Joining The Herd Of Lemmings
I’ve had cause to consider a few things. Maybe we’re going about it the wrong way, and we need to ditch Trump
Trump all the way! Why? Because being hated by the people who hate him is a sign of impeccable character, that’s why.
The haters can go fuck themselves with rusty twelve gauge bore brushes. I’d prefer ten gauge but that’s kind of scarce, so…I’m willing to compromise.
The RINO’s Dilemma
The RINOs who who have burrowed in and taken over most GOP organizations, from the state down to local organizations, have quite a dilemma on their hands, and most of them have their heads too far up their asses to realize it.
OK, I’m not talking about the liberal in a Republican area, who knows they’re in the wrong party, but is there because it’s the only game in their town; they hope to capture a nomination someday, at which point they’re guaranteed to be elected…otherwise, they never will be. These people are a hazard in any heavily conservative area.
No, I’m talking about the guys who are a little bit conservative and want to do some good by going into politics, and they’re in a closely matched area, closely enough that they can join the party they are most aligned with and still have a chance. They think the Democrats…particularly the ones who end up running for office…are nuts.
They don’t think much better of the Deplorable types, either. A bunch of bumpkins whose hearts are in the right place, mostly…OK a bit extreme. But they think Deplorables can’t understand that first you have to get elected, then work within the system to change things…a slow process. They genuinely want many of the things Deplorables want…just not as much. The government is spending too much. Or they need to spend money on highways instead of welfare for illegal immigrants. But they want to work within the system to get these things done.
Or maybe they think things are pretty close to ideal right now, and they want to nail it in place.
The problem is, that means they don’t stand for anything in particular. And it shows. They’re about as unappetizing to the electorate as a puddle of dog vomit. The folks in the middle, who they think they are appealing to because they themselves are not extreme, would honestly prefer a clear-spoken radical to someone who qualifies everything they say to the point where they sound like they don’t believe anything at all.
The problem these “Mild RINOs” have, is they just can’t see that. And the reason they just can’t see that, is their entire sense of self-worth is tied up in not seeing that. In their minds, they’ve worked tirelessly for their party, to keep those crazy Democrats out…only to have to constantly fight with a small number of crazy Republicans–who are only liabilities if they end up as candidates. They’ve fought the good fight, and if they can just find the right candidate, someone with some charisma, they might stop the crazies…without being too beholden to the OTHER crazies. In the meantime it’s not working. What’s a responsible guy in politics to do?
They simply cannot understand that the Republicans can’t succeed as the party of nothing in particular. Not really in the past, and certainly not today when people are starting to realize that no matter what they do in the voting booth, the country is still about to fly off a precipice. If they did see it, they’d suddenly have two choices: Go away and let the GOP succeed, or stay and fight. But “go away” isn’t really an option, because what’s the point of having a party now owned by the crazies, win?
Well, they have a dilemma…and WE, therefore have a problem. And we would have that problem even IF they realized that they had a problem…that they were the problem.
No one ever thinks they are the bad guy. Even Epstein probably thought he was the good guy. Right up to the moment where he didn’t kill himself.
So if you ever wonder why these unappetizing dufuses cling on even when their fingernails are being left behind…that’s why. They don’t understand no one wants them, and can’t imagine that no one should want them. And oftentimes their greatest pride is in all the hard work they’ve done for the party. They’re not going to give that up; it’d be psychological suicide.
If you’ve worked with these people, there’s a good chance you like them and consider some of them your friends. But even if so…we’re going to have to give them a good, hard shove. Because America is more important than those milquetoasts’ egos.
Justice Must Be Done
The prior election must be acknowledged as fraudulent, and steps must be taken to prosecute the fraudsters and restore integrity to the system.
Nothing else matters at this point. Talking about trying again in 2022 or 2024 is hopeless otherwise. Which is not to say one must never talk about this, but rather that one must account for this in ones planning; if fixing the fraud is not part of the plan, you have no plan.
Lawyer Appeasement Section
OK now for the fine print.
This is the WQTH Daily Thread. You know the drill. There’s no Poltical correctness, but civility is a requirement. There are Important Guidelines, here, with an addendum on 20191110.
We have a new board – called The U Tree – where people can take each other to the woodshed without fear of censorship or moderation.
And remember Wheatie’s Rules:
1. No food fights
2. No running with scissors.
3. If you bring snacks, bring enough for everyone.
4. Zeroth rule of gun safety: Don’t let the government get your guns.
5. Rule one of gun safety: The gun is always loaded.
5a. If you actually want the gun to be loaded, like because you’re checking out a bump in the night, then it’s empty.
6. Rule two of gun safety: Never point the gun at anything you’re not willing to destroy.
7. Rule three: Keep your finger off the trigger until ready to fire.
8. Rule the fourth: Be sure of your target and what is behind it.
(Hmm a few extras seem to have crept in.)
Spot (i.e., paper) Prices
This week, 3PM Mountain Time, markets have closed for the weekend.
Gold and silver are stable. The platinum group metals, though, are taking a beating. I don’t think I’ve seen rhodium this low in a long, long time, and palladium is actually less than gold!
I take that as a sign the economy is circling the drain…those PGMs are industrial metals in the main, platinum a bit less so, but then it also took less of a beating than the other two.
Fuck Joe B*d*n
Due to complaints about foul language, I’ve censored the most objectionable word in the title of this section.
B*d*n, you don’t even get ONE scoop of ice cream today.
(Please post this somewhere permanent, as it will continue to be true; the SOB will never deserve a scoop.)
There has been a fair amount of attention paid to the recent breakthrough in nuclear fusion. So it’s time for a bit of a review about nuclear fusion.
But there are some preliminaries…rather basic ones from a physicist’s point of view, not so from the point of view of many others.
Power vs. Energy
First off, the difference between power and energy. The physicist defines energy as the capacity to do work…and then defines work as motion against an opposing force. (Note: this is quite a bit different from the daily life definition; for example if you simply carry a 94 pound bag of cement across a level field, to a physicist you’re not doing work–okay, lifting the bag is work, but setting it down again cancels that out. To your muscles, you sure as heck are doing work.)
Energy is measured in joules in the SI (“metric system”); and lifting an apple a meter is about a joule of work. So is lifting two apples half a meter apiece. It’s work because you’re moving the apples upward against the force caused by the pull of gravity.
Power is not the same thing as energy. It’s actually how fast you expend energy. If you lift that apple one meter in one second, then pick up another apple and lift it up before two seconds (total) have elapsed, then pick up a third apple in the third second and so on, you’re using a joule of energy every second…and a joule of energy every second is a watt. Yes, that’s the same “watt” as you use for light bulbs; a 100W light bulb uses a hundred joules ever second. Watts are not actually a measure of brightness, but we’re used to a hundred watt bulb putting out a certain amount of light, so we tend to think of it that way. So much so that the compact fluorescent “spiral” bulbs and LEDs are marketed in watt-equivalents…they tell you that this particular bulb here puts out the same amount of light as a 100 watt bulb. (I get the impression that in Europe this is considerably overstated, but it seems closer to true here in the US.) The CF or LED bulb itself, however, uses a lot less than 100 watts of actual energy to produce that light, largely because an incandescent bulb literally generates more (waste) heat than light. (Note, if you look closer at the package you’ll probably also see “lumens” listed; that’s actually the measure of how much light the thing puts out. IIRC 1600 lumens is what an incandescent 100W bulb puts out, so that’s another way to compare.)
Another measure of power is the horsepower, which is not a metric unit. Now we tend to think of horsepower as being something mechanical like power tools and car engines, and then we think of watts as representing something electrical, but the fact is the two things measure the same actual thing: the rate of usage of energy. So you can convert between them: one horsepower equals 746 watts. (If you think about it this makes sense: your power drill generates a certain amount of horsepower…by using electrical energy at a certain rate. So they must be equivalent at a fundamental level.)
OK with that high school physics class level stuff reviewed, we’re ready to move on.
The Actors and Acts
The story of fusion has two main actors. They are the proton and the neutron. They are the two things you will find in an atomic nucleus. Supporting actors are the electron and neutrino, but you can (for the most part) ignore them in this context.
Protons and neutrons are about the same mass…the neutron is just a little bit more massive. But they are small. It takes roughly 600 sextillion protons (or neutrons) to weigh just one gram. (600 sextillion = 600,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.) In terms of actual size, protons and neutrons are 0.84 femtometers in radius–1.68 femtometers across, and that’s 0.000 000 000 000 001 680 meters. Tiny little buggers!
Everything these actors do is according to one of four fundamental forces. The one you’re most familiar with as a force is gravity. The next one is electromagnetism, which manifests itself most plainly as magnets sticking to iron or steel, static electric “zaps” and your sheets sticking together after a run through the dryer. But it also is tied with light…and chemistry. Basically, in your daily life everything that happens that isn’t because of gravity is because of electromagnetism. Well, until you dig down to the nuclear level, which we are actually going to do today. The remaining two forces then come into play and are imaginatively named the strong nuclear force and the weak nuclear force. The strong nuclear force is the main player for fusion, but the other three all have a role.
The strong nuclear force is directly manifested between quarks…what are quarks? That proton and neutron are themselves made of quarks, and the strong force keeps the quarks glued together. Without it, no protons, no neutrons…nothing we know today could possibly exist. There’s also a residual side-effect of the strong force, which holds protons and neutrons to each other.
The weak force is the only one that can turn one type of quark into another; we see it as radioactive decay. At the level we’re interested in today, because it can change one type of quark to another, and protons and neutrons are made up of quarks, it can turn protons into neutrons, and neutrons into protons. That’s going to be important.
Comparing these: Gravity is extremely weak. A nuclear physicist simply never cares about it, because compared to the others its effect is very small. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be important to us today; it plays a critical role in fusion that happens in nature. Gravity may be weak, but it is always an attractive force and its range is infinite. It weakens with distance but never drops to zero. Because of this it’s sort of like the tortoise that raced the hare–it wins in the end.
Electromagnetism for our purposes today can be thought of as electrical charges, those come in two types…opposite each other, and one kind was labeled “positive” and the other “negative” because there’s a pretty good analogy between electrical charge and positive and negative numbers. It’s much stronger than gravity…think about how an itty bitty magnet can pull on a nail harder than the great, big Earth…but because there are equal amounts of positive and negative charges out there, they tend to cancel each other out at distances…so even though in theory the force goes out forever just like gravity does, it’s effectively self-canceling at distances.
The Strong nuclear force is the strongest of the bunch…it had better be. But it is very, very short range…it’s good for about one femtometer, which is slightly greater than the radius of a proton or neutron, so it can bind one proton or neutron to the next, but fades to zero after that. It’s generally attractive, but it works like velcro. A proton or neutron has to be practically in physical contact with a neutron or another proton before the force takes effect.
The weak nuclear force is a bit weaker than electromagnetism and its range is much less than the size of a proton or neutron; about 1/1000th of the range of the strong force. What it does therefore happens entirely inside these particles, but as I said before, it’s critical nonetheless.
In our normal every day lives, protons, neutrons and electrons form atoms. The atom has a very tiny nucleus, where protons and neutrons “live”, and are surrounded by electrons essentially orbiting the nucleus. The protons have a positive electric charge, one “unit” each (the unit is a small number of coulombs, and I’m not going to define the coulomb…just think of it as +1 electric charge). The electrons have a negative charge, -1. So the electrons will be attracted to the protons, and vice versa, and will want to stick together. Those electrons will interact with the electrons of other atoms…that’s chemistry. And that’s why electromagnetism is behind chemistry.
But the protons in the nucleus (if it has more than one in it) should be repelling each other. In fact they do. Even though +1 unit is a very, very small amount of electrical charge, the protons are so close together that you could actually feel the force pushing them apart. The reason they stick together is the strong nuclear force.
Focusing on Nucleons
Protons and neutrons both seem to have the same size and mass…very close but not quite the same. The neutron is slightly heavier. In fact, since both of them live in nuclei and are so similar, they are sometimes lumped together and called “nucleons.” They are both subject to the strong nuclear force. The key difference is the proton has that +1 electric charge. The neutron has no net charge at all. (The quarks inside a neutron do, but you have to get really close to the neutron to see any effect from them.)
It’s the number of protons in a nucleus that determines which element it is a nucleus of. If it has six protons, it’s a carbon nucleus. The number of neutrons doesn’t matter for this at all. But add a proton, and you have nitrogen (7). If one of the neutrons ups and changes to a proton, it’s now nitrogen. And this does happen to carbon-14.
Wait! I just said carbon was 6, but then I talked about carbon-14. Well, I said the number of neutrons doesn’t matter for that, but it does matter for other things, Carbon-14 has six protons and eight neutrons in its nucleus, for a total number of nucleons of 14. These differing nucleon counts, that are nevertheless the same element because the proton count is the same, are called isotopes. Carbon-14 happens to be unstable; the weak nuclear force will eventually change one of the quarks in one of the neutrons, making that neutron into a proton, and now you have nitrogen 14.
Isotopes usually don’t make much difference to chemists (usually), but they’re overwhelmingly important in nuclear physics.
For nuclear fusion, specifically, we’re concerned with five different isotopes of nuclei.
The basic hydrogen nucleus is dead simple…it’s just one proton, no neutrons. Hydrogen-1. When you consider it as a complete atom (including the electron), nuclear physicists call this “protium” to distinguish it from…
The heavy hydrogen nucleus, which has the one mandatory proton, but also contains a neutron. Because there’s two nucleons in this thing, it got a special name, from deutero (two), and it’s a deuteron. When thought of as a whole atom (including electrons), it’s deuterium.
That’s actually pretty tidy: proton is to protium as deuteron is to deuterium.
Usually two different isotopes of the same element are almost identical chemically. Any slight difference is due to the different weights, a heavier isotope will react a bit more slugglishly than a lighter one. In the case of hydrogen, though, the weight difference is double and that has a noticeable effect on chemistry, so chemists actually do have to care about this difference. It can even effect water made from those atoms. If you’ve ever heard of heavy water, that’s just water made from deuterium instead of protium.
Of all the hydrogen out there, 156 atoms of every million are actually deuterium, not protium. So in every day life you can just ignore deuterium. But in fusion, the distinction is a big deal.
Both protium and deuterium are stable–they don’t decay radioactively into something else. But that’s not true of our next isotope, tritium, which is a hydrogen isotope with two neutrons. (And true to our scheme, the nucleus is sometimes called a triton.) On average after about 12 years, one of those neutrons will flip to a proton (just like with carbon-14) and you get:
A helium atom, with two protons (by definition of helium) and one neutron. This is helium 3 and on earth it is extremely rare. (It is less rare in stars.) There’s no “special” name for helium-3; you have to call it helium-3. It’s stable.
And the last of our five isotopes is helium-4, two protons, two neutrons. Almost all helium on earth is helium-4, and it came from the radioactive decay of very large nuclei. But in the stars, the story is very different. Helium 4 is not only stable, it’s extremely stable. So much so that every hydrogen nucleus out there aspires to become part of a helium-4 nucleus.
However, if you’re disappointed at the lack of pictures of helium-3 and helium-4 nuclei, well, I’ll make that up to you below.
Finally: Nuclear Fusion
So now, finally, I can tell you what nuclear fusion is. Nuclear fusion is the process of combining two atomic nuclei together to make a larger atomic nucleus; when the nuclei are small (for nuclei) doing this releases energy. A lot of energy. That’s generic, it could describe any two nuclei becoming some third nucleus.
But what almost everyone means, specifically, when they say “nuclear fusion” is the process of combining four hydrogen-1 nuclei into one helium-4 nucleus.
In our universe this is a very common process. It powers most stars, including our sun. Some stars have run out of hydrogen and are fusing helium into heavier things. We’re going to ignore that and focus on the stars still burning hydrogen; astronomers call those “main sequence” stars and stars spend most of their lifetimes as “main sequence” stars. Our sun has been a main sequence star for about four and a half billion years, and it will probably remain a main sequence star for another five billion years.
What does it take to fuse nuclei? It isn’t easy. Remember that protons repel each other quite strongly electrically, unless you’re within strong nuclear force range. I compared the strong nuclear force to velcro. Well the electrical part of the repulsion is called the “coulomb barrier” and it’s like trying to force two magnets together when it’s both north or south poles and the magnets are repelling each other. So think: very strong magnets, with velcro on them. If you can manage to force them together, they’ll stick. If you can manage to force them together.
This applies to any nuclei, but here we’re interested in the simple case, two bare protons that some guy is trying to get to stick together. The best strategy is to fire one at high speed towards the other. The repulsion, hopefully, won’t be able to slow the incoming proton enough and it will get close enough for the strong nuclear “velcro” to engage.
And how do you do that, wholesale? You heat hydrogen gas up. A lot. Temperature, after all, is just the average kinetic energy of the atoms in a substance; the higher the temperature, the faster the atoms are moving. At only a few thousand degrees, the electrons are bumped off the atoms, and they become bare nuclei–in the case of protium, they’re just bare protons. This is actually considered a fourth phase of matter. We have solid, liquid, gas, and this: plasma. Now you just have to make it so hot, they slam into each other in spite of the huge electrical force pushing them apart. We’re talking millions of degrees here.
Natural Fusion in Stars
This is how a star functions. A star spends its whole life fighting the force of gravity. It’s a big ball of gas, and gravity is trying to compress it under its own weight. Gas is compressible, so gravity can do this. Up to a point. As the gas compresses, its temperature goes up, as the temperature goes up the pressure increases, so the star reaches a point where the heat on the inside balances the gravity on the outside and its size stabilizes.
That won’t work for long, of course, because the star will eventually cool off and the pressure drops, so gravity can begin to shrink it again. Without any new energy inside the star, it will just keep collapsing.
But fusion actually provides that energy. If a star starts “burning” its hydrogen by fusing it to helium, the energy released can balance the energy lost from the star trying to cool off, and it’s stable.
A star doesn’t have to fuse a lot of hydrogen all at once–fusion supplies a lot of energy. So even a little bit of fusion is enough to keep the sun from collapsing…and it can nurse its fuel supply and not run out for billions of years. A larger star, on the other hand has more gravity trying to crush it, and needs more fusion to counteract it. But there’s a built-in control valve: The more pressure and temperature, the more fusion. So the large star just gets hotter on the inside until the amount of fusion going on counterbalances gravity. It ends up having to rip through its fuel a lot faster than a small star, but it does do so as long as it can. In the meantime it’s a negative feedback system, so it’s stable. If something were to cause the star to generate excess heat in the core, it would just expand a bit until things were back in balance again, similarly if the star were to shrink for some unknown reason: the extra heat generated would make it expand again.
Very stable, and it’s a good thing because we are utterly dependent on it being stable. (Our sun varies some, but it doesn’t go way out of bounds.)
The interior of a star consists of about 75 percent hydrogen…protium, not deuterium, and 25 percent helium-4 by weight. (That’s what the universe originally consisted of. Everything else has been made since the universe begin, and is just a trace.) And the electrons have been stripped off these atoms and will have very little effect on what’s going on. So the interior of a star is bare protons and bare helium-4 nuclei, for the most part.
Fusion inside a star usually follows the route I’m about to describe, which is called the proton-proton chain. 1) Two protons get fused together. 2) The resulting two proton combo, called a diproton, is extremely unstable, and will just fall apart again–unless one of those protons happens to turn into a neutron at that exact time. The result is a deuteron. 3) Another proton gets added to the deuteron to make helium 3. 4) two helium 3 nuclei get smashed together. The result is helium-4, and two extra protons, that can then go off and try to repeat the process.
And a lot of energy is generated. In fact, for every helium-4 nucleus made, 26.73 million electron volts of energy are generated. What the heck is an electron volt? It’s a unit of energy, sized to be convenient to nuclear physicists. (This is not a rabbit hole we want to dive down; I covered it in my physics series.) Converting it to joules, we get 0.0000000000042768 joules.
Now that sounds like a millionth of a mouse fart. But remember, there are 600 sextillion protons in one gram of hydrogen gas. That’s enough to make 150 sextillion helium 4 atoms, so if we were to fuse all of the hydrogen in a gram of hydrogen, we’d have 641 billion joules of energy come out.
One kilowatt hour from your electric company is a thousand watts for one hour, or 3,600 seconds; power times time = energy so that’s 3,600,000 joules. So this one gram of hydrogen has produced 178,200 kilowatt hours of energy…that’s many many years of your electrical usage…again, from one gram of hydrogen! Which is less than half a cubic foot of the stuff. Or, it’s the amount of hydrogen in nine grams of water, which is roughly two teaspoons.
Two teaspoons of water, producing 178,200 kilowatthours of energy! Do you begin to understand why we are trying so hard to do this?
The Fly in the Ointment
There is a big problem though. That first reaction, getting two protons to get together into a deuteron…is almost impossible even at the center of the sun. Almost impossible. Even bouncing around at that temperature, and under that pressure, on average a proton will have to wait nine billion years for it to happen. Why is this so slow? Because it relies on the weak nuclear force to happen…that proton must turn into a neutron at exactly the right time, otherwise, effectively you just get protons bounding off each other, since the diproton falls apart immediately. And the weak force isn’t just weak, it’s slow.
The good news is once we do that the other steps are quick, because they only require the strong force…but we still have to get that first step out of the way.
(The other good news is that because it’s so slow, our sun lasts a long time rather than ripping through the fuel like it was gasoline-soaked pine needles dropped on a roaring fire.)
If we were to recreate the core of the sun in a fusion reactor, and put a bunch of hydrogen-1 in, it would take a long, long, long time to burn that hydrogen, and so our power output would be minimal. We’d get halfway through in 9 billion years, which means for every gram of hydrogen, we’d get 89,100 kilowatthours out…over the span of 9 billion years. Doing the math the power coming out of that plant is 314 femtowatts per gram of fuel. Or 0.000000000000314 watts.
OK, so that’s useless.
In bigger stars the temperatures and pressures are higher, so it won’t take as long under those circumstances. And maybe we could duplicate those conditions, and burn the hydrogen faster, but honestly even duplicating stars that burn fuel a thousand times faster than the sun, we’re getting nowhere. 314 picowatts/gram is still useless.
(You, sitting there reading this digesting your bacon breakfast, generate more power just maintaining your body temperature, than does an equivalent-mass part of the sun’s core. Yes, the sun’s core is hotter, but that’s pre-existing heat energy. In terms of new energy bacon works better than the sun’s core, per unit mass. But the sun’s core is so much bigger that it can power everything on Earth and the other planets with one billionth of the output and throw away the rest, sending it radiating out into the universe.) [edit: inserted this paragraph]
No, what we need to do is skip that first step entirely. In our reactors here on earth we need to start with deuterium. And helium 3. And even tritium. Then we will get most (but not all) of the energy out, but it’s well worth it, because we get it quickly enough–i.e., with high enough power–to be useful. [edit: rephrased this paragraph for clarity…as if any of this were clear.]
Our hydrogen bombs actually do this, rather than trying to fuse protium. And so do our fusion experiments. The good news is the step we skipped over only produces about 3 million (out of the 27 million) electron volts, so we will get nearly as much energy out starting from deuterium as we would have by starting with protium.
We also throw tritium into the mix, which means this is a slightly different sequence than the sun uses, because the last step in the sun is combining two helium-3s to make a helium-4 and two protons. But helium-3 is rare, and tritium actually requires a lower temperature to “ignite,” so we combine tritons and deuterons in ways that just don’t happen much inside the sun. But the end result is the same: helium-4 and energy.
But this is still hard to do. And that’s why we’ve been building big-ass labs with big-ass reactors trying to do it.
How We’re Doing It
There are two major approaches we’re following to try to get fusion to work. The first is the “Tokamak.” The idea is to ionize the deuterium and tritium, and put it inside a magnetic bottle so we can heat it up. (Nothing made of matter can be made into a container that will survive these temperatures.) We had problems with magnetic bottles leaking out the ends, so we started making them donut shaped, so they’d have no ends to leak out of. And so the tokamak–an acronym formed from the Russian for “Toroidal chamber with magnetic coils”–was born. (тороидальная камера с магнитными катушками: tokamak) [an alternate reading is “toroidal chamber with axial magnetic field: тороидальная камера с аксиальным магнитным полем.] (Luckily, t, o, k, a, and m look the same in Russian as they do in English.)
This is essentially the same idea as is being used by ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) in southern France. It is expected to be finished by 2025 and will be ten times the size of any previous tokamak…and who cares because we are accomplishing what it was intended to accomplish already using the other major method.
Inertial confinement is to put a small amount of deuterium and tritium gas in a certain place and instead of trying to restrain it with magnetic fields, simply heat it up so suddenly it doesn’t have a chance to escape before reaching ignition temperatures. This is what the National Ignition Facility in California does. It uses small hollow pellets called hohlraums filled with fusion fuel, a few milligrams apiece, and blasts them with super powerful lasers. The energy is delivered so suddenly the gas heats up before it has a chance to dissipate. Even the shell of the pellet participates by collapsing inward under the pressure from the lasers, increasing the pressure.
The goal of both methods is to get out of the fusion reaction more energy than it took to cause the reaction. If we can do that, we’re generating energy. Otherwise, we’re consuming it.
This latest report concerns the fact that, for the first time ever, more energy came out of the fusion than was delivered to the fuel by the lasers. 3.15 megajoules came out, with 2.05 megajoules going in, roughly a 50 percent gain. Up until now it has always been a loss; the best was only a 30 percent loss. (3.6 megajoules = 1 kilowatthour.) We’ve achieved what’s known as scientific breakeven.
The problem is those lasers are horrifically inefficient; it takes about 400 megajoules to produce those beams for one firing of the system. So if you look at the whole system, we’re using 400 MJ to generate 3 MJ…and that’s not a good deal. We’re still nowhere near overall breakeven. We need better lasers, or perhaps more energy coming out of the pellet.
So maybe ITER still has a chance.
We’ve got a long way to go, but at least, for the first time we’ve got the second half doing its job, producing energy. Without that, it doesn’t matter if the lasers don’t waste a single billionth of a joule, the system will never produce power. Now half of it does.
So it’s still going to be a while before you can run your house or car off of Mr. Fusion.
Obligatory PSAs and Reminders
China is Lower than Whale Shit
Remember Hong Kong!!!
Zhōngguò shì gè hùndàn !!!
China is asshoe !!!
China is in the White House
Since Wednesday, January 20 at Noon EST, the bought-and-paid for His Fraudulency Joseph Biden has been in the White House. It’s as good as having China in the Oval Office.
Joe Biden is Asshoe
China is in the White House, because Joe Biden is in the White House, and Joe Biden is identically equal to China. China is Asshoe. Therefore, Joe Biden is Asshoe.
But of course the much more important thing to realize:
Joe Biden Didn’t Win
Qiáo Bài dēng méi yíng !!!
Joe Biden didn’t win !!!
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Do note that ATT and Microsoft may block emails from us, because we’re terrible conspiracy theorists or something. Just post again using a different email and we’ll work something out.
On our status as terrible conspiracy theorists…don’t despair, eventually we’ll learn how to do the job and get it right.
We’re tryin’!!! 😂
NOTE: I ended up “kicking this out” manually by hitting the “update” button in the post editor.
Yeah, the “kicker outer” can end up operating as late as 15 minutes after the scheduled time – and – weirdly – seems to get in ruts where the kicking out is later, rather than earlier.
It runs off a lunar calendar.
I can respect that!
Cthulhu very carefully didn’t specify which moon the lunar calendar is based on.
I was thinking ChiCom, but perhaps more like LyCon! 🐺
Or more like:
(Hopefully fixed! -Wolf)
Seemingly random but with emergent patterns…. LIKE!!!
Would one of those be Triton which would be fitting given your post 😉
Alas no, that is a moon of Neptune.
You’re right though, it would fit.
even Half right is a huge score for me on a Steve post! ❤
Nor which universe the moon was in….
In a picture….
Y-free variant, colorized (January 6, 2019)
You are a very sick man, to inflict us with those harpies.
🐺 😜 🐺
WE BAD!!! 😉 🍻
Your graphics reminded me of one of the ultrasound pics our daughter shared w/ us last night, for grandbaby #2. It was a “spine” shot but the head was moving AND appeared to have a Wolf face! Puppy incoming 😉
Ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny?
Werewolves of London chorus?
That was quite interesting, TY 🙂
Yeah, something is weird here, because I am getting ALL your replies to me in the bell notifier.
Are you relying on email notifications at all? Your email notifications are all BOUNCED by your email provider, so I do everything I can to shut off extra email notifications to people. You can get them through your WordPress settings. You should definitely check there and make sure you’re getting non-email notifications for this new blog site (theqtree.com). That is part of making sure your bell notifier is working.
Gosh, Wolf I’m so behind on emails I haven’t looked in a couple months (much) but I thought I was still getting notice of comments & replies that way…Oh & I can’t access emails from This laptop for some reason…sigh…
Maybe I’ll re-start the computer & see if that helps.
Don’t sweat it if it’s just My problem, but if it’s happening to others it might indicate some type of further site issue?
No, don’t worry about emails, then, other than to shut them off, which you can do from your WordPress account!
I’m going to have to ask around to see who is having problems with the bell notifier and who is not.
So anybody at all is welcome to “chime in” here! 😆
I’ve seen Zero replies to me on either yesterday’s or today’s posts in the Bell. For yesterday at least one reply was from someone other than you Wolf. Also Butterfly, or maybe Aubergine, noticed that they’d not seen notifier replies to stuff they’d seen was directly responding to them on yesterday’s post, iirc.
Restarting the computer didn’t seem to change anything that I can tell either…
How about this one now? (Test post A.)
This comment never hit my Bell
Yup. Your notifier was not working at the time, so it’s lost in the past.
it’s not alone 🙂
Guess my email notifier is turned off, which is good by me.
Bell notifier spins. Been that way for months.
Work around is bell notifier via, Chiefio or Marica.
Green ball seems to do an accurate count. Early in each daily, the orange count is accurate. As the day wears on, it misses as many posts as it “counts”. Replies are what it commonly misses.
All no big deal by me.
Yes, the orange doesn’t see anything you did…especially through the notifier.
What is a bell notifier? 😜
Right side of back bar, if ya have one. I have two gizmos. One has my avatar, to its right, a bell.
That wuz a joke 🙃 🙃 🙃
And I was NOT notified of your comment!
Oh. Oohhh… Slow guy, thought he had a clue. 🙄 😂 😅
My “bell” looks like a text sign, and I haven’t gotten any notifications since Steve on 12-15. Have refreshed, rebooted, and turned off all of Malwarebytes protections for this site. also see Howdy, barkerjim.
Tech S L O W here.
Got rid of “howdy”, by logging out, turning PC off. Then start, log in…howdy gone.
Bell. Went to Brave. On the QTree tab. Turned off shield. Now bell notifier works.
Logging out and back in through WP worked for me!
Excellent! Good – that’s what I just suggested too late! LOL! 😆
Try logging out, and then logging back in while choosing the “Log in with WordPress” option. THAT is now key.
Noticed you’re talking about the bell – mine doesn’t work, hasn’t for awhile. Circle just spins slowly. I have to click my flag photo and check “my profile” – my replies are there.That always works, but I’m wondering if there’s something I haven’t done that caused the problem.
What browser are you using? If Brave or Firefox, we can fix it for sure.
Safari on an old MacBook. I could just switch to Brave?
Actually, Brave is SAFER than Safari on old MacBooks. Apple stops updating Safari after they stop supporting the hardware with new MacOS builds, but not Brave – it is still being updated for VERY old MacBooks.
That means Brave or Firefox have current security fixes, but Safari does not.
You could get Safari to work by allowing this site on it to read all cookies, or basically turning off shields (however that is done) for this site, but IMO your safest bet is to switch to Brave or Firefox, both of which work fantastically on old Macs.
Also very important that you sign in using “Log in with WordPress”. The other option (this site’s login) will no longer give you the toolbar with the bell notifier.
Yes. That turned out to be the only thing wrong with my setup.
Homer Simpson scream‼️😫
yukky female … mumble mumble mumbles …
This is a very good post, Steve! I am too tired to read it all tonight, so will have to finish in the morning. Good night and thank you!
It has been added to the sidebar…..
You probably also ought to add the second post on mountains where I talked about plate tectonics, too.
OK – added that second one AND the first one (as “Geography (and Politics) of Colorado”).
BECAUSE GEOGRAPHY IS SCIENCE, TOO!
(A friendly acquaintance of mine from high school, who was more of a language humanities guy, who as an undergrad became a cartographer, thereby gets his attaboy that he may never know about.)
Wow. I’ve gotten even fewer comments about this post than I usually get on a science post.
Could be that people were distracted by blog shenanigans….
Not sure what was up, but I think cthulhu may be right – lots of messing with browsers and settings.
I’ll talk about my results from the messing around later, after we get things re-settled.
But yeah – wondering where the comments went.
Well I’m back reading at 2:15am on Sunday & my green dot says 487 comments, which seems decent (to me) 🙂
But not regarding the science part of the post. That seemed to have fallen on blind eyes. And 487 is because of unusual browser kerfuffles.
You’re right, of course. If we close the browser conversations, I mean stop the drop downs, today’s replies would probably look pretty thin. Sorry for that for it is a good post & timely w/ what’s been happening in energy. By the way, I despise Granholm who is just a blond version of Witchmer. Probably sad that “9/11” didn’t happen on her watch so she could go down in history as an extreme genocidal psychopathic tyrant!!!
Oh, I love it! That’s great.
One of his better ones.
I agree. Amazing detail, effectively presented.
Let’s hope it gets a bounteous harvest off the Red Pill Tree.
This should be made poster-sized, and hung in every classroom in America!
Classroom and workplace break room, training room…
I’ve seen several headlines like this Daily Mail one that indicate the J6 committee will “urge the Justice Department to pursue at least three criminal charges against Donald Trump.” I have no doubt they will do this, and I imagine the DOJ will manufacture something, take things out of context, and indict him because they are desperate to stop him. I’m wondering if the new House can do anything to stop this.
Not if the thug RINOs currently ensconced at the Capitol pass Pee-lousy’s budget for all of next year [up to 9/30/23].
Good grief, these RINOs are wicked pieces of filth.
Remember when they used to do 13 appropriations bills. Hearings, and mark ups and all that Parliamentary crap. Now they just do the unreadable Omnibus bill where everyone, I mean everyone gets their piece of the pie. Takes no effort on their part. Just add for inflation, add some port here and there. Scream about it a bit to put on a show for the constituents but it will pass anyway.
And the best part of this for the uniparty is, it stays the same no matter who holds the gavel. System is broke, been broke, and it ain’t getting fixed.
I think if they do, they are unbelievably stupid. Americans love underdogs and martyrs. Just ask Rocky or Harry Stamper.
Put another way, fuck around and find out!
“All go, no quit, big nuts Harry Stamper!”
LMAO!!! Don’t FIB!!!
This post has been advertised on Twitter 2.0 – check it out!
Bari Weiss used access to Twitter / Elon Musk to get her new site going then criticizes him to get back into liberal/left cocktail circuit. Musk just called her out.
Painful truth!!! It’s hard to give up LEEBTARD FRENS for PAYNEFUL TRUTH.
But exposing them for the world to see is priceless.
They’re not friends. They’re REPORTERS. You’d be better off buying a king cobra as a pet.
Very public AND effective, Bitch Slapping Bari.
Guessing Bari’s been exited a bit.
If this guy is trying to deceive anyone for nefarious purposes, he has me COMPLETELY taken in. Hard to see his remarks as being scripted, or coming from a phony place. They are too precise, too prolific, and too funny.
I agree. He IS a genius, but he also seems very genuine.
My counselor told me the other day that I am a collector of “real” people in my life. This in response to my lament that I have such a small handful of “real life” friends (I was not speaking of all of you, whom I consider great friends, just at some distance).
Fake people set off my radar very fast, so fast that I often think I must be wrong, and so I discount the feeling. Then I get burned. This happened a lot with Trump’s choices for personnel. I would feel the red light flashing, but assume Trump must know better than me about people like Pompeo and Barr. Turns out I should have listened to myself.
Never fear about having few true friends you can trust. It’s the way of the world. I have – maybe – one such friend. Others come into and out of my life when I needed them. I’ve been stabbed in the back enough to be noticeably reserved when I meet new people until I can assess them.
Many friends for a season. Precious few for a lifetime.
Fake people set off my radar very fast, so fast that I often think I must be wrong, and so I discount the feeling. Then I get burned. This happened a lot with Trump’s choices for personnel. I would feel the red light flashing, but assume Trump must know better than me about people like Pompeo and Barr. Turns out I should have listened to myself.
I never had this quality until I hit about 40 years old, when I truly turned to the Lord and was born again. I asked for wisdom and discernment, the later of of which I had very little.
Go to the quiet place, ask and listen. Be patient. Then you will know in His time. It matters a great deal that you have lost fake friends and false understanding. That’s when you know without a doubt you are on the right path.
Thank you TB. Good advice.
Know EXACTLY what you mean!
Good intuition. Life is a good teacher. 🙂
Hi! I was wondering about you, and here you are.
LMAO!!! OMG, that’s hilarious!
What is so funny to me about these is, they could totally substitute Dr. Malone for the guy, and you’d almost never notice!
Oh…..I wish I was a YouTube posting nutjob!
That is what I’d really want to be.
‘Cause if I was a YouTube posting nutjob,
I could make this viddy play for me….
Still, things could be worse…..
Oscar Mayer has a fleet of six Wienermobiles.
glad the word “inch” got left out of your comment
“It’s a game of inches.”
— Howard Cosell
Yes it is!
So what if it was a footlong?
That would require bigger buns 🙂
So I have to say I really saw one of these a long time ago. I was on the Mountain herding sheep with my dad and one came down the highway. I was all giddy 😍 love the comment at the bottom.
He took a turn for the wurst.
Just still marveling that my stupid “I Love Trump” NFT is now over double what I paid for it.
Replaying this item from TheseTruths …..
Here were my comments…..
3 hours ago
The Hoft twins probably have the majority stake in the NFTs…
Wolf Moon J Dubs
8 minutes ago
The Hofts should have been among the multi-buyers.
The turnover on these things is outstanding. With enough in/out spending cash ($4500), you could literally get a free dinner with Trump plus first class tickets and spending cash, by simply buying 45 of the damn things and selling them, paying all the taxes, and STILL having some pocket cash when you get home.
And THAT is doing the calculation with ZERO of the HTF rarities. Score one or more of those, and you get some serious cash back.
5 minutes ago
It’s all “tulip mania”, but frankly almost all fiat money is, to some extent.
Being the originator of The Q Tree – $???
Attending Jan 6 for liberty – $???
Purchasing the Trump Card NFT – $99
Knowing you were one of only 44,000 people to get one – Priceless
LOL!!! Too true on all counts! 😂
Worth around $450 now!!!
You may well be a rich man!
Wow, nice ROI
Thank you Steve for that very informative post. I’m glad there’s not a test at the end though 🙂 Have a Blessed Day!
Oh yeah. I forgot that part.
What is the divergence of the magnetic field resulting from the magnetron in your microwave oven?
I suspect that the answer may be here….. 😉
And it is NOT this particular MAGA PATRIOT!
Well, I can’t prevent her from digging through the physics series and finding the answer, so it’s an open-book test.
It’s a good test – even with open book, testing ANON SKILZ!!!
Ironically my life & the current Season can prevent That quite fine tyvm 😉
can the teacher be bribed?
asking for a friend
It would take a date and your husband looks might mean with that shotgun pointed at me.
hmmmm…I was…I mean my friend… was going to offer cooking…LOL
But HER husband is mean with a shotgun right?
I’ll hide the shotgun shells…feel better?
Not really. He might stay mad long enough to go find his baseball bat and/or buy more shells.
LOL…it’s just dinner…not dessert.
Well then what’s the point?
sigh…this is why I always studied for tests…lol
That is likely the best policy, unless the guy you’re trying to bribe looks enjoyable. (In other words, you’d sleep with him anyway.) (Then of course you get the best of both worlds.)
well I may not pass your test, but i am faithful…
So the “friend” was yourself.
this is why you’re the teacher…you’re so smart!
I only passed college algebra because the professor had a crush on me.
True story. He admitted it.
Well, today he’ll have to go through me first.
Lol! How sweet. Thanks!
Bribing Mr. Steve – Starter Package
That’s non-fungible bacon.
In order to get real bacon I have to get off my ass and cook it myself.
Whatever that vid showed, I’ll never see it. And neither will anyone else.
“That page does not exist.”
I’ll look forward to the developing answers from the adult table…I’m still sitting with the kids & slow guys! 😉
If the question had multiple answer (guesses) to choose from, Rule of C is correct. Or we could use the clock method, if it has a second hand.
Expound on the clock method if you don’t mind 🙂
Cracking up a but here.
Clock with a second hand. Four quadrants. 1-15 (A), 16-30 (B), 31-45 (C), 46-00 (D).
When the test taker looks at the clock, second hand appears to be, about 10 seconds. The answer is obviously A. 🙃
Wow, I was Never That Desperate…or creative! That’s fun
Nor was I. Mostly a joke among us less than stellar students. But, assuredly, many a guesses were made over the years.
I was a Very Good guesser, but hated the tests where you were penalized for (wrong) guessing, right answers minus wrong answers got the final score. That was a pain when one wasn’t Fully convinced that their answers were right 🙁 I often operated with a degree of uncertainty 😉
I had a friend once in high school who was in an interesting situation. The final was worth 200 points, and he was at a low, low B in a class with a 2200 point total semester.
In other words, he could absolutely ace the test, and get a high B. Or do nothing and get a low B. But the report card only reported B, not B+ or B-
So the teachers pass out the scantron (fill in with a #2 pencil) sheets, and before they had actually passed out the test, he looked at me and said, “well, I guess I’d better get started” and proceeded to randomly fill in the bubbles.
he learned a life lesson that the teacher didn’t know was part of the curriculum of life!
The answer is zero.
∇˙B = 0
Gauss’s law of magnetism, one of the four Maxwell’s equations.
Like I said, a trick question.
Think about it, how could you possibly know enough about the magnetron to answer, and I never gave a location relative TO the magnetron.
The only number it could be, given that you can’t compute it in units, is zero (which is the same no matter what measuring system you use).
I once aced a midterm thinking like that. This prof provided the formulas you’d need (he figured in the real world you’d look them up; the point was did you know which ones and what to do with them? He did NOT provide the needed formula for the problem (which I knew) so I figured, for some principled reason, the answer had to be zero. I wrote it down and wrote a vague justification. So I literally figured out the right answer…based on the conditions of the test.
Sounds a lot like ‘what is the meaning of life’.
Not having fully read all of your science posts AND having a sorely lacking science education I didn’t even know what a magnetron was!
Never mentioned it, but it’s the gizmo in the microwave oven that actually generates the microwaves.
Thanks, I literally never knew That 🙂
Definitely. If it had been the curl of either the magnetic field or electric field I would have been needing much more details. I could probably expect that the frequency of operation is 2450 MHz, and permittivity and permability be the free-space values, but that would be about it.
Divergence of the electric field … maybe; it would depend on any charged object inside the oven, though most of the real-life possibilities would be zero as well.
And it’s a trick question because if you’re on Jeopardy you can hit the buzzer before the question’s been asked. “What is the divergence of the magnetic field…” BZZZZ!
“What is Obama?”
This is an interesting “fed-poast” on Gab. I won’t bring the image over, but I’m now thinking this account on Gab is either “bleeding edge no longer giving AF”, or a real inciter fed helping to put closure on Gab.
This particular poster has turned very antisemitic, which is par for the course when people respond to years and years of provocation by satanists and satanic destruction of society without having God in control. If you are not riding with the Prince of Peace, you are headed for trouble.
This is a known flash-point of “they won’t be able to walk the streets”. Depopulation against kids is just so beyond the pale, that threatening violence in response is an expected reaction.
The death shot is just too much of a provocation. It’s WHY the satanists pushed Biden into the White House. People WILL defend children with deadly force. We really need to shut this mRNA crap down by science and journalism, and the media FAILED us there.
I totally get what Elon Musk is doing. The media is NOT working. Corporatism is taking over and really messing things up.
PEOPLE WILL NOT LET THEIR CHILDREN BE KILLED. Buckle up.
Well, here’s the thing, Wolf. There is NO REQUIREMENT to have your children vaccinated everywhere in America. There are many choices you can make. What it all depends on is what you’re willing to do to protect your kids.
If your state requires vaccinations for kids to attend school, would you home school?
If your state makes home schooling next to impossible, would you move?
If your child’s doctor is a vaxx-nut, would you search for another?
If you can’t find a doctor who isn’t a health nut, would you study hard so you can mostly be your child’s physician, short of medical emergency?
If the answer to all of the above is NO, would you take up actual ARMS to protect your child? I think that answer is no, you would not. If most of the above is too much to do, then actually risking your life is probably out of the question.
We aren’t at the “take up arms” point until there is no place left to go, no action left to take. And we are not there yet.
Yup. One can always move to Florida. We’re not there yet.
Please respond directly to this comment to tell me if the bell notifier is now working for you or not. However, PLEASE use a FRESH PAGE or pages from a daily here, to test. Either reload or otherwise start a FRESH PAGE, because old pages from last night (Friday night late) may not have the notifier working.
I have no bell notifier and never have. Further, it seems like the sort of irritant that keeps me from visiting our sister sites more often.
You’ll never get it working, IMO. It’s basically a security gate-drop, where you have to allow third-party cookies in general, if you can’t approve them individually.
Not just that – I am almost positive that you have to have a WordPress account. I don’t know if the API can be hacked to work without one.
Imagine my relief.
Notifier is NOT working.
I should be getting pinged every time someone posts. I just refreshed and two people have commented…no notifier (which looks like a speech bubble now not a bell).
Yeah, if it’s not a bell, you need a fresh page.
Furthermore I tried looking for my notification settings to see if they had somehow changed. I can’t find the settings at all.
OK – you’re not getting the bell with the orange dot, because you’re not getting the WordPress software and cookies to set up, for some reason.
In another tab, you need to log into wordpress.com, and keep that tab open, then start a new tab here. You MAY have to log out and back in.
OK one other piece of aberrant behavior that may be a clue…sometimes the “word balloon” to the left of “Howdy” simply disappears. It’s not invisible, because clicking on it zooms you to the top of the page (which is what the black bar does when/where no other control lies on it);.
See, this is the problem. You should be getting the WordPress toolbar – NOT that site toolbar.
I’m wondering if somebody has you in a MITM BOX and my bobbling the box has thrown them off.
I have basically returned the settings to what they were before, but it passed through the old settings with no WordPress toolbar, when I deactivated WordPress.
It sounds like Valerie is having the same issues, and here I thought she and I had nothing in common.
What happens when you log out and then log back in?
And I pretty much did the sequence you just told her to do. I don’t know what “shield” is (and I am using firefox ESR with ublock installed and nothing else).
You have to allow third-party cookies in the tab with this site.
Are you willing to try Brave, in which you can turn the “shields” off, or just allow third-party cookies for this site?
Hell, I still have my old Brave VM that I stopped using two weeks ago. I was just about to delete it. I can fire it up, sure.
Or if need be I can generate a fresh one (I wasn’t going to delete the template).