Author Topic: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09  (Read 4274 times)

TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« on: February 17, 2009, 08:00:10 pm »
I've just noticed that tonight's Horizon program is about nuclear fusion - a subject on which I have a long standing interest and a little knowledge. The current series seems to mark a return to form for the strand - less melodramatic and sensationalist, more informative and challenging.

Having said that, I just wanna see some TOKAMAK action!

andygates

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Re: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2009, 08:09:23 pm »
Bookmarked!
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
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Re: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2009, 09:42:04 pm »
I thought nuclear fusion was perfected in the 1950s?

Oh, you mean controlled nuclear fusion.
Never tell me the odds.

dasmoth

  • Techno-optimist
Re: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2009, 10:20:58 pm »
Oh, you mean controlled nuclear fusion.

Even controlled fusion isn't so very hard, e.g.:

        Fusor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Control and net power output at the same time is the real trick.
Half term's when the traffic becomes mysteriously less bad for a week.

Re: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2009, 10:28:23 pm »
Not Bad. Brian Cox is well cool - he drives a Mustang, he shoots guns, he looks like a pop star, and he's a scientist!

Read more about ITER here: ITER

Rhys W

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Re: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2009, 10:51:01 pm »
That's one of the best Horizons in recent years. No "big story" teaser trailer that's repeated in the last few minutes for the benefit of people not paying attention.

So what if Brian Cox is annoying, he makes physics sexy (which, by extension makes people with two degrees in the subject sexy)  ;)

Re: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2009, 11:55:59 pm »
Yes, Physicists are definitely sexy. ;D
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

Re: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2009, 08:23:42 am »
I shall watch it on iPlayer this evening  :thumbsup:
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

bikenerd

Re: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2009, 08:25:53 am »
Not Bad. Brian Cox is well cool - he drives a Mustang, he shoots guns, he looks like a pop star, and he's a scientist!

He used to be a pop star!

Re: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2009, 08:31:10 am »
I was going to watch it whilst having my bath, and eating my breakfast, but iPlayer is playing silly buggers and won't let me watch that episode yet. >:(
Actually, it is rocket science.
 

Re: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2009, 09:25:17 am »
Not Bad. Brian Cox is well cool - he drives a Mustang, he shoots guns, he looks like a pop star, and he's a scientist!

He used to be a pop star!

I looked this up - not so cool now. :P

Re: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2009, 10:32:06 am »
Not Bad. Brian Cox is well cool - he drives a Mustang, he shoots guns, he looks like a pop star, and he's a scientist!

He used to be a pop star!

I looked this up - not so cool now. :P

Indeed, membership of D:ream is certainly not cool!  :P
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

cc93

Re: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2009, 10:38:47 am »
I was half-watching it - did he really say at one point

Quote
Truly, we are children of the stars

 :sick:

I switched off at that point - the risk of him watching him burst into a verse of Good Morning Starshine was too great

Re: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2009, 10:39:16 am »
Not Bad. Brian Cox is well cool - he drives a Mustang, he shoots guns, he looks like a pop star, and he's a scientist!

He used to be a pop star!

I looked this up - not so cool now. :P

Indeed, membership of D:ream is certainly not cool!  :P

All I can picture is the 1997 general election and Blair et al dancing like idiots to 'Things Can Only Get Better'. I was actually quite enthusiastic about it at the time (Labour getting into government, not D:Ream).

With hindsight, they should have built more TOKAMAK's!

Re: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2009, 10:41:55 am »
did he really say at one point
Quote
Truly, we are children of the stars
:sick:
I switched off at that point - the risk of him watching him burst into a verse of Good Morning Starshine was too great

Well, we are. Don't be so bloody miserable! ;)

Really Ancien

Re: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2009, 11:05:30 am »
I can remember the Horizon I saw when I was doing Physics A level, it had a Pink Floyd soundtrack, mainly from Meddle, so it was about 1974, and it featured doughnut shaped reactors, people in white coats with clipboards and safety glasses and a promise that the world would be swimming in energy in 40 years time. To demonstrate this there was a tiny flash of light, created  by generating capacity equivalent to the energy demand of Exeter or some such. Back then there was no presenter, Peter Jones did a voice over. Would I learn anything new from the recent programme, or would I just be annoyed by the boyish charm of the presenter?

Damon.

Re: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2009, 11:13:33 am »
Would I learn anything new from the recent programme, or would I just be annoyed by the boyish charm of the presenter?

Probably both.

Re: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2009, 11:21:04 am »
I love this old drawing of the University Of Texas TOKAMAK - check out the stetson!



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Oaky

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Re: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2009, 11:31:08 am »
Would I learn anything new from the recent programme, or would I just be annoyed by the boyish charm of the presenter?

Probably both.

One thing that did annoy me about the program was when they showed the Z-machine "flashover" photograph, just as I was starting to look closely at all the detail thinking "wow, that's cool", they did some sort of visual effect on the picures, shaking it around, (and possibly flashing the colours, to the accompaniment of a electric spark sound effect).  ISTR that they did that more than once.  >:(

I vaguely remember D:Ream related discussion between students in the Durham University physics department when Brian Cox started either his Ph.D., or maybe a postdoc position (possibly at RAL?).
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Re: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2009, 11:35:07 am »
Have a good look now:

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2009, 11:38:15 am »
All very pretty (I keep seeing that photo passed around as 'evidence of what an EMP would do to your kit', which is totally WRONG) but I can't help thinking that the pinch isn't going to work as a power station. 

K-Star, on the other hand, was a very tidy little bit of kit. 

How are people planning to extract energy from their bottled stars, anyhow? 
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
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Re: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2009, 11:47:23 am »
Just like this:


I was slightly disappointed that they spent so much time on the laser technology when the leading candidate for actual fusion power is the the TOKAMAK and plasma confinement - they really only got onto this in the last ten minutes.

Oaky

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Re: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« Reply #22 on: February 18, 2009, 12:16:06 pm »
[...snip...]I was slightly disappointed that they spent so much time on the laser technology when the leading candidate for actual fusion power is the the TOKAMAK, and plasma confinement [...snip...]

Well, you would say that, wouldn't you ;)
You are in a maze of twisty flat droves, all alike.

85.4 miles from Marsh Gibbon

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clarion

  • Tyke
Re: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« Reply #23 on: February 18, 2009, 12:27:38 pm »
That's the classic Horizon style, though - spend a lot of time on the set up to ensure all the audience understand the orthodox thinking (and feel a bit clever), then explore an alternative idea, and lastly, a spur off from that which moves the model or process forward.

Now I put it like that, it sounds like dialectical materialism... :)
Getting there...

andygates

  • Peroxide Viking
Re: TOKAMAKTASTIC! Horizon BBC2 9pm 17/02/09
« Reply #24 on: February 18, 2009, 12:32:06 pm »
Ah, *that's* where the heat-exchanger goes!  Thanks :)

The laser was frikken cool wasn't it?  Even if it's not going to work, it's a hellacious beast.  
It takes blood and guts to be this cool but I'm still just a cliché.
OpenStreetMap UK & IRL Streetmap & Topo: ravenfamily.org/andyg/maps updates weekly.