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Neutrino powered Engine

  1. Mar 25, 2009 #1
    I have a question is it possible to make an engine that is powered by neutrinos? i read that neutrinos can change nuclei and that they can become protons so can that in any way be used to create a nuclear fusion reaction which in turn would power the device??

    thank you guys for your help its for a business project and i wanted to desgin a company that specialzes in innovative energy conversion and i read a lil bit about neutrinos and thought maybe theres a way i can use them
     
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  3. Mar 26, 2009 #2

    malawi_glenn

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    The problem is that neutrinos almost never interact with matter so you can not boil water with them or by any other means collect them and convert their energy to something useful. It is easier to collect the associated electron/positron and convert it to useful energy. Space crafts like Voyager runs on that kind of device, it has a device that transfer alpha radiation into electricity, but the efficiency is so low (less than solar panel cells) so there is, as we have today, no usage of those in order to get energy for the society.
     
  4. Mar 26, 2009 #3
    hmmm so they almost never interact? is it possible to create something to make them interact with matter??? like possibly a machine or some sort of liquid or gas?
     
  5. Mar 26, 2009 #4

    malawi_glenn

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    you can't change the properties of elementary particles...

    what you can do to detect them is to use very very dense material, or very large apparatus (google IceCube and see what it is all about)

    But should have understood from my post that one can use other radioactivity sources as energy. Why do you want to use neutrinos that barely don't interact with matter where there are particles that do interact strongly?
     
  6. Mar 26, 2009 #5
    okay so then neutrinos are out, are there other type of particles that have a lot of energy potenial that we havent discovered how to use?
    I'm looking for something that has power equal to or greater than nuclear power but is non radioactive extermely efficent you only need little of it to get alot force from it and its resources are infinite or close to infinite


    PS are photons a possibllty or antimatter?
     
  7. Mar 26, 2009 #6

    malawi_glenn

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    on the first question, yes, good ol fusion - that problem has still not been solved ;-)

    You are looking after what everybody is, if such material/particles would exists, we would have considered it a long time ago.

    Photons = same as for other radiation types, electricity converter is not efficient enough. (Light is photons .... )

    Antimatter = what do you think it cost to produce antimatter? :-p
     
  8. Mar 26, 2009 #7
    okay so what are the problems facing fusion? and why is antimatter so expensive to make?
     
  9. Mar 26, 2009 #8

    malawi_glenn

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    how to create a stable plasma

    Since you need first of a a good accelerator, a highly advanced separation machinery, and then high-tech storage place. And then after you have this antimatter, you will then let it meet matter to create photons. Photons which you need to collect and convert their energy into electricity... And it doesen't matter, you will always loose energy in these processes, this is called second law of thermodynamics... You can not create an amount of energy which is greater then the energy you needed to produce it.

    At the current rate of antimatter production, it would take several billion of years to create 0.5 gram of it...
     
  10. Mar 26, 2009 #9
    Many years ago, I was in charge of building the antiproton stochastic cooling system at Fermilab. With the use of the Fermilab 8-GeV Booster and Main Ring running at 120 GeV, and two 8-GeV antiproton rings, we collected about 109 antiprotons per hour. What was the cost per antiproton? How long would it take us to produce a Coulomb of them? How many joules could we get from a Coulomb of antiproton annihilations? Compare to dynamite at 4000 joules per gram.

    As far as neutrinos are concerned, You can get a lot from a cobalt-60 source or cesium-137 source, but coralling them is harder than herding cats.
     
  11. Mar 27, 2009 #10
    You can not create an amount of energy which is greater then the energy you needed to produce it. does that mean you cant amplfy energy??? cant you amplfy sound using speakers? so is it possible to maken other types energy more stronger?
     
  12. Mar 27, 2009 #11

    malawi_glenn

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    But you need energy to make the amplification ...

    Why create energy in order to gain energy? It is like 1 step forward and 2 step backwards.

    We want to create electricity, and in order to create antimatter, we need electricity...

    We want to use sources with didn't use electricity or any man-made energy in order to be 'created'. I.e we use carbon and oil since those processes living organisms stored for us several billion of years ago. And the same with nuclear power, the stars made those heavy nuclei which we split several billion years ago. We are taking advantage what was done a long time ago, by nature.
     
  13. Mar 27, 2009 #12
    what exactly is the energy that stars produce? any way we can harvest it or replicate someday?
     
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