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What is the process of invention?

  1. Apr 9, 2016 #1
    I make no promises:

    I came up with this idea for a new kind of nuclear fusion reactor. I do not want to give off any clues to how it works so I am going to be as vague as possible.

    I think it could be a viable means to nuclear fusion becoming... well, breakeven. I have by no means tested it (built it) because that would require a vacuum chamber among other things, and I am broke. I do know that theoretical and experimental are two very different things. Therefore I do not know if it will work, however the concept and math check out.

    How do I protect my idea from other people stealing it and claiming it as their own? I've been really paranoid of this. I know the best thing to do is scream to the world and say, "Look everyone! I invented this!" But media has been known to ruin lives, and I am also terrified of that. I've always had problems with media and I don't like it. So what I'm saying is, is there a way to do this anonymously, or should I just give the idea to someone else? I mean I know someone else would take the credit, but ultimately I know that I invented it. "I do not care that they take my ideas, I care that they have none of their own." -Tesla.

    To clarify this not an invention, it is more of an idea. I am not inventing the wheel, I am just putting a motor on it and tweaking a few thing so it works better. I am building upon a concept. This also might end up not working at all XD... Because well I haven't tested anything. But still just wanted to know how the science community goes around developing new technologies, because eventually I might think of something that works. XD

    P.S. This idea is relatively new (1 day) but I will make schematics soon. If anyone wants me to send them blueprints or something of that nature, so they could help me see if my idea would work, I can in a week.

    Again I make no promises, only that I am morbidly curious and lazy.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 9, 2016 #2


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    You can patent it.

    If the idea is one day old, you did not do the math, that would take much longer. Fusion is complex, and it has hundreds of challenges you probably did not even hear about.
    "I just thought of something" is not an interesting new concept. It is probably something hundreds of others thought about, then did the math, and saw that it is not viable.
  4. Apr 9, 2016 #3
    Unfortunately this attitude, I have found, is common among people who don't know how research works. They often claim to have a grand idea (not backed by math) which they're scared of someone stealing. If your idea is a success, the chances are very slim that it gets stolen. If your idea is obviously not good to someone inside the field, you also don't have to worry about it being stolen.

    Did you read any relevant literature in the field of nuclear fusion? Do you have a physics background? Do you know specifically what the technical challenges are in creating nuclear fusion right now, and do you have ideas to overcome those specific technical challenges? Why do you feel your idea is superior to everything else that has been tried, especially since you have no math behind it? These aren't things you have to explain to yourself--these are the questions the scientific community would ask that you must be able to answer, or else no one would take you seriously.

    Regardless, ideas are a dime a dozen, and if you can't quantify your idea, if you can't put some math behind it, get a prototype, etc., and if someone else happens to come up with the same idea and does that stuff, then you did not come up with it. Sorry, like I said, ideas are a dime a dozen. Implementation is the important part. Einstein didn't just make two postulates and stop there--he did calculations using his ideas.
  5. Apr 9, 2016 #4
    So let's get this straight. You had some kind of idea a day ago. You did not do any math. You did not do any testing. You did not do anything to validate your idea. But still you think that you have gotten an idea that thousands of experts who have worked years on this did not. Really? Really?????
  6. Apr 9, 2016 #5

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    And worse, that these stinkers are circling like vultures, ready to steal this idea.
  7. Apr 9, 2016 #6
    Understandable! I think the nuclear fusion researchers are out of ideas since years. Researchers at the Tokamak are now required to full-time browse the internet for some individual who has a novel idea on fusion. Not just any individual will do though! They specifically want those who have no science background and who did not have time to do the math. Those are the ideas that the fusion researchers are looking for!!
  8. Apr 9, 2016 #7
    By no means have I calculated anything. I apologize for not being clear on that. By doing the math I mean that there is enough time for fusion to occur, and that they (the particles) are not going fast enough to not be contained. It is a concept I have, and by no means an invention, however that is what I am working toward. I know it is a plausible method of fusion because it has been proven to work and there are other companies doing research in this type of fusion. I am trying to approach it from a different angle. The math is already there for how fast everything is and the energy needed for the particles to be contained, and how to absorb it. I apologize for saying I have done the math, by no means have I done any math. I have read other peoples' math and I have deduced the idea is plausible. It is like the motor. when that thing started out it did like 2 horse power. Some guys came along, (with 100s of years and hard work) tweaked a few things, (I know it's more complicated than that but I say tweaked because the concept is still the same, it's still a motor) and now we have Bugattis. I apologize for saying I have done the math, what I meant to say is I know the idea is plausible.
  9. Apr 9, 2016 #8
    If you haven't done the math and the testing, then you do not know the idea is plausible.

    Come on man. You're clearly not stupid. So think for a second. You honestly think a layman like you can come up with something that thousands of experts have missed???? This has never happened in the modern history of science!!!

    This is the difference between professional researchers and laymen, I guess. When I do research and I discovered something new, I distrust my result completely. I do a lot of checking and backtracking. Then I present my results to colleagues who put my results under scrutiny too. Only then am I moderately sure that my idea doesn't contain any obvious holes. A layman on the other hand, has an idea and immediately claims everywhere to have solved a major problem. And of course they won't tell anybody since they're gonna steal his stuff.
  10. Apr 9, 2016 #9
    fair enough. I see your point, and I see you clearly know a lot about physics. If I do do the math and show you a how the reactor work, will you tell me if it will actually work or not. If it is at least, plausible. I genuinely have an interest in nuclear fusion and would like to know if I am getting somewhere.
  11. Apr 9, 2016 #10
    There was a post back in 2012 (I know it is very old) titled “Is Muon-Catalyzed fusion possible with room temperature, gaseous Deuterium?” It addressed some of the major problems of producing energy with muon catalyzed fusion.

    Muon catalyzed fusion is the process of replacing one, or preferably both of the electrons in a Hydrogen molecule with a muon. A muon is a subatomic cousin of the electron. They are both leptons, only an electron has a mass of roughly .000511 GeV/c^2 and a muon has a mass of .106 GeV/c^2. Muons are roughly 207 times more massive than electrons. The muon has the same charge as the electron, only it is much larger than the electron. When it approaches a Hydrogen molecule it knocks the electron out of its orbit and takes its place. Because the muon is 207 times more massive the the electron, its orbit is 207 times closer. This brings the protons much closer to each other. Oridinary Hydrogen molecules have an atomic radius of 53 pm (53 picometers). That means the nuclei of hydrogen molecules are roughly 106 pm apart. The muon’s orbit brings the two Hydrogen nuclei 207 times closer. The resulting nuclei are roughly .51 or half a picometer apart. Hydrogen nuclei are close enough for quantum tunneling to then take over. The two nuclei fuse. The muon is then ejected out and hopefully lands on another hydrogen molecule. It will then knock the electron out of its orbit, replace it, and catalyze another fusion reaction. The process is then repeated until the muon decays. The muon however is unstable and has a mean lifetime of about: 2.2 microseconds. Now we get to the challange.

    Solving these problems:

    a)the muon decays before it can catalyze a number of fusion reactions to break-even

    b)some muons stick to the helium nuclei they have created, thus not allowing them to catalyze any more fusion reactions.

    c)He3 atoms that have already fused can catch muons that would have gone to catalyze deuterium fusion.

    These look like three separate problems but they really aren’t. It all boils down to, muons are expensive. If they were cheap: a) who cares if it decays, they are cheap. b) who cares if muons stick to helium nuclei, I have a crap-ton more. c) who cares if He3 nuclei steal muons, I have a crap-ton more.

    It all boils down to: where can I get some muons that are easily to make, plentiful, and cheap. This was explored in the thread I mentioned earlier: “Is Muon-Catalyzed fusion possible with room temperature, gaseous Deuterium?”

    Muons are created when solar wind strikes particles on Earth’s atmosphere. They are generated roughly 15km above sea level. They rain down on Earth and go straight through everything. They are generated with roughly 6 GeV of energy and lose about a third of that and hit Earth with 4 Gev. Ordinary matter has trouble absorbing muons created in Earth’s atmosphere as those muons are moving at roughly 98% the speed of light. At around 300,000,000m/s with a mean lifetime of 2.2 microseconds they should only travel 660 meters. Despite their short half life their time dilation keeps them alive long enough to hit the ground in detectable and significant numbers. Muons can even be detected several hundred meters underground, although not very well. The Soudan 2 Detector has detected muons underground, however the rate of detection is less than that which is hoped for. According to The Sudan Underground Laboratory: “On the surface, a detector the size of your hand would detect about 2 muons per second. Down in the lab, 1/2 mile underground, that same detector would detect about 2 muons per week.” which is crap. However 1 muon per square centimeter strikes earth’s surface per minute. We know most muons are getting past us.

    So this is my idea:

    a giant pole.

    A vertical LINAC is built at a significant altitude above sea level. Deuterium atoms are ionized and their nuclei are shot downwards at roughly 98% the speed of light. Muons penetrate the LINAC and since they are traveling downward at the same speed of the protons they are stationary relative to one another. The tube which they travel down will get progressively narrower bringing the molecules closer to one another, allowing muons to jump from one to the other with more ease. Protons and muons will attract one another because of their opposite charges and form a Deuterium molecule, and fusion is catalyzed. The deuterium is then brought back up to the top for another pass. Not all muons strike Earth vertically. Only about 66% of muons are vertical, the rest come at an angle. However 6600 muons per m^2 per minute is still a lot. Those that come in at fairly small angles still have a chance to be absorbed. I know it is a lot more complicated than that. You would need to contain both the proton and Muon, the neutrons resulting from fusion and then somehow figure out how to absorb the energy. It is a huge stretch, to put it mildly.

    All I want to know is: Is the concept is viable or not, and if not, why. I don’t need mean sarcastic vultures. I am 15. I know I am naive and stupid. But I am also curious and I want to learn.

    mfb and some other guys had a thread about this a while back. I just want to know if the idea of accelerating protons to the same velocity as muons would allow more muons to be absorbed. Here is that thread:



    The underground muon detector

    atomic radius of Hydrogen

    This is wikipedia, make sure you verify any information here elsewhere. Anything here I have said is verified elsewhere. General information about muon catalyzed fusion

    atmospheric muon time dilation

    non-vertical muons

    *edit* nevermind muon flux too low. :C
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2016
  12. Apr 9, 2016 #11
    I guess you've never heard the story of Lorenzo's Oil:

    So, yeah, it is possible for a layman to come up with something thousands of experts have missed.

    The argument, "He's a layman therefore he's wrong," is an ad hominem fallacy. He's either right or wrong because he's either right or wrong.
  13. Apr 9, 2016 #12
    With the help of Huge Moser and through long hours of research and study, the Odones, who had had no previous medical background, came up with a treatment. Doesn't actually sound like the story of the OP, now does it?
  14. Apr 9, 2016 #13
    You missed the relevant part: "...clashing time after time with doctors, specialists, and support groups, some of whom were skeptical that two average citizens could produce a cure." In other words, the argument, "He's a layman, therefore he's wrong," is a logical fallacy. When Mr. X, with no education, designs a "fuel-less engine", it doesn't fail to work because he's a layman, because, it would equally fail to work if designed by a PhD.
  15. Apr 9, 2016 #14
    I don't care. If the OP came here and said "I have done studies and research for years, and together with a world expert on fusion, I have made a novel improvement to fusion", then I would take him seriously. Right now he just thought of something yesterday and thinks everybody will steal it from him.

    I'm not going to put any time, effort or money in this OP. You apparently think he's worth something, so you go ahead and fund him then.
  16. Apr 9, 2016 #15

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    I don't think you have to worry about anyone stealing this idea.

    If you want to learn, you should start by asking questions, not by telling us that you are so incomparably brilliant that you can come up with an idea that is so much better than the ideas of the thousands of people who work on this daily that it doesn't need math and it doesn't need testing.

    You also need to decide if you want to be treated as a child or an adult. If the latter, you can't then fall back on "I'm just a child!"
  17. Apr 9, 2016 #16
    You don't care that you're committing a logical fallacy?
    There was a point where the Odone's idea was one day old and they had no expert chemist to help them realize it. According to your logic, they would be wrong up until the point they succeeded, and then suddenly, everything gets retroactively promoted to everything they did being right? Or something?
    What I think is that your statement, "This has never happened in the modern history of science!!!," is incorrect, and that the argument, "He's a layman, therefore he is wrong," is a logical fallacy.
  18. Apr 9, 2016 #17
    Do you think the OP could possibly have invented something that many experts have missed, taking into account everything the OP said in the thread?
  19. Apr 9, 2016 #18
    So, you're just going to stick to your 'debunking by application of logical fallacy' shtick.
  20. Apr 9, 2016 #19
    Well, you must think it's possible the OP is on to something. Good for you, but I don't buy that. Here's a word of advice. If the OP is right, then he will be making millions by his invention soon. Better jump on the bandwagon. Give the guy some money. You'll make it back in no time. Where's the risk? Unless of course you don't believe the guy is up to something at all!!
  21. Apr 9, 2016 #20
    No, you don't seem to grasp I am not arguing the OP's innovation is viable. I am arguing that your argument against it being viable is a logical fallacy.
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