There are the examples of the Dyson sphere or the black hole bomb but those are too big. Is there any other source of energy you could theoretically contain on earth that wouldn't crush it or us down to the size of a pulp like a black hole or a sun would? maybe transportable or able to be contained within a living organism.Some I've come across are antimatter and nuclear fusion. anything containable. Doesn't have to be infinite just a lot of energy produced.

Edit:Energy per volume is what i'm going for. (i think so at least i'm not super scientific). It will be like a ball contained in a chamber releasing energy the chamber can absorb. basically a really strong power source that can power something small like a creature or a small civilization long after their planet died. A black hole comes to mind but it can't be near a planet without crushing everything even through the containment because of how gravity works.and yes something that preferably wouldn't kill the thing containing it or nearby people.

Nuclear fusion requires a massive reactor to be contained, and antimatter costs more to make than you get out of it realistically

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    $\begingroup$ How much energy is "a lot of energy"? What's the issue with just using antimatter or nuclear fusion? $\endgroup$
    – F1Krazy
    Jun 13, 2018 at 8:48
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    $\begingroup$ To be strict, there is no such thing as energy generator, energy can only change form. How much energy do y you need? $\endgroup$
    – Mołot
    Jun 13, 2018 at 8:51
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    $\begingroup$ do you realize that whoever had a real world idea on this would not post it here, but rather to a patent office? $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Jun 13, 2018 at 8:59
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    $\begingroup$ Are you going for instantaneous or continuous release of energy? For instantaneous, the obvious answer is the atomic bomb, for continuous, the obvious answer is nuclear power plant. In the later case, the limitation to the energy output is not the production of energy, it's the absorbtion of the produced energy and its conversion to usable forms of energy... $\endgroup$ Jun 13, 2018 at 9:04
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    $\begingroup$ And the best power generator we know how to build is a nuclear reactor, just as cmaster had said. And en.wikipedia.org/wiki/… marine nuclear reactors can be quite compact. Also, there is a lot of room to improvement, like fast and breeder rectors, exotic cooling solutions, etc..., which are being experimented with, but not widely used. $\endgroup$
    – b.Lorenz
    Jun 13, 2018 at 9:11

1 Answer 1


This is quite vague, so I'll stick to the big ones.

You've already mentioned antimatter but I'll say it again because it's really the best on the list. Energy, at least the way you want it, comes from molecular bonds breaking, atomic bonds breaking, or matter conversion. Options 1 and 2 are what we do now with fossil fuels and nuclear energy. 3 is probably what you want and it's what I'll focus on. We'll go in order of danger, shall we?

Antimatter is the best example of this. It's (relatively, compared to the other stuff) easy to contain. A magnetic trap should do it as long as there's a vacuum. it behaves like ordinary matter otherwise. Mix it with ordinary matter though and you get a 100% conversion to energy. It can't get better than that for efficiency. Of course, you can't capture it all, and there is the problem that if you mix too much you'll be blown to your component atoms. A single gram of antimatter will explode with the force of the Hiroshima atomic bomb, more or less. Dangerous stuff, but wait till you see the other options! And yes, it's costly to produce but we're in the realms of science fiction just using it. It's not inconceivable that someone will figure out how to make it more easily.

Next, black holes. You mentioned these too but there's a few things you apparently don't know. Black holes don't necessarily crush everything. You can have a small one, mass wise. And, crucially, they're as good at antimatter at producing energy. 100% conversion. There's the again slight problem that this is difficult to control; it'll all be released in a very short amount of time. But the planet will survive if you have a tiny tiny tiny black hole. A black hole with a mass of $1kg$ would produce the energy of a 9.3 earthquake, or power Mongolia for 9 years. Small problem: the black hole's radius is given by this formula: $\frac{2GM}{c^2}$. It would be a tiny $1.485\times 10^{-27}$ metres. That's about 100 billion times smaller than a proton. On one hand, easy to carry around... until it vaporises a decent portion of whatever country your in. Again, science fiction here so you might have a containment field or something to keep it in check.

My last idea is something that is even more out there in terms of scientific validity. Black holes and antimatter exist; we know this. It's just a matter of using them and finding ways to do this. This last option is zero-point energy. This is energy from the empty vacuum itself, more or less. It's complicated but Feynman once calculated that single cup could boil the world's oceans. That's a real energy source. Of course, it's entirely theoretical and is one of the great unsolved problems of physics; indeed, most physicists reject the idea that it can be used for any practical applications at all. But then again, reality shouldn't stand in the way of a good story. Something so potent is always incredibly dangerous though. Boiling the world's oceans, for example, is an extinction level event.

Overall, the best source of energy that is small and as big as you want has to convert matter into energy, unless you want pseudoscientific theories. Overall, it's a matter of containment and practicality.

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    $\begingroup$ Well, given the choice between you being wrong and Hawking et al being wrong, I'm going with you. Small black holes (i.e. less than a moon) evaporate extremely quickly, and their mass becomes energy. Unless we have different definitions of the word 'convert', I'd say that that it qualifies. $\endgroup$
    – Serenical
    Jun 14, 2018 at 8:42
  • $\begingroup$ I had ot.thought of evaporation. Nice answer then, +1. $\endgroup$ Jun 14, 2018 at 10:32
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks :) It is true though that for any realistically size black hole, the evaporation is all but useless. A proper black hole of stellar mass would take longer than the current age of the universe to evaporate; for a small one like an energy source though, it should occur exceptionally quickly. $\endgroup$
    – Serenical
    Jun 14, 2018 at 10:47

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