3
$\begingroup$

A random thought occurred to me:

Can we harness the energy from cosmic rays or particles or deadly radiation that's found (in space) just like we do for solar energy?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ I think the answer is pretty yes, theoretically - but when you compare the energy density of that to the blowtorch that is solar radiation in space, it's probably not worth the trouble. $\endgroup$ – Chris B. Behrens Oct 21 '19 at 15:46
3
$\begingroup$

It's not practical.

Energy density of cosmic rays: 1.8 eV/cm3, about 10-13 J/m3.

Energy density of the Sun on Earth: 103 J/m3, or 16 orders of magnitude more.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If the energy density of cosmic rays would be sufficient for energy harvesting, manned space flight would be impossible and semiconductor electronics would be destroyed. $\endgroup$ – Uwe Oct 21 '19 at 17:35
  • $\begingroup$ In the manner of a fresnel lens or parabolic mirror solar concentrator, you might use a giant magnetic field to concentrate cosmic rays (like a Bussard Ramjet collected hydrogen, in Larry Niven's stories). But the power you'd harvest would still be a tiny fraction of the power you'd spend to maintain the field. $\endgroup$ – Camille Goudeseune Oct 21 '19 at 19:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.