[extropy-chat] Re: Pre-singularity economics (was: MARS: Because it is hard)

Chris Phoenix cphoenix at CRNano.org
Fri Apr 16 16:44:35 UTC 2004

Dan Clemmensen wrote:
 > Nanotech is the design of a system with atomic-scale precision. It is not
 > restricted to designing small devices: witness your aircraft carrier.
 > Nanotech permits us to build extremely precise beam colliders with
 > which we can collide protons or deuterons, or alpha particles with
 > near-perfect efficiency.

I calculated once that Heisenberg uncertainty would prevent us from 
colliding beams with any reasonable efficiency.  I think I posted it on 
sci.nanotech, but neither Google nor discuss.foresight.org seem to have 
it archived.

Anyway, the calculation went like this:

Assume that 1 nm away from the collision, you have minimized the error 
in position and velocity as much as Heisenberg will allow.

Then calculate how much the beam will diverge in the next nanometer. 
(You have to plug in the speed of the beam.)

Then calculate the ratio of the cross section of the beam to the nuclear 
cross section for fusion.

That should tell you what percent of particles will fuse.

All other particles will be deflected randomly, making it very hard to 
recover their acceleration energy.

I think the answer was something like 1 in 10,000 attempted collisions 
will actually fuse.


Chris Phoenix                                  cphoenix at CRNano.org
Director of Research
Center for Responsible Nanotechnology          http://CRNano.org

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