March 10, 2019

Since That Last Post Was Depressing (UPDATED)

Here's something to give existential threat assessors hives, and the rest of us hope.

It's Ryan Weed,  the CEO of Positron Dynamics who claims to have solved antimatter's production and containment issues. He's getting around the storage problem by the elegant method of avoiding it totally. They're generating positrons  on the spot (using Krypton79 decaying to Kr78 ) and firing them into deuterium to catalyze fusion. The neutrons from the reaction transmutes the Kr78 back to Kr79 and the associated 'splody travels out the tailpipe and goes "woosh".  Research is looking promising, but there are already some interesting spinoffs, which include a nuclear battery with a yield of as much as 100 watts a kilogram. 


Here's an animation of how their system is supposed to work.

Peter Thiel has invested in the company
and their development has been promising enough that NASA gave them a big grant last March.
Time will tell. 

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at 06:55 AM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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1 Gah, I read the YouTube comments. All doubters. One might have even had a valid criticism.

Posted by: Mauser at Sun Mar 10 20:21:00 2019 (Ix1l6)

2 I'm deeply suspicious of any group promoting a breakthrough technology whose website is that slick.

Posted by: Directrix Gazer at Sun Mar 10 21:30:53 2019 (vckNJ)

3 The company has been around since 2012. I understand they got shut down a few years ago when the local government discovered they were working with antimatter. It took a while to get their tests back on track but those tests were apparently promising since NASA just gave them a grant. They have mentioned that they want to get a cubesat to test one of their engines before the decade is out.

Posted by: The Brickmuppet at Mon Mar 11 08:41:20 2019 (xOgT9)

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