posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 06:23 AM
Originally posted by rickymouse
So they are going to turn the earth into a second sun. Why can't they build a tiny one first.
The last time I read about physicists discussing this, was that it is something to do with the ratios of the energies that you need. Fusing together
two hydrogen nucleii takes in a certain amount of energy (Ef) and gives out a certain amount (Er). They can actually do this on a lab desktop use
regular hydrogen gas and a couple of tiny metal plates. They can literally squash two atoms together, but the energy released is in the order of
nanowatts and is less than the energy put in to move the metal plates. So apart from a cute scientific experiment, it isn't much use.
We need Ef < Er, and Er >= 10 Megawatts for any commercial use.
For a star, Ef comes from gravitational generated pressure. Er is from the resulting products. Our only option on Earth is to use magnetic fields, as
anything solid would just melt from the released energy. Even then, the magnetic fields required are so strong that anything made of stone or metals
would vaporize at small scales (due to heat transfer limits). So there's this restriction that you need something the size of a large office block in
order for all the equations to balance out. Other requirements are that the only way to get such strong magnetic fields is to use equipment generating
the magnetic field needs to be close to be absolute zero and also be resistant to thermal expansion or contraction. So you end up with a system the
size of an office block.