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Could there be a way to more easily release energy from atoms?

  1. Mar 25, 2010 #1
    This thread is intended to ask the question about potential future sources of energy to experts, explain a few things and generate discussion about the future of energy and it's possible uses.

    Nuclear power is great. But it requires a bulky apparatus and very specific materials.

    Perhaps there is a way to release more energy from atoms with a smaller, more controlled apparatus.

    The only way that we can easily release energy from atoms without bulky equipment is to collide it with antimatter. However, the problem is that antimatter production is inefficient (so unless we find another way to obtain it than particle accelerators, it won't be a good energy storage device), and you will most certainly not get more energy than you put in.

    Because quantum physics is fairly new and counterintuitive, we may not know even 1% of the broad applications we could use quantum physics for (i.e. quantum computers for artificial intelligence), and we know far less about the specific applications (maybe something like medical technologies used to treat specific diseases).

    What if there is a process that is similar--at least to a layman--to quantum entanglement that reorganizes the particles of an atom into its antiparticles? Or, what if there was a way to release the energy in atoms in a much more controlled way at the quantum level?

    I'm asking the experts here if there are any developments on anything like the above paragraph, and asking how much of quantum physics that we understand as a society.

    If it seems like a plausible idea, I'd like to open discussion up to applications of such technology.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 25, 2010 #2

    mathman

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    Current physics theory describes only two forms of atomic energy, fission and fusion. There is no theory for converting particles into antiparticles.
     
  4. Mar 27, 2010 #3
    I figured as much. I was mainly wondering how plausible the possibility is.
     
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