it's the reverse of nuclear fission and what happens inside our sun. You collide a deuterium and tritium molecule in super hot plasma and fuse it to a helium molecule.
    The released binding energy is used to keep the plasma ignited and generate electricity.

    It's basicly the clean equivalent to nuclear power plants.

    Why don't we have it now? Well, the issue is containing the plasma. No material on this planet can survive the enormous heat that is required.
    The solution to this is having the plasma inside a vacuum and keep it in place via a donut-shaped magnet field... which has been done numerous times in the past already (the principle is called "tokamak"). The technology is surprisingly old.

    But in order to actually produce more electricity with that than what is used up to keep the plasma burning, you need a reactor that is big enough, which means gigantic super conductive magnets and a sizeable amount if tritium. The current world reserves of tritium are about 20 grams. Fortunately, nuclear fusion actually releases tritium as a byproduct aswell, so it's all just a matter of building up a controlled tritium cycle.

    TL:DR:
    It has been done before and it's working. It's all a matter of building a large enough reactor and implementing the technology into an actual power plant. Which is easier said than done ... federal research budgets are not nearly as large as they have been during the cold war.

    Binge this website and be amazed what the future holds for us:
    https://www.iter.org/

    ITER is a joint venture of the largest industry nations in the world to build the world's first fusion reactor that generates more energy than it consumes.
    If it's successful, we might have the first commercial fusion power plant in 2030.
     
  5. BlackEnvyX

    BlackEnvyX

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    This is actually quite fascinating, I am wondering though exactly what temperatures are required to maintain the plasma.
    Do we really not have the proper materials to contain it yet?
     
  6. apcrabnightlive

    apcrabnightlive

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    When plasma particles are energized they rise up to 100 - 300 million °C. This helps the particles to fuse by overwhelming their electromagnetic repulsion. The magnetic field is the one that contains the extremely hot plasma away from the walls so it doesn't cool down and lost it energy potential.
     
  7. BlargHonk

    BlargHonk

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    Not exactly, the super hot plasma is what results in them colliding with enough energy to fuse, one can induce small amounts of nuclear fusion without plasma, a process we've been able to control since at least the 40's. Seaborg's research is quite relevant here. It's not just with hydrogen isotopes mind you.
    Not quite. The neutrons produced by the reaction will still result in a large amount of secondary waste. Less so than a fission plant certainly.
    This isn't the only solution, and the stellarator is older than the tokamak, and the Z-pinch is even older.
    It doesn't burn. Tritium is required only for certain designs and reaction types. The US alone currently has roughly a hundred pounds of Tritium in reserve. Fusion reactors only produce Tritium if you line the chamber with Lithium to capture the neutrons produced, and remove the Lithium to process the Tritium out. This is similar to how it is produced now using fission reactors.

    Size isn't the issue, power equalization is. No one has gotten more out of a fusion reaction than they have put in.

    iter is a joke and already has pushed back the date so far that they won't even have low level containment tests until 2025. Previous stated date was 2020.
     
  8. Zwiebelchen

    Zwiebelchen

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    I know about that. I just broke it down to explain how fusion in power plants would be used.

    The waste products of the polluted blankets have a half-life of 10 years. This is short enough to store them directly at the power plant without the need for a permanent waste disposal solution.

    I never said it's the only solution, right? Just the one that turned out to be the most used one.
    Just two days ago Wendelstein 7-X in germany has contained their first hydrogen plasma, and Wendelstein is a stellarator type.

    The deuterium-tritium reaction is the one most suited for power plants, though.

    I checked that again and it seems my number wasn't correct, yes.

    Which is how it is planned, yes, and what I - again - already explained.
    And yes, you can get tritium with fission. Then again, the whole point of the fusion research is to not rely on fission anymore, right? So any long-term goals would obviously be to produce tritium by fusion itself.

    This sentence doesn't hold any practical validity. Obviously, if you can contain a larger volume of plasma and a larger fusion zone (which requires a bigger reactor), the surface area which dissipates the heat gets smaller in relation to the volume, which makes the process more efficient.

    Sure, because many of the manufacturers of components of ITER located in Japan that got damaged by the Fukushima tsunami is totally something you can hold against them. How dare they push back the date!


    Seriously, what was the point of your post?
    Correcting my "mistakes" that were totally not didactic reduction and clearly because I'm a moron who doesn't know what he's talking about and thus desperately in need to be "corrected"?
     
  9. BlargHonk

    BlargHonk

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    Elaboration
     
  10. Rex.

    Rex.

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    Chill bro, its okay to have critics.

    Anyway, you guys should know that nuclear fusion isn't really efficient economically since hydrogen atoms can deplete. Unless, making hydrogen atoms out of helium atoms is possible.
     
  11. Zwiebelchen

    Zwiebelchen

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    When you're taking some reductional liberties to explain it as simple as possible, "correctional" answers just make one a smart-ass.

    I'm not quite sure if I understood what you are saying, but if it's about running out of resources, then this isn't really an issue: Deuterium (that is the primary "fuel" of the reaction) is available in HUGE quantities on this planet (as it is a natural isotope in sea water) and is easier to enrich than, for example, uranium.