How long before we have a replicator like in Star Trek

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nec208

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People say 100 years or more.Also people say there is differnet ways of going about it.

One post was saying.

A replicator converts energy into matter. It requires a staggering amount of energy to transform the energy into a small useable mass. Think in terms of a nuclear reactor. A small amount of nuclear fuel gives off a staggering amount of energy. A replicator runs the reaction in reverse, and in a more complex fashion (not just simple recombination of two molecules).

Not show how that works or how energy is turn into matter.

Other people say they use nano-bots or nanotechnology to assemble it.Other people say the computers we have today are not powerful enough.

not sure what they mean and why there is differnet ways of going about it.
 
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OleNewt

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If you strictly mean one that converts energy to matter, it's going to be a long, long while. If you just mean a big box like a sort of food/item ATM, then we already have them. They are used in rapid prototyping.
 
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theridane

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(warning: an optimistic prediction follows)

A replicator like in Star Trek - never. Seriously. We, humans, have already figured out better ways to obtain a cup of Earl Grey than nuking thin air with 5 megatons worth of energy.

In a couple years we're gonna see the dawn of personal manufacturing - build yourself a makerbot right now to get a feel of what's coming. It's opensource.

From personal resin extruders it'll probably follow with mainstream laser sintering machines - those can even make actual steel parts. We're a couple years away from seeing a fully self-replicating machine (google RepRap for some pointers on where we're headed).

And from there it's anybody's guess. Nanoassemblers are often mentioned in the literature, but their feasibility remains questioned, mainly energy-wise (plugging atoms together needs loads of it). My personal favorite is a little bit more macro - printing. Today we can create objects, layer by layer, from virtually any material. There's even research going on into printing living tissue, like replacement hearts. And it's been going great so far. I can send a CAD drawing into a fabrication workshop and walk out with a fully working piece of mechanical equipment just a couple hours later.

Either way technology's gonna get interesting even more.
 
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nec208

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how will macro - printing help us?

In a couple years we're gonna see the dawn of personal manufacturing - build yourself a makerbot right now to get a feel of what's coming. It's opensource.
What is this? And does this use nanotechnology ?
 
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theridane

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nec208":3776mfu3 said:
how will macro - printing help us?
Help with what?

What is this? And does this use nanotechnology ?
You can actually click that link and answer this question yourself. At least the first part of it. The second - no, it's a resin extruder, it doesn't need nanotechnology to do its job.
 
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nec208

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I think what I'm confused about is in this thread is different ways of building matter.Also a replicator like in star trek is not really replicating things but building matter .

My guess is it uses nanotechnology to assemble it.
 
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theridane

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Trek, just like you. You could've guessed that from that Memory Alpha link.

Printing, shockingly, uses printers to do whatever it is it needs to do.
 
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nec208

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theridane":3qyopqpg said:
Trek, just like you. You could've guessed that from that Memory Alpha link.

Printing, shockingly, uses printers to do whatever it is it needs to do.


Okay than say so .Macro -printing is different than like Star Trek replicator where by it prints stuff than Star Trek replicator that can use 3 ways to get to the end product nano-bots or nanotechnology to assemble it or small fusion reactor to fuss energy to matter.

And say there is different ways of going about it the Star Trek replicator .Explain the bottom up or bottom down approach.

Such crypted replies has anyones head spinning.First before I even read the links I'm confused with my own post on the Star Trek replicator and in your first thread the differnet ways you where saying you could build things.

The only way I know you can get energy to turn into matter is the us of a fusion reactor.
 
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theridane

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No, fusion doesn't turn energy into matter. Quite the opposite. It turns matter into energy (and loads of it). That's why we have fusion bombs and (soon) fusion powerplants (and that's why our Sun shines, thank God).

You're looking for something a couple orders of magnitude more powerful, like a particle accelerator.

Fact remains that, simply put, particle replicators are not worth it, the energy requirements are unachievable and stupid. Plus Mr. Heisenberg would also have an issue or two with it. We can already do better with pretty much every aspect of our industry, and we don't even need a brand new technobabbion particle for every gadget that comes off the production line.
 
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SteveCNC

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If your a trekkie then you know the replicator used the same technology as the transporter and so any pattern that had ever been transported with the exception of living (never bought that part) could be replicated . Now one thing that was always assumed on star trek was there was unlimited (nearly) power available at almost all times and so a compact partical accelerator (to be small like only maybe 50m would require ungoldly amounts of power but hey if you got it flaunt it right ?) wasn't outside the realm of possibility . The only thing is , you would need to control the kind of power the sun puts out in order to pull it off , I'm not saying that we won't someday control that kind of power , but till then I don't think it will happen .
 
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theridane

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Exactly, like with those 4 megatons of TNT to make 200 grams of matter. If that machine loses even one percent of the energy as heat, you can pretty much say bye to your Sovereign class cruiser, along with a good portion of a starbase it was in (unless it was surrounded by an evil-cancelling force field).
 
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nec208

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theridane":1hrh9rsa said:
Exactly, like with those 4 megatons of TNT to make 200 grams of matter. If that machine loses even one percent of the energy as heat, you can pretty much say bye to your Sovereign class cruiser, along with a good portion of a starbase it was in (unless it was surrounded by an evil-cancelling force field).
Why is that



You're looking for something a couple orders of magnitude more powerful, like a particle accelerator.
Why do they have to use a particle accelerator? I thought particle accelerators are big ? In the future are we going to have a particle accelerator has big has the refrigerator?
Now one thing that was always assumed on star trek was there was unlimited (nearly) power available at almost all times and so a compact partical accelerator (to be small like only maybe 50m would require ungoldly amounts of power but hey if you got it flaunt it right ?) wasn't outside the realm of possibility

What do you mean?
 
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theridane

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nec208":2v49jtan said:
Why is that
E = mc². That's why. Because light is very, very fast, even the tiniest amount of matter, like a cup of steaming hot coffee (not decaf), takes a crapload of energy to create. And since no machine can be 100% efficient, a small portion of the energy utilized by that machine will escape as heat. Now even if this replicator was 99.999% efficient, that 0.001% would still amount to enough energy to wipe a city block off of a planet. Not exactly easy to cool if you're asking me. Plus particle accelerators we have today are more like 0.1% efficient, meaning majority of the energy that goes in goes out as waste heat. Creation of matter is not getting profitable any time soon.

Why do they have to use a particle accelerator? I thought particle accelerators are big ? In the future are we going to have a particle accelerator has big has the refrigerator?
Big or small, the energy requirements are set in place by physics. Even a fridge-sized replicator will still eats gobs of energy just to make a drop of water.
 
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nec208

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I don't understand we have light and heat now and things do not explode? Things are not 100% efficient now and things do not explode.


How much energy will be needed to create coffee ?If some thing goes wrong with the replicator and it is only 99% efficient at making coffee what will happen.

So I get the big problem why we do not have replicator is a enegy problem and also it is not 100% efficient .
 
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theridane

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nec208":2pac9315 said:
How much energy will be needed to create coffee ?
E = mc².

m is the mass of whatever you want to create from pure energy. Let's say a coffee with a cup weighs 200 grams, so m = 0.2 kg.

c is the speed of light, defined as c = 299792458 m/s.

So you end up with E = 17975103574736352 joules, or about 25 minutes of global energy production (powerplants, cars, planes, ... all put together), or about 4 megatons of TNT, or about the same energy the rock that digged this little puppy had. To make a cup of coffee. Insane, right?

And that's all assuming 100% efficiency. If the machine was say 50% efficient, you'd need to input twice the energy, because only half of it would actually end up doing the work you wanted.

If some thing goes wrong with the replicator and it is only 99% efficient at making coffee what will happen. (...) I don't understand we have light and heat now and things do not explode? Things are not 100% efficient now and things do not explode.
A light for example might be only 25% efficient, but it also consumes just a couple watts (joules/s) of power. A 25% efficient 100 W light bulb will turn 25 W into useful light and 75 W into waste heat, but since 75 W is very little it gets cooled of easily with just air.

More powerful devices produce more heat, so they need active cooling (like fans or water cooling) to take that heat away.

As you're increasing the power at some ridiculous point the power that comes out as waste heat gets so insanely high, that it looks more like an explosion (the device heats up so fast that it evaporates explosively).

So I get the big problem why we do not have replicator is a enegy problem and also it is not 100% efficient .
Pretty much, yeah. There are also a couple quantum physics-level issues with precision and reliability (see Heisenberg's principle for example).
 
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theridane

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theridane":2uatebl4 said:
the device heats up so fast that it evaporates explosively
Which is, by the way, how nuclear bombs work. They create a huge amount of energy (heat) so fast that the environment is unable to remove this heat safely and it ends up looking like an explosion.
 
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nec208

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So you end up with E = 17975103574736352 joules, or about 25 minutes of global energy production (powerplants, cars, planes, ... all put together), or about 4 megatons of TNT, or about the same energy the rock that digged this little puppy had. To make a cup of coffee. Insane, right?
wow . :eek: :eek: Are you saying it will take more power than that say New Yotk city uses in one hour just to make one coffee cupe.That is alot of power.

So I get the big problem why we do not have replicator is a enegy problem and also it is not 100% efficient .

Pretty much, yeah. There are also a couple quantum physics-level issues with precision and reliability (see Heisenberg's principle for example).
What about nano-bots or nanotechnology to assemble it , than the use of particle accelerator that turn energy into matter.
 
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theridane

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Yeah, there's an insane amount of energy in every ounce of everything. Puts a smile on one's face doesn't it.

If you already have nanobots or whatever to move atoms around and join them like a miniature lego, you could have tanks of required atoms and use those to assemble whatever it is you need to assemble, no nuclear physics involved.

For example you could have a tank of oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, silicone, iron, etc... and feed that to a blob of nanomachines that would make a cup with coffee out of these raw materials.

The energy requirements would drop down drastically (household appliance level), but still a couple hiccups to solve.

1) e.g. when you bind two hydrogen atoms to one oxygen atom to make a molecule of water, energy is released (burning of hydrogen). When your nanoassemblers are putting molecules together, they would need to be able to handle this heat and transfer it somehow to the device's cooler. Not unsolvable, but a wrinkle none the less.

2) similarly some chemicals require energy to form, e.g. crystalline grid of iron that your bots will be making out of iron atoms needs a certain energy level (temperature) for assembly. They'll need to provide this energy somehow and survive it.

3) the technical stuff - how to design and make 'em. That should probably be problem #1 on this list :)
 
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