>> With all due respect, Keith, I've been hearing arguments like this for 
>> 50 years.

>That's impressive hearing considering that the big, high efficiency lasers
that make this 
>concept possible have been around for less than 5 years.

This particular combination, I haven't heard for 50 years.  But, the basic
physics of photoelectric cells has been around for over a century; current
produced by low intensity beams was one of the key early experiments that
led to QM.  So, the basic physics for solar panels has been around that
long....OK, not well understood for a couple of decades.  Still, Germany is
building more coal plants for electricity and solar panels for show.

The physics behind fusion power has been around for 60 years.  In the '50s,
it was assumed that fusion plants would be common in the '80s.  The physics
hasn't changed.  But, a lot of practical problems have come up, and the
optimists are saying 30 years, like they did in the 50s.

I've seen resources poured into things for which the physics would work, but
any good applied physicist could see was vaporware.  Just at my work, over
million was spent on a shake table that tested at different frequencies than
applied downhole.  One of the critical points of their argument was not to
involve any technical people in the decision because they were "wedded to
the old paradigm."  Or acoustic telemetry while drilling....that only worked
when the drill string didn't touch the borehole wall at quasi-random points
(which happens all the time).  Or downhole robots. 

In almost all of the cases I can think of, there are no answers to practical
questions.  Folks who have been responsible for building fleets of tools
that work worldwide, that operate at 150C with 20G rms vibration tend to
know what questions to ask about folks who propose new ideas that the
company should put vast resources in.  Unfortunately, the chief corporate
technology officer, like the person in change of computing for the
corporation often was in the '80s, did not have ordinary skill in the art.

This is what I referred to.  I only gave a fraction of the answers. we could
add inertia fusion in the '80s, the multiple times solar power was going to
be cost effective in 5-10 years, etc.  None of these concepts violated laws
of physics.  But, anyone who has been around the block knew they were

>> One thing would help you establish credibility.  Can you point to a 
>> design of yours that is used worldwide on a massive scale in a major 
>> industry? No hard feelings, but it sounds like its even less likely 
>> than earth bound solar cells.

>But I don't exactly see why you are appealing to authority.  The physics
behind this concept is 
>either correct or it is not.  So far the people who are qualified to
express an opinion and have done 
>so all say I got the physics right.

I was basically asking if you've been around the block. That's not an appeal
to authority, just the result of the observation that folks who've walked
the walk are more likely to be accurate the next time they talk the talk
than folks who never walked the walk.

I did look at high energy lasers, and the person who wrote


Looks like he has worked with high power lasers.  One notes that high power
is 5 kWatt, and the many caveats for use at that energy.  

>It's not that bad.  If you can remember or relearn a few pages of high
school physics (the rocket 
>equation and Newton's laws), you can be qualified to express an opinion

Everyone is entitled to an opinion.  I keep telling myself that when I hear
how modern science is a left wing plot.  But, the question is not whether an
opinion is constitutionally protected (I think flat earth folks have
constitutionally protected opinions), but whether it is right.  Your ideas
don't violate the laws of physics any more than the idea that folks had in
'30s of the world of tomorrow violated physics.  But, reading the article,
and thinking about laser based propulsion, I can see overwhelming practical
problems that would have to be solved.  Looking at articles on laser
propulsion, it is definitely in the highly speculative phase right now.  In
fact, part way along the way to your plan, we should have enough control
over beams (particle beams have real advantages over lasers here) to do
inertia fusion practically.  So, I won't say never to power satellites, but
I'd saw it's probably three black swans away....and they have to be just the
three black swans we need.


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