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 Post subject: [wankage] Free enregy from neutrino's ? PostPosted: 2010-10-25 05:02pm
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Ok, so, it's wanking time.

For the sake of the scenario, imagine that we found a way to intercept on a given surface almost 100% of the incoming Neutrinos and harvest their kinetic energy, somehow.

Even if they are almost mass-less, they DO have a mass, right ? At these speeds, and knowing that billions of neutrino goes through us every second, I was wondering :
How much energy, in this wanking scenario, could we harvest per square meter if we go into the 100% efficiency ?


In this scenario, would it be infinite free energy, more than we will ever need, or just more of an incredibly costly way of supplying power to your flashlight ?


I was thinking the gain would be less than what we could expect from a contemporary solar panel under European skies, but I'm not sure.


EDIT : Kill me for I have made an awful mistake in the title of this topic. Shame on me...




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 Post subject: Re: [wankage] Free enregy from neutrino's ? PostPosted: 2010-10-25 07:06pm
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Indeed. Your title is not accurate. The energy is not free. It came from somewhere. Its equivilant would be Solar Power. A source of energy outside our own creation that is consistent and reliable. But still not free energy.



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 Post subject: Re: [wankage] Free enregy from neutrino's ? PostPosted: 2010-10-25 07:09pm
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Alyeska wrote:
Indeed. Your title is not accurate. The energy is not free. It came from somewhere. Its equivilant would be Solar Power. A source of energy outside our own creation that is consistent and reliable. But still not free energy.
But other than that, it seems like a good question: How much kinetic energy do the neutrions carry that fly trough earth?



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 Post subject: Re: [wankage] Free enregy from neutrino's ? PostPosted: 2010-10-25 07:59pm
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If we have the technology to do it with neutrinos, wouldn't it be far more profitable to use it to harness the kinetic energy of more massive particles? I mean if we have some means to catch 100% of neutrinos in a given area, electrons or protons should be child's play, unless for some reason it needs to be a ground-based facility.



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 Post subject: Re: [wankage] Free enregy from neutrino's ? PostPosted: 2010-10-25 08:18pm
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Batman wrote:
If we have the technology to do it with neutrinos, wouldn't it be far more profitable to use it to harness the kinetic energy of more massive particles? I mean if we have some means to catch 100% of neutrinos in a given area, electrons or protons should be child's play, unless for some reason it needs to be a ground-based facility.

It could simply be that the technique used just doesn't work on anything else. It's got to be something pretty exotic after all.



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 Post subject: Re: [wankage] Free enregy from neutrino's ? PostPosted: 2010-10-25 10:08pm
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The thing is that much of the energy from the sun is emitted as photons, so while this would be a source of what is, for all intents and purposes, free energy, it'd be less intensive than solar panels are, assuming of course that you could absorb all three flavors of neutrino. Regardless, unless there's a fifth force waiting to be discovered through the top quark or something, the only forces which act on neutrinos are the two weakest.



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I mean, how often am I to enter a game of riddles with the author, where they challenge me with some strange and confusing and distracting device, and I'm supposed to unravel it and go "I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE" and take great personal satisfaction and pride in our mutual cleverness?

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 Post subject: Re: [wankage] Free enregy from neutrino's ? PostPosted: 2010-10-25 10:28pm
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Oh, I realized that I was probably a little unclear in my previous post. Firstly,
Batman wrote:
If we have the technology to do it with neutrinos, wouldn't it be far more profitable to use it to harness the kinetic energy of more massive particles? I mean if we have some means to catch 100% of neutrinos in a given area, electrons or protons should be child's play, unless for some reason it needs to be a ground-based facility.

Keep in mind that neutrinos are emitted constantly from the Sun and any other star, and at a much higher rate than charged particles via the solar wind.
Secondly, to clarify, nuclear fusion via 41H->4He produces the following: a helium-4 nucleus, two protons, two positrons, two photons, and two neutrinos. So there are an equal number of neutrinos as photons, right? But we have the positrons, which annihilate with an electron to make two more photons. So that's six photons for every two neutrinos, or a 3:1 ratio. That's ignoring that neutrinos have very little energy, usually around a thousand to a hundred times less than the individual photons they are produced alongside.

Solar neutrinos are not the only source, though. There are a continuous stream of them left over from the Big Bang- but they have even less energy than the cosmic background radiation.



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I mean, how often am I to enter a game of riddles with the author, where they challenge me with some strange and confusing and distracting device, and I'm supposed to unravel it and go "I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE" and take great personal satisfaction and pride in our mutual cleverness?

- The Handle, from the TVTropes Forums

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 Post subject: Re: [wankage] Free enregy from neutrino's ? PostPosted: 2010-10-25 10:54pm
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Batman wrote:
If we have the technology to do it with neutrinos, wouldn't it be far more profitable to use it to harness the kinetic energy of more massive particles? I mean if we have some means to catch 100% of neutrinos in a given area, electrons or protons should be child's play, unless for some reason it needs to be a ground-based facility.


Neutrinos would be insanely convenient. With solar power, you have to worry about cloud cover on Earth and the delicate balancing act of building a swarm in space. When harnessing the energy provided by neutrinos, we only need to worry about whoever else is. The Sun only loses ~3% of its fusion energy to neutrinos, so ignoring whatever is lost to kinetic energy and atmospheric attenuation, that's 40-50 watts per square meter at 100% efficiency.

I highly doubt people would find it economical, and at best it would be a supplementary source of power. But given the right magitech, it could be highly secure, hard to disrupt and very stable.



Give fire to a man, and he will be warm for a day.
Set him on fire, and he will be warm for life.

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 Post subject: Re: [wankage] Free enregy from neutrino's ? PostPosted: 2010-10-25 11:01pm
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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 - the Sun is simply a large source, but nuclear processes in the planets, beta decay in our atmosphere, and even accelerators and nuclear reactors produce enough neutrinos for 1980's detectors to pick up. (Actually the 2nd generation of neutrino "baselines" comprised of 3 datalinked detectors near the accelerators in the US, USSR, and France.) So - you'll have to screen these unless your power source can use "any directional" neutrino.

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).

BONUS: Neutrinos from the core of a star leave the star faster than the photons - a photon from the core of our Sun takes about 900 years to diffuse to the exosphere and out to us, a neutrino takes about 15 seconds! So, if your "physics" is 1337 enough, your characters could predict the core conditions of the star :wink: :D

@ Bakustra: Solar radiation does not produce the muon-tau oscillation - that was a mistake in the original Cabibbo paper. Effectively you have 2 flavors from solar, all 3 from cosmic extrasolar, and electron-muon from interactions in the atmosphere.

Also re the "top quark": I'm not sure what you mean by "5th force"? The top quark has already been discovered, and there's no reason to believe its Higgs cross section will be different from what's calculated. Or did you mean some force outside of the 4 SM and Gravity?

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 Post subject: Re: [wankage] Free enregy from neutrino's ? PostPosted: 2010-10-26 07:33am
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Oh, it was a joke. I had just listened to a talk by someone who works regularly with the top quark, and he pointed out that new physics might be able to be discovered because the top quark's mass means that it would couple more than other particles. So if there was a force outside of the SM and gravity, (absurdly weak or unusual though it must be) the top quark would be the way to detect it. So I threw it in.

Thank you for the correction on solar production, though.



Invited by the new age, the elegant Sailor Neptune!


I mean, how often am I to enter a game of riddles with the author, where they challenge me with some strange and confusing and distracting device, and I'm supposed to unravel it and go "I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE" and take great personal satisfaction and pride in our mutual cleverness?

- The Handle, from the TVTropes Forums

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 Post subject: Re: [wankage] Free enregy from neutrino's ? PostPosted: 2010-10-26 01:35pm
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Forget using neutrinos to transmit energy. What about communications ? Would not their "penetrate everything easily" nature make them fantastic as signal carriers ?



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 Post subject: Re: [wankage] Free enregy from neutrino's ? PostPosted: 2010-10-26 01:46pm
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Sarevok wrote:
Forget using neutrinos to transmit energy. What about communications ? Would not their "penetrate everything easily" nature make them fantastic as signal carriers ?


There are some slight problems with that, though. Even assuming that you have no difficulty catching them, you still have to produce them, and do so in such a way that you can fiddle with their wave characteristics. As it is, there are ways to produce them, but modifying their characteristics such as frequency or amplitude is a somewhat more difficult process. Frankly, radio is still good enough.



Invited by the new age, the elegant Sailor Neptune!


I mean, how often am I to enter a game of riddles with the author, where they challenge me with some strange and confusing and distracting device, and I'm supposed to unravel it and go "I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE" and take great personal satisfaction and pride in our mutual cleverness?

- The Handle, from the TVTropes Forums

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 Post subject: Re: [wankage] Free enregy from neutrino's ? PostPosted: 2010-10-26 03:24pm
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Sarevok wrote:
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.



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 Post subject: Re: [wankage] Free enregy from neutrino's ? PostPosted: 2010-10-26 04:01pm
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Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't the current method used to detect neutrinos to build a large underground tank of pure water and then detect the occasional bit of light that results from neutrinos hitting the water particles?

Suppose the neutrino generator consists of a huge tank of some kind of liquid (probably a weird oily stuff whos molecules are specifically set up to interact with neutrinos) the liquid gets constantly hit with neutrinos and then releases heat or perhaps an electric current. Then its just a matter of harnessing the resulting energy.

Basically its a solar panel that doesn't need to worry about having clouds overhead and might even harness energy from a volume of space instead of a flat panel (neutrinos do pop in and out of other dimensions don't they?). Even if it only harnesses about the same energy as a solar power plant then it has the advantage of not worrying about cloudy weather and can in fact be built underground. The power plants could be built underneath buildings to supply power, which I suspect would be a good commercial advantage because one of the problems with solat power is that it takes up land and leaves the panels exposed to the elements (and possible theft).

If the Neutrino Tank Generator can be installed underground at basically any location then there could be a market for people who just fork out the money, put the generator in their basement, and have it harness energy for them while its out of sight and out of mind. It might not be any more 'free' than solar power but it has the advantage of letting people go off grid and can be stored in a secure location. I suspect that a decent market could be found in thrid world countries (at least for rich people who can afford them for themselves or for charity organizations who want to set up utilities while keeping them secure). Government and military locations would likely use them to provide back-up power in case of attack or let them operate off-grid if they are working on secret stuff.



Fry: No! They did it! They blew it up! And then the apes blew up their society too. How could this happen? And then the birds took over and ruined their society. And then the cows. And then... I don't know, is that a slug, maybe? Noooo!

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 Post subject: Re: [wankage] Free enregy from neutrino's ? PostPosted: 2010-10-29 10:08am
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Bottlestein wrote:
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.


Bottlestein wrote:
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...


Serafina wrote:
Sarevok wrote:
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 blastinitiation ; 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.

Rossum wrote:
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 :wink: ) 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.




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 Post subject: Re: [wankage] Free enregy from neutrino's ? PostPosted: 2010-10-29 10:55am
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^ Are you trying to ask what material you want your harvester to be made out of? You want it to be as light as possible - since neutrinos are extremely light. Think about a man on a bike colliding with a stationary ball. The ball rolls the furthest if it's very light.

In our detectors we use laundry detergent fluid or specially ionized water - but not for it's "lightness". In the real world/ actual physics, neutrinos are far too light to "move" anything - even an electron. What it does is vibrate the electron a little bit. The detergent or ionized water has an extremely high index of refraction. This means light moves very slowly in the material . As a result, the electron vibrates faster than the speed at which light travels through the material. As a result, we get the photon equivalent of a sonic boom, also called a Cerenkov cone, or Cherenkov radiation (I've seen his name spelled both ways). This is the "flash of light" that our detector picks up - it never actually picks up the neutrino.

In your world - you are already violating physics by having the neutrino directly be able to move any other particle with it's momentum. So, there's no point trying to "hardify" it with real physics...

That said you want as "light" a harvester material as possible, for the reasons I outlined at the start of this post. Your KE of the harvester is what provides power, so simple conservation of momentum dictates lightness. You want it therefore to be the exact opposite of a neutron star. If you are worried about neutrinos "escaping", again handwave away the problem with magic. (Again you have sufficiently violated physics that not handwaving this will not buy you rigour.)

As for neutron stars: actually they are more dense than an atomic nucleus. Their rate of fusion is lowered from less dense star cores. This is due to a property of how fermions fall into ground states, that is not possible to describe without formally defining "exchange forces". However, long story short, neutron stars are less efficient for proton - proton cycle nuclear fusion than other stars - which is why it collapses.

Neutrinos do not figure into the particle / virtual particle calculations. Neutrinos do not carry charge. The reason that particle / virtual particle works is that the charge of the universe and the parity remain the same both before and after the virtual particle is emitted, as well as the fact that the particle and anti particle attract each other electrically. Neutrinos do neither - a neutrino and its anti-neutrino do not attract electrically, so no photon will be generated to carry the electric force between them.

Similarly, the neutrino and its anti-neutrino do not carry the same parity : neutrinos inherently have an extra component of angular momentum that no particle with mass has. For an electron or proton, measuring its angular momentum forwards in time will be the exact same value as measuring a positron or antiproton's angular momentum backwards in time. For a neutrino - this is not the case. Measuring the neutrino forwards in time will give you something like 1+i; measuring the antineutrino backwards in time will give you 1-i. Adding the two will give you (1+i) + (1-i) = 2 , so the universe has spontaneously gained angular momentum forwards in time without expending any torque - which violates physics. This is why we don't observe a photon forming a neutrino and antineutrino spontaneously.

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 Post subject: Re: [wankage] Free enregy from neutrino's ? PostPosted: 2010-10-29 11:36am
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Okay. Thank you for your answer.

So, to clarify...
- Even if the system could have been practical (which it can't be), at 100% efficiency its energetic potential would have been approximately the same as the one of a modern solar panel. At less than 100% efficiency, it would have been worst.
- To allow the harnessing of KE, the receptor would have had to be formed of very light particles, maybe neutrino themselves, closely held together to maximize the chance of a neutrino colliding with it. The physical probability of such a material existing approach the IQ of Paris Hilton divided by the size of the Universe measured in femto-meters.

Two quick questions, before I consider the OP answered :

- How much far from normal would have the neutrino bombardment to be in order to boil water ('2012' reference inside... Just that opening was dumb because if it boils water in a tanks, it has also to boil water into You !) ? Or at least so that we would see the water faintly illuminated by Cherenkov radiation, like in a nuclear reactor ?
- About the mean of communication stuff, just to know... is there a practical way of generating high energy neutrino pulses than to initiate a nuclear device or to blow a star supernovae style ?




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 Post subject: Re: [wankage] Free enregy from neutrino's ? PostPosted: 2010-10-29 04:02pm
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As a side note, I think that the "deep radar" from Larry Niven's Known Space series is basically neutrino radar.



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 Post subject: Re: [wankage] Free enregy from neutrino's ? PostPosted: 2010-10-29 05:03pm
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Rabid wrote:
@ 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.



I'm not saying that they have to be deep underground. I'm just saying that they function like solar panels that you don't have to put on your roof (where stuff can fall on them). If you can make a neutrino harvester thing the size of a refrigerator then you can put it wherever you want like in your laundry room or basement or wherever. The basement would be nice because its a secure place and out of sight. I mentioned the government buildings because some of them are dug in deep for defense purposes and if you can put in the neutrino equivalent of solar panels in your elaborate underground base then that sounds like a good deal. Geothermal energy would be good as well in some cases but I thin the point is that a neutrino harvester can be set up anywhere that geothermal could be used. You could set up a geothermal plant somewhere and then buy neutrino harvesters for additional energy depending on how effective each would be.



Fry: No! They did it! They blew it up! And then the apes blew up their society too. How could this happen? And then the birds took over and ruined their society. And then the cows. And then... I don't know, is that a slug, maybe? Noooo!

Futurama: The Late Philip J. Fry

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 Post subject: Re: [wankage] Free enregy from neutrino's ? PostPosted: 2010-10-30 10:05am
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@ Rabid:

A supernova type event about the Sun's distance from Earth would definitely illuminate a tank with Cherenkov radiation.

In our physics, we can get neutrinos from certain types of radioactive decay ( beta decay), from isotopes of heavy elements (barium, polonium etc). Some of these isotopes occur naturally.

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