Quark Reactors

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AnotherDilbert
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Re: Quark Reactors

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:16 pm

phavoc wrote: Since we can't do that with hydrogen currently, there is no difference between quark and hydrogen fusion.
AnotherDilbert wrote:
But subsequent calculations showed that it would be impossible to cause a chain reaction with quarks because they exist for too short a period of time—approximately one picosecond—not long enough to set off another baryon.
There is a huge difference...
phavoc
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Re: Quark Reactors

Postby phavoc » Fri Nov 10, 2017 3:31 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 2:16 pm
phavoc wrote: Since we can't do that with hydrogen currently, there is no difference between quark and hydrogen fusion.
AnotherDilbert wrote:
But subsequent calculations showed that it would be impossible to cause a chain reaction with quarks because they exist for too short a period of time—approximately one picosecond—not long enough to set off another baryon.
There is a huge difference...
Not if your reactor system continually generated the quark to be fed. Fusion reactors require fuel to be fed to them to maintain the reaction, as would a quark reactor. Why does it matter if it's a self-sustaining reaction or a reaction based upon continual feeding of quarks into the fusion process? The end result remains the same - or in this case it remains that your quark reactor produces 8x more energy than a hydrogen fusion reaction.
AnotherDilbert
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Re: Quark Reactors

Postby AnotherDilbert » Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:16 pm

phavoc wrote: Fusion reactors require fuel to be fed to them to maintain the reaction, as would a quark reactor. Why does it matter if it's a self-sustaining reaction or a reaction based upon continual feeding of quarks into the fusion process?
For the quarks there is no fusion process, each pair of Λ particles has to be fused individually by exactly manipulating subatomic forces.

For hydrogen fusion you "just" have to maintain a reasonable temp and pressure and pour in more hydrogen, there is no need to manipulate or care about individual atoms.

phavoc wrote: or in this case it remains that your quark reactor produces 8x more energy than a hydrogen fusion reaction.
Per particle. There is no reason to assume that a quark fusion plant would be smaller or lighter than a hydrogen fusion plant, rather the opposite...
phavoc
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Re: Quark Reactors

Postby phavoc » Fri Nov 10, 2017 11:10 pm

AnotherDilbert wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:16 pm
For the quarks there is no fusion process, each pair of Λ particles has to be fused individually by exactly manipulating subatomic forces.

For hydrogen fusion you "just" have to maintain a reasonable temp and pressure and pour in more hydrogen, there is no need to manipulate or care about individual atoms.
What does that have to do with it being in a starship that can travel FTL? It's a meaningless distinction since Traveller fusion also does not exist. Neither exist in reality.
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:16 pm
or in this case it remains that your quark reactor produces 8x more energy than a hydrogen fusion reaction.

Per particle. There is no reason to assume that a quark fusion plant would be smaller or lighter than a hydrogen fusion plant, rather the opposite...
Again, what does this have to do with anything? Who cares if it's per quark particle or cubic meter of hydrogen?

And if you look up thread you'll see I proposed a quark reactor should be larger than a standard hydrogen reactor to accommodate it being more powerful and exotic. For the record we don't have a method to generate energy through antimatter, but those exist in the rules. Shall we remove them as well since there is no method of safely containing the combination of matter and antimatter?
Sigtrygg
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Re: Quark Reactors

Postby Sigtrygg » Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:58 am

Actually we can make, store and experiment with antimatter now. It would only be a matter of scaling up production (a solar powered antimatter factory close to the sun) and improving our storage technology. If money were invested we could have a working antimatter reactor before a fusion reactor.

We can not make free quarks except by using machines like the LHC and there are no free quarks just waiting around to be harvested.

So you can either make your quarks, which will be in effect similar to antimatter production - you build a solar powered factory close to a star to do it - or you have to handwave a source.
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Re: Quark Reactors

Postby AnotherDilbert » Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:05 pm

phavoc wrote: What does that have to do with it being in a starship that can travel FTL? It's a meaningless distinction since Traveller fusion also does not exist. Neither exist in reality.
Hydrogen fusion exists today, we just can't keep it stable for more than a few ms.
We have no idea how to even begin to exploit quark fusion, since it is a much, much more complex problem.

Just because we have fire in a role-playing game does not mean that we must have nuclear power. Nuclear power is a much, much more complex problem, that can be expected to be introduced a few TLs later...

If we could manipulate sub-sub-atomic particles that well we would have technology more like The Culture than Traveller.

But you can of course have anything you like in your game.


phavoc wrote: Again, what does this have to do with anything? Who cares if it's per quark particle or cubic meter of hydrogen?
A Λ particle containing a charm or bottom quark is much more massive than a hydrogen nuclei, say ~5 times. So the eight times more per particle, becomes 8/5 = 1.6 times more per gram of fuel, not quite as impressive.

What matters is cost and power output per m³ or tonne of power plant, and fuel consumption in m³ or tonne per GWh energy produced. None of which we have any idea of.
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Re: Quark Reactors

Postby phavoc » Sun Nov 12, 2017 3:07 am

Sigtrygg wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 8:58 am
Actually we can make, store and experiment with antimatter now. It would only be a matter of scaling up production (a solar powered antimatter factory close to the sun) and improving our storage technology. If money were invested we could have a working antimatter reactor before a fusion reactor.

We can not make free quarks except by using machines like the LHC and there are no free quarks just waiting around to be harvested.

So you can either make your quarks, which will be in effect similar to antimatter production - you build a solar powered factory close to a star to do it - or you have to handwave a source.
True, but notice that I said we cannot use it for energy. Which is kinda the point of the thread. We now can experiment with all three types of energy reactions (hydrogen fusion, quarks and antimatter). None are anywhere near close enough to hand over to engineer and say 'go forth and make this usable to create energy... in a starship in space to power artificial gravity fields, jump drives and inertial dampers'. So from that point of view any of these energy sources could be made to work with the magic of 52nd century technology.
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:05 pm
Hydrogen fusion exists today, we just can't keep it stable for more than a few ms.
We have no idea how to even begin to exploit quark fusion, since it is a much, much more complex problem.
That's quite true. But it wasn't too long ago we didn't know about quarks, or muons, or even flavors of quarks. The game postulates a grand scientific advancement over today. When CT came out a ships computer took up METERS of space because we didn't know any better. In the MGT it takes up essentially zero space and has essentially unlimited storage capacity.
AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:05 pm
Just because we have fire in a role-playing game does not mean that we must have nuclear power. Nuclear power is a much, much more complex problem, that can be expected to be introduced a few TLs later...

If we could manipulate sub-sub-atomic particles that well we would have technology more like The Culture than Traveller.

But you can of course have anything you like in your game.
But we have antimatter, disintergrators, ion weapons, and Grandfather. I cannot fathom how you can draw the line with a quark reactor but accept all that. The point of this thread was to provide real-world technology that can possibly be applicable 2 or 20 centuries from now. It's all fantastical technomagic at this point.


AnotherDilbert wrote:
Sat Nov 11, 2017 1:05 pm
A Λ particle containing a charm or bottom quark is much more massive than a hydrogen nuclei, say ~5 times. So the eight times more per particle, becomes 8/5 = 1.6 times more per gram of fuel, not quite as impressive.

What matters is cost and power output per m³ or tonne of power plant, and fuel consumption in m³ or tonne per GWh energy produced. None of which we have any idea of.
But you accept that we can have magical rocket fuel that can sustainably accelerate multi-million ton vessels clad in collapsed-matter armor in multiple-G factors?? Just because we cannot do it today doesn't mean it can't be done tomorrow. They said we would never harness the power of the atom, but we did. And, as it's been pointed out we've made artificial fusion, but we can't make it self-sustaining... at least not yet.

It's been proven that quarks can be fused together to create more energy than standard hydrogen fusion. It's still highly experimental, but since this is a science-based game, if you can accept all of the other then this would also be scientifically possible within the structure of the game. Who knows if someone will create a device that can artificially manufacture a quark on demand and feed it to a reactor to fuse with another quark that has been created on demand to generate the energy you need. Maybe it will take a minimum of 50Dtons to create the reactor based on all the complexities. But so what? If someone want to utilize this and add in a different power source type between fusion and antimatter, yay for them! The point of the boards is to share and discuss ideas, impossible or techno-magic ones.

The only limitation is your imagination.
Sigtrygg
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Re: Quark Reactors

Postby Sigtrygg » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:30 am

Looking at this from a Traveller technologies angle:

mesons are quark/antiquark pairs - Traveller technology can make mesons and manipulate them
nuclear dampers affect the strong nuclear force - which interacts with quarks.

So perhaps there is a way to re-task meson and damper tech to generate the quarks needed for the quark reactor,
TL13, perhaps 14, to produce prototypes and do the research, have planet bound reactors

Ten times the output of a grav catalysed damper enabled TL15 reactor...
Last edited by Sigtrygg on Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
baithammer
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Re: Quark Reactors

Postby baithammer » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:41 am

The problem is quarks as a fusion source is only recently being studied unlike antimatter and hydrogen fusion, so would be difficult to model as a standard alternative.
steve98052
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Re: Quark Reactors

Postby steve98052 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:00 pm

Hydrogen fusion requires a bulky fuel, but it's an abundant fuel in nature, and produces net positive energy. We can even produce energy from it in the real world (at least through the deuterium tritium reaction), though we don't have a way to use it except to blow things up.

Antimatter is an amazingly compact fuel, but it's extremely scarce in nature, and effectively must be manufactured, at a net negative of energy. The advantage is that once it is manufactured it's compact and easy to use (but catastrophically dangerous if there's a storage mishap). In a situation where extremely compact fuel supplied by a bulky, energy-negative external factory, it's a useful fuel.

Best I can tell, the quark fusion technique is energy negative, just like antimatter. If we assume that it's produced by a bulky, energy-negative external factory, and can be stored for use later (impossible with known real science, but plausible under the premise of meson screen technology), it's apparently eight times as energetic as hydrogen fuel. But hydrogen is, at best, about 125 times less energetic than antimatter, so the quark fusion idea would be about 16 times less energetic than antimatter. So unless an antimatter containment vessel (and controlled reaction chamber) is many times bulkier than the quark storage, it's not useful.
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Re: Quark Reactors

Postby Rikki Tikki Traveller » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:49 pm

I always thought that Anti-Matter Iron (OK, call it Nori) would be an effective form to store it in. Dense but magnetic which makes it easier to manipulate and isolate.
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