Re: mining the 'pollies

Michael Lorrey (
Tue, 06 May 1997 17:34:36 -0400

Carl Feynman wrote:
> At 07:38 PM 5/5/97 -0400, Michael Lorrey wrote:
> >Excellent commentary. However, I point out one concept in asteroidal
> >refining that is illustrated in Jerry Pournelle and Charles Sheffield's
> >novel _Higher_Education_, which just came out late last year. THis uses
> >a large tube constructed of a carbon/carbon type matrix, possibly using
> >buckyfiber, surrounded by induction heaters. The asteroid is shut inside
> >the tube and heated up to molten level. It is then spun to provide
> >centrifugal separation of its components by element, which are each
> >drained in series from spigots on the outside.
> It's a cool concept, but nature has tried it, and the separation is not that
> good. All the planets and most large asteroids have been entirely molten at
> some time in their past, and they have seperated into only three chemically
> distinct units, thanks to the miscibility of elements:
> --Iron, nickel, carbon, and heavy metals. Geologists call this "core" and
> steelworkers call it "molten steel".
> --Silicates rich in aluminum and magnesium. Geologists call this "mantle
> and crust" and steelworkers call it "slag".
> --Water, carbon dioxide, and various bad smells. Geologists call this
> "atmosphere and oceans", and steelworkers call it "flue gases".
> You can spin all you want, but I don't think things will seperate much more
> than this, any more than a bottle of ocean water will seperate into a pile
> of salt with fresh water on top.
> --CarlF

it all depends on the amount of centrifugal force developed. Obviously
it works or it would not be a useful technique to separate individual
isotopes for nuke production. Additionally, even at one G, our ocean
does have a bit of separation, called the salinocline, which is only
disturbed due to solar derived ocean currents. Blood is a rather
homogenous blend that is centrifuged every day in large quantities for
plasma stockpiles, as well as in minute quantities for lab analysis.

			Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------		Inventor of the Lorrey Drive

Mikey's Animatronic Factory My Own Nuclear Espionage Agency (MONEA) MIKEYMAS(tm): The New Internet Holiday Transhumans of New Hampshire (>HNH) ------------------------------------------------------------ #!/usr/local/bin/perl-0777---export-a-crypto-system-sig-RC4-3-lines-PERL @k=unpack('C*',pack('H*',shift));for(@t=@s=0..255){$y=($k[$_%@k]+$s[$x=$_ ]+$y)%256;&S}$x=$y=0;for(unpack('C*',<>)){$x++;$y=($s[$x%=256]+$y)%256; &S;print pack(C,$_^=$s[($s[$x]+$s[$y])%256])}sub S{@s[$x,$y]=@s[$y,$x]}