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Friday, June 13, 2008


Chapter 2 of SIMPLE SOLUTIONS for Planet Earth ( provides the following details.

Russian astronomer Nikolai Kardashev in 1964 classified future civilizations. We are today Type Zero, about 0.0135x10 16 (sorry, not sure how to place superscripts--this is 10 to the 16th power) Watts:


o I: Harness all the power on a single planet 10 to the 16th
o II: From a single star (like our Sun) 10 26
o III: from a single galaxy (like our Milky Way) 10 36

Relative to current and future power:

AVERAGE POWER WATTS (to that power)

o Human cell (1 picoW) 10 -12
o Quartz wristwatch (1 microW) 10 -6
o Human brain 3x10 1
o 100 Watt light bulb 1x10 2
o Human body 1x10 2
o From the Sun on Earth / square meter 1.4x10 3
o Automobile (average) 1.2x10 5
o Aircraft carrier 1.9x10 8
o From the Sun on Earth per square km 1.4x10 9
o Nuclear power plant 3x10 9
o Three Gorges hydroelectric facility 18x10 9
o United States electrical consumption 424x10 9
o World electrical consumption 1700x10 9
o Total used in U.S. (all energy) 3300x10 9
o For global photosynthetic production 5000x10 9
o Total used in the World (all energy) 13,500x10 9
o Energy flux from interior of Earth 44,000x10 9
o Heat released by hurricane 100,000x10 9
o Heat received by Earth from the Sun 174x10 15
o Heat emitted by the Sun 386x10 24
o Heat emitted by the Milky Way Galaxy 5x10 36
o Gamma Ray burst 1x10 45
o Heat from the entire Universe 1x10 56

So, while we might worry about a Gamma Ray blast from space—sometimes created when a star collapses—which can cause severe damage from as far away as five times our Milky Way diameter (remember, it takes light 100,000 years just to travel from one end of our Milky Way to the other), if we are in the pathway, just think about someday engineering the collapse of a nearby star just to extract the energy? These bursts actually occur about daily, and could well be 500 times/day. I’ll let the science fiction writers handle them, and black holes, too.

The price of oil closed at $134.86/barrel ($3.21/gallon) for the week. Someone is still making almost $1/gallon at current gasoline prices.

1 comment:

ozogg said...

You state you don't know how to write exponentials?

If you had done any standard engineering degree (or even a college engineering diploma), you would well know that 10E6 means 10 to the power of 6 !

Engineering & scientific calculators even have an "EE" key (or "ENG") key for input of this format of data; plus an "E" LED/LCD for display of this format.

ENG format uses exponent multiples of 10E3, SCI format uses exponent multiples of 10, in both cases ensuring the mantissa lies in the range 1.0 to 9.99999 ...

The format of calculations