└ Tags: , ,

Discussion (34)¬

  1. HaggisForBrains says:

    It took me a couple of seconds… 😀

  2. chigau says:

    The boys are a bit slow today.

  3. pink squirrel says:

    ‘Religious truth’
    from the same dictionary as
    ‘Creation science’
    ‘Islamic feminism’

  4. Federico R. Bär says:

    If God didn’t have a son, how do I explain the Holy Trinity to a granddaughter of mine named Trinidad?

  5. FreeFox says:

    @FRBär: By telling her the cultural history of the idea, without claiming it is true, perhaps?

  6. Emma Peel says:

    A true gem…you made my day, author!

  7. Federico R. Bär says:

    A good suggestion Free-Fox, if it were not for a detail I now realize I should have mentioned: since a few months, she adopted the religious name of: Mother of Joy – at the age of 20, she is well on her way to become a (Catholic) nun! .-

  8. atalanta says:

    We are all atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you.

  9. Heh heh. Sly devils.

  10. Grumpy says:

    Barmaid 1 J&M 0

  11. pink squirrel says:

    What should disturb those who claim – no more prophets ever or ‘god’ cant have a son’
    is that by making such statements they are placing limitations on the ‘god’ they believe in.
    Surely ‘god’ if it existed could quite easily have a son or daughter and have as many more ‘prophets’ as it wanted

  12. pink squirrel says:

    for jb in reply to question put on last page
    that’s the base theory
    the practical is just a matter of engineering

  13. Michael says:

    Very clever, Author.

  14. jb says:

    pink squirrel — Yes, I know about electromagnetic induction, and I assumed that was what was being talked about. But you can’t just wave your hands and say “engineering.” Engineering is not magic. What I was asking for was a link to an article by someone — someone who actually knows something! — who could explain in more than a hand waving way how economically useful amounts of energy might be extracted from Jupiter’s magnetic field. Got one?

  15. pink squirrel says:

    okies Jb -for a start this would require future technological engineering not yet developed – and your original query was your ‘?’ in step 2
    given this is future technology the papers of precisely how it would be done are yet to be written
    but in anticipation I suggest the following

    the jovian generates the energy by virtue of its magnetic field -so that is all free input – therefore any loss is not important – what matters is the net gain
    first then – orbiting craft would be placed around the jovian at a velocity and distance that optimizes energy input
    [that part is easily achieved]
    the orbiters would generate the direct electrical energy by EM induction
    to either use the power directly in manufacture of material wealth
    or to transfer it to collectable batteries [ standard technology]
    or using the electrical energy collected to power a laser which would transfer the energy to more human hospitable locations further away from the radiation zone

    [ here is one why
    so its all plausible
    and should return a profit once the initial investment is made
    [ignoring alternatives that might return a greater profit]


    Because you’re both wrong…

  17. jb says:

    Seriously pink squirrel, what part of “someone who actually knows something” do you not understand? I’ll give you a hint: it isn’t you!!!

  18. Perpetual Expat says:

    Atalanta, it isn’t often I’m bowled over. But I’m bowled over: “We are all atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you.” Thank you Author for bringing Atalanta into my world. Oh, and thank you too for the consistently excellent J & M.

  19. pink squirrel says:

    I will ignore your juvenile ad hominem and point out that no part of what I suggest is impractical
    you cite profit as if that is the only criteria that matters – it does not have to be much profit to still be viable
    Trump is proving you don’t have to know anything to suggest large scale engineering projects and then leave the details to others

  20. jb says:

    pink squirrel — Yes, I was a little rude, but it’s because you just don’t get it. You are not qualified to say what is or is not impractical! I wasn’t looking for a confused hand-waving argument involving high-school level physics, which is all you have offered so far, I was looking for a real analysis of the idea by someone with some real expertise, someone who could crunch some numbers and explain some actual details. Asserting that “EM induction” + “future technological engineering” = “easily achieved” doesn’t cut it, but you just don’t seem to get that. That’s why I keep on bringing up Dunning–Kruger.

    As an example of what I was hoping for, consider the Starshot project. Frankly, I don’t think that’s ever going to work, but the people proposing it clearly do know some physics, and they have made a serious effort to analyze the difficulties involved. And so I have to take them seriously, even if I am skeptical. You know, I’m not even asserting that the idea of profitably extracting energy from Jupiter’s magnetic field is impossible (although I will point out again that it wouldn’t require permanent colonization of Jupiter’s upper atmosphere, which was my original point), I’m just asking for a reason to take the idea seriously. If you can find an article where a serious argument is made I’ll be happy to read it; otherwise I think it’s time to let this drop.

  21. FreeFox says:

    Pink Squirrel, I don’t quite understand your plan. Magnetic fields do not produce energy on their own. You can use such a field to convert kinetic energy through induction by moving a coil through a field. If you had such a coil on a satellite, the conversion of kinetic into electric energy would produce drag, degenerating the orbit until the satellite crashed into Jupiter – unless you added rockets to counteract the drag, but then you would need another energy source for the rockets again, of course. What am I missing?

  22. FreeFox says:

    (And even with a large coil on a satellite, it could never produce more energy than the kinetic energy you originally used to get the satellite into orbit and circling around Jupiter… the energy always has to come from somewhere. Even if you could somehow survive the incredible pressures at the “surface” of the liquid metallic hydrogen oceans of Jupiter and have the coils on ships, you would need some energy source to move those ships around, and could then convert that kinetic energy into electromagnetic energy to store in batteries or power a laser or whatever you wanted to do with it… or did I misunderstand your idea completely?)

  23. pink squirrel says:

    as I understand the physics of it Firefox, the extremely high radiation levels around Jupiter are a result of the magnetic fields accelerating cosmic particles to high velocity, therefore the magnetic fields are of sufficient strength to induce an electric field in dynamo’s placed in orbit around Jupiter
    These would then transfer the generated electric power
    jb has a point that there are no citable powers on this – however I suspect the reason for this is because we are not yet in a sufficiently advanced technological position to implement the idea,
    unlike the ‘starshot ‘ project which is within our range of current ability, although probably not of our political willpower.
    However if JP wants, I am quite capable of putting forward engineering plans of how this would be done – but did not feel that this webpage was the right place for such a level of technical detail.

  24. pink squirrel says:

    or given the magnetic fields induce the radiation on the moon of Jupiter
    the power plants that collect the energy could be built there
    the point is that Jupiter is dynamic enough in energy terms that it could be tapped as a natural energy resource.

  25. jb says:

    FreeFox — You are right about drag being the main issue, and about any energy energy produced needing to come from somewhere.

    I’m less certain it is theoretically impossible to produce more energy than would be used to set up a generating system. For example, one might be able to find two small asteroids already in appropriate orbits around Jupiter, nudge them together, connect them with an electrical cable, and set them rotating around each other to pull the cable taut. You could then produce electricity, while the electromagnetic drag either pulls the asteroids towards Jupiter or slings them into a higher orbit. (I’m not sure which it would be — note that tidal forces are currently causing Earth’s moon to recede from the Earth, not approach it). It’s not clear to me that this setup couldn’t produce a net positive energy output, but I suspect that even if it could it wouldn’t be enough to be worth the trouble. I can think of other possibilities as well, but my gut feeling is that none of them would be worth doing. The Earth has a magnetic field too — much more accessible than Jupiter’s! — but I’m not aware of any proposals to harvest electricity from it. Nevertheless, if someone who actually knew something about physics were to argue that it could be done, I would at least feel obligated to give the proposal a respectful hearing.

    pink squirrel — You do not, in fact, understand the physics of Jupiter’s radiation belts, not even at an elementary level. In fact it seems clear to me at this point that you have never studied physics in any serious way. So I find it highly amusing that you can simultaneously claim that: 1) generating electricity from Jupiter’s magnetic field is technologically more difficult than the Starshot project; and 2) you are personally “quite capable of putting forward engineering plans of how this would be done.”

  26. FreeFox says:

    The Economist on censorship, microagression, fundamentalism, political correctness, and free speech:

  27. pink squirrel says:

    we are not yet in a sufficiently advanced technological position to implement the idea,
    unlike the ‘starshot ‘ project which is within our range of current ability

    I stated this because the starshot would be done from the earth or maybe the moon – and thus possible now
    whereas to exploit Jupiter we would have to have much more presence there than we currently do – that is the technological ability I was referring to

  28. What Haggis for Brains said at the top of this thread. Brilliant, as usual, Author.

  29. smartalek says:

    Better Late Than Never Brigade:

    If God didn’t have a son, how do I explain the Holy Trinity to a granddaughter of mine named Trinidad?”

    Well, if you don’t want to tell her it’s all fairy tales, you could always tell her He had a daughter…

  30. Blakey says:

    …What. Okay, as an actual real life, honest to goodness designer, it is so, so obvious, pink squirrel, that you don’t have either the doctorate, nor the team of other doctors, to make any sort of statement on this.

    The truth is that putting together a feasibility study – not an engineering plan, whatever you mean by that – for something of this magnitude would involve a team of PhDs, working for months or years. And that’s before you even start trying to make it actually work!

    I mean, what is the setup for your actual generator? Forget about all the other stuff, like getting the power TO anywhere useful. How are you generating the electricity? Freefox and jb have helpfully pointed out why you can’t just stick a coil to a satellite. You say “future tech”, but what future tech? How would it work? What would it look like? Not just “but magnets!”, we are not the insane clown posse. That’s the simplest problem, and you’re handwaving it away, which is like, the complete and exact opposite of engineering!

    Sheesh. Words mean things, and sci-fi ideas may sound great, but just sounding cool doesn’t make things either feasible or possible. jb is right.

  31. pink squirrel says:

    I will admit that my masters degree is not in engineering – but I’m still fairly sure the idea would work – if someone decided it was worthwhile as a goal.

    given that the magnetic filed around Jupiter is high enough to accelerate solar ions to make proximity to Jupiter the most radioactive location in the solar system it follows that there is a free supply of energy available.
    Therefore the scientific basis for the idea is sound.

  32. Tinkling Think says:

    Pink Squirrel, there is a little world, or worldlet, called Io – whose name I usually pronounce as “eye-oh”. She orbits Jupiter. Tidal forces between Io, Jupiter and some other worlds also orbiting the planet, Ganymede, Callisto and Europa, produce intense and continuous volcanic activity on Io.

    That is Science and has been known about since Voyager zipped by those worlds. This tidally generated volcanism has been happening for, so far as we know, over four thousand million years and shows little signs of stopping any time soon.

    Another phenomenon that has been known about for a while is the flux tube between Io and Jupiter which is sort of the “power supply” you seem to have been thinking of. in your comments.

    Io produces 40 KV and 3 MegaAmps from Jupiter’s magnetic field. That is 120,000,000,000 Watts, or 120 GigaWatts.

    That may seem like a lot and it is, it would power our planet but Io is huge and not something humans are ever likely to build.

    The reason Io can generate volcanism and a truly gigantic electrical arc for millions of years yet still orbit the planet is that Io is a world, she is massive. As JB suggests, Io does lose momentum to its flashy displays but Io has lots of momentum to spare.

    We may, someday, tap into Io’s flux tube but, again as JB says, it is hardly worth the effort. There are many, many other denser sources of power that are far more easily and safely available.

    If you want a Science Fiction treatment of the concept, try the “Night’s Dawn” series of novels by Peter Hamilton. He hand-waves a little but his scheme is essentially sound if a temporary solution to the power problems of modern living.

    The books are, if you are an SF fan, well worth reading anyway. They are certainly better written than most holy books. Not that that is a difficult achievement.

  33. Tinkling Think says:

    Pink Squirrel, in short: JB and Blakey are right that generating power from Jupiter’s magnetosphere might forever be beyond us and, even if not so, may be an exercise in folly but one of Jupiter’s moons does it so it’s not an entirely insane idea.

    Personally, I’d power any orbiting habitat with nukes. There would be a nice, safe, cheap place to dump any spent fuel relatively nearby. A place even the Greenpeacers couldn’t object to.


NOTE: This comments section is provided as a friendly place for readers of J&M to talk, to exchange jokes and ideas, to engage in profound philosophical discussion, and to ridicule the sincerely held beliefs of millions. As such, comments of a racist, sexist or homophobic nature will not be tolerated.

If you are posting for the first time, or you change your username and/or email, your comment will be held in moderation until approval. When your first comment is approved, subsequent comments will be published automatically.