The time rate of change of energy

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39
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8answers
14k views

What practical issues remain for the adoption of Thorium reactors?

From what I've read on thorium reactors, there's enormous benefit to them. Their fuel is abundant enough to power human civilization for centuries, their fission products are relatively short-lived, ...
23
votes
8answers
4k views

Why don't modern spacecraft use nuclear power?

The Voyager 1 & 2 spacecraft launched in 1977 with Plutonium as their source of electricity. 34 years later they claim these two spacecraft have enough power to last them until at least 2020. That ...
11
votes
2answers
190 views

Could a mirror array used for thermal solar power plant double as a telescope at night?

I was looking at the Ivanpah Solar facility and it occurred to me that the large array of mirrors could double as some sort of telescope array at night. The climate in the desert would be ideal for ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

why aren't there nuclear powered aircraft?

I know this might sound like more of an engineering question that about physics, and it probably is, but bear with me: i'm still not sure if the answer to my question lies in the physics or in the ...
9
votes
7answers
5k views

Why is a 1mW laser dangerous?

In our Physics lab we have a 1 milliwatt (0.001W) helium neon laser. Despite the low power, we were cautioned not to even look at reflections of the beam as it could cause permanent eye damage - why ...
9
votes
3answers
5k views

Why do power lines sag when they are heated up?

I was reading some information about the 2003 power blackout in the Northeastern US. Beginning early in the afternoon of August 14, 2003 big transmission lines began to fail in First Energy's ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

When driving uphill why can't I reach a velocity that I would have been able to maintain if I started with it?

Consider these two situations when driving on a long straight road uphill: Starting at a high velocity $v_h$, which the car is able to maintain. Starting at a lower velocity $v_l$, and then trying ...
6
votes
5answers
721 views

Difference between ways of transmitting power

There are two ways to transmit the same amount of power, 1 amp at 1 million volts or 1 million amps at 1 volt. Conceptually what is the difference? How can I think about it conceptually? I would ...
6
votes
1answer
399 views

Why does it take so long to make a nuclear bomb?

So as I know nuclear bombs are derived from fission reactions: By providing the nucleus with enough power to trigger a chain reaction. If uranium was present why does it take so much to make a nuclear ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Quantum Computing Power Advantages

Currently, the world's fastest supercomputer runs at 17.59 Petaflops, which consumes 9 megawatts of electricity. A qubit-based quantum computer has the potential to operate much more quickly for some ...
6
votes
2answers
958 views

Would the ionic wind power fence actually work?

Described here and in the references (patent, patent), the idea is to use a large fence as a grid electrode. Spray water droplets near a high voltage to charge them, and then the wind blows them ...
5
votes
2answers
287 views

How do you calculate power at the focal point of a mirror?

I'm a Mechanical Engineering student and I'm working on my senior project, so I need help. My project is about designing a solar dish having a diameter of 1.5 meters and a focal length of 60cm. so at ...
5
votes
1answer
362 views

What type of solar energy technology has the most future potential?

In terms of dollars per watt, using theoretical efficiency limits, what technology holds the most promise to become the primary solar energy capture technology? My hunch is carbon-based modules, ...
5
votes
2answers
586 views

Averaging decibels

Wikipedia: The decibel (dB) is a logarithmic unit that indicates the ratio of a physical quantity (usually power or intensity) relative to a specified or implied reference level. If I ...
5
votes
1answer
115 views

Poynting theorem and entering power

I refer to the time-domain version of the Poyinting theorem in electro-magnetism: $- \displaystyle \oint_S (\mathbf{E} \times \mathbf{H}) \cdot d\mathbf{S} - \int_V \mathbf{E} \cdot \mathbf{J}_i \ dV ...
5
votes
0answers
149 views

Saturn V F-1 engines and beyond

I read that the F-1 engine from the 1st stage of the Saturn V rocket is the most powerful engine ever created by mankind, delivering ~200 gigawatts of power. Thus, I have got two questions: Will ...
4
votes
4answers
262 views

Is a billion volt electrical transmission line possible?

Because $$ P_{\,\displaystyle\rm loss}=\frac{P^2R}{V^2} $$ in an electrical line where $R$ is the total resistance Why not use a $1$ billion volt line instead of a $800\,\rm kv$ line? Is there a ...
4
votes
5answers
434 views

Intuitively, Why is Power Proportional to $I^2R$

As the resistance of a circuit goes down, the power increases because the current increases, assuming constant voltage. Why is this? I feel like resistance and current are inversely proportional, so ...
4
votes
4answers
3k views

Do resistor-based fan regulators save no power at all?

I have heard that the traditional resistor-based fan speed regulators are inefficient. In fact, I have noticed that such regulators tend to get hot when the fan is set to low speed. However, does that ...
4
votes
2answers
140 views

Why isn't the product rule used in the definition of mechanical work?

Mechanical power is normally defined as $P = \mathrm{d}W/\mathrm{d}t$, and work is normally defined as $W = \vec F \cdot \vec x$. Today an undergrad pointed out a confusion he had from Griffiths' ...
4
votes
1answer
42 views

Have Sterling Engines Been Used In Outer Space?

I was reading about Stirling Generators having potential applications for power generation in outer space. Have Stirling engines ever been sent into space?
3
votes
10answers
2k views

Can a nuclear reactor meltdown be contained with molten lead?

If lead can absorb or block radiation, would it be possible to pump molten lead into a reactor core which is melting, so that it would eventually cool and contain the radiation? Is there something ...
3
votes
4answers
7k views

How does power consumption vary with the processor frequency in a typical computer?

I am looking for an estimate on the relationship between the rate of increase of power usage as the frequency of the processor is increased. Any references to findings on this would be helpful.
3
votes
2answers
428 views

What is a single word that describes the idea of the second time derivative of energy?

I think about position, its time derivative speed, and its second time derivative, acceleration. I would like to identify a single word that can be used as a handle for the second time derivative of ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What is the luminosity per square meter hitting the Earth's surface from the Sun?

So I know that the Sun's luminosity is $3.839 \cdot 10^{26}$. What I want is the luminosity per square meter at the Earth's surface. So this is what I have got so far: I know the distance to the ...
3
votes
1answer
145 views

Why is there no upper-bound on power-efficiency of Hydro-turbines?

We have Betz's law, an upper bound on power efficiency, for wind-turbines. But there is no theoretical upper limit on hydro-turbines, Why this is so? Is it mainly due to the incompressibility of ...
3
votes
4answers
5k views

What is the relationship and difference between BHP and Torque?

I've recently been looking into performance figures for various auto mobiles, and I see the terms BHP and Torque used quite often, but I can't say I really understand the terms, or how they relate to ...
3
votes
2answers
267 views

What does Power really mean?

I've been trying to solve a problem for some time. I have been given conflicting information by both literature, colleagues and people on this very forum. It's a very simple question: What is the ...
3
votes
1answer
230 views

Lifetime of battery

If I directly connect two terminals of 3V battery (negative to positive) using copper wire, would it lose all its charge faster compared to another 3V battery that is used to lighten a 1.5V bulb?
3
votes
1answer
252 views

How much power can be drawn from stray electromagnetism in the atmosphere?

I know this probably varies quite a bit from place to place on earth. But just some rough estimates: if I were to pull power via multiple antennae tuned to a variety of different frequencies, how much ...
3
votes
2answers
1k views

Is it possible to get energy from electrical wire using induction?

Pardon me if this is a stupid question but my physics courses are from a long long time ago and I was a teenager back then. ;) Electricity in a wire generates electromagnetism, right? Would it be ...
3
votes
1answer
9k views

Is there any significance to 1.21 GW?

In connection with a related question on Science Fiction & Fantasy Stack Exchange page: does this number 1.21 GW make any sense? What is 1.21 GWatts? With what can you compare it? Can the ...
3
votes
3answers
870 views

Would a thinner atmosphere (such as high altitude) yield better solar panel energy generation?

I am curious. If you were to put a solar panel up in high altitude or on the surface of the moon, both of which have much less atmosphere to reflect/refract light, would that solar panel produce more ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

Can a solar thermal collector designed for use in homes ever power a stirling engine designed for use in homes?

Can a solar thermal collector common on private roofs today designed for collecting heat for the household ever collect enough heat to power a stirling engine of say this model: ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Loss of Power at high frequencies

One of my work colleagues told me that a cable he is sending a signal through is losing power at high frequencies. So he recommends the signal should be amplified before being sent. The explanation ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Counter rotating propellers: better in same column or staggered?

In an octo-copter design, is it better to put four pairs of counter-rotating props over each other so that each pair works in a column together? Or will you get more power or efficiency from ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Calculating displacement amplitude of ultrasonic power transducer

I am not a physicist, but my current project drives me to some physics-related computations, hence seeking help. I have some ultrasonic transducers, 5938D-25LBPZT, for which very limited information ...
3
votes
2answers
207 views

Inefficiency Comparison of Car Air Conditioning vs. Open Windows

On a recent long, hot journey in Spain, I was pondering which was the most efficient way of cooling the car. Which of these would be the most effective? Switching on the air conditioning, thereby ...
3
votes
1answer
127 views

What are some ways that humans could have influence over what sequence a star was in?

How would a society go about either preventing our sun in its primary sequence from going into a Red Giant a billion years from now? Or perhaps, accelerating the process of going from main sequence ...
3
votes
2answers
97 views

Optimal speed for the water wheel

The hydroelectricity plants extract the potential energy of highly deployed massive object (water) as it falls down. Without turbine, all that energy would be converted into speed (kinetic energy) at ...
3
votes
2answers
894 views

Why do people with bigger hands/wrists have bigger torque advantages in arm wrestling?

I have arm wrestled people with less strength than me who win simply because they have thicker wrists, or larger hands. It has nary to do with having better technique either, because their wrist size ...
2
votes
3answers
110 views

Will my car consume more if I plug in my laptop?

I drive a Volvo v40 with a 110hp diesel engine. It usually use 4.6L/100km. If I plug my laptop which is 85W, will this change the fuel need? If so, by how much?
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Harvesting electricity in the air from power lines:

Recently I came across this quote on the internet, about a person who apparently set up devices to extract electricity from the "air", on his own property: I read an article a couple of years ago ...
2
votes
3answers
443 views

Nuclear physics problem, Why do we use high weight atomic elements?

So as far as I know, nuclear fission uses high weight atomic elements to manufacture power. If the risk of runaway reactions are a major reason for not expanding this technology, why don't we use ...
2
votes
2answers
378 views

Lorentz engine to run a car?

Could a Lorentz engine (like the ones that move the write head inside of hardrives) be used to run car ? Would it be possable to get it producing 60hp, and a decent amount of tourque, if so how large ...
2
votes
4answers
428 views

Should we forget fusion and focus on geothermal power? [closed]

Firstly I can say that I would love us to come up with a sustainable fusion solution. However with the latest estimates being 2050 at the earliest for an effective fusion solution and the planets ...
2
votes
2answers
112 views

Power to suspend a mass in air

How much power is needed to suspend a mass in the air? The four parts below deal with the same problem. I post them all here, should there be some subtle things I didn't see. The textbook problem A ...
2
votes
6answers
1k views

Confused about unit of kilowatt hours

So I am a little confused on how to deal with the Kilowatt hours unit of power, I have only ever used Kilowatts and I have to design a residential fuel cell used as a backup generator for one day. ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

Boiling water reactor

What are the typical power densities in conventional boiling water nuclear reactor per cubic centimeter of fission material?
2
votes
2answers
60 views

Why are large batteries described by their power?

Reading about renewable energy sources, I came across the idea to use huge batteries as a temporary storage to be able to deal with the fluctuations that e.g. solar panels might produce. The most ...