[extropy-chat] Fusion Power: Linchpin Technology?

Eugen Leitl eugen at leitl.org
Fri Jan 19 15:22:14 UTC 2007

On Fri, Jan 19, 2007 at 09:03:38AM -0600, Jay Dugger wrote:

> > In general, the fusion problem has been solved gigayears
> > ago. It's called a star. What is needed is designing an
> > antenna cheap enough -- preferrably, one that's autoinstalling,
> > like trees.
> >
> Trees have many advantages, but not power density. You can build

Mine were metaphorical trees only, of course. I was hinting
about the solid-state equivalent of orbital water hyacinth,
which can grow optically dense in the course of months/years
from already orbiting circumstellar material.

Of course, a PV plant begetting PV plants is a pretty good
terrestrial equivalent.

> spaceships with trees, but only the paper kind.

Your bottleneck is what doesn't vaporize your antenna.
A star-sized maser driving a gray sail probe is the
most efficient convenient propulsion system imaginable.
It leaves the drive at home, reaction mass included.
It's about the only way for interstellar and intergalactic
relativistic travel. Even if they would work, fusion
drives eat too much reaction mass.

Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a> http://leitl.org
ICBM: 48.07100, 11.36820            http://www.ativel.com
8B29F6BE: 099D 78BA 2FD3 B014 B08A  7779 75B0 2443 8B29 F6BE
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