[ExI] The L5 Society ( was: EP and Peak oil.)

John K Clark jonkc at att.net
Fri Apr 11 17:17:14 UTC 2008

"hkhenson" <hkhenson at rogers.com>

> All three of these sites also express the breakdown strength
> as 5 x 10 exp  7/meter in the next column.

Yes, for the second time in a week I have to admit that you're right and I'm
wrong. It's obvious (well, it's obvious now) that these websites were not
independent and were just copying each others error. Serves me right for
taking a remarkable claim posted to a website seriously, something I've
accused others of doing and then I go and do it myself.

Oh well, I'm not giving up, there must be a way for a power line to pass
through those critical 50 miles or so; Perhaps Silica aerogel would work,
it's supposed to be a pretty good electrical insulator but I couldn't find a
number so I don't know how good, but even if it's no better than air at sea
level it might do the job because it's the lightest solid known; in a vacuum
(it's 99.8% empty space) it weighs just  1 mg/cm^3, sea level air is about
1.2 mg/cm^3.

Or maybe you should just separate the conductors from the standard one
meter to 100 meters, or even a thousand for that short interval, or step
down the voltage. I refuse to believe the ionosphere is impenetrable.

It's not really related (probably not anyway) but in the April 3 2008 Nature
researchers announced they have discovered the opposite of a
superconductor, they found a perfect insulator. It doesn't mean it has an
infinite breakdown voltage but just as a superconductor can carry an
electric current forever this new super insulator can carry an electric
charge forever. The discoverers (Argonne, Novovsibirsk, Regensburg
and Bochum) think that someday superinsulators could have practical 

> the early design estimates of the weight of the finished product usually
> proves to be far too optimistic

> Do you have a cite for this statement?

Nope, nor do I think I need one. I think some things are in the category of
"generally recognized as true", things like the conservation of energy or
momentum or the optimistic spin promoters give their projects. In a few
very rare instances something in this category may turn out to be false,
but it is your job to prove it false not mine to prove it true.

  John K Clark

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