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Antimatter Propulsion

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posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 03:11 AM
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Now, we all know the Starship Enterprise runs on this stuff, and for those of you who have watched a bit too much start trek like myself you will know that the Enterprise stores this in huge tanks. There I admited it Im a geek!


Now I have looked at NASA's proposals for antimatter drives i.e. future concept drawings etc etc and a thought occured to me. Antimatter is one of the most dangerous materials in the universe. It is especially dangerous to store. The usual (in sci fi movies) and proposed methods for storage are for this fuel to be storred in magnetic containment bottles, but this is itself is dangerous. If these fields collapse at any time/ or weaken then what we have is a rather large explosion which can only be a bad thing. High speed particles are also a problem in space. If one punctures the containment then the result is the same.

My idea was that NASA should consider incorporating a compact particle accelerator within any spacecraft design to produce antimatter on demand. This would eliminate the need to store fuel and would make a space craft a lot safer. Now I know particle accelerators require a lot of energy to make them work, but I imagine this could come from some sort of Nuclear reactor/solar panel assembly.

I want to ask two questions. Firstly, is this a feasible work around, and secondly is is workable from an engineering point of view?




posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 05:19 AM
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It is an interesting propostion, and I too have watched too much Trek, though I wonder how practical this really is.

I know there are huge risks with the magnetic field option, but how compact could they actually make a particle accelerator? Remember in space that every pound counts, or at least.. getting into space and I don't think NASA has any propositions for using Warp-field technology at this stage.


I think we are still a far, far way from using antimatter technology as they still haven't passed the break-even point for energy consumption:energy output when producing antimatter, I beleive.

What are the chances that Anti-matter exist anywhere naturally in space? I haven't done any reading on natural anti-matter so im not sure it exists.. Perhaps thats another way for re-fueling.

[edit on 6-8-2005 by ekul08]



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 05:39 AM
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The weight issue would be offset in my opinion by the fact that you could convert solar /nuclear energy into antimatter. Forseably, if we have mastered the production of antimatter then the production of super efficient solar cells shouldn't be too much of a problem. I wonder how easy it would be to produce the quantities of anitmatter needed bearing in mind that we can already produce antimatter today, indeed it can be produced in most particle accelarators around the world.

When I did my Pysics A level a few years back we looked at cyclotron and synchrotron technology.

hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu...

www.desy.de...

Both would have their advantages/disadvantages. A cyclotron would save space as they tend to be smaller. A synchotron would be usefull because if we assume that any ship has rotating circular sections to mimic gravity and
synchotron could be built into these circular rotating sections.

This link prooves antimatter production is a viable concept.

www.space.com...

I feel that if this is to work then we need to look at ways in which the stuff can be produced at workable quantities. The problem is it is an ideal weapon and we have enough trouble with nuclear technology.

[edit on 6-8-2005 by enslaved83]



posted on Aug, 6 2005 @ 10:44 AM
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Simple thermodynamics.

If you have solar panels and nuclear power to make anti matter, you should just use that for energy instead of using it to generate anti matter that gives off less energy than it takes to make.

Anti matter, as with any stored fuel is just a storage. You spend more energy making it for the sake of drawing energy out later, like a chemical battery.

The truth is, antimatter is dangerous and not in our forseeable future, nuclear power is the next best solution to powering space flight.



posted on Aug, 7 2005 @ 08:48 AM
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The trouble with your reply is that it doesn't explain how the space craft would then propel itself. You deal only with the generation of power. I see your point, yes, why bother with the whole antimatter thing if you can generate ample power from nuclear/solar.

The antimatter is required because nuclear/solar power can't propel a craft in this case. The whole point of my idea is that you don't need to carry fuel. I know you wouldn't with a solar sail but a solar sail has drawbacks. Its like sailing in the wind verses a motor boat. The motor boat is faster and can manouver better. My idea is that antimatter is only created when you need it meaning that you don't carry any around at any given time because it is expended as soon as it is used. The fact also remains, that you can get much better performance out of an antimatter engine energy wise than a fusion rocket. Besides if I understand the workings of NASA's proposed plasma rocket, they are still gonna have to carry around thousands of gallons of highly explosive hydrogen.



posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 05:11 PM
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Originally posted by enslaved83
I want to ask two questions. Firstly, is this a feasible work around, and secondly is is workable from an engineering point of view?


The true test of any flight sub-system is reliability. The support systems and infrastructure required to maintain an anti-matter powered spaceship would far exceed any benefit. The technology has to be safe.

I believe at some point in the future, we are going to see the mining and enrichment of nuclear material off planet. This will open the door to nuclear powered spacecraft with ion drives. Scoops to harvest gas in the upper atmospheres of gas giants. The beginning of human expansion into the solar system.



posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 08:05 PM
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The reason why this wouldn't work (other than the fact that the particle colliders are huge) is that anti-matter can only be created at extreme inefficiencies. We've created basically none of it thus far in life. The best case scenario, which we are FAR FAR FAR from achieving, would be taking energy, converting it to mass, and converting that to just under the amount of energy used.

In other words, it's stupid to make it as you go, and smart-ish to take it with you, namely because the former doesn't work and the latter does.



posted on Aug, 10 2005 @ 11:49 PM
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Dan Burisch claims a race of EBEs that had come back in time to correct a genetic flaw in us/them (they "J-rod" apparently claim there us from the future), indicates their propulsion system is fueled by Anti-Matter.

A planet near theirs Dan claims, has large levels of Anti-Matter I believe he said below the surface. And this race of Ebes has a relatively easy supply.
Dan further go's on to say the US Maj boys had been negotiating a supply from them for certain help with some far out things they want and need from earth.

If you want to read a most fascinating story - see Earthfiles, Linda Moulton Howes no-nonsense site. Dan Burisch was interviewed by Linda and Mr Hamilton on tape and by some of the Scientific community. If you want learn a few things about Groom Lake S4, "Earthfiles.com" is the place I suggest you go.

Dallas



posted on Aug, 11 2005 @ 05:22 AM
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Originally posted by Dallas

Dan Burisch claims a race of EBEs that had come back in time to correct a genetic flaw in us/them (they "J-rod" apparently claim there us from the future), indicates their propulsion system is fueled by Anti-Matter.

A planet near theirs Dan claims, has large levels of Anti-Matter I believe he said below the surface. And this race of Ebes has a relatively easy supply.
Dan further go's on to say the US Maj boys had been negotiating a supply from them for certain help with some far out things they want and need from earth.

If you want to read a most fascinating story - see Earthfiles, Linda Moulton Howes no-nonsense site. Dan Burisch was interviewed by Linda and Mr Hamilton on tape and by some of the Scientific community. If you want learn a few things about Groom Lake S4, "Earthfiles.com" is the place I suggest you go.

Dallas


I'll have a look at what you suggested. Im always open to new ideas! if there is planet with large supplier of antimatter below its surface I don't think Id want to go there anytime soon tho! lol

I accept that with current technology we are a long way off from creating an antimatter powered spaceship in the method I have described. Truth be told, I think it will be centuries before we master such a thing. The ramifications are huge and I bet someone will weaponise it. For know I think Fusion power is the best bet but again this has the drawback of thousands of gallons of explosive hydrogen fuel



posted on Aug, 11 2005 @ 05:42 PM
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I suggest we start using these kinds of advanced propulsion technologies soon because we're getting f*cked right now by Iran, China, and Russia over oil. We're about to be in a huge hole. You don't have to believe me. Just watch and see.... we need to stop using oil and shift to something else soon!

[edit on 11-8-2005 by meshuggah1324]



posted on Aug, 12 2005 @ 05:23 AM
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meshuggah, I agree. We need fusion or Antimatter and we need it soon or there is going to be a big war!

Nice name by the way. Im well into my metal. They are an awsome band. Do like their new album? I though i was great!



posted on Aug, 12 2005 @ 01:11 PM
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OK stupid question time here
When antimatter and matter are in contact with each other, dont they destroy each other releasing massive amounts of quantum energy(THEORETICALLY)? If so, how could a planet (matter) store antimatter without destroying it. Also, could antimatter exist within an inert gas? Nah, I guess not - inert gases are still matter eh? Back to the Star Trek thing, I always thought that the antimatter was contained by using high magnetics in its respective chamber and fed into the intermix chamber the same way.
OK I had to put in my pocket protector for that last line, I'm taking it out now so I'll look like the rest of y'all


[edit on 12-8-2005 by Defragger]



posted on Aug, 12 2005 @ 01:48 PM
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look this is gonna be clear i know nothing about science but this is my guess
anti matter is throughout our universe but in its own little buble not in contact with matter



posted on Aug, 12 2005 @ 03:12 PM
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Originally posted by Defragger
OK stupid question time here
When antimatter and matter are in contact with each other, dont they destroy each other releasing massive amounts of quantum energy(THEORETICALLY)? If so, how could a planet (matter) store antimatter without destroying it. Also, could antimatter exist within an inert gas? Nah, I guess not - inert gases are still matter eh? Back to the Star Trek thing, I always thought that the antimatter was contained by using high magnetics in its respective chamber and fed into the intermix chamber the same way.
OK I had to put in my pocket protector for that last line, I'm taking it out now so I'll look like the rest of y'all


[edit on 12-8-2005 by Defragger]


Hehe, I see you watch as much trek as I used to. From what I can tell yeah they store it in magnetic bottles. I believe they store it as antihydrogen been as how this would be the most simple element to produce. That is because it is made up of the lowest number of atomic parts and hence is easier to produce. This is fed into the warp core via more magnetic bottles. There is a seperate tank full of hydrogen which is also fed to the warp core. At the heart of the warp core is the dylithium crystal matrix. This has the convenient property of been able to absorbe the energy created when the hydrogran and antihydrogen collide allowing the Enterprise to throttle the energy created rather than just having a massive uncontrolled explosion. In this sense they are like the graphite rods in a nuclear reactor which mop up excess neutrons and stop the reactions in the reactor from getting out of hand. Of course in real life there is no such thing as dylithium. It was just something made up for the show which means an antimatter rocket would probably has to explode small parts of matter at a time. The problem is when you have huge magnetic bottles containing the antimatter you are basically carrying round a loaded gun pointed at your head on a hair trigger. All it would take is one mirco commet, one little dust particle and the fun stops right there. Even with their amazing technology look at how many ships get blown up on star trek!

The whole idea of a particle accelerator would mean fuel could be produced on demand. (yes you would need a hell of a lot of energy to do so but if we are flying around on antimatter powered rockets one could imagine that at this point in time our technology is rather advanced and production may no longer be an issue)

btw, I don't buy the idea of a planet full of antimatter, but hell stranger things have happened at sea. Look at our own solar system. We have planets with methane atmospheres. You wouldn't want to light up there! The universe is a strange place and until someone disproves it, im open to anything! KEEP THE IDEAS COMMING PEOPLE!



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