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8 years ago  ::  Mar 13, 2010 - 9:15AM #161
Posts: 1,274

The illusion of progress in power generation
Cheap  and clean electrical energy is the thing we need most today. However, the  driving force behind
 electrical  power generation is based on a technology that was invented in 1884, the steam  turbine being basically an improvement on the steam engine used in the fifteenth  century.
The first steam turbine type engine is attributed to Hero (or Heron)  of Alexandria (c. 10–70 AD)
Turbines are very expensive and add to the cost  of power generation.

The polyphase alternator that  actually generates the electricity, was the discovery of Nicola Tesla in around  1890, a prolific inventor with some hundreds of patents world-wide to his name.  Often called the father of modern technology, his alternator designs have  changed little during the intervening years.

There is little or nothing  in these areas to warrant congratulations to academic science or to point to any  recent progress in areas so important.

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8 years ago  ::  Mar 13, 2010 - 5:40PM #162
Posts: 1,411

So we've moved from "new concepts have become less common since the introduction of  relativity theory,"  to I've got a complaint about the way my hero Tesla's ideas have been treated and no new ways of generating electricity have been discovered?  Do I have that right?  You've not really claiming that there has been NO scientific and technological progress, just not the progress that you think would be important, right?

Please correct me if I'm wrong.  I have no problem being wrong.  I'm really just trying to work with you to figure out what your real problem is.

If that's so, we can go from there.  You're still not quite right, though most of our electricity is generated by turbines and likely will be for a long time, even if we develop nuclear fusion reactors.  As far as I know fusion reactors will still be used to drive turbines, generating alternating current, by the way, thanks in part to Mr. Tesla.

Oh, one more thing.  You seem to have a problem with "academic science".  Is that also a real problem with you? Do you realize that academia's primary purpose is NOT to advance scientific discoveries (though the "publish or perish" doctrine can make it look that way).  It's primary purpose is to train students to go out and advance science either through personal work or in connection with a profitable industry.  Has academia hurt you in  some way?  Did they fail you or fail to accept your wisdom when you offered it?

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