How realistic is this practical fusion timeline

I don’t disagree. I posted what I posted to point out that the reality of what they’re saying is not what the Forbes article seems to imply. It’s projection based on speculation. It’s the same old “we’re almost there. Give us a few more years”.

I don’t think there is anything against being highly skeptical of this, but it’s almost infinitely more likely we will develop fusion power than anti-gravity or time travel in the near future. And even the Forbes article wasn’t being as ridiculous as Amateur Barbarian’s strawman, and that was a fluff article. Digging into the other article I linked too, LM seems to be saying that this is something they have been working on for decades, that they THINK their concept will make prototyping easier and quicker, and that they HOPE they can have something working in 5 years or so. Whether they can or not remains to be seen, but I see no reason to dismiss it all as pure science fiction. We know that fusion is possible…well, at least anyone who has ever gotten a sun burn knows this at an empirical level anyway. :stuck_out_tongue:

I’ll say one thing though…if LM doesn’t produce something in the time frame they have set forth (even with the hedging and caveats), then someone there is going to lose their job, as this will be a hit to their public relations and perhaps impact their business as well. Someone will have egg on their face anyway for not hedging more.

I’m just pointing out, as you are, that the Forbes article seems to be implying more than what Lockheed Martin is claiming.

Thinking about it, I suppose it could be that confined, controlled fusion that has a net energy gain is just as impossible as time travel or anti-gravity. Sure, fusion exists, but stars and H-bombs are different things from controlled reactors.

Hopefully it’s possible. I think it probably is possible. But the existence of stars and H-bombs doesn’t prove it.

No, but we at least have a theoretical basis for fusion. Anti-gravity, as far as I know, we gots nuffin at all. We can’t even detect gravity waves/particles, which would be a first step to even modeling how we COULD create an anti-gravity device so we are a bit further from that than from fusion.

A sun proves that it’s possible, even if building one might not be practical (in the end, if you could, you could always simply pull in enough hydrogen and some helium and other trace elements and build a small version of the sun…not practical but possible ;)). As far as I know, we don’t know if gravity is even a paired force (i.e. if there are gravity particles and thus anti-gravity particles), so we don’t even have as crude a model as the sun to go on for a theoretical basis.

At any rate, I don’t think that anything more could be said about the OP right now. LM isn’t releasing more (this is actually not a new story) and so we don’t really know if they will fall on their face or be the hero. My big annoyance is simply dismissing something like this out of hand. Just because we have been working on this for decades doesn’t necessarily mean it will never happen. People worked on manned flight and then powered flight for more than a few decades before it happened. People thought about going to the moon before it happened as well. When I see this sort of knee jerk reaction I think along the lines of ‘That steam engine thing is never going to work, Fulton, and it’s folly to even pursue such a silly ideal’.

We’ll have fusion right after Iran gets the bomb.

I don’t think so, for two reasons.

  1. Experiments with lasers have already proven the concept possible, at least in abstract physics. There aren’t any real scientific issues left to overcome, only engineering ones.

  2. Time travel, at least, leads to paradoxes and causality violation; nothing in fusion violates any known principles.