Christmas lecture

Billed as "energy for the future"
I was expecting an exposé of all of the new technology that is coming on stream in the next 20 years
But with one minor exception, it was nothing more than a 50 year old physics lecture
Disappointed doesn't cover it.
tim
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wrote:

Patience. They have to start somewhere. It may develop and improve.
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today's is about how animals create/store/use energy so I am not hopeful
tim
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On Tue, 27 Dec 2016 14:04:09 +0000, tim... wrote:

Me neither. As scientific lectures go, it falls disgracefully short of the level I'd have expected of even the more recent dumbed down Horizon programmes (and, with very few exceptions, they've generally been truly disgraceful).
The "AA "battery"" analogy is rather puerile imo lacking, as it does, any reference to a scientific energy equivalent such as the number of joules (or even watt hours) equivalency of 'the typical (presumably alkaline) AA cell'. After that, it all went rapidly downhill from then on.
I've never been impressed by any of these Xmas lectures in recent years due to the remarkable absence of 'scientific rigour' and this year's lecture series seems destined to set the bar to its lowest level ever. :-(
I'm surprised there aren't any YouTube versions where the missing data points have been added to rectify the absence of scientific content which would at least double, if not triple, the running time of each lecture session.
I guess the BBC just root out out the less reputable "scientists" to bribe them into trading whatever scientific integrity they may still have possessed for a big fat bribe in exchange for whoring themselves in this way.
Scientifically speaking, this Xmas lecture series has been the most 'content free' series I've ever seen to date. The only reason I'm recording this series at all has now been reduced to that of "evidence gathering" in the event that a criminal case of "Crimes against Scientific knowledge and learning" is ever brought against the UK's Public Service Broadcaster.
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On 12/28/2016 6:10 PM, Johnny B Good wrote:

+1. I have been disappointed with these for many years, and a bit surprised given the (once) great reputation of the Royal Institution for public lectures.
The Reith Lectures, on the other hand, I generally find to be excellent. And the BBC don't do a bad job with the questions.
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One assumes that the RI have input into these decisions as they have a direct interest in the quality of the output
Which as you say has been poor this year. Reviews in another place are uniformly poor.
Though back to my original point, he did, in the third lecture, tell us about future ideas that are being worked on - a three fold improvement in Lithium technology probably 10 years away.
Not enough, not quick enough, to meet (worldwide) government aspirations to have 100% electric car sales by 2025.
I hope that I am still alive to see them back track on this. It is wholly predictable.
tim
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On 29/12/16 12:03, tim... wrote:

That is probably a nearly honest prediction to my mind

Exactly.
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Along with worldwide government aspirations to have
World Peace by 2025
To end poverty by 2025
To end homelessness by 2025
and in the UK to finalise the details of Brexit by 2025
All bullshit IOW
HTH
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though in the case of EVs governments are putting polices in place now on the assumption that it will happen
tim
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And it wont, you watch.
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Well Its somefink out of nuffink if it does. Brian
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What "new technology"? And if you can see into the future, how about telling us next week's lottery numbers?
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wrote:

I dunno, it's not my professional field so I was hoping to learn about new stuff.
For example, there are supposed to be some new battery technologies that are a couple of orders of magnitude better than currently available.

Where science is concerned the future is all about making commercially viable what is actually possible today, but only in the lab - not speculation of things which are completely unobtainable.
Even fusion is possible in laboratory conditions, just not in a way that generates more energy that you need to put in to start it. It's the engineering that we need to improve here, not the science.
OTOH, no-one has even the faintest idea how to make a time machine.
(BTW please don't interpret the above as my giving support for fusion, I was just using it as an example that everyone has heard about)
tim
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On 27/12/16 17:12, tim... wrote:

I can assure you there are not....
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What about chemical batteries? Ie the idea of storing the energy made as surplus electicity so it can be used later on and transported safely. Brian
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On 27/12/16 18:08, Brian-Gaff wrote:

Thats what we are talking about.

Um you cant store 'energy as surplus electricity' except in a battery....and even then arguably your re storing it as chemical energy..

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On 27/12/2016 18:08, The Natural Philosopher wrote:

It is definitely stored as chemical energy in a battery. Some modern supercapacitors do actually store electricity as charge separation.
There is a choice of potential energy as in pumped storage of which the Welsh hydroelectric scheme leads the way or as kinetic energy as a fast spinning flywheel of which the system for stowing the MRAO 5km telescope was at one time the largest example - some busses used it in Switzerland even earlier. The flywheel would go a scary distance with tremendous destructive power if it ever broke loose from its bearings. It is coming back into fashion again for transport:
http://www.autocar.co.uk/car-news/industry/williams-hybrid-tech-power-london-buses
It makes little difference whether the energy is stored as chemical energy or mechanical energy. What counts is the overall efficiency.
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On 30/12/16 11:40, Martin Brown wrote:

And the cost and the size and the weight and the environmental impact and the safety and the capacity...
When you optimise that lot you come down to two forms. Hydrocarbon fuel and nuclear fuel.
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On 27/12/2016 16:22, Tim Streater wrote:

Apart from nuclear powered thermopiles as are used on some deep space exploration vehicles that go too far away for solar power to work.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radioisotope_thermoelectric_generator
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I know, you have told me before
but you are just a random person on the internet so why should I attribute more weight to you than to all the other "random" persons on the internet who disagree with you.
Some of whom are actually academic physicists (even if I have never heard of them) and some people with a very real interest in it actually being right.
I have no personal opinion on who is right, but you really do not have the visibility for me to believe that it is you.
Especially when, without these two orders of magnitude improvement, electric cars for the masses, that automotive companies are investing billion in, are never going to happen.
tim
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