Is your "KE Harvester" direction dependent? That is, if neutrinos were traveling in the "opposite" direction, would it take energy from your generator? This is important since Earth is bombarded by neutrinos from every direction at varying speeds
Well, I think that the optimal geometry for the collector would be a sphere, an hemisphere with its flat face always turned in the direction of the Sun, or a composit of the two, depending on the difference of intensity between the solar-bound neutrinos and the cosmic ones.
This is admitting that the neutrinos are stopped right at the collector’s surface. Purely theoretical approach on the subject, so.
Then, there's the question of spinning: neutrinos have an angular momentum - so you'll have to handwave away that your power source can "use" the neutrino regardless of "which way" it's spinning (otherwise you'd lose power every time an anti-neutrino hit).
If your generator can use "any" neutrino that hits the Earth - then you'd get roughly about 1/10th the total energy you'd get from the sun (at all wavelengths).
If we go for the ‘material’ solution for intercepting, maybe that neutron star’s matter could the trick, being basically one big chunk of atom nucleus. Just four problems with that :
1 - Spontaneous nuclear fission, anyone ?
2 - This thing is fucking heavy !
3 - The heat you’ll recover from the neutrino’s impact on the collector : You’ll recover far far far much from the natural nuclear disintegration of the thing.
4 - How do you maintain this fucking thing contained ? How do you create it ? Hell ! How do you machine/handle a thing constituted of quarks holding themselves thank to the ‘strong interaction’ ?!
So this leave us with the ‘force field’ approach... On which case I really don’t know how to answer, being basically illiterate in Standard Model Quantum Theory physic ; or another physic beyond high school level stuff, to be precise (I failed my courses on Electrical Engineering and the related physic, so..).
A force field thingy meant to intecept things that are basically interaction-less... Interesting proposal, I’m forced to say...
Forget using neutrinos to transmit energy. What about communications ? Would not their "penetrate everything easily" nature make them fantastic as signal carriers ?
Not really. With neutrions, you would have MASSIVE amounts of background noise, because they are everywhere.
Plus, the ability to "penetrate everything" isn't really that important for communication in space, since there isn't much in the way.
You could try a ‘morse code’ approach, with high intensity pulses (to differentiate them from the background noise)? Though I’m also doubtful about their utility. Maybe for intercontinental communication on a planet without atmosphere or with an atmosphere unsuitable to radio communication, without relay satellites available ? That or just because you are facing an adversary on the battlefield who hasn’t the ability to intercept this kind of transmission.
One concern, though : The only practical way I see to generate high intensity neutrino pulses is a nuclear blast
initiation ; or just something really radioactive generally speaking. So it may be a bit impractical as a communication device...
@ Rossum : Well, if you're going to go into that kind of subterranean stuff, I tink maybe it'd be more efficient to try to harness the thermal gradient between the crust and the surface, or even between different layer of the crust. Geothermal energy, so. As reliable as neutrino bombardment and far more efficient than what would be achieved with your proposed design, I think.
neutrinos do pop in and out of other dimensions don't they?
I think you're refering to 'Zero Point Energy', or something like that ? Well, it isn't so simple... As far as I understand the stuff, it seems that 'space' (I don't want to enter into metaphysic brain-wanking here
) constantly produce peers of particle and their anti-particule counterpart, in such a way that they statistically annihilate themselves, and that billionth and billionth of time per second, in fact so frequently that our instrument can't measure it. Maybe that staticaly it can happen that a virtual par does not annihilate, and that it reach the Nirvana of particles somehow ; but that's a rare occurence as far as I know.