Ceramics in Nuclear Reactors
Minerals: quarts, feldspars, chlorite, muscovite, biotite, zircons, traces of pyrite, magnetite, late iron hydroxides, and late lower temperature clays.
Metasediment, natural size, Boston Basin Carboniferous, granulite facies, fabric aplitic. Composition: granitic, somewhat dioritic.
1 - Thickness: reflects its origin as a sedimentary layer
2 - Pentagonal outline: laid down as shaley sandstone drying and/or other causes of shrinkage result in pentagonal outlines.
3 - Bottom: flatter, sediments were slightly courser
4 - Top: rounded, sediments were slightly finer
5 - Arched top: due to compression
[note: See hot-pressing parabolic arching effect.]
6 - Large ripple at top
[note: arrow indicating drag slippage and slight drag folding]
Small ripples at bottom [note: drag slippage]
7 - Hard edges: best-developed parallel with drag fold/slippage
[note: Due to inbibition largely during metamorphism.]
Petrofabric is standard pedantry. A ghost of something more appeared in the 1950's when in Germany "Schift Effect" was studied. That is: the diagrams showing orientation of the various crystals making up a rock - say, quartz, feldpars, apatite, and micas in granite.
[note: The writer, with a full scholarship at MIT, and directed toward a doctorate, took a leave of absence from school in Sweden, intending to secure degrees from both schools based on field work in Africa, which I periodically visited, working for one or another minerals industry. I had, at that time, some years of experience with petrographic microscopes, microanalysis, and metallurgical techniques gained largely under the most exacting task masters in Sweden, and to an extent in Germany, Austria, France, England, and South Africa. I took the grad course in petrology as a great "free-ride." It was anything but. My first error was setting up a crystal in a thin section on a five ring Fedorov stage almost as fast as the rings can be moved. It should have taken most of a day at first, and afterwards, at best many minutes. The professor couldn't begin to match this - but I had some years on him, along with field work on all continents (I never talked about it, but they knew). I failed with a C. The grad school requires a B. Months later in Sweden, with giant thin sections made across an entire orbicule, I was awarded highest pass for much more complicated work: Petrotexture. The writer coined the word.]
Metals: casting, hot and cold forging, hammer weld, cold-working, annealing and cold working, hot and cold rolling, extrusion, hot-pressing, isostatic-pressing of metals and alloys, develop not only texture, but little-observed or understood patterns.
Composites: are most spectacularly developed in organic calcareous calcite and aragonite shells throughout which protein fibers are systematically "woven." Polishing, even filing a shell is amazingly difficult. [note: Except to mention that working with nitride fibers it was possible to faabricate radomes of many sizes, wonderfully resistant to heat, impact, corrosion, scarring, which at the same time were almost disortionlessly transparent to microwaves. see: radomes.]
Silicates: develop not only petrofabric, but almost never observed, and not understood. These are more complicated than what is studied by 'metallurgists', so it's best to approach both by considering silicate rocks. Those used for illustration are of the granulite facies in which pressure and temperatures are almost at the melting point. These used for illustration (above) have also been heated as: sediments, greenschist facies, epidote amphibolite facies, amphibolitefacies, and granulite facies (stopping just short of magmatization (melting)).
Below, and annotated sketch of the rock scanned in natural size above. It was once a silty sadnstone, Carboniferous Age, ca. 250,000,000 BC, from the Boston Basin, metamorhosed at granulite temperatures and pressures.
Sedimentary Events: 1 - Rift, grain, and hard-way (as in any sediment).
2 - Pentagonal outline (characteristic of tension, is visible,
but distorted by later drag-folding).
3 - Bottom flat, top arched (due to sedimentary compression).
4 - Drag folding (with compression during geo-synclinal folding).
Metamorphic Heating: 5 - Slightly higher compression at edges(results in silicate concentration at edges).
6 - Slightly lower compression at surfaces (slightly concentrates larger ions,
leaving structural weaknesses).
[note: Here it's appropriate to mention the most notorious scientific note I have ever ventured. It outrages intuition, has not, and likely for yet some decades to come just cannot be accepted, as is best, just not mentioned. What if someone reading it looked. What would they see???
1946, studying geology, enthralled by the facts professorially revealed, somewhat mathematically inclined, the writer realized: "Here's a tiny opportunity. One of the simplest "revelations;" and it's one that most everyone knows anyhow, is that [granitic] rocks are carried downstream, battered, abraded, worn, rubbed, such that they are rounder-and-rounder as they move from source to wherever the river, with its tributaries, ends up.
Opportunity 1946 knocks. A size and roundness index might reveal something about ancient waterways. It's so basic: the farther rocks and pebbles are carried downstream the more they are battered, worn, abraded, etc. The rounder as they go.
1946 early summer - I define "roundness" as roundness = [1 - (% of surface that's convex). If the entire surface bulges outward roundness = 1.
Alas, offensively confounding common sense and science, most values fell below 1/2 (one-half). Forces not mentioned in textbooks or the literature dominate and shape the pebbles and stones. Alack: Although I measured at least 1000 samples in each of six streams, the information was unwelcomed.]
Late hydrous and femic fronts: [note: with the why of it, best called a Tafoni Effect (sketched below indicating how it happens)].
Over a decade later, I worked fabricating beryllium oxide components for nuclear reactors, and on beryllium metallurgy. It's a nasty metal. Before nuclear reactors existed, its only commercial use was as beryllium-bronze alloy tools. Not sparking when striking a blow, they are widely used in petroleum and gas industries.
Both Aluminum and Beryllium are difficult metals. Both have a strong affinity for oxygen. Both easily, and continually, re-crystallize in the metallic state. Aluminum is easily cold-rolled, extruded, deep drawn and drawn into wire; but aluminum, used as wiring for houses. Within a year - and increasing thereafter - is dangerous hazarding fires short circuits, and other failures. Beryllium is a "beast."
[note: This is why all my notes concerning the fabrication of starship frames, hulls, etc., reference stainless steel. It's heavier, but both iron and chromium are cubic metals.]
Working with fission reactors, including those intended for use in aircraft, and always having been interested in space travel, I speculated on how relativistic velocities [yes, I believe in absolute velocity measurable against background radiation, the centroid of visible galaxies, etc.] two things came to mind:
Drop Your Buckets Where You Are! is a story from history past, from the 1500's, as Portuguese-design caravels were being displaced by galleons. It tells of a small ship, just emerged from the usually cloudless North Tropical, that "ocean desert" called the Horse Latitudes. So hot and dry is it that horses - creatures that must have water - on their way to the New World were often blindfolded and tossed overboard. The ships couldn't carry enough water for them.
It's said, several times, small ships offshore from the mighty freshwater Amazon, appealing to a passing ship for water, were signaled: "drop your buckets where you are." Then: "We don't taunt you. The water is fresh, you'll be surprised - try it!"
Is there a parallel in the Ocean of Interstellar Space? Is there a way of reducing the perfectly dreadful mass ration of payload and ship to fuel-&-reaction-mass? The best estimates are, to this day, still 1000 to 1, or more.
A parallel is at least possible. The ocean between stars isn't empty.
[note: There are many ways of somewhat reducing ship-&-payload ration to fuel-&-reaction-mass. see: earth departure and return. And here we mention that while solar plunging excels as a way of reducing mass needed for acceleration and deceleration, think how wonderfully better our situation would be if our Earth and Sun were in a globular cluster.]
Operation of Key Fission Reactors at Relativistic Velocities
Small fission reactors will supply starships internal power needs. None have considered reactors structures to operate when the ships cruise (hopefully they will in the nearer, rather than far-off future), or just coast at relativistic velocities.
The problem occurred to me when working on hot pressing beryllium oxide components for America's ANP (it stands for aircraft nuclear propulsion; and eminently practical system. It means that aircraft will no longer spew out excess fuel over metropolitan areas [ever wonder why there's so many more children with asthma about airports?] aircraft fires will no longer cost countless lives, air transportation will be enormously cheaper).
Realizing, Engineering - Interstellar Hydrogen Scoop
My friend and colleague of many years, Bussard, originated the concept of scooping hydrogen from the interstellar continuum: with nets of gossamer wires - tens to over a hundred kilometers in diameter - shaped magnetic fields, scooping hydrogen into a fusion reactor.
There's one or more hydrogen atoms per cubic centimeter of average galactic interstellar space. Moving at about 1/10 light's velocity, significant proton mass can be collected per unit time.
Expanding on Bussard's considerations I have studied the possibility of using laser light, rather than a material net, to do the scooping. A net of light escapes other problems: corrosion by dusts, net = tangles, breaks, the need for complex control of electric currents to keep the Scoop deployed and properly shaped, impact of uncharged particles on the net, difficulty of running large amperage through thin wires, local heating and rupture of wires cooled to be superconductors. [note: see athodyde]
Varieties of "Echo" propulsion could use a variety of fuels to generate thrust: 1 - Fission, 2 - Fission-Fusion, 3 - Augmented Fission-Fusion (such as borin injection), 4 - Fission.
It's how fuel is used that makes an "echo" engine, not the fuel. It's an idea I developed over a half century ago; I wonder if it's really original. It recalls considerations of relativistic engines and their power plants of a half century ago.
[note: These were the years when technology really surged forward, sadly followed by decades of implacable hatred and suppression of technology, "as long as we have social problems." (Who's We?) These were the days when we were technically five to ten years away from manned exploration of the entire solar system.]
Velocity is Relative to What?
Lorentz’s t = t0 / [ 1- v2 / c2 ] ½ is referenced to the centroid of visible galaxies and/or background radiaon @ 2.70 K .
[note. It works. It’s acceptable. It avoids both the thesis that we must transform Sagnac’s experiment. current optical gyroscopes, and centrifugal force out of existence---- (accomplished by rotating the universe about the gyro, which is mathematically O.K., as the rotations are imaginary) ---- and concurrently avoids the centuries long and century-long discredited anti-theises that there’s a body, a sky hook of sorts, to which absolute motion is referable. ]
Profound are the implications; and beautifully expressed by Graucho Marx: Are you going to believe me? (thesis) – Or what you see with your eyes(antithesis)!
Ergo, a “synthesis ” is possible. Reference visible galaxies as a centroid, and / or the 2.70 K background radiation, and / or apparent recession of galaxies as x,y,z,t centroids -- there’s other ways too; so now I congratulate myself, and leave for a few moments to relieve my “mind;” sort of a solypsistic standing-ovation - and I’ll be right back.
When time runs like molasses, cool, then cold; so does everything else in that inertial frame. At extreme relativistic speeds affairs aboard spelling bees, ball games, pulling on a pair of socks, and a spectrum of organic activities [modest good taste] precludes us from listing---- all slow down so that could they be seen from Earth would look like the snoozers in “Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.”
Imagine being in an accelerating starship just reaching a velocity where time-dilation [stretching-out, slowing down] can be appreciated. At the same time it’s engineers notice its power plant and propulsion slow-down.
[note. relative to the centroid of visible galaxies, 2.70 K background radiation, apparent recession of galaxies with distance and other measurables.] more power’s needed to maintain a steady rate of acceleration relative to the centroid. How will this be done?)
Should engines be ganged, and/or power doubled, quadrupled etc?
Is there another way- a way around this?
There’s A Way and Here’s How:
[note. To myself, I'll write what I please - so there!--- Those who see correct solutions, and in difficult situations dare exclaim the equivalent of “here’s how” stir memories of a real happening and a joke. Ever so long ago after operational testing of a major weapons system, at the last and final field test called “hand over” we were faced with a multitude of colonels, a few generals, and a 2nd lieutenant.
I “ask.”: “Who the --- lieutenant, are you ????”
He replies: “Watch me.”
We watch. Magnificent. Had he been with us- we would in no time have willingly worked under him.]
In a fictional college, an architect defending his doctorate answered all questions flawlessly, easily, extensively without hesitation. There was but one irritation. With each answer he somehow always mumbled, said, or implied: “THAT’S EASY.”
At last, a great professor rose to say: “You have of course, passed; however just as a profound intellectual exercise I have one last question; is it possible there’s an easy solution: In this unfortunately inflationary year of the Lord, you are to build a one family two bedroom house for (barely possible price) in which you’ll design a kitchen in which fats don’t spatter, about which fats don’t spatter, and an odorless bathroom - the student interrupts exclaiming: “THAT’S EASY, cook in the bathroom.
As starships cruise at the edges of relativistic space-time struggling to accelerate, as their engines struggle to produce more and more thrust, through slow and slower-time moving toward unreachable no-time. Their power plants do the same. Time slows down for the ship’s company, and at the same time the ship’s power plant and thrust slow down when the opposite is needed.
If somehow a ship in relativistic space; can operate its power plant and propulsion units in non-relativistic space: neither power production diminish nor would would its propulsion units generate less-and-less thrust per unit time. –An extraordinary requirement indeed. Is it just that: “Oh how we wish something like that could be -----if only it were possible ?” It isn't just wishful thinking.
Can a power plant and thrust-reactor be inside and outside a ship at the same time?
Echo Lance, An Inside-Outside Drive
It’s physically feasible and within our world’s current engineering capabilities. This is the nature of the echo lance. Interstellar hydrogen, some helium, and traces of other elements are scooped with a funnel of photons. Fission, fission/fusion, or fusion takes place in an athodyde. The frame, the athodyde travel in relativistic space. Transformation of mass into energy though shrouded in the athodyde is in non-relativistic space. Thrust from fission fusion “burn” is applies to the ship largely through magnetic cushions- and other devices as appropriate
A row of stationary people along a rink-way can accelerate someone on roller skates, if each pushes him as he passes. They are motionless, outside his “frame.” And he is moving.
Can an engine be built in which fission // fusion // thrust in within the ship; yet inertially outside it? Yes, it can be done.
Fuel + Reaction Mass is Heavy
The earliest designs for starships largely by my dear colleagues and friends: A half century ago Dr.Ted Taylor and Dr. Ulam calculated that with engineering then available nuclear pulse-propelled starships could have been built and reached velocities of 10% or more of light’s velocity. I had several discussions with Dr.Draper about communication at interstellar distances of 5 to 20 light years. Even in the 1950's Draper [far senior to and vastly more experienced and better informed that the writer] and the writer knew TV frames could be transmitted to Earth from such depths in space.
[note. Joanna M., still a student at M.I.T., was employed first with Draper. I will, after decades of silence, here venture that after WWII Draper was heartily disliked by persons violently opposed to American research concerning, much less proto engineering of, intercontinental missiles carrying nuclear warheads. Tomes were written demonstrating that no rocket could possibly hoist a nuclear warhead; and, furthermore, guidance of a rocket is essentially impossible.]
Guidance for Americas ICBMS was finally designed in the Draper Laboratories.
It was estimated that, at best, fission might be 4 to 5 % effective, and likely significantly less. We estimated interstellar probes would have fuel/reaction-mass ratios of over 1000 to 1. That’s to say, for each ton of ship, at least 1000 tons of fuel, and perhaps more.
Ref: 1898 in "L'Eclairage elec XVI" by Lienard
Ref: 1912 in "E. M. Radiation" by G. Schott, pub. Cambridge University
Ref: 1913 in "Proc. Royal Soc., Larmor's Collected Papers"
Ref: 1923 in "Physical Review 21" by A. Compton
Ref: 1923 in "Physical Zeitschrift" by P. Debye (results identical with Comptons)
Ref: 1925, 2 March, in "India Jrnl. Physics" by C. Raman (in addition to Compton-Deybe scatter)
Ref: 1959 in Theoretical Physics" by George Joos, trans. Ira Freeman of Rutgers, pub. Hafner, NY
Ref: 1962 in "Classical Electrodynamics" by John D. Jackson, pub John Wiley & Sons (concerns what we call "beam topple")
Ref: 1967 in "Concepts of Modern Physics" by Arthur Beiser, pub. McGraw Hill
[note: RDE - pppq @ h and pept @ h, however, statistical search 72 db below noise is routine, so ---]
Ref: recent ca. 2000-2010 by Energy Matter Conversion Co., by Tri Alpha Energy, use of boron fusion fuel)
Dr. Robert Duncan-Enzmann, designer of the Enzmann Starship
physicist, scientist, astronomer, geologist, archaeologist, historian, linguist, medical doctor
British Embassy School, Peking, China; Univ. London; WW II USN, AC; RN, AB Harvard; ScB Hon., London; Standard, MSc, Witwatersrand; Nat Sci Scholar; MIT course work; Royal Inst. Uppsala Swed.; PhD/MD Cuidad Juarez, Mex.; Pacific Radar: Greenland Gap-filler, Canada DEW-line; SAGE; Pacific PRESS; California ATLAS, BMEWS; ICBM; Kwajalein Atoll ICBM intercept; TRADEX; Mars Voyager; Cryptography.