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Engineering/physics idea next step?

  1. Sep 12, 2016 #1
    I am new to this site and need some advice on an idea i have had.

    I am an engineer but i have studied physics as a hobby in my spare time, my idea is engineering based but uses some higher level physics. The theories i am using are sound and have been proven.

    The problem is i dont know the next step, im not sure how practical my idea will be in the real world and need to have the idea checked and confirmed that it is actually possible before i can try and patent it.

    I have done the usual searches for my idea and come up with nothing, I have scoured the internet trying to find any link or close idea but there is simple no information out there. To be honest it probably wont work and i am happy to find out if it doesnt. I have tried to debunk the idea alot, the more i do the more im convinced there is something in it thats worth pursuing. Its also kind of big, i wouldnt be able to make a prototype.

    Sorry if i have been vaugue, i dont want to give too much away.

    So anyway i am looking for the next step, should i discuss it in a forum and if i did is there a chance my idea could be stolen?

    Thanks for any advice

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 12, 2016 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    A good next step would be to find an expert consultant in the applicable specialty and hire them under an NDA for a few hours of consulting. They can review your idea and do a quick feasibility study for you. It would probably be a few hours of consulting at something like $200/hour, but it would be a good way for you to find out how much of your idea holds promise (maybe only some parts do, versus the whole thing). You could try Craigslist or similar job resource searches to find a good consultant in your area. :smile:
  4. Sep 12, 2016 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Your PWM has to be synchronized with the AC Mains zero crossings. You cannot just free-run at 50Hz and have the dimmer work right. Your trigger signal needs to be at some phase angle before the next zero crossing -- you turn on the SCR and the zero crossing turns it off.

    You just need to be safety isolated from the AC mains, so you could even use a simple small AC wall wart transformer to give you a low-voltage copy of the AC mains, instead of using a second optocoupler circuit to get it...

    EDIT -- Oops, did you delete your reply that I just replied to? No worries.
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2016
  5. Sep 22, 2016 #4
    Nope i think you replied in the wrong post? Or someone posted something and deleted it unrelated to my post?
  6. Sep 22, 2016 #5


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    Staff: Mentor

    Oops, sorry. Not sure how that happened. Have you looked into finding a consultant to run your idea past? :smile:
  7. Sep 22, 2016 #6
    Actually try to make it work.You'll learn a lot. Be very careful who sees the idea,as some will "adopt" it and sell it,regardless of origin or patent.
  8. Oct 13, 2016 #7
    Thats the problem, too make it work wpuld require a great deal of money and equipment. I very much doubt i could do it in my shed lol
  9. Oct 13, 2016 #8


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    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    (1) You actually have zero ways to progress if you want to keep complete control of your project and reap the entirety of any rewards .

    (2) To make any progress at all you have to either :

    (a) Find some associates with the the right background and resources , decide which ones you trust , tell the ones you trust all about the project and invite them to get involved for a share of any rewards .

    (b) Make details of the project public and hope for the best .

    Give (b) some serious consideration . You could start by discussing your ideas on PF or writing a technical paper and getting it published .

    (3) The probability of you having devised something which is actually viable and which no one else has thought of is very small .
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2016
  10. Oct 13, 2016 #9
    NIDUM has made solid points,there.This is an age of giant,big-money,internationally collaborated projects.You would need help.Better to choose something you can build small in a garage,or ,through careful,clever analysis,isolate a breakthrough in a subsystem or think of something everyone has so far missed.Almost every basic idea has been thought of,and almost every one can be improved.
  11. Oct 15, 2016 #10
    Check Google Patents. I've had a few good ideas myself and I always end up seeing that they've already been patented even though the idea doesn't come up on google search. Also If it involves "free" energy forget about it. Also you'll get more help if your more specific, "Physics" is a uh big domain. What exactly does the idea pertain to.
  12. Nov 2, 2016 #11
    Thanks for the reply, i have checked everywhere and cant find anything remotely simalar. I am level headed and no it has nothing to do with "free" energy. Infact it would probably take far to much energy to actually work other than in an experimental enviroment. Thats probably why I cant find too much about it as its just not possible with todays technology. Maybe in the future it would be feasible.

    I know I have been very vague but until I find evidence of its exsistance or potential then i dont want to give to much of it away.

    To be honest its probably been thought of and dismissed by someone somewhere before. Either way I have enjoyed going through the calculations and undertanding it. As I have said I am an engineer and this more into Physics than engineering.

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