Fundamentals

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History

1791: Galvani, Professor of Anatomy and obstetrics in Bologna, Italy, was in his lab preparing a frog for dissection on a metal plate. When he touched the blade of his scalpel to the deceased amphibian, its leg noticeably and quite unexpectedly twitched. According to his 1791 paper, called De Viribus Electricitatis in Motu Musculari Commentarius, the frog's leg muscle acted like a charged leyden jar to activate the nerve.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

oWhat Galvani had done in his original accidental experiment was to bring two dissimilar metals- his scalpel and a metal plate- in close proximity with a conductor, presumably fluid or tissue from the frog. As e- were lost from one metal via oxidation and picked up by the other, the frog's nerve reacted to the flow of electrons- acting as a very sensitive voltmeter.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

 

1790s: Nicholson, in describing how the torpedo fish may have worked, sketched a rough blueprint for the first true battery.-The Battery by Schlesinger.


20 Mar, 1800: Volta, in a 1000 word description in French, the language of the European Scientific Community, described in detail the construction for a working battery.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

oA number of pieces of Zinc, each the size of a half crown, were prepared, and an equal number of pieces of card cut in the same form; a piece of zinc was then laid upon the table and upon it a half crown; upon this was placed a piece of card moistened with water, upon the car was laid another piece of zinc, upon that another half crown…then a wet card, and so alternately until 40 pieces of each had been placed upon each other; a person then, having his hands well wetted, touched the piece of zinc at the bottom with one hand, and the half crown at the top with the other; he felt a strong shock, which was repeated as often as the contact was renewed: the Voltaic Pile.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

oVolta, placing two coins of different metals on his own tongue, felt the distinct tingle of an electrical charge. Very soon Volta began ranking combinations of metals to determine which pairings produced the greatest electrical charge, or what he took to calling “electromotive force,” and found a combination of silver and zinc seemed to offer the best results.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

 

1800: Nicholson demonstrates electrolysis using Galvanic Current successfully decomposing water- using an electrical charge to break water down into its two components. This made big news across Europe. Water, thought to be an element, was now definitively shown with the help of Volta device to be a compound composed of H and O.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

 

1802: Volta discovers that MnO2 and Zn in a saline solution generated a higher voltage than just Cu and Zn.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

 

1820: Oersted left a compass near a completed circuit running from a voltaic pile and noticed that the compass needle twitched when moved closer to the circuit. It was a major discovery. Electricity, it seemed, was not like water in a sealed pipe; fully contained within the confines of a conductor. Rather, it created an invisible field of emanating waves around whatever carried it. What Oersted discovered was the EM field and electromagnetism. From this phenomenon, all other devices were possible.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

 

1820s: After hearing about Oersted's discovery, the French scientist Andre-Marie Ampere created a magnetic field by forming wires into coils. He later invented the galvanometer- a voltmeter- by simply taking a few turns of wire around a compass. The slightest amount of current would create an EM field and cause the needle to twitch.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

 

1825: Sturgeon, while lecturing at the Royal Military College, wrapped a few turns of wire attached to a battery around a 7 oz piece of Fe and lifted 9lbs. Electricity- invisible, weightless, and mysterious- could be made to perform work.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

 

1828?: The concept Davy and Wollaston discussed, but Faraday proved, was to make a wire rotate within a magnetic field, in effect creating a simple electric motor. Faraday placed a magnet upright in a cup of Hg connected to one terminal of a battery. The second terminal was connected to a wire with one end in the Hg. When the circuit running through the wire, Hg, and battery was completed, the wire began rotating around the magnet.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

1890s: the Cleveland based (later known as Eveready, and then Energizer), which had been manufacturing Leclanche wet cells, made some basic modifications to Gessner's original design and began marketing the batteries under the brand name Columbia Dry Cell.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

 

 

1901: Marconi transmitted a message between the Isle of Wight and Cornwall, a distance of nearly 200 miles, demonstrating that radio waves followed the curvature of the Earth.

The Tx Marconi first used sparked across a gap of 8”, powered by batteries supplying 15V and boosted by an induction coil that sent the signal a few hundred yard. From there, he slowly worked his way to a few miles. In its early form, the system could send out a message a few miles at 15 words a minute, slower than a wire telegraph. However, bit by bit Marconi was able to increase the distances, progressing from a few miles to across the English Channel. Where Marconi shone was in his development of antennas, at first grounding them (like lightning rods) and then extending them upwards with the use of kites and balloons, until finally hitting on the idea of the directional antenna or aerial, which required hundreds of yards of land.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

Marconi: Heir to the Jameson Irish Whiskey Fortune.

He discovered that Hertzian waves could travel through or over hills and trees. They could also travel far beyond the few yards that Hertz established to prove Maxwell’s theory.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

The receiver he used, for instance, was first developed in the 1890’s by the French physicist Edouard Branly, a professor at the Catholic U of Paris, who had taken some metal filings and dumped them into a test tube. When hit with an electrical burst from a battery, the filings coalesced to form a kind of fragile wire capable of conducting electrical current. Experimenting with different metallic filings, he finally hit on the combination of coarse silver and nickel powder in a vacuum-sealed thermometer tube, make it even more sensitive to EM waves, then invented a little hammer (or trembler) that worked like a doorbell to gently tap the glass and de-coalesce the filings, terminating the circuit after activation. It was an ingenious design. Each time a burst of EM energy hit the coherer, the metallic filings completed a local battery-powered circuit connected to a Leclanche type cell that ran a standard telegraph printer. When the signal ceased, the little hammer would tap the glass and break the fragile string of metallic filings to await a new burst of waves.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

 

1902: Marconi, using powerful battery arrays, transmits his first transatlantic signal from England to Newfoundland- the letter S in Morse Code.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

1907: Henry Joseph Round, who worked closely with Marconi, began experimenting with crystals with some unexpected results. He had unintentionally developed the first LED. A type of transistor, the LED’s light is produced by the release of energy as e- travel across the semi-conductive material.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

1904: Sir John Ambrose Fleming came up with the idea of using a variation on the electric lightbulb to detect waves. He modified the bulb in such a way that it picked up the signals and converted them into electrical current. What he had invented was the first vacuum tube.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

1900: Reginald Fessenden wirelessly transmitted sound. The idea was to extend the traditional wireless telegraphic bursts into a continuous wave that could be modified by a voice. To receive the wave, he designed a replacement for the coherer, which he called a liquid barretter. This was something of a breakthrough device, consisting of a thin Pl wire immersed in an acidic solution that could receive a continuous signal.-The Battery by Schlesinger.


1909: Ford introduces the Model T based on the internal combustion engine almost entirely eliminating Edison's reliable alkaline storage battery for cars.

1916: Frank Conrad, an engineer with Westinghouse in Pittsburgh. After growing bored with simply receiving signals on a home set, he began constructing his own Tx, going on the air at his home in Wilkinsburg, PA. By 1916 he began broadcasting news and whatever struck his fancy, eventually adding music to his repertoire. After running through a supply of his own recordings, he joined forces with a local music store in exchange for mentioning their name on the air.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

2 Nov, 1920: Based in Pittsburgh, KDKA goes on the air.

1917: The National Bureau of Standards (today the National Institute of Standards and Technology) met with representatives of the battery industry and the military and other OGA’s to develop a set of specifications for batteries. The idea was to set sizes and minimum performance criteria.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

The common dry cell, known as the No. 6, most likely because it measured 6” high, was one of the few standard battery sizes available. All the rest were more or less ad hoc, assembled in small factories for specific devices, often by hand.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

1930: TI is founded as Geophysical Services Inc., the company had switched from supplying oil industry technology to a military contractor during WWII and was not aggressively positioning itself to enter a new field. TI’s management had seen the future and was now promoting it with 12oz of brightly colored plastic that could fit in your shirt pocket.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

1936: Thanks to the Rural Electrification Act of 1936, virtually every household in America was wired for electricity.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

1940: The Mine detector was invented by a Polish military engineer named Jozef Kosacki who was living in England after the German invasion of Poland in 1939. It was while working at St. Andrews in Scotland that he came up with a device using available technology- a long pole with a flat disk on the end holding two coils in parallel. Weighing in at under 30 lbs, one coil at the end of the pole sent out an oscillating signal and the other received it while the operator listened in on what was essentially a telephone strapped to his waist with a headset. When a metallic object, such as a mine, interrupted the signal, the operator could clearly hear it. Kosacki never patented the device, called the Mine Detector (Polish) Mark 1 or Simply, the Polish Detector, which no doubt saved thousands of lives, giving it to both the British and the Americans.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

1942: It seems the heat and humidity was speeding up the chemical reactions. What was needed was a battery that could function in any environment. Sam Ruben came up with the solution. Working with new chemistries and containers in his New Rochelle, NY lab, he hit on the mercuric-oxide cell, the first new battery chemistry in over a century. The battery worked well, but Ruben, who had only a tiny lab, couldn’t produce the millions of batteries the war effort required and handed off the contract to PR Mallory Company (later Duracell). With its works classified as “top secret,” the company turned out millions of the batteries, later known as the Ruben-Mallory or RM Cells, to power the war effort with the company running round-the-clock shifts to meet demand for the “sealed in steel” batteries that powered everything from field radios to the newly designed L-shaped flashlights that soldiers could wear on their belts.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

1950s: The SONY Corporation is born when the transistor radio found its home in the emerging youth market of the 50’s and 60’s as the postwar baby boom was just getting underway. The company changed its name to something American’s could easily pronounce and remember. Combining the latin word for sound (Sonus) with American slang for young boy (sonny), the Sony Corporation was born.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

1961: TI debuted the first Integrated Circuit- IC, the computer chip. TI unveiled what it called a molecular electronic computer. Built under contract for the USAF in 1961, the diminutive computer measured just 6.3cubic inches and weighed in at 10oz. The unit didn’t include any kind of user interface- neither a screen or keyboard- but it got the point across. As TI proudly noted, the mini package included 47 chips that did the work of about 8500 transistors, diodes, resistors, and capacitors.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

Apr, 1965: Gordon Moore, who was still heading Fairchilds Semiconductors R&D effort, before leaving to cofound Intel, predicted a doubling of circuits in IC’s every two years (Moore's Law) and saw no reason why that shouldn’t continue far into the future.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

May, 1973: An Engineer at Sharp recognized the technology as a possible solution to a pocketable calculator display on the drawing boards. May 1973, Sharp introduced the Elsi Mate EL-805 pocket calculator to the world. The unit, which housed 5 IC’s, was less than an inch thick and weighs just 7.5oz. But the real surprise came in the fact that it could run for 100hrs on a single AA battery. That is to say, power consumption was estimated at 1/9000 of other battery powered calculators on the market. LCD’s had solved the problem of the power hungry user interface.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

As it turned out, the liquid crystals reacted not only to heat, but also to an EM field. So, if you squished the crystals between two panes of thin glass with a conductive surface and applied a relatively small amount of power, they would align and become opaque. Treated with the right kind of dye, they even changed color in a predictable manner.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

The LCD can actually be traced to the late 19th century, when the Austrian botanist Friedrich Reinitzer happened to notice that some organic crystals- Cholesteryl Benzoate- exhibited strange properties when exposed to heat. They turned cloudy and then clear at specific temperatures.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

Aug, 1831: Faraday hits upon the idea of induction, proving the principle behind a generator creating an electrical current by moving a magnet inside a coil of wire. The idea was simple- if electricity could produce magnetism, as Sturgeon had clearly demonstrated- than magnetism should produce electricity. He took a paper cylinder and would it with coils of wire, then connected it to a battery and a primitive voltmeter. He then began moving a bar magnet in and out of the hollow center of the tube, making the needle of the voltmeter jump. Somehow the simple act of moving the magnet had created a burst of electrical current in the coil.-The Battery by Schlesinger.


1840s: Sir William Robert Grove creates a battery that included a Zn anode and Pl cathode with a porous material between them and two different acidic substances or electrolytes- Sulfuric Acid for the anode and Nitric Acid for the Cathode. Grove’s nitric acid battery essentially depolarized itself.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

The Problem: In a simple battery with a Zn anode and a Cu cathode, positive H ions released from the Zn during oxidation accumulated on the negatively charged Cu to form a thin film of tiny bubbles that reduced the output. The same chemical reaction that set free the e- also eventually blocked the flow of electricity. And too, the electrolyte and electrodes had to be changed or cleaned frequently

1844: Morse demonstrates the Telegraph.

Morse got his big break when a proposal went before Congress to construct a series of Chappe-style signal towers between NY and New Orleans. The idea was to lay the wires along an existing railway line underground, a system abandoned halfway through the project in favor of overhead poles. This made sense not only because it required permission from just a single entity, rather than dozens of homeowners and businessmen, but from an engineering standpoint as well. The railroad connected the two cities with a direct path that had already been surveyed and cleared.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

5 Aug, 1858: Queen Victoria and President Buchanan exchanged messages. And the entire world seemed to go “cable crazy.”-The Battery by Schlesinger.

Within 30 years of Morse’ demo in 1844, there were some 650,000 miles of cable and 30,000 miles of submarine cable linking more than 20,000 towns and villages.

1880: By 1880 there were an estimated 100,000 miles of undersea wiring connecting continents. The world was becoming smaller.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

1851: Sibley formed Western Union out of the NY and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company, founded a few years prior. His plan was simple: buy up and merge all the struggling telegraph companies he could find.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

1859: Plante develops the lead-acid battery. What Plante needed was a metal with a lot of surface area, something microscopically resembling a sponge. Lead more less resembled silk. The answer to this problem was as simple as it was time consuming- let nature take its course. In the use of Pb batteries, the surface area accumulates a layer of H2O2 that is porous. So what Plante did, essentially, was polarize the plates with Grove batteries and allow them to self-discharge, then charge them again and allow for self-discharge, repeating the process over months to prematurely age the battery. It was, by all accounts, a hideously tedious process, which he named “formation.”-The Battery by Schlesinger.


1866: the French Engineer Georges Leclanche made the next technological leap forward in battery design. Leclanche contribution was little more than a glass jar filled with Ammonium Chloride (often called sal ammoniac), a positive electrode of MnO2, and a negative of Zn with a small bar of C thrown in. Leclanche wet cell, as it was popularly referred to, pumped out 1.5V and is generally seen as the forerunner to the world's first widely used batter, the Zn-C cell, or dry cell.-The Battery by Schlesinger.


1860s: American dentist and amateur inventor in VA, Dr Mahlon Loomis, apparently transmitted signals more than a dozen miles across the Blue Ridge Mountains, from the Catoctin Ridge to the Bears Den Mt. He even received a patent for a vaguely worded description, though his research was stalled by the Civil War, and funding tied up in Congress. Nothing ever came of his invention.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

1870's: For Gray, the telephone was another form of telegraph, one that would transmit sounds rather than simple clicks. In the early 1870’s, he developed a telegraph that could actually transmit different sounds, each played by a separate key.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

1875: Gallows telephone: Someone spoke into a megaphone- shaped microphone, which caused a small membrane at the bottom to vibrate with sound waves. The membrane was attached to a thin rod in a metallic cup of acid with one battery-powered wire attached. Each time someone bellowed into the megaphone-like speaker, the resistance on the line changed with the vibrations of the voice as the rod moved up and down. An identical unit at the other end of the line reversed the process, essentially decoding the electrical impulses back into sound vibrations. It was by all standards of the day, a very neat trick, but it wasn’t until the metallic cup and its acidic mixture were replaced by a magnet and soft iron bar in the center that vibrated via a membrane to change resistance on the line that the telephone became a practical device.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

14 Feb, 1876: Unfortunately for Gray, his lawyer submitted a patent caveat application on the same day as Bell’s lawyer submitted his patent for the telephone. Gray’s caveat, which is like a patent placeholder, would have given Gray the credit. However, Bell’s patent was approved first.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

1878: By the time Edison began his experiments in earnest in 1878, the field had already developed a large body of knowledge. Specifically, he had two pieces of the puzzle already solved: the Yablochkov system that lit multiple “electric candles” simultaneously in a single circuit, and a powerful generator called the telemachos that lit 8 bulbs at once, also on a single circuit, which he had seen at another lab.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

In many respects, Edison didn’t want to reinvent the wheel, just build a better wheel, and then sell it in quantity.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

1879: Edison creates a viable electric light, patenting the bulb in the US in 1879. Certain that electrical lighting would find its power from a central station, his eventual plan called for nothing less than the creation of an entire electrical infrastructure to supply power in much the same way gas was delivered. That meant generating stations along with power lines, metering systems, and work crew to maintain all of it.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

1880’s: German physicist Heinrich Hertz proved the existence of radio waves- called Hertzian waves- emanating from simple electrical sparks generated from a battery. Wilhelm Rontgen discovered radiation in fluorescing glass tubes. And in England, Joseph John Thomson’s work at Cambridge led him to study the effects of electricity and magnetism on gas that would unlock the secrets of the atom.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

1890's: Nearly two decades after its introduction, a NYC tattoo artist, Samuel O’Reilly, modified the electric pen to create the first modern tattoo machine, significantly shortening what had been a long and much more painful process.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

1800: Italian Physicist Alessandro Volta builds the first e- battery by layering plates of different metals (anodes, cathodes) separated by brine-soaked cloth (electrolyte). The battery creates a weak but steady current.

1859: French Physicist Gaston Plante’s creates the first rechargeable battery using a lead-and-sulfuric acid battery that can be recharged with a reverse current which is still found in today’s cars.

1957: Alkaine batteries using alkaline instead of of acid are patended, and they remain the workhorses of the battery world. These are most of the AAs, AAAs, Cs, and Ds, bought everywhere.

1979-1980: Engineers create the first commercially viable lithium battery after they demonstrate rechargeable, efficient batteries that use lithium ions and have cathodes with cobalt.

The drop-off in the current of a line is proportional to the square of the distance travelled.

The term “Volt,” after Alessandro Volta, the Italian Inventory of the battery, was pushed hard by the French in large part because of his support of Napoleon. Watt, for James Watt, who perfected the steam engine for industrial use, had nothing to do with electricity at all. What would come to be known as the amp, was named after Andre-Marie Ampere, the French mathematician turned physicist who studied EM fields.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

Anode: the negative electrode that gives up its charge

Cathode: the positive electrode that accepts electrons

Quite simply, the battery industry had run into the brick wall known as Faraday’s First Law of Electrolysis, which logically states that in order to double the output of any battery, the amount of material in that battery must be doubled.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

When chided for the many battery experiments in which he failed, he is reputed to have answered, “No, I didn’t fail. I discovered 24,999 ways that the storage battery does not work.”-Edison.

Henry came across what was to be one of his greatest discoveries. Creating a parallel circuit- multiple batteries attached positive to positive- the voltage remained the same no matter how many cells or batteries he wired, but the amps increased in proportion to the number of connections made. Conversely, by creating a series circuit- the positive terminal connected to the negative terminal and the negative to the positive- he double the volts and got the same amperage.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

Henry discovered that current steadily loses its power when Tx over long distances. To keep the current flowing at high levels from point A to B, he engineered a device that would open and close another, secondary circuit along the way with its own smaller battery and EM. The device would later become known as a relay and was essential to the development of the long-distance telegraph. Without relays, current moving through the wire simply became too weak to detect after a few miles. That point was about 40’ before the signal dropped precipitously. To help solve this problem, Morse visited Henry, than at the College of NJ in Princeton, who freely shared his thoughts on the subject, which included increasing the power of the batteries as well as the concept of relays. He also enlisted the assistance of Leonard Gale, a professor of Chemistry at NYU. The problem, as Gale saw it, was simple: Morse was using the wrong kind of battery and magnet. After substituting the single cup battery of Zn and Cu for larger, more efficient cells, Gale set to work on Morse’s EM. The relay concept, originally thought up by Henry, was an entirely different way of dealing with electrical transmission over long distances. With relays it wasn’t necessary to transmit a powerful signal along a thousand miles of uninterrupted wire. All that was needed was to send a single to an EM relay- a matter of a few miles. By adding relays, the range of the telegraph became limitless. If it will go ten miles without stopping, Morse would later say, I can make it go around the globe.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

 

When Thomson sealed a glass tube with two metal plates on each end and connected the plates to a battery and induction coil, the tube glowed- projecting the mysterious light from the negative to the positively charged plate. What Thomson and a few others had built was a CRT- essentially a very primitive version of the picture tubes once widely used in TV’s and computer monitors. Thomson theorized that the mysterious glow was not caused by light waves, but rather by negatively charged particles pouring off the flat cathode (negatively charged metal) at the end of the tube. They were, he guessed, attracted to the positively charged anode. If a magnet were placed nearby, the EM field would bend the flow of particles- very much the same way that kids distort the picture on a TV image by placing a magnet near the picture tube. The positive pull of the magnet attracted the negatively charged particles. Thomson had discovered the e-.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

 

The German chemist Carl Gassner patented what came to be known as the “dry cell.” In a simple variation on the Leclanche battery, Gassner mixed ammonium chloride with POP and some ZnCl, and then sealed it in a Zn container.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

 

 

 

Galvin: Received the patent for the walkie-talkie.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

 

 

Fired from the shoulder, the M1 launcher was quickly nicknamed “Bazooka” by troops in the field after the nonsensical instrument played by radio comic Bob Burns, which he improvised from plumbing pipes.-The Battery by Schlesinger.


Transistors

What Bardeen and Brattain had done was “dope” or apply impurities to the germanium. So, depending on what impurities were added, the crystalline structure had either an excess of e- (called N-type for negative) or few e- (P-type). If there was a weak current flowing through the circuit of the doped surfaced with an excess of e-, you could enhance it by applying an additional charge. Conversely, you could block the current until current was applied by adding another type of impurity. So by stacking the doped surfaces in either a P-N-P or N-P-N configuration, the little devices could be turned into amplifier or on/off switches.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

Two years later, Bell labs had build the first all-transistor computer- TRADIC (Transistor Digital Computer) for the USAF using more than 700 transistors and diodes and 10,000 Ge crystal rectifiers. The entire unit fit into just a few square feet. This was a big step forward in the emerging computer field. The state of the art ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer) was a monster nicknamed “The Giant Brain.” Secretly commissioned by the military during WWII to calculate artillery tables, ENIAC needed some 18,000 vacuum tubes, 1800 sq ft, and constant attention by a dedicated staff to change the tubes, which blew out with maddening regularity. Extending the comparison, the first microprocessor made by Intel, the 4004, introduced in the early 1970’s, packed the equivalent of 2300 transistors onto a single chip, while today’s processors contain the equivalent of nearly 300,000,000 transistors.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

During WWII, the Rad Lab at MIT and Purdue were frantically working to improve the reception on radar systems and began looking at different materials, including Ge, which was added to the list of semiconductors consisting of Si, Se, and Te in 1936. Unlike others on the short list, Ge could be refined down to a very pure state. This initial wartime effort by the nearly forgotten Purdue team, made up of grad students and led by Dr. Karl Lark-Horovitz, pioneered the ability to produce very pure Ge and provided a better understanding of the material.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

It was in the new and ambitious weaponry systems, some of them on the drawing boards since the 1940’s, like the first surface to air missiles, called the Nike Ajax, that transistors found viable applications.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

Urry finally found a formulation that included a combination that worked. Where he succeeded was in making the switch to powdered Zn, rather than a solid piece of metal. The powder, he realized, offered more surface area for the chemicals to react. It was an innovative solution, but also very conventional when it came to power sources. Since Volta, scientists had been increasing surface area, first by adding disks to voltaic piles, then plates to trough batteries. The Smee battery featured a roughed up surface, and In a manner of speaking, so did Plante’s Pb storage battery. The first modern alkaline was born, with an estimated life span of 40x that of the Zn-C formulation.-The Battery by Schlesinger.


Circuit Boards

By using the printed circuit board technique, in which connections between components were essentially painted on the board, engineers could eliminate much of the birds-nest wiring and the galvanized chassis common in many electrical devices. They could also cut production costs and more or less reduce the wiring of a device to two 2D and fit a good deal more circuitry into a compact space.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

What was needed was a projectile with an electronics system; radio technology would provide the key. A small basic transmitter that bounced a signal off a plane could trigger the detonation by way of an equally basic receiver capable of picking up those returning waves. To solve the problem (of size), the engineers perfected the concept of circuit board or printed circuits. Developed in the mid-1930’s by the German refugee Paul Eisler, the process used a conductive foil rather than wires to make connections between different components. The battery looked very much like a mini voltaic pile. However, the small metallic disks, one stacked on top of the other, had a hollow center into which was placed a glass ampoule of electrolyte. When the shell was fired, the ampoule shattered and the natural spin of the projectile distributed the fluid, activating the battery in mid flight.-The Battery by Schlesinger.


Electrolyte Batteries

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Lithium-Ion

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Rechargeable Batteries

Batteries settled into 5 types of rechargeable chemistries for consumer electronics: the alkaline, NiCd, NiMH, and Li-ion.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

 

The first generation of rechargeable's included the Ni-Cds, which classify it. Because the substance seemed alkaline, he gave it the misleading name lithos (Greek for Stone) to distinguish it from salts found in organic matter, like plants. It was an alkali metal. Not much happened until Humphrey Davy with his supercharged Voltaic Pile, and another member of the Royal Institution, WT Brande, managed to isolate it through electrolysis. What they found when the applied a good jolt of electricity to Li-Cl was a very reactive silvery metal that was highly flammable and quickly oxidized when exposed to air.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

 

When we recharge batteries, we are simply returning them to their original state. In the primary batters, the changes cannot be reversed because of the chemical composition and arrangement of the metals used, but in a rechargeable battery, they can be returned to their original chemical state by reversing the flow of current. Very simply, when a battery discharges, it releases e- from a metal and through the negative electrode to external circuitry that powers a device and then back into the positive electrode. During normal use, a battery’s negative pole becomes oxidized, sending off e-, while its positive pole gives up O2. When a storage battery is recharged, the positive pole is oxidized and the negative pole reduced, shedding the positively charged ions accumulated during use.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

Future Battery Technology

One of the more promising technologies, the methane fuel cell, has been aggressively pursued by Sony. The Hybrid version unveiled featured a mini fuel cell, small enough to fit on a keychain along with a Li-ion battery. The unit, Sony pointed out, can either switch between the battery and fuel cell or run both systems simultaneously to power small devices. Flat film batteries, already on the market, offer another solution. Flexible and no thicker than a typical playing card, they use somewhat standard chemistries in a new way. They are made up of micron- and submicron- thin layers that create the anode, cathode, and electrolyte, and researchers have to date gotten them down to about 5 microns thick to produce an electrical charge. While not suitable for typical consumer products, they offer enough power to run a small IC in your credit card or label on canned peas, or even small active RFID tags, store data, or power up some basic IC hardware. This technology is already offered by TI and a few other companies for speciality applications, such as Microelectromechanical Systems, or MEMS, that require relatively little power.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

 

The way we charge batteries is also due to change in the near future. Plugging in a device to recharge batteries is on the way out with a variety of new technologies on the horizon. Nikola Tesla’s dream of remote energy transmission is quickly becoming a reality. The most practical method works through a kind of induction coil that beams energy into a Rx mounted in the device, though this only works for relatively short distances or when the device is placed directly against the coil. Even more intriguing is the concept the engineers at Nokia are currently working on, which is a way to harvest ambient EM radiation emitted from things like Wi-Fi Tx and cell phone towers that surround us every day, filling the air with energy to recharge batteries or run small devices.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

 

In the more distant future are ultracapacitors or double layer capacitors. A major technological leap forward from standard batteries, ultracapacitors work not by generating a charge through a chemical reaction but by holding an electrical charge in much the same way as a Leyden jar. In their most common form, ultracapacitors are made up of two nonreactive plates coated with C mounted in an electrolyte. The trick is that the surface area of each porous plate is enormous, so it's able to hold a large charge.-The Battery by Schlesinger.

 

In the vanguard of the research effort are Professor Joel E. Schindall and a team at MIT’s lab of EM and Electronic systems (LEES). What they’ve done is replace the activated C of ultracapacitors with C nanotubes that are 1/30,000 of a human hair. The tubes are actually grown on the surface. Once a plate's surface is prepared with a catalyst, its then exposed to a H-C gas at a high T. As the gas fills the closed chamber, the catalyst captures the C atoms to build up or self-assemble a fuzzy layer of tiny regularly spaced nanotubes vertically aligned on the plates surface within minutes to grow a little nanotube forest. “What we’re trying to do Is grow an array of nanotubes on a conducting electrode, like Sn foil, for example,” Schindall explained. “We believe a nanotube could operate at 3-4 V, about 5x as much more storage capacity as a commercial ultracap.”-The Battery by Schlesinger.

 

MIT researchers are experimenting with micro-batteries about half the size of a human cell. However, it isn’t the size of the battery that has generated interest, it is the assembly process. A genetically altered virus called M13 is set loose on a specially prepared surface to build up material for the anode. This is the kind of research that could lead to incredibly small self-powered IC’s for implantable sensors.-The Battery by Schlesinger.



 Solar

Space Solar Power (SSP) and involves sending hundreds of space satellites into orbit around the earth, absorbing radiation from the sun, and then beaming this energy down to earth in the form of microwave radiation. The satellites would be based 22,000 miles above the earth, where they become geostationary, revolving around the earth as fast as the earth spins. There is 8x more sunlight in space than on the surface of the earth.-Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku.

 

IRRIs biggest quest is how to increase the photosynthetic efficiency of solar panels by 50%- p222.-Countdown by Weisman.

 

Solar

  • Space Solar Power (SSP) and involves sending hundreds of space satellites into orbit around the earth, absorbing radiation from the sun, and then beaming this energy down to earth in the form of microwave radiation. The satellites would be based 22,000 miles above the earth, where they become geostationary, revolving around the earth as fast as the earth spins. There is 8x more sunlight in space than on the surface of the earth.-Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku.

  • IRRIs biggest quest is how to increase the photosynthetic efficiency of solar panels by 50%- p222.-Countdown by Weisman.

 

Hydrogen

  • The power source of the H economy is the H fuel cell, which is basically a box with no moving parts that takes in H and O and puts out water and electricity.-The Weather Makers by Flannery.

  • The fuel cell type best suited for transport purposes is known as a proton-exchange membrane fuel cell and operates at around 150F. These cells require very pure H. In current prototypes this is supplied from a built-in "reformer" that converts natural gas or gasoline to H, which again means that, from a climate perspective, we would be better off burning these fuels directly to drive the engine. The best energy efficiency obtained by proton-exchange membrane fuel cells is 35-40%- about the same as a standard internal combustion engine. Vehicle manufacturers hope to do away with the one board reformer required by the prototypes and envisage fueling the vehicles from H pumps at fuel stations.-The Weather Makers by Flannery.

  • The ideal way to transport it is in tanker- trucks carrying liquefied H, but, because liquefaction occurs at -423F, refrigerating the gas sufficiently to achieve this is an economic nightmare. Using H energy to liquefy a gallon of H consumes 40% of the value of the fuel. Using the US power grid to do so takes 12-15 kW hours of electricity, and this would release almost 22 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere. Around a gallon of gasoline holds the equivalent energy of one kg of H. Burning it releases around the same amount of CO2 as using the grid to liquefy the H, so the climate change consequences of using liquefied H are as bad as driving a standard car.-The Weather Makers by Flannery.

  • Further problems arise when you store the fuel in your car. A special fuel tank carrying H at 5,000 psi (near the current upper limit for pressurized vehicles) would need to be constructed and be 10x the size of a gas tank. Even with the best tanks, around 4% of fuel is likely to be lost to boil-off every day. A good example of the rate of evaporative loss of H occurs whenever NASA fuels the space shuttle. Its main tank takes 26,500 gallon of H, but an extra 12,000 gallons must be delivered at each refueling just to account for the evaporation rate.-The Weather Makers by Flannery.

  • Perhaps H could be produced from natural gas at the gas station. This would do away with the difficulties of transporting it, but this process would produce 50% more CO2 than using the gas to fuel the vehicle in the first place.-The Weather Makers by Flannery.

  • H gas is odorless, leak Prone, and highly combustible, and it burns with an invisible flame.-The Weather Makers by Flannery.

  • The only way that the H economy can help combat climate change is if the e grid is powered entirely from C-free sources.-The Weather Makers by Flannery.

  • Hoping for an economical way of producing clean H energy. It's frustrating, because there's more H in the universe than all other elements combined. Whether burned by internal combustion or injected into a fuel cell, its exhaust is simply water vapor. Theoretically, that exhaust could be captured, condensed, and tapped again for H, ad infinitum. A perfect, closed system- except for one annoying detail: in this universe, useable amounts of pure H gas occur naturally only in places like the Sun. On Earth, all H is tightly bound with other elements, such as O, C, N, and S. Breaking the bonds to free it- pulling the H out of H2O- requires more energy than H produces. The most efficient way to extract H is still using superheated steam to strip it from natural gas, a process that also releases that pesky pollutant Co2.-Countdown by Weisman.

 

Hydro e-

  • The Hoover Dam in the US generates about 4Billion KW-h’s of e- per year- enough to serve 1.3 million people- and can store up to 9.2 trillion gallons of water. 


Nuclear Power- Fission

  • A typical 1GW reactor produces about 30 tons of high-level nuclear waste after one year.-Physics of the Future by Kaku.

  • Nuclear Power already provides 18% of the world's e, with no CO2 emissions.-The Weather Makers by Flannery.

  • Nuclear Power Plants are nothing more than complicated and potentially hazardous machines for boiling water, which creates steam used to drive turbines.-The Weather Makers by Flannery.

  • Japan has 54 atomic reactors that provide 1/3 of Japan's electricity.-Countdown by Weisman.

  • The RTG (radioisotope thermoelectric generator) is a big box of plutonium. The RTG houses the plutonium, catches the radiation in the form of heat, and turns it into electricity. It’s not a reactor. The radiation can’t be increased or decreased. It’s a purely natural process happening at the atomic level.-The Martian by Weir.

 

Nuclear Power- Fusion

  • 27 million degrees Fahrenheit found in the center of the sun. If all goes well, it will generate 500 MW of energy, which is 10x the amount of energy originally going into the reactor.-Physics of the Future by Kaku.

  • Pound for pound, fusion releases 10 million times more energy than gasoline. An 8 oz glass of water is equal to the energy content of 500,000 barrels of petroleum.-Physics of the Future by Kaku.

    • In star formation, a Hydrogen-rich ball of gas is gradually compressed by gravity, until it starts to heat up to enormous temperatures. When the gas reaches around 50 million degrees or so (which varies depending on the specific conditions), thy H nuclei inside the gas are slammed into one another, until they fuse which causes the gas to ignite. (More precisely, the compression must satisfy something called Lawson's criterion, which states that you have to compress Hydrogen gas of a certain density to a certain temperature for a certain amount of time.

 

  • NIF- fusion by laser.-Physics of the Future by Kaku.

    • NIF reactor is based at the LLNL. With a 192 giant laser beams being fired down a long tunnel. It is the largest laser system in the world, delivering sixty times more energy than any previous one. After these laser beams are fired down this long tunnel, they eventually hit an array of mirrors that focus each beam onto a tiny pinhead-size target, consisting of deuterium and tritium. Incredibly, 500 trillion watts of laser power are focused onto a tiny pellet that is barely visible to the naked eye, scorching it to 100 million degrees, much hotter than the center of the sun. (The energy of that colossal pulse is equivalent to the output of half a million nuclear power plants in a brief instant). The surface of this microscopic pellet is quickly vaporized, which unleashes a shockwave that collapses the pellet and unleashes the power of fusion.

 

  • ITER- Fusion in a magnetic field.-Physics of the Future by Kaku.

    • The international thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) uses huge magnetic fields to contain hot hydrogen gas. Instead of using lasers to instantly collapse a tiny pellet of hydrogen rich material, ITER uses a magnetic field to slowly compress H gas. The magnetic field keeps the hydrogen gas inside the doughnut shaped chamber from escaping. Then an electrical current is sent surging through the gas, heating it. The combination of squeezing the gas with the magnetic field and sending a current surging through it causes the gas to heat up to many millions of degrees.

 

  • DEMO fusion reactor: While the ITER is designed to produce 500 MW for a minimum of 500 seconds, the DEMO will be designed to produce energy continually. The DEMO adds one extra step lacking in the ITER. When fusion takes place, an extra neutron is formed, which quickly escapes from the chamber. However, it is possible to surround the chamber with a special coating, called the blanket, specifically designed to absorb the energy of this neutron. The blanket then heats up. Pipes inside the blanket carry water, which then boils. This steam is sent against the blades o a turbine that generates e-.-Physics of the Future by Kaku.

  • Sonoluminescence: uses the sudden collapse of bubbles to unleash blistering temperatures. It is sometimes called sonic fusion or bubble fusion.-Physics of the Future by Kaku.

  • One advantage of fusion power is that its fuel is hydrogen, which can be extracted from seawater. A fusion plant also cannot suffer a catastrophic meltdown like the ones. we saw at Chernobyl and Fukushima. If there is a malfunction in the fusion plant (such as the superhot gas touching the lining of the reactor) the fusion process automatically shuts itself off. (This is because the fusion process has to attain the Lawson criterion: it must maintain the proper density and temperature to fuse the hydrogen over a certain period of time. But if the fusion process gets out of control, the Lawson criterion is no longer satisfied, and it stops by itself.)-The Future of Humanity by Kaku.

  • Radiation

    Electromagnetic Radiation

    oWhen big unstable atoms like U decay naturally, or when we rip them apart, they emit charged particles and EM rays similar to the strongest X-rays. Both are potent enough to alter living cells and DNA. As these deformed cells and genes reproduce and replicate, we sometimes get another kind of chain reaction, called cancer.-The World Without Us by Weisman.

     

    Radioactive Waste

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), operating since 1999, is the boneyard for detritus from nuclear weapons and defense research. It can handle 6.2 million cubic feet of waste, the equivalent of about 156,000 55 gallon drums.-The World Without Us by Weisman.

     

    High level nuclear waste is now melted in furnaces with glass beads. When poured into stainless steel containers, it turns into solid blocks of radioactive glass= vitrification.-The World Without Us by Weisman.

     

    Nuclear Reactors

    Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station- biggest in the USA: 3.8GW.-The World Without Us by Weisman.

    oIn Palo Verde’s three separate reactor, these dampers are in interspersed among nearly 170,000 pencil-thin, 14ft zirconium alloy hollow rods stuffed end to end with U pellets that each contain as much power as a ton of coal. The rods are bunched into hundreds of assemblies; water flowing among them keeps things cool, and, as it vaporizes, it propels the steam turbines.

    oEach steam column consists of 15,000 gallons of water evaporated per minute cool Palo Verde’s three fission reactors.

    104 reactors that produce about 20 percent of America’s electricity at sixty-five sites.-Back to Work by Bill Clinton.

    All nuke plants use moveable, neutron stopping Cadmium rods to dampen or intensify the action.-The World Without Us by Weisman.

    The industry is already heavily subsidized, yet new nuclear plants are basically uninsurable and so expensive to build that the estimated cost of power from them is twenty-five to thirty cents a kilowatt hour, three times today’s rates and twice as high as solar power.-Back to Work by Bill Clinton.

Hydrogen

The power source of the H economy is the H fuel cell, which is basically a box with no moving parts that takes in H and O and puts out water and electricity.-The Weather Makers by Flannery.

 

The fuel cell type best suited for transport purposes is known as a proton-exchange membrane fuel cell and operates at around 150F. These cells require very pure H. In current prototypes this is supplied from a built-in "reformer" that converts natural gas or gasoline to H, which again means that, from a climate perspective, we would be better off burning these fuels directly to drive the engine. The best energy efficiency obtained by proton-exchange membrane fuel cells is 35-40%- about the same as a standard internal combustion engine. Vehicle manufacturers hope to do away with the one board reformer required by the prototypes and envisage fueling the vehicles from H pumps at fuel stations.-The Weather Makers by Flannery.

 

The ideal way to transport it is in tanker- trucks carrying liquefied H, but, because liquefaction occurs at -423F, refrigerating the gas sufficiently to achieve this is an economic nightmare. Using H energy to liquefy a gallon of H consumes 40% of the value of the fuel. Using the US power grid to do so takes 12-15 kW hours of electricity, and this would release almost 22 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere. Around a gallon of gasoline holds the equivalent energy of one kg of H. Burning it releases around the same amount of CO2 as using the grid to liquefy the H, so the climate change consequences of using liquefied H are as bad as driving a standard car.-The Weather Makers by Flannery.

 

Further problems arise when you store the fuel in your car. A special fuel tank carrying H at 5,000 psi (near the current upper limit for pressurized vehicles) would need to be constructed and be 10x the size of a gas tank. Even with the best tanks, around 4% of fuel is likely to be lost to boil-off every day. A good example of the rate of evaporative loss of H occurs whenever NASA fuels the space shuttle. Its main tank takes 26,500 gallon of H, but an extra 12,000 gallons must be delivered at each refueling just to account for the evaporation rate.-The Weather Makers by Flannery.

 

Perhaps H could be produced from natural gas at the gas station. This would do away with the difficulties of transporting it, but this process would produce 50% more CO2 than using the gas to fuel the vehicle in the first place.-The Weather Makers by Flannery.

 

H gas is odorless, leak Prone, and highly combustible, and it burns with an invisible flame.-The Weather Makers by Flannery.

 

The only way that the H economy can help combat climate change is if the e grid is powered entirely from C-free sources.-The Weather Makers by Flannery.

 

Hoping for an economical way of producing clean H energy. It's frustrating, because there's more H in the universe than all other elements combined. Whether burned by internal combustion or injected into a fuel cell, its exhaust is simply water vapor. Theoretically, that exhaust could be captured, condensed, and tapped again for H, ad infinitum. A perfect, closed system- except for one annoying detail: in this universe, useable amounts of pure H gas occur naturally only in places like the Sun. On Earth, all H is tightly bound with other elements, such as O, C, N, and S. Breaking the bonds to free it- pulling the H out of H2O- requires more energy than H produces. The most efficient way to extract H is still using superheated steam to strip it from natural gas, a process that also releases that pesky pollutant Co2.-Countdown by Weisman.

 

Hydro e-

The Hoover Dam in the US generates about 4Billion KW-h’s of e- per year- enough to serve 1.3 million people- and can store up to 9.2 trillion gallons of water.



Nuclear Power- Fission

A typical 1GW reactor produces about 30 tons of high-level nuclear waste after one year.-Physics of the Future by Kaku.

Nuclear Power already provides 18% of the world's e, with no CO2 emissions.-The Weather Makers by Flannery.

Nuclear Power Plants are nothing more than complicated and potentially hazardous machines for boiling water, which creates steam used to drive turbines.-The Weather Makers by Flannery.

Japan has 54 atomic reactors that provide 1/3 of Japan's electricity.-Countdown by Weisman.

The RTG (radioisotope thermoelectric generator) is a big box of plutonium. The RTG houses the plutonium, catches the radiation in the form of heat, and turns it into electricity. It’s not a reactor. The radiation can’t be increased or decreased. It’s a purely natural process happening at the atomic level.-The Martian by Weir.

 

Nuclear Power- Fusion

27 million degrees Fahrenheit found in the center of the sun. If all goes well, it will generate 500 MW of energy, which is 10x the amount of energy originally going into the reactor.-Physics of the Future by Kaku.

 

Pound for pound, fusion releases 10 million times more energy than gasoline. An 8 oz glass of water is equal to the energy content of 500,000 barrels of petroleum.-Physics of the Future by Kaku.

oIn star formation, a Hydrogen-rich ball of gas is gradually compressed by gravity, until it starts to heat up to enormous temperatures. When the gas reaches around 50 million degrees or so (which varies depending on the specific conditions), thy H nuclei inside the gas are slammed into one another, until they fuse which causes the gas to ignite. (More precisely, the compression must satisfy something called Lawson's criterion, which states that you have to compress Hydrogen gas of a certain density to a certain temperature for a certain amount of time.

 

NIF- fusion by laser.-Physics of the Future by Kaku.

oNIF reactor is based at the LLNL. With a 192 giant laser beams being fired down a long tunnel. It is the largest laser system in the world, delivering sixty times more energy than any previous one. After these laser beams are fired down this long tunnel, they eventually hit an array of mirrors that focus each beam onto a tiny pinhead-size target, consisting of deuterium and tritium. Incredibly, 500 trillion watts of laser power are focused onto a tiny pellet that is barely visible to the naked eye, scorching it to 100 million degrees, much hotter than the center of the sun. (The energy of that colossal pulse is equivalent to the output of half a million nuclear power plants in a brief instant). The surface of this microscopic pellet is quickly vaporized, which unleashes a shockwave that collapses the pellet and unleashes the power of fusion.

 

ITER- Fusion in a magnetic field.-Physics of the Future by Kaku.

oThe international thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) uses huge magnetic fields to contain hot hydrogen gas. Instead of using lasers to instantly collapse a tiny pellet of hydrogen rich material, ITER uses a magnetic field to slowly compress H gas. The magnetic field keeps the hydrogen gas inside the doughnut shaped chamber from escaping. Then an electrical current is sent surging through the gas, heating it. The combination of squeezing the gas with the magnetic field and sending a current surging through it causes the gas to heat up to many millions of degrees.

 

DEMO fusion reactor: While the ITER is designed to produce 500 MW for a minimum of 500 seconds, the DEMO will be designed to produce energy continually. The DEMO adds one extra step lacking in the ITER. When fusion takes place, an extra neutron is formed, which quickly escapes from the chamber. However, it is possible to surround the chamber with a special coating, called the blanket, specifically designed to absorb the energy of this neutron. The blanket then heats up. Pipes inside the blanket carry water, which then boils. This steam is sent against the blades o a turbine that generates e-.-Physics of the Future by Kaku.

 

Sonoluminescence: uses the sudden collapse of bubbles to unleash blistering temperatures. It is sometimes called sonic fusion or bubble fusion.-Physics of the Future by Kaku.

 

One advantage of fusion power is that its fuel is hydrogen, which can be extracted from seawater. A fusion plant also cannot suffer a catastrophic meltdown like the ones. we saw at Chernobyl and Fukushima. If there is a malfunction in the fusion plant (such as the superhot gas touching the lining of the reactor) the fusion process automatically shuts itself off. (This is because the fusion process has to attain the Lawson criterion: it must maintain the proper density and temperature to fuse the hydrogen over a certain period of time. But if the fusion process gets out of control, the Lawson criterion is no longer satisfied, and it stops by itself.)-The Future of Humanity by Kaku.


1963: Nuclear Test ban Treaty of 1963: Prohibits aboveground testing of nuclear weapons.

 

2 Dec, 1941: in a squash court beneath the stadium at the U of Chicago, Fermi and his new American colleagues produced a controlled nuclear chain reaction. Their primitive reactor was a beehive shaped pile of graphite bricks laced with U. By inserting rods coated with Cadmium, which absorbs neutrons, they could moderate the exponential shattering of U atoms to keep it from getting out of hand.-The World Without Us by Weisman.

 


 

 

Fusion

 

 

Radiation

Electromagnetic Radiation

oWhen big unstable atoms like U decay naturally, or when we rip them apart, they emit charged particles and EM rays similar to the strongest X-rays. Both are potent enough to alter living cells and DNA. As these deformed cells and genes reproduce and replicate, we sometimes get another kind of chain reaction, called cancer.-The World Without Us by Weisman.

 

Radioactive Waste

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), operating since 1999, is the boneyard for detritus from nuclear weapons and defense research. It can handle 6.2 million cubic feet of waste, the equivalent of about 156,000 55 gallon drums.-The World Without Us by Weisman.

 

High level nuclear waste is now melted in furnaces with glass beads. When poured into stainless steel containers, it turns into solid blocks of radioactive glass= vitrification.-The World Without Us by Weisman.

 

Nuclear Reactors

Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station- biggest in the USA: 3.8GW.-The World Without Us by Weisman.

oIn Palo Verde’s three separate reactor, these dampers are in interspersed among nearly 170,000 pencil-thin, 14ft zirconium alloy hollow rods stuffed end to end with U pellets that each contain as much power as a ton of coal. The rods are bunched into hundreds of assemblies; water flowing among them keeps things cool, and, as it vaporizes, it propels the steam turbines.

oEach steam column consists of 15,000 gallons of water evaporated per minute cool Palo Verde’s three fission reactors.

104 reactors that produce about 20 percent of America’s electricity at sixty-five sites.-Back to Work by Bill Clinton.

All nuke plants use moveable, neutron stopping Cadmium rods to dampen or intensify the action.-The World Without Us by Weisman.

The industry is already heavily subsidized, yet new nuclear plants are basically uninsurable and so expensive to build that the estimated cost of power from them is twenty-five to thirty cents a kilowatt hour, three times today’s rates and twice as high as solar power.-Back to Work by Bill Clinton.

Thermonuclear Fusion.png