The Science & Technology Thread

I didn’t see a comparable thread, so decided to start one here.



Is this something that would be expected to potentially get use for “normal” war/conflict or mostly just to be known that it exists as a fancy nuclear deterrent?

But ironically doesn’t replace the B-52

You think they’ll ever make new B-52 airframes or some next generation non stealth subsonic bomber? Kind of what they’re doing with the F-15EX? I wonder how much more capable a clean sheet version of the B-52 role would be compared to the current ones in service.

Curious why a new fighter “arsenal plane” is needed in the F-15EX, but they can keep B-52s flying forever. Similar concepts, right? Operating either in uncontested regions with total air dominance, or as standoff missile trucks against a peer air force. Air to air missiles for the F-15EX, and cruise missiles for the B-52. So why the new fourth gen fighters but no new subsonic non-stealth bombers?

Ah, that makes sense, no export market for new B-52 type airframes.

1 Like


1 Like

net energy gain



You want fusion power? Just build a giant weight that you raise to the top of some sort of elevator and generate power as it falls to the ground. How do you get the weight to the top of the elevator? Detonate a hydrogen bomb under it. Why won’t they ever try anything???

Pretty disappointed that I spent literally tens of seconds only to come up empty on finding the George clip about the moving walkways where he’s like THEY NEVER TRY ANYTHING!

1 Like

They did actually look into something sort of like that. Not my rube goldberg contraption idea but close.

The US govt was batshit insane back then. They also looked at blasting a second Panama Canal at the Darien Gap with nuclear bombs, and blasting out a deep water harbor in Alaska with nuclear bombs.

And nuclear bomb powered starships

Which is how you could actually use nukes to divert an asteroid on a collision course with Earth. Just build a spaceship like this and ram the asteroid with it

That’s essentially the inertial confinement process used at the NIF, except they use lasers rather than a fission bomb to implode a small capsule containing deuterium and tritium. One shot deal.

1 Like

net energy gain

I feel bad for being totally dismissive, so here is a link to Sabine Hossenfelder’s blog video with transcript. (The video was also linked by suzzer in the current LC thread and by me in the previous version.) I summarize her comments below but I highly recommend the video/transcript; it’s not that long.

The problem with the claims is that they are deceptive, perhaps intentionally so. The ordinary person’s interpretation of the story is that since we have passed break-even, we’re ready to scale up and… profit. That’s not close to the case.

The quantity in question is “Q”, the ratio of energy out to energy in. Q>1 implies better than break-even. But there are various points at which you can calculate Q. Q_plasma is the ratio of energy produced by the fusion reaction to the energy provided to the D-T target by the lasers. For the recent result, Q_plasma >1.

But this isn’t clear in the stories. And that’s relevent because what most people care about is Q_total. I.E., the ratio of total energy in to total energy out. The lasers are not close to 100% efficient. And you can’t convert the energy in the plasma products to a useful form (electricity) with near 100% efficiency either. The fact is, NIF is not close to Q_total>1. Never mind the numerous other practical difficulties of the process.

1 Like

But hey if we were serious about clean limitless power we’d have been building fission plants for the last forty years.


This breathless and lazy report was on the evening news. Unless tomorrow’s scheduled announcement is something really unexpected, this is some major bullshit.

Haven’t been following the fusion stuff but anxiously waiting for

US unlocks secrets of unlimited power: why this is bad news for Biden

He might be about to lean into this, which could be bad when nothing useful develops on a time scale people care about.

Guess he so old kinda a free roll unless people expecting this to power our homes next year

I’m having a flashback to the announcement of cold fusion from the reporting so maybe not old enough.

1 Like