1564-1642: Galileo Galilei, Italian, father of observational astronomy, phases of Venus, Jupiter’s satellites, observed Saturn’s rings
1596-1650: René Decartes, French, philosopher, logical method
1623-1662: Blaise Pascal, French, fluid dynamics
1629-1695: Christiaan Huygens, Dutch, Saturn’s rings, pendulum clock
1646-1716: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, French, differential and integral calculus, especially modern conventional notation
1700-1782: Daniel Bernoulli, Swiss, fluid mechanics, probability, statistics
1745 – 1827: Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta, Italian, the battery
1766-1844: John Dalton, English, chemist, physicist, meteorologist, atomic theory of chemistry
1775 – 1836: André-Marie Ampère, solenoid & electrical telegraph
1776-1856: Amedeo Avogadro, Italian, equal volumes of gases under equal pressure and temperature contain equal numbers of molecules
1777 – 1851: Hans Christian Ørsted, Danish, electromagnetism
1789 – 1854: Georg Ohm, German, direct relationship between voltage and current
1791 – 1867: Michael Faraday, English, various, electric motor
1824-1907: William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, thermodynamics, measurement of absolute zero temperature.
1831 – 1879: James Clerk Maxwell, Scottish, electromagnetic radiation
1846 – 1914: George Westinghouse, American, AC electric power
1847 – 1931: Thomas Edison, American, light bulb, various, DC electric power
1856 – 1943: Nikola Tesla, Serbian-American, AC electric power
1879-1955: Albert Einstein, physicist. Born in Germany. 1895 moved to Switzerland. 1896-1901 stateless. 1901 obtained Swiss citizenship. 1905 wrote the Annus Mirabilis papers. 1907-1915 developed general relativity. 1933 cancelled trip to Germany forever and renounced his citizenship at German consulate in Antwerp. 1939 sent the Einstein-Szilárd letter to FDR. 1940 settled in the US and became a US citizen.
How Many Joules?
- 2,000 food Calories = 8.4 million joules = approximate energy usage of the human body in one day
- One Tesla Model S battery charge ~ 36x this amount
- One 2017 Honda Civic gas tank ~ 177x this amount
- Typical furnace (100,000 BTU / hr rating) operating for 1 hour ~ 12x this amount
- US energy usage per day (referenced in my post here) ~ 33.5 billion x this amount, or ~ 102x the US population*
- Global energy usage per day (referenced in my post here) ~ 129 billion x this amount, or ~ 17x the global population*
*Relating the energy consumption of the modern world per person to the energy consumption of just the human body by itself is ambiguous, I realize. However, it puts in context the massive numbers that are constantly thrown around in the media on this subject, and consolidates the hype and various units into one unit.
Tesla’s Introduction Speech to the Gigafactory in Nevada, Elon Musk, 4 September 2014
How Many Joules?
- Tesla Model S with large battery pack, 265 mile range = 306 million joules
- 2017 Honda Civic 12.4 gallon gas tank, (2017 best selling car in US) = 1,490 million joules
- Energy from 1 barrel of oil (BOE unit) = 5.86 billion joules
Intro to 18650 Li-ion Cells, by LDSreliance
How Many Joules?
- 1 Food Calorie (the one on nutrition labels) = 4,180 joules
- Note: 1 food Calorie defined as amount of energy to raise the temperature of 1Kg of water 1°C at sea level
- Typical smartphone battery charge: 41,760 joules
- One 18650 Li-ion cell: 43,074 joules
- 1 kBTU = 1.06 million joules
- Note: 1 BTU is defined as the energy required to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water 1°F. 1 kBTU = 1,000 BTU.
- The rating system on appliances that we are familiar with that is shortened to “BTU” is actually BTU or kBTU per hour.
- 1 Kilowatt-hour = 3.6 million joules
- 2,000 food Calories = 8.4 million joules
- 1 gallon of gas equivalent = 120 million joules
1. Fusion Explained in a Nutshell by Kurzgesagt
2. JET, Joint European Torus, largest magnetic confinement fusion reactor.
- JET is the current record holder for controlled fusion energy production by most measures. The record was set in 1997. See video.
- Located in Oxfordshire, UK.
- Annual budget 2014-2018 = 145.6 million euros ~ $175 million per year. Source.
- Video is from 2014.
3. National Ignition Facility, was the largest effort at inertial based fusion.
- The fusion ignition effort ended in April 2014, but is still one HUGE laser. Do not point this laser at your eye.
- Located in California, USA.
- NIF total cost was ~$3.5 billion. Source.
- Video is from 2009.
4. More References
ITER will be a larger version of JET
LPPFusion is a large current private attempt at fusion
For more posts related to entropy, select the entropy tag.
As you see this technology progress, it is natural to think, “Oh, we are so smart now, we know how to make tiny drones fly.” Alternatively, consider our (humanity’s) success within the concept of entropy. The law of entropy (Second Law of Thermodynamics) states that all systems tend toward disorder, and that energy is required for complexity to develop. Applying this broadly, improved drone flight is complexity. In order for drones to improve, energy must be applied in the form of human thought, manufacture, etcetera. Also, at the drone level, the drone must have energy on board both to fly and to power the tiny computers to control itself. Controlled flight is complex! Put this way, it is not that we are so smart to make these drones, or that the drones are so smart to control themselves. We have the excess energy to dedicate to engineers and academics to think about this complex stuff, and the drones have great modern batteries to deliver energy to efficient tiny computers to fly in totally cool complex ways!
1970s: The CIA’s Insectothopter, The CIA’s Own Channel on YouTube
Notice that battery life (lack of energy) was a major limiting factor.
Notice that some of the flight control computing was being done on computers in the room, not on board the drones themselves. Energy is a factor here as much as or more than the size and weight of the processors. Computing all of the complex control on-board the drones would consume more power. The battery would be larger and heavier, and/or drain faster. Energy!
~2016?: Drone Swarm Dropped from F-18s
There is not a whole lot to see in the video, but it looks real to me.
2018: 8 January, Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas by Intel, posted by LV Sun
This was the best drone show video I could find. How appropriate that it’s in Vegas. US’s gambling capital => $$$ => energy => spectacularly complex drone show!
The lights in Vegas have always impressed me. Walk through any normal US city with a normal number of lights, and at any given time, you can find some lights that are burned out within sight. Now try that walking around Vegas with 100s of times as many lights as a normal city and you will go hours without finding a single burned out light. The energy being expended in Vegas is spectacular. (Do they have an ordinance or something? If so, expensive to maintain.)
20__, Future (…?): Dramatization of the Potential of Weapon Drones
This video is a dramatization, but it’s not that we don’t know how, we’re smart enough, … we just need a better battery.