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Will there ever be nuclear powered cars?

  1. Feb 26, 2008 #1

    KCL

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    Let's say 100 years from now... or 200. Whatever. Is it theoretically possible to make a fusion reactor the size of a small box... or a soda can?

    And if this could be possible, will the tech be purposely hidden or outlawed because it'd mean easier access to small nuclear bombs for terrorists?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 26, 2008 #2

    mathman

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    Present work on fusion power falls into 2 broad classes, plasma and laser. Neither of them could ever be made small enough to drive a car.

    The only possibility would be for someone to discover a new physical principle, such as cold fusion - which to date has never been successfullly demonstated.
     
  4. Feb 27, 2008 #3

    chroot

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    It is theoretically possible -- no laws of physics preclude it -- but the technology to achieve a fusion-powered car may well be hundreds or thousands of years away.

    - Warren
     
  5. Feb 27, 2008 #4
    I don't think you need all that much energy for a car, and even a semi is only an order of magnitude greater. Safe bet that storage will always be easier than generation, though the lines tend to blur, (e.g., fuel cells, with fusion being a deuterium fuel cell). Isomer energy storage would fill the bill nicely I would think. In any event, one of the necessary enabling inventions would likely be a perfect neutron shield.

    Ed
     
  6. Feb 27, 2008 #5

    KCL

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    Thanks for the replies!

    Last question... if somebody figures out how to make a hydrogen bomb w/o a smaller fission bomb to start it off.... are we screwed?

    If there's no radioactive material to detect it and no restriction of limited uranium supplies... Wow, it's frightening to just think about it.
     
  7. Feb 28, 2008 #6

    mathman

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    It is more frightening to think of global warming, suicide bombers, or even the sun burning out. The kind of H bomb you are concerned about requires physics that has not yet been discovered and may not exist.
     
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