Eerie discoveries in thin substance research fuel speculation about what comes after silicon and oil.
Is free energy around the corner?
Last year a highly respected technologist (and friend) told me “free energy” was the most interesting and likely innovation on the horizon. When my eyebrows raised he continued, “Oh yeah, it’s real close.”
Since exploring the possibility of thin matter (graphene) and free energy in Antioch for several years now, I shouldn’t have been surprised. Frankly, I was quite surprised. He wasn’t talking, of course, about the instant global adoption of free energy, but rather the prospects of someone figuring it out… in the near future.
It’s a great angle, of course, for a dystopian novel with a social media war between two secretly united “opposing” groups struggling to keep the public distracted from the power of bold innovation. That’s right: two enemies united by a common purpose. Been there, seen that, have a few T-shirts.*
But what if we are getting close? What would it mean? “Passive carbon” energy anyone? Electric cars with unlimited range?
The prospects of free energy were in the crazy bin in 2011 when I started writing novels. (They might still be today-lol.) In Antioch scientists in the mid-to-late 2020s were making some cool discoveries with layered graphene. They accidentally discovered the power of a new generation of advanced materials with eerie properties and a life was lost. So the “free energy” conversation entered the scene a bit closer to reality this time around- almost nine years later.
Things May Have Changed This Week
A few nights ago a friend sent me an email about scientists now predicting new states of matter. This followed another article on atom-scale materials and another on new types of electricity (I’m looking for this article- because it’s equally mind-blowing). [Thank you Stu and Rick!] The implications are powerful. Think materials that generate power passively, on their own, with or without sunlight or other forms of fuel.
At dinner last night some friends visiting from the UK speculated about how a potential Casimir effect could play into “quantum matter” energy states.
Because the strength of the force falls off rapidly with distance, it is measurable only when the distance between the objects is extremely small. On a submicron scale, this force becomes so strong that it becomes the dominant force between uncharged conductors. In fact, at separations of 10 nm – about 100 times the typical size of an atom – the Casimir effect produces the equivalent of about 1 atmosphere of pressure (the precise value depending on surface geometry and other factors).
Could layered sheets of one atom thick material amplify a Casimir effect and produce energy (the layered graphene “puck” from Antioch that led to the accidental explosion) anywhere they were placed? Could they be the building blocks for a new generation of hyper powerful fuel cells or solar panels that produce massive energy from small cells?
Thin materials (one atom thick, for example) could be densely stacked and create amazing Casimir amplification IMHO.
I’m not a physicist and I have the college transcripts to prove it. Numerous experts have told me everything on the electrical and mechanical sides of things has been discovered and there wasn’t any room left for speculation. That makes these eerie properties of thin matter more than interesting IMHO. How many layers of graphene could be stacked in a 3 inch puck?
You may have already read about new approaches for creating graphene at much lower costs (from trash) If thin materials became inexpensive we could see an accelerated pace of change. Recycling that turns garbage into energy cells? That’s pretty interesting.
Perhaps we’re on the cusp of a new thin (quantum) materials age with a broad spectrum of new potentials for massive leaps forward. Recent headlines point in that direction.
The Agrippa quandary is the trade-off between the discovery of free energy (from “zenin” or layered graphene) and the destruction it would wreak across dozens of industries; and the lengths a global entrenched status quo would go to slow it down or perhaps ultimately own it.
Eerie New Alliances
There would be plenty of unintended consequences from a radical shift from carbon combustion to “passive carbon” energy. Lots of sponsored research arguing “x” vs “y” impacts and who would benefit.
A new generation of potential billionaires would battle with an older generation, etc. Crumbling bureaucracies would battle with new carbon coalitions working on climate solutions. Extremists on the Left and Right could easily join together in a pragmatic defense… of the tainted status quo.
The powerful carbon trifecta program discussed years ago at Future In Review could become a reality and reduce the carbon footprint on a global scale. [Note: See Everett Rogers Diffusion of Innovation, for how people typically react to new technologies. Then make it an exponential reaction.] That’s huge.
Recent breakthroughs in graphene and other thin materials are making a new range of outcomes more possible, perhaps on a far greater scale than silicon… and in an even shorter time frame. Will there be a Graphene Valley or would abundant energy accelerate the diffusion of innovation?
I’m old enough to remember the fission/fusion hype cycles that quickly swept from headlines into cinema and then the dust bin. Yet I’m convinced this coming revolution could be much different. It could be a deep, fundamental shift, well beyond just battery storage and greater electric car range.
Reflecting on the global disruption of silicon (and social media) I couldn’t help but to speculate on what something even more disruptive could do to the already uneven playing field between zip codes, public bureaucracies trapped in decades’ old operating models and new generations of entrepreneurs changing the world on even larger scales.
You can call these new materials atom-scale or… quantum materials, for their strange new properties. It doesn’t matter. Either way, it’s pretty clear we’re likely on the cusp of a new age and many of us are going to feel quite provincial as research continues discover something much more powerful than silicon. Even those of us in Silicon Valley are likely in for some surprises.
What do you think? Feel free to weigh in here or on social media. You know who you are. We’ve been having these discussions for years. Tell me I’m wrong once again.
If you are aware of research which proves or disproves any of this feel free to share in comments or, even better, at the Sword of Agrippa Facebook page (see below), which is much more active. I’ll add some of the best links, etc into this post over time.
=============== first response from John Schroeter
I agree, as you suggest, that major disruptions are coming – and they will not only be exponential, but super-exponential. And this will call for anticipatory scenarios development, interventions, innovations, and most importantly, imagination. All of which leads to a need for a broader development of futures consciousness, which is what After Shock is all about. We can’t afford to be “future deniers”! After Shock speaks to taking our future head on, to shape it as opposed to be shaped by it. We do live in exciting times!
Note: I don’t blog very often about my science fiction writing. It has been my “mental golf” for many years now. After reading an interview with Guy Kawasaki encouraging marketeers to do something wildly different, I started the quest in 2011. I’ve met some incredible people from around the world with similar experiences, passions/interests and managed to use my writing as a kind of weekend meditation retreat. Thank you to all of you who have encouraged me along the way. It means a great deal to me. Feel free to join us at the Agrippa Facebook page.
*WHILE SUPPLIES LAST: I have a few leftover Sword of Agrippa T-shirts with the old cover and my obsolete pen name. Contact me if you want one. I’m very easy to reach via LinkedIn and the Agrippa Facebook page.
*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from ARCHIMEDIUS authored by Greg Ness. Read the original post at: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Archimedius/~3/N3gm57ENbh0/