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Startrek warp core

  1. May 23, 2004 #1
    "Startrek" warp core

    Hello,
    The "Startrek" warp core works on the real physical phenomenon of matter collides with antimatter and energy is created.
    But as I was taught, a collision between an electron and a positron will produce two, very energetic, gamma-photons. how can anyone use (nowadays) these gamma rays? If this energy was usable, wouldn't they make some use of that in nuclear reactors instead of blocking it behind thick lead walls?
     
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  3. May 23, 2004 #2

    selfAdjoint

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    The problem is the energy required to produce the positron and focus it to collide with the similarly focussed electron. They do this in accelerators, for example the Large Electron-Positron accelerateor (LEP) used this approach, and was the source of many discoveries. But as a source of useful energy it doesn't work.
     
  4. May 23, 2004 #3
    http://www.space.com/images/h_laser_levan_02.jpg

    Riding on a beam of light, future passenger-carrying spacecraft will look far different than clunky vehicles used today. Test shots of a sub-scale version of this single-seater laser-boosted lightcraft have already been carried out at White Sands, New Mexico test range. CREDIT: Ron Levan/RPI

    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3607020/
     
  5. Jul 6, 2004 #4
    Antihydrogen Can Be Used

    Antihydrogen has certainly be suggested (and experimented with) as a future source of space-propulsion.
    The ONLY constraints on using such a fuel, at present, is the very high cost in producing the fuel.
     
  6. Jul 7, 2004 #5

    selfAdjoint

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    ..and containing it. Can't encounter ordinary matter or you lose all that energy, suddenly! And since antihydrogen is electrically neutral, you can't use EM to confine it either.

    Also this would be a source of energy, but probably not reaction mass. The reaction mass limitations for going anywhere outside the solar system in a human lifetime are so great that the rocket principle just doesn't look feasible. Thus you are forced to look for workable metric engineering solutions.
     
  7. Jul 7, 2004 #6
    Containment Not That Difficult...

    I consider the "Containment" problem to be a minor one.
    Read this and tell me what you think?

    From;
    "HIGH PERFORMANCE INERTIAL CONFINEMENT FUSION (ICF) PROPULSION SYSTEMS FOR INTERSTELLAR MISSIONS."
    http://www.interstellarsociety.org/PROP4.HTM

    No worries...

    If you don't consider this approach feasible, theres a few other ones I reckon "are close to the money".
     
  8. Jul 8, 2004 #7

    selfAdjoint

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    Inertial confinement isn't a way to confine antihydrogen, it's a way to PRODUCE antiprotons. Closely related to inertial confinement fusion, which is an ongoing research enterprise, you see from the paper that it compresses a pellet of fissile material with EM beams to produce a flood of antiprotons. Now anitprotons don't have the problems I mentioned with antihydrogen. Since they are charged, they can be controlled with electric or magnetic fields.

    You still have the basic rocket problem though. Even if you have total conversion of matter into energy and your reaction is photons - this is the theoretical maximum of the rocket principle - you still can't get up to a healthy enough fraction of c to make an interstellar trip in a human lifetime. To get to Alpha Centauri at .1c would take 43 years, without braking, but to get to .1c would require a Moon-sized chunk of matter to convert.
     
  9. Jul 21, 2004 #8
    quick question... NA22 sodium isotope produces positrons by simply sitting... and they have an electric charge... why not positrons for some type of antimatter reactor? besides, you shouldn't use the antimatter reaction for propulsion purposes, just use it for an energy to create a means of propulsion... eh?
     
  10. Mar 14, 2011 #9
    Re: Antimatter

    but woudnt you lose energy in the long run, the amount of energy needed to make even nearly enough anti- particles to use as a 100% efficient enegy source would be greater then the energy got out, as energy is wasted in heat and light
     
  11. Mar 14, 2011 #10

    Vanadium 50

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    Re: Antimatter

    7 year old thread.
     
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