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Old November 11 2013, 12:33 PM   #16
Tosk
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Re: Back to the Future Question

Heh. I like when he invented the skateboard.
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Old November 11 2013, 05:02 PM   #17
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Re: Back to the Future Question

I think that when a movie uses an oxymoronic term like "flux capacitor" (flux means flow or change, while a capacitor stores an unmoving charge), one can't expect it to make much sense from a technological standpoint. It's not as if the temporal physics make any sense either.
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Old November 11 2013, 05:08 PM   #18
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Re: Back to the Future Question

Christopher wrote: View Post
I think that when a movie uses an oxymoronic term like "flux capacitor" (flux means flow or change, while a capacitor stores an unmoving charge), one can't expect it to make much sense from a technological standpoint. It's not as if the temporal physics make any sense either.
Well, maybe that's why the device was so revolutionary and "made time-travel possible" was that Doc was able to build a seemingly impossible device and make it work. Or Doc, being a bit out of his mind, just named it something stupid.
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Old November 11 2013, 08:36 PM   #19
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Re: Back to the Future Question

Considering that he'd just been hit on the head....
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Old November 11 2013, 09:21 PM   #20
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Re: Back to the Future Question

GalaxyX wrote: View Post
Christopher wrote: View Post
Trekker4747 wrote: View Post
My question is... Is a bolt of lightning the same power as power from a nuclear reaction? I mean even going to AC vs. DC, what about amps, volts, all of the other properties and such of electricity. Electricity is a bit more complex than watts meeting watts isn't it?
Nuclear reactors generate heat from radioactive decay, and the heat is converted to electricity. Atomic batteries would generally use thermocouples, photovoltaic cells, or the like, but whatever method is used, the electricity that comes out the other end is the same kind of electricity you'd get from any other source, since it's all just made of electrons.

Still, I imagine it would've taken a lot of work to refit the car from a power system that used atomic batteries to convert decay heat to electricity to a power system that was fed electricity directly by a lightning strike. And yeah, there'd probably have to be some really heavy-duty circuit breakers to keep the lightning from blowing every circuit in the car.
Well just to expand on your great post, the heat generated by the radioactive decay is simply used to boil water to steam, and in turn, spin a generator to create electricity, which comes out the generator as AC current.

The evidence for this process is seen when the Delorean jumps back a minute ahead, and it blows all the steam out from the Cooling Vents strapped to the top of the trunk. Presumably, the steam spun the turbines of the generators, the power was created, and then released via those vents.

So the first question that arises is: Is there even a capable way to create 1.21 gigawatts of electricity from an AC generator that could fit into the engine bay of a Delorean? (considering the internal combustion engine is still there even)

From what I understand, lighting bolts can carry anywhere from gigawatt to terawatts of DC voltage in them.

Assuming Doc Brown understood this, he would have had to connect the lightning rod to some type of massively strong thermistor, to control the rate at which the energy was being fed into the Flux Capacitor, and he would bypass the generator and nuclear reactor completely.

If the lightning bolt was in the terawatt range, it probably would have overloaded the Flux Capacitor, either making it explode (possibly killing Marty McFly), or perhaps react in some strange way to throw Marty way off into some unknown time period, with the likelihood that it was fried, and he'd be stuck there for good.

So they probably got lucky with a bolt that was in the gigawatt range.
Thats what i was trying to say. It had a good chance of just ripping thru the system.
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Old November 11 2013, 09:51 PM   #21
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Re: Back to the Future Question

Reverend wrote: View Post
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Well, not to mention the wires on the Clock Tower had to be pretty good to handle that much power without melting or catching instantly on fire or something.
^I thought they did exactly that. *checks the youtubes* OK, maybe not instantly, but they did catch fire.
The only thing that bothers me about this scene is NOBODY is around whatsoever. I realize its thundering and lightling but there nobody's is driving around or looking out windows. Boy, curfews were tight in 50's . LOL
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