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EEVblog 1466 - Stanford Solar Power at Nightime BUSTED

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vk6zgo:
Not following on from the last reply, but more a comment on some others which seem to assert that this is something new, sinister, & somehow "green".

I remember reading articles quoting research into the possibility of Atomic powered cars & aircraft, back in the 1950s, (yes, I was a geeky kid), many predicated on the "imminent" development of lightweight shielding materials, which never happened.

One group wanted to make atomic powered watches----quite achievable, but again bedevilled by the "lightweight shielding" problem.
These things had serious money spent on them.

The continuing touting of various materials as "4 times stronger than steel" Yada , Yada, Yada, has been going on since that time period, too!

We have since had such delights as "Cold Fusion"!

David Hess:

--- Quote from: vk6zgo on May 17, 2022, 03:54:00 am ---One group wanted to make atomic powered watches----quite achievable, but again bedevilled by the "lightweight shielding" problem.
--- End quote ---

An atomic wristwatch has been possible for a long time without any shielding problem.  Small atomic batteries which rely on alpha or beta particles have been used for decades in very special applications, like pacemakers.  No special shielding is required.  It is just not very practical compared to alternatives like lithium batteries.

golden_labels:

--- Quote from: vk6zgo on May 17, 2022, 03:54:00 am ---One group wanted to make atomic powered watches----quite achievable, but again bedevilled by the "lightweight shielding" problem. These things had serious money spent on them.
--- End quote ---
Tritium batteries are not some alien technology. The problem is not in constructing such devices, but in usefulness of doing so: coin cells are cheaper per joule and may be stored for some time.

vk6zgo:

--- Quote from: golden_labels on May 17, 2022, 01:41:36 pm ---
--- Quote from: vk6zgo on May 17, 2022, 03:54:00 am ---One group wanted to make atomic powered watches----quite achievable, but again bedevilled by the "lightweight shielding" problem. These things had serious money spent on them.
--- End quote ---
Tritium batteries are not some alien technology. The problem is not in constructing such devices, but in usefulness of doing so: coin cells are cheaper per joule and may be stored for some time.

--- End quote ---

This was the 1950s, so the radioactive sources may have been somewhat less refined.

The current draw certainly would have been higher than a modern version, so a somewhat more "macho" "nuclear" cell may have been necessary-----no ICs, no LCDs.

It would have been pretty much either a spring watch, with the cell driving a motor to rewind it, or something along the lines of 
Hamilton’s first electric watch movement, the Model 500, from 1951, that wasn't marketed in a watch till 1957.

 The option would have been attractive as there were no silver oxide, zinc-air or lithium button cells, (the first mercury button cells were developed for the Model 500)

golden_labels:
I consulted Wikipedia: and indeed I shifted the technology about 2 decades towards the past. So scratch that comment of mine.

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