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Author Topic: Is it possible to create a "mining laser"?  (Read 2416 times)

Offline techshaman

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Is it possible to create a "mining laser"?
« on: 26/03/2013 22:58:02 »
Is it possible to make a beam of energy from the power of magnet generators? If so is it possible to channel the frequency of this energy beam to repel or attract certain materials such as precious metals and such? If this is possible I'm sure it could be used not only to push and pull objects but it could be channeled for a powerful jet engine or maybe even a real life "hyperdrive". I figured if a mining laser is possible then these things won't be much further out of reach.

I was thinking if you can use a magnet generator to make a super powerful rail gun you'd surely be able to make a tractor beam or a mining laser... Basically channel the outer part of the beam to a cutting laser and the center of it a sort of altered magnetic force, altered by the vacuum of space that had been modified inside of machine. The problem is finding out how to alter the magnetic force and how to "contain" the vacuum of space.... Is it even possible? Nobody knows.... Or do they? Only time will tell.


 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Is it possible to create a "mining laser"?
« Reply #1 on: 27/03/2013 09:25:42 »
It is certainly possible to:
  • Use magnetic fields to generate electrical energy (this is the way most of our electricity is produced)
  • Channel magnetic fields by using ferromagnetic materials like iron and nickel
  • Channel electrical energy by using electrically conductive materials like copper and aluminum
  • If you can push or pull materials, you can use it to produce a rocket
There are a few things that are still a challenge for our current technology:
  • You still need an energy source to power the generator to produce the electricity. We have to fall back to energy sources like diesel, coal, hydropower, nuclear or windpower.
  • Magnetic fields only strongly affect magnetic materials like magnetite. Unfortunately, these only make up a small fraction of the Earth's rocks.
  • Lasers can certainly cut rocks, by turning them into a plasma. However, this takes a huge amount of energy, and results in a superhot vapour that is dangerous to people and machines. With current technology, it's actually more efficient and safer to use mechanical drills and insert dynamite in the holes. This leaves a pile of rubble which is easier to transport than a plasma.
  • Once you have a plasma, you can accelerate it with electric fields to make a rocket. But again this takes even more energy.
  • Most controllable plasmas have a fairly low density, so the thrust is fairly low. Near Earth's surface, friction and air resistance is fairly high, so you get more thrust by pushing & pulling on denser materials like air, water or dirt.
  • Plasmas absorb laser energy of all wavelengths, and reradiate it in all directions. So what might start as an intense thin beam of light quickly becomes a diffuse ball of glowing gas, which does not cut nearly so well.

Where this does prove useful is in outer space, where fuel is very expensive to transport, but you can get a moderate amount of energy from the Sun with solar cells. So you take a small amount of gas, turn it into a plasma and accelerate it through magnetic fields using a very high voltage. This produces a small, steady thrust, which builds to a useful velocity over a period of weeks and months - because in space there is no friction.

...but we are a long way from a practical magnetic mining machine.
« Last Edit: 27/03/2013 11:59:46 by evan_au »
 

Offline Pmb

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Re: Is it possible to create a "mining laser"?
« Reply #2 on: 27/03/2013 21:44:12 »
Quote from: techshaman
Is it possible to make a beam of energy from the power of magnet generators?
Can you explain what you mean by “power of magnet generators”?

Quote from: techshaman
If so is it possible to channel the frequency of this energy beam to repel or attract certain materials such as precious metals and such?
Not exactly. What can be done is to fire a laser at the ground. If the photons are energetic enough they will vaporize the material that the ground is made of and form a gas. The energy of the atoms in the gas makes the gas expand so that the vapor/gas produced will exhaust from the hole you’re digging. The laser has to be pulsed because the gas will be opaque to the photons and lessen the efficiency of the laser drill. While you can push things with a laser you can’t pull them.

Quote from: techshaman
If this is possible I'm sure it could be used not only to push and pull objects but it could be channeled for a powerful jet engine or maybe even a real life "hyperdrive". I figured if a mining laser is possible then these things won't be much further out of reach.
No.
 

Offline Pmb

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Re: Is it possible to create a "mining laser"?
« Reply #3 on: 27/03/2013 21:48:15 »
It is certainly possible to:
  • Use magnetic fields to generate electrical energy (this is the way most of our electricity is produced)
To be precise, a magnetic field is “utilized” to generate energy. By that I mean that work is done on a crack shaft (a torque is applied) moving a conductor through the magnetic field. The actual work being done on the charges is not from the magnetic field but from the electric field of which the conductors are created from. Energy can be stored in a magnetic field too.

I general, nice response!!! :)[/list]
 

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Re: Is it possible to create a "mining laser"?
« Reply #3 on: 27/03/2013 21:48:15 »

 

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