h a l f b a k e r y
Yeah, I wish it made more sense too.
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One of the easiest ways to acheive nuclear fusion on a small scale is with a Hirschmann fuzor, which actually triggers it electronically. The problem is that they are difficult to build on a large scale, and do not produce all that much light, meaning that the energy cannot be efficiently harvested by
steam or solar cells.
However, if you were to induce a strong, high-frequency reaction, you could cause one to emit a very powerful stream of free neutrons focused in a particular direction.
Obviously, these neutrons have great momentum. What if we were to harvest this?
The fuzor is placed near a container filled with a mixture of nitroglycerine and water (suitably diluted), and the neutron beam is focused on the container.
Many of the neutrons will strike or pass through nitroglycerine molecules. Because it contains fuel and oxidizer, it is quite unstable, and it also has weak bonds. The neutron stream will break these bonds, and the energy will be released as heat and light. (The water will warm up and bright flashes will occur.)
The side of the container opposite the fuzor is coated with the synthetic lanthanide Promethium. Promethium has been found to convert light and heat to electricity more efficiently then any other known material. (It cannot be used directly within the fuzor as it is itself moderately radioactive and may disrupt the reaction, or be transmuted to charged isomeric isotopes by the enormous electromagnetic force.)
The bright light from the water will be converted to electricity by the promethium, suitable for general usage.
The promethium plates and the nitro solution would occasionally have to be replaced, since the decay of the Promethium and the destruction of the nitro (or perhaps other highly volatile molecules) would slowly reduce the efficiency of the system.
"Colour: metallic". Helpful. [phoenix, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]
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||But isn't almost all of the energy coming from the nitroglycerine? How efficiently can we reverse the oxidation process of nitroglycerine?
||So glad you found a use for promethium. Also, I've been curious for years,what color is the darn stuff?
||Thank's anyway phoenix, I know it's metallic, but what freaking metallic *color*?
I always pictured it similar to oxidized aluminum.
||I would almost give this a croissant since its so ingeniously stupid, so completely backwardsusing a nuclear fusion method to set off a chemical explosive to create light to power what would be a ridiculously small wattage Promethium cell. Its not only backwards, but unnecessary, because you could use Promethium to make a powerful nuclear battery to begin with, and dispense with all that other Rube Goldberg stuff. Yes, I would give it a croissant, except he made up "Hirschmann Fusor". At least, I aint never heard of it.
||Heard of "fusors" before, though not the German name. Really cool actually; just uses a strong electric field to slam particles together. But the Rube Goldberg nature of this device is amazing: nuclear->chemical->photovoltaic... can we use the electricity output by the photovoltaics to drive a motor to power a pump to spin a turbine to turn a pulley to spin a belt to rub on a bit of rubber to generate heat by friction to light a fire to generate smoke to awake a cranky old man who will go out and buy you some batteries?