Posted by matthew sands (220.127.116.11) on July 02, 2002 at 08:07:43:
In Reply to: Re: As far as the exploding fusion reactors brain-bug. posted by Damien Sorresso on July 01, 2002 at 18:38:20:
: : Since you seem to know basically everything, I'd bet you've already thought of why this doesn't work. (That wasn't a sarcastic sentence, I promise. :-D) Perhaps it's simply the busted fusion reactor, leaking hydrogen, reacting due to the energy beams/blasts/torpedoes coming at it.
: : Though this might not seem to work, due to the apparent lack of oxygen, it would, since there would need to be at least enough oxygen to keep people alive for the moment, and enough in reserve in case some major accident occured. Just my $0.02(USA) for you. I look forward to having my idea trounced viciously. :)
: There are other reasons it doesn't work. Nuclear fusion requires enormous pressures to overcome Coulomb repulsion between hydrogen nuclei, and you have to generate a shitload of power in order to generate those pressures. That's why fusion in hydrogen bombs must be initiated with a fission trigger, and it's also why nuclear engineers, as of late, have not achieved Break Even with any kind of containment fusion process.
: So basically, if the fusion reactor were destroyed, all the fuel (the hydrogen) would just go flying all over the place without any energy being released. That's not a very optimum condition if you want to slam things together, and it's also one of the reasons that hack Stilgar's moronic "Death Star Superlaser is a Giant Fusion Inducer" theory doesn't work: all of the hydrogen in Earth is dispersed throughout the atmosphere. If the Death Star actually managed to cause it to fuse, it probably wouldn't lower the power requirements any.
What if the reason for the detonation is that the fuel is being kept under a great deal of pressure(hypermatter anyone?), in order to minimize space requirements. If the density of the matter is impossible to sustain in a normal environment without the containment devices, then a containment breach could result in a gratuitously large explosion. Why would they use something so dangerous when they could just increase the size of the fuel storage? Because once your energy requirements get ridiculously large enough, even allowing for total conversion of matter to energy, no quantity of normal matter could possibly fuel the observed effects. Here's hoping that Mike will respond to my half-assed attempts at scientific understanding.
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