|In the Works|
|Tomorrow’s Energy Sources | Nuclear Energy at Room Temperature | Heating the World’s Oceans with a Cup of Coffee | Tapping Universal Forces|
Most of the alternative energy sources found on this web site are available today as viable alternatives to fossil fuels. But on the horizon are even more clean and safe fuels and energy sources. Here are a few of the possible power sources we will be using in the near future…
With conventional nuclear energy, the elements involved have to be heated to very high temperatures. But cold fusion takes place at room temperature. Cold fusion uses deuterium, hydrogen with an extra neutron, or metal hydrides (metals with hydrogen). The invention of cold fusion occurred in 1989 when scientists Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann witnessed the dissolving of large quantities of deuterium being dissolved in palladium. The reaction had created large amounts of heat that could be used in the heating of a liquid to turn turbines. The scientific community is still awaiting tests that can be reproduced safely and predictably.
The basis of zero-point energy rests deep within the fundamentals of quantum physics. In classical physics, a vacuum is completely devoid of matter and energy. But in quantum physics vacuums are a whole other world of possibilities. Classical physics dictate that any object that oscillates such as a pendulum will continue to do so as long as an external force moves it to. But if there is no outside force, friction will eventually bring the pendulum to a stop. But quantum physics says that the pendulum is still vibrating about its point of rest. The small movement of an object due to gravitational or magnetic fields in a vacuum is called zero point energy.
This is all agreed upon, but what is still to be decided is how much energy ZPE contains, and can it be extracted. While Steven Weinberg believes that a vacuum the size of the Earth would have the same energy as a gallon of gasoline, John Wheeler believes there’s enough energy in a cup of coffee to evaporate all of the world’s oceans.
Since the days of Newton man has known that there are powerful forces acting on one- another. Gravity, electromagnetism and nuclear strong and weak forces are all acting on one another all the time. These tremendous forces could one day be tapped to create unlimited energy that can never run out. It is currently possible to power satellites and even some small loads on the ground using static friction accumulated on a wire. All of these forces are the holy grail of energy, they have no by-products, they can be found anywhere, and are unlimited.