Exponential production using LENR, LENT, and 3D Printing

Exponential Growth is an immensely powerful concept. To help us grasp it better let us use an ancient Indian chess legend as an example.

The king was a big chess enthusiast and had the habit of challenging wise visitors to a game of chess. One day a traveling sage was challenged by the king. To motivate his opponent the king offered any reward that the sage could name. The sage modestly asked just for a few grains of rice in the following manner: the king was to put a single grain of rice on the first chess square and double it on every consequent one.

Having lost the game and being a man of his word the king ordered a bag of rice to be brought to the chess board. Then he started placing rice grains according to the arrangement: 1 grain on the first square, 2 on the second, 4 on the third, 8 on the fourth and so on.

Following the exponential growth of the rice payment the king quickly realized that he was unable to fulfill his promise because on the twentieth square the king would have had to put 1,000,000 grains of rice. On the fortieth square the king would have had to put 1,000,000,000 grains of rice. And, finally on the sixty fourth square the king would have had to put more than 18,000,000,000,000,000,000 grains of rice which is equal to about 210 billion tons and is allegedly sufficient to cover the whole territory of India with a meter thick layer of rice. At ten grains of rice per square inch, the above amount requires rice fields covering twice the surface area of the Earth, oceans included.” ( http://www.singularitysymposium.com/exponential-growth.html ).

Exponential Growth is a difficult concept to imagine, but it is extremely powerful. This paper is devoted to utilizing three technology to achieve exponential production. The conceptual framework I am constructing is not just abstract, but reality based and achievable. In other words, this paper is a prescription for an almost unimaginably powerful result.

The three factors of production required for industrialization are capital, labor, and land. In other words, goods devoted to the production of other goods, activity that provides the goods, and raw materials.

“As opposed to traditional “subtractive” methods of carving or sculpting, 3D printing is an “additive” method of manufacturing that builds up solid objects one thin layer at a time. The basic concept is the same as an inkjet printer, only instead of spraying ink onto paper, 3D printers use liquids that solidify or set. Liquid plastic or resin are the usual materials, but there are others: for example, industrial 3D printers can make metal objects by laying down a pattern of metal powder and then fusing it with a high-powered laser or electron beam. You can 3D print in ceramic, glass, or concrete or other composite materials by depositing layers of sand or gravel and then spraying a binding agent…Truly revolutionary advances often come quietly at first, and I believe this is one of these. 3D printing as a technology is in its very early stages, but even in what it’s accomplished so far, we can glimpse the contours of the future.”
(http://bigthink.com/daylight-atheism/weekend-coffee-the-3d-printing-revolution). 3D printer technology is the quintessential “goods devoted to the production of other goods,” a virtual magic lamp.

Low energy nuclear reaction (LENR) is a clean, very cheap, and super abundant energy technology using (for instance) nickel and hydrogen. It has been estimated that evaporating hydrogen in a nickel lattice, applying heat, pressure, and a vibrational wave (i.e. “Q-wave”) produces 355,000 times the heat from hydrogen than an equal amount of gasoline. Furthermore, hydrogen and nickel are very plentiful elements in our universe. Such plentiful energy utilized by mechanical devices would fuel the activity that provides the goods.

Finally, low energy nuclear transmutation is a technology to turn one element into another. In the nickel lattice of a LENR reactor, hydrogen atom protons and electrons collide forming ultra-low momentum neutrons. Those neutrons are absorbed by surrounding atoms. Those surrounding atoms that have absorbed the extra neutron(s) shed heat and transform into other elements. Such a method for producing one element from another would allow the production of any needed raw material.

Sounds like science fiction. To digress slightly, I first was clued into the practicality of 3D printing when I was researching a new Nobel gas engine: “They recently purchased a 3-D printer in order to build the proper pipe sizes on which to wind the coils that go on their cylinders (and to play around). The 3-D printers only cost $5000. I remember back when we paid that much for a regular copy machine,” he said. ( http://theeestory.ning.com/forum/topics/inteligentry-manufacturers-gearing-up-for-noble-gas-engine-roll ). The main content of the article (about an engine that runs on “plasmic transition” process using noble gases to create the plasma) is amazing enough, but I didn’t realize how far 3D printer technology had come.

“President Obama’s nationwide push for innovation in manufacturing reaches across agencies from the National Science Foundation to the Department of Energy, and now it’s reaching all the way into the Pentagon where $60 million is being set aside for investment in 3-D printing technologies. The DoD will fund a network of agencies, academic institutions, and companies to build on 3-D printing tech with the overarching goal of building aerospace and weapons technology faster.

Of that $60 million, half will be allotted to researchers between now and fiscal 2014, with more than half of that–some $18.8 million–being handed over in fiscal 2012 alone. That means, adjusting for the usual bureaucratic waste, there should be somewhere between many and many-many millions spent to advance 3-D printing tech this year alone under a framework that will hopefully push for the meeting of meaningful benchmarks.

Three-dimensional printing (or additive manufacturing, or rapid prototyping) is of course a fairly nascent technology that nonetheless holds great promise. While private companies like Makerbot, Stratasys, and even Hewlett-Packard have pushed the boundaries of the technology by developing less-expensive and more accessible printing systems to more people, the industry on the whole hasn’t really benefited from a huge injection of investment or a meaningful mandate from a body like the DoD–one that, when it puts its mind and money to something, can actually enable technological leaps forward.

The 3-D printing industry was already doing fine–some analysts expect it to grow to $3.1 billion by 2016–but a little help from Uncle Sam can’t hurt.”
( http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2012-05/pentagon-investing-millions-advance-future-3-d-printing-tech ).

While the “overarching goal of building aerospace and weapons technology faster” is a short term goal that is easily achievable, a much more powerful goal would be for 3D printers to produce other 3D printers, increasing production capacity exponentially.

Suppose for example a 3D printer and toner were to be transported to an asteroid. The printer can start manufacturing equipment to mine for fuel and raw materials, and as production was scaled up could duplicate the production economy. One production economy, two, four…limited only by time and the land. By the way, 3D printers are transforming digital data into goods, so innovation and adaptation from afar can be input via telecommunications, re-directing a production economy to produce different goods (like space craft to transport a spare 3D printer and toner to another piece of extra-terrestrial land to repeat the cycle).

This is where I go off the deep end. Remember we started this paper with a story of Exponential Growth (“And, finally on the sixty fourth square the king would have had to put more than 18,000,000,000,000,000,000 grains of rice which is equal to about 210 billion tons and is allegedly sufficient to cover the whole territory of India with a meter thick layer of rice.”):

“In astronomy and cosmology, dark matter is a type of matter hypothesized to account for a large part of the total mass in the universe. Dark matter cannot be seen directly with telescopes; evidently it neither emits nor absorbs light or other electromagnetic radiation at any significant level. Instead, its existence and properties are inferred from its gravitational effects on visible matter, radiation, and the large scale structure of the universe. Dark matter is estimated to constitute 84% of the matter in the universe…” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_matter )

I am making the following outrageous and totally unintuitive claim: using the above suggestion for exponential production, the dark matter could plausibly be spaceships filled with aliens. That is how powerful Exponential Growth is (both in terms of population and production).

To summarize, Exponential Growth is an immensely powerful concept. The three factors of production required for industrialization are capital, labor, and land. Using 3D printing, LENR, and LENT, exponential production potential can be achieved. While each of these are fairly nascent technologies, they nonetheless hold great promise. Furthermore, you can expect in the future that each of these technologies will have directed at them tremendous R&D resources – and a little help from Uncle Sam can’t hurt. Finally, using the concept of Exponential Growth you can even plausibly explain such inscrutable things as Dark matter. We really are primarily limited by our imagination.

The future is so bright we’ll have to wear shades – the only catch is we have to believe.

12 Replies to “Exponential production using LENR, LENT, and 3D Printing”

  1. I was with you until you got to the dark matter and the alien ships. Very brilliant analysis. But I don’t think dark matter is a real thing – it’s more a theoretical expedient designed to cover an actual problem. So that part I’m a skeptic on. No dark matter, no need for alien ships if you dig. As for the rest, fascinating analysis. Hopefully that doesn’t spoil the whole thing for you. Even exponential growth is moderated by the cyclic processes of nature and cannot escape them.

    1. Sort of like the cosmic constant? Yeah, Newtonian physics and Kepler theory of elliptical orbits only get you so far. Also Exponential Growth is bound to bump into limiting factors like cyclic processes of nature eventually. Hopefully my reference to dark matter wasn’t too far out, but the possibility that we are the first intelligent life forms in the universe seems unimaginable as is at least one of those extra-terrestrial life forms surmounting the cyclic processes of nature and engaging in Exponential Growth.

  2. Wow imagine,

    The ability to ‘print to create’ enables manufacturing without ‘tooling up’. One machine can make a large number of parts for a device, or all the parts. Next we may have a replicator.

    Quantum physics is sorta’ about quantum leaps, applied to humanity and LENR this could takes us leaps and bounds. This article verifies what I see as a strong possibility. Thank you!

    Another key too what I see occurring is ‘personal neighborhood friendly air transport vehicles’. see NASA Aeronautics LENR Realism and Outlook

    Maglev launch systems add to the picture. Payloads to Earth orbit at the same cost per pound as next day air FedEx N.Y to Paris overnight. see NASA Maglev Launch

    My bet is that NASA will push to terraform Mars with colonies in the asteroids. This will become an international effort, living in tourus cities in space and working the maglev launches flinging ice asteroids to Mars; once an hour.

    The Picture

    Humanity expands into space and Mars becomes habitable.

    Most roads will be torn up as we move to an air transport culture.

    The Earth’s Nature will be seen as valuable. Nature parks will expand.

    Migratory animals will be considered as cities empty and the culture of habitation is reconsidered.

    Betterment will become the measure of success. The more the better i.e. Mo betta’… Yes… I hope so.

    1. I am very worried that the popular conception is that people will be able to mine asteroids, when (one of the) main dangers of living in outer space and on small asteroids is the lack of gravity – talk about being a death sentence living in lite or zero gravity for more than a couple of months (although this can be mitigated/solved by momentum – centrifugal force – as a replacement for gravity).

      Also, it will be a long long while before Mars could be successfully terraformed (check out the Mars series of books), so better like the indoors before getting a one way ticket to Mars. Frankly, I think setting up long term space habitates would be easier, since then you have a stable platform for travel and work, plus again you could mimick Earth gravity so you can always come back to home. Plenty of time to add a new wings to the apartment too!

  3. Hi Brad, I too lie your approach. Except for the dark matter. Psi has a point – it could be a classical reason to explain why the universe expands beyond the rate derived from a Big Bang. Aslo Mills has a hydrino explanation – hydrino only appears in presence of a catalyst of which there are few in interstellar space.

    3D printing IS the manufacturing tool of the future. Here on Earth there is little doubt a simple system like e-cat or other similar “reactor” could easily be duplicated using 3D printing. And assembled using now low cost highly efficient robots. On the other hand remember that sending a printer to Mars or an asteroid is cool provided you ship the requisite toner to build your parts. Total mass remains same between toner or pre-built mining equipment, i.e. no efficiency gain. Now if you ship a mining/materials rig to MAKE toner and more printers from asteroid minerals – awesome. You save toner shipping weight and have all manufacturing resources on the asteroid.

    With smart minds and good consciousness – you could prolly get those aliens to help the whole deal go smooth and fast. Hello, Mr. Rossi??

    1. If there are as many aliens living in space as is (highly highly) hypothetical, they would have no interest helping us be more like them – they would be overwhelmingly common, whereas we would be the exotic super rare species and probably observing us would be a form of entertainment (I keep thinking of how my article hypothesizing their existence and numbers – quite a creative leap of imagination – would go over as entertainment…GALACTIC EXTRA human guesses we exist!!…imagine the ratings of such breaking galactic news).

      1. Ha ha, love it Brad! In fact documenting the genesis of that show would be a great project! But I’m a bit sorry to hear our neighbors in outer space would not be charitable enough to lend a hand to our little planet. Imagine the uplifting story that would follow the handful of intrepid aliens who chose to help the wayward terra firma?? The thrills, and chills, heartbreak and triumph!! Galactic ratings.

        If that should come about you can immediately put me down for ten tickets to the premier! I shall buy the popcorn.

  4. Interesting speculations. In the 1980s, I tried in graduate schools (not very succcessfully) to do work towards self-replicating space habitats that would use solar power and asteroidal ore; I have some stuff about that on my website.

    Here is a copy of an essay I sent to Rossi over a year ago, with a key idea to keep in mind when considering enormous shifts in our technological ability, whether from hot or cold fusion, 3D printing, robotics, the internet or nanotech:
    “The key point here is that breakthrough clean energy technologies will change the very nature of our economic system. They will shift the balance between four different interwoven economies we have always had (subsistence, gift, planned, and exchange). Inventors who have struggled so hard in a system currently dominated by exchange may have to think about the socioecenomic implications of their invention in causing a permanent economic phase change. A clean energy breakthrough will probably create a different balance of those four economies like toward greater local subsistence and more gift giving (as James P. Hogan talks about in Voyage From Yesteryear). So, to focus on making money in the old socioeconomic paradigm (like by focusing on restrictive patents) may be very ironic, compared to freely sharing a great gift with the world that may change the overall dynamics of our economy to the point where money does not matter very much anymore. “

  5. The great majority of dark matter is not ‘ordinary’ matter. It does not interact via electromagnetic or nuclear forces. Therefore it can not be “spaceships filled with aliens” …

    1. First, I am sorry I ever brought up Dark Matter, because the intent was simply to make an analogy in terms of volume as an exponential production possibility.

      Second, I would add that, even if I grant that “it does not interact via electromagnetic or nuclear forces,” “it” also doesn’t show when it stands between a light source and the Earth, so it is by definition “not ‘ordinary’ matter. Furthermore, theoretically any intergalactic craft wouldn’t be ‘ordinary’ either. Therefore, with respect, your conclusion is spacious.

  6. We are at another bi-farcation point. Either we continue on our exponential growth curve or we slip into exponential decay.
    Life cannot be preserved in aspic.

    Once out of the gravity well we will consider it an act of madness to go back down another. Mars, Earth and other big bodies will be for criminals and untermenschen. There will be an upper class and a lower class.

    The size limit for replicators is yet to be discovered. I see no reason why they should not be a torus with a 20km diameter. Fed with material from lifeless space rocks it would print out a colony as a long tube with a 20 km diameter. The atmosphere in such a centrifugal gravity would mimic that on the Earth. At the axis the atmospheric pressure would be naturally near zero.
    As the customer has not involved any human in his creation there is no need for it to cost anything at all. The nexus between wealth and money will have been broken.
    There will be orders of magnitude more people living in space than on any planet surface, if we choose life over death. Exponential growth over exponential decay.

    I am exploring the ethical issues of the manipulation of life itself in a science fiction story I have based on such a scenario.

    1. There must be a source for raw materials, and furthermore there will be cultural bias at work in determining where a body lives. Furthermore, natural system mechanics allows for alternatives other than exponential growth or exponential decay – let alone systems designed by a mind. Although your point about living in space is well taken; I mean why leave the ship (if you’ve ever taken a cruise, a large number of people don’t even set foot ashore for the entire voyage, and presumably that human bias would amplify over long periods of time on ship, i.e. cultural bias).

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