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Side note: This is for an actual nation roleplay, and there is QUITE a bit of leeway there, but I highly recommend you base your answer on science. It's fine if you don't, but please try.

The Fortnite Zero Point is this big ball that has unimaginable energy. In a way, I thought of an idea like that. Let's just call it "the point" for now.
Basically, it is this big sphere of compressed energy, and it somehow generates its own energy. In a way, it's a recharging megabattery.

The thing is, would this even be possible? Or would there be absolutely NO WAY that could exist?

Current rules:

  • Cannot exponentially gain energy (energy put into it makes it generate faster, but there has to be a way to stop it from exponentially gaining more energy)
  • Should not grow in size (Do you want it to eat the entire earth?)
  • If possible, it shouldn't emit any radiation (But if needed, its OK)
  • Needs occasional bursts of mass or energy to keep it "charged" (will slowly run out of energy if not fed)
  • Nuclear reactors and variants (fusion reactors, etc) are banned. I do not know why, it was an admin decision.
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    $\begingroup$ Does it also absorb mass? Will it eventually run out? If not, it violates the laws of thermodynamics, and thus cannot exist without some magic. $\endgroup$
    – Matthew
    Dec 22, 2020 at 13:13
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    $\begingroup$ "We all knew the Fortnite Zero point." do we all though? i do but many other people here WONT. and your description barely covers its lore and properrties. $\endgroup$
    – Topcode
    Dec 22, 2020 at 13:26
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    $\begingroup$ @Topcode This is why I dislike that phrase and aggressively edit it out of any question I see that starts with it. Including this one. $\endgroup$
    – F1Krazy
    Dec 22, 2020 at 13:45
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    $\begingroup$ @Eristheguest accepting an answer in under 24 hours is frowned upon because it doesnt give other timezones a chance to answer $\endgroup$
    – Topcode
    Dec 22, 2020 at 14:04
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    $\begingroup$ A word of advice since you are new here. Stating as you did "Eh, I already got a feasible answer. You can stop now. " gives the impression that you don't care at all about our standards. $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Dec 22, 2020 at 17:18

4 Answers 4

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It's a very, very, very small white hole.

That is, there's a black hole out there with the usual gravity field: nothing that falls in can escape, including light. Tidal forces will tear apart anything that tries. Consequently as the remnants fall through space and time until they exit the white hole, only energy remains.

It's the bursts of mass or energy to keep it "charged" that would need some handwaving. Perhaps they are needed to stabilize the space-time continuum and keep it in place, or in place relative to the people using it. (That white holes are purely theoretical gives you a lot of hand-waving room where someone can say that no one predicted this in advance.)

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  • $\begingroup$ This makes much more sense (and actually fits what I thought it would look like, without eating the planet). Ill have to wait until others answer to accept, though. $\endgroup$ Dec 22, 2020 at 14:02
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    $\begingroup$ @Eristheguest Note three things : First it won't be easy to produce relatively to other methods; Then, your black hole should be "refurnishable", which may be hard since there is an in(de)finite(?) relative time until any object reaches the black hole's center; And finally, you can't "hold" a white hole in your hands (supposedly they don't get fried before), since nothing can enter in it. You will need to have some way to transport them to use them effectively. If you can accept these constraints, you should be doing fine :). $\endgroup$ Dec 22, 2020 at 15:42
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    $\begingroup$ im beginning to feel it would have been better if the admins asked the question $\endgroup$
    – Topcode
    Dec 22, 2020 at 17:53
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    $\begingroup$ The only problem I see here is that a white hole would have an opposite repulsion to its black hole partner. Since the smallest blackhole ever discovered has a mass of about 3.3 times the negative gravity as the sun. All of the Earth's matter within ~76km of a white hole would be forced apart at the speed of light wildly failing the not destroying the whole Earth. In fact, it would destroy the entire solar system by exceeding the total gravity binding the sun and planets in their orbits. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Dec 22, 2020 at 18:42
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    $\begingroup$ @Eristheguest I think you should really question the admins here then. If you have that kind of control over gravity, then fusion becomes an unavoidable discovery. Skipping of fission technology might make sense in that universe, but saying fusion has not been discovered is like saying you know how to cook food, but you don't know that it can burn. It's just too easy to stumble across to be believably side-stepped $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Dec 22, 2020 at 19:04
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Let's begin with the obvious frame challenge here: It WILL emit radiation. Anything that releases energy is releasing some form of radiation, it is how the radiation acts that actually matters.

The real question is what kind of radiation you are emitting and how you are generating it. First of all, there are many kinds of radiation: Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Thermal, Neutrino, etc. In general though, Gamma radiation is going to be the most useful product of any really high energy reaction: you see it as a byproduct of Fission, Atomic Fusion, Quark Fusion, Antimatter Reactions... pretty much if it is sci-fi and it makes a lot of energy, that energy is mostly gamma radiation.

To generate a useful power source, it is not enough to have a source of energy, but you need it to radiate that energy into a medium that can absorb your chosen source of radiation and convert into an electrical current.

The most common method for this is to heat water. Now it is important to note that nothing absorbs 100% of radiation per se, rather radiation absorption is all about how much medium it takes to reduce the radiation to safe levels. Water for example will absorb about 1/2 of Gamma radiation every 7cm. So if you have a reactor that is emitting 1 million times as much gamma radiation as is safe for humans, you can put this reactor in a pool where it is surrounded by 140cm† of water on all sides, and the radiation that escapes the pool will then be reduced to safe levels. But that absorbed radiation does not just disappear, it heats up the water which will boil it into steam which can then be used to spin turbines, and it is actually the turbines that give you your electrical current, not the energy source itself.

So, what really matters is NOT if your power source produces radiation, but if the spent fuel continues to produce radiation after it is no longer a viable fuel sources, and THAT is the actual issue with nuclear power as we know it. In general though, this is mostly a problem with reactions that continue to happen even after the fuel is no long a viable fuel source. Fission is the biggest offender here because its fuel has a half-life where it continues to break down releasing energy slower and slower over time, but not really just stopping on its own.

Helium-3 Fusion

Since you are going for science based, nuclear fusion is probably going to be your most believable since humans can already (sort of) do it. The only real constraint right now with fusion is figuring out how to contain a fusion reaction without needing to input more power than you are getting back out of the system. The most common hand waves for how to solve for this are either the use of artificial gravity which could create a constant compressive force on your fuel source without needing to keep adding mass or energy to the system, or to use "cold fusion" which means you've solved for how to make fusion happen at much lower temperatures/compression than in nature allowing for more normal containment systems to the reaction. Just be mindful that artificial gravity, if discovered, could open up a flood gate of technological advancements that would violate physics as we know it; so, if you want to avoid a bunch of MagicTech popping up in your story, I'd suggest you go the Cold Fusion route.

Now let's look at how this meets your criteria:

Zero Point is this big ball that has unimaginable energy.

Fusion reactions are much more energetic than fission. So, every 2.5kg of Helium-3 you have in your core, you will have about the same energy potential as a metric ton of Plutonium in a normal nuclear reactor.

Cannot exponentially gain energy (energy put into it makes it generate faster, but there has to be a way to stop it from exponentially gaining more energy)

Fusion reactors theoretically can not melt down the same way a fission reactor does. If containment is somehow breached or damaged or overheated etc. a fusion reactor would quickly lose the theoretical compression required to maintain the reaction and it would fizzle out rather than cascade into a more energetic reaction. IE: adding fuel faster will produce more power up to the point you are not able to contain more power without it damaging itself.

Should not grow in size (Do you want it to eat the entire earth?)

It can only grow to the point at which your containment method fails. He3 fusion reactions require a lot of compression and temperature maintain. So, once your containment fails; so does your compression which which will then end the fusion reaction.

If possible, it shouldn't emit any radiation (But if needed, its OK)

This where He3 is going to be such a good fuel source for you. As I mentioned in my introduction, all reactions radiate something, but the real environmental and safety concerns are in how much radiation their spent fuel puts off. Fusion reaction in general are much "cleaner" than fission reactions because they are not self-sustaining. Helium-3 creates an especially clean reaction even compared to other fusion reactions because it uses up all of the electrons, protons, and neutrons from its reaction not expelling any ionizing radiation at all which could otherwize turn non-radiative elements into radioactive isotopes. Therefore, once you turn the reactor off, the spent fuel, and the containment chamber should all be safe to handle as soon as it cools down.

Needs occasional bursts of mass or energy to keep it "charged" (will slowly run out of energy if not fed)

It uses Helium-3 as its fuel source. Stop giving it He3, and it stops producing power.

Lastly: Why call it a zero point reactor?

Fusion happens as a function of how hot and how compressed your matter is. The more you compress it, the less hot you need to make it; so, a Zero-Point reaction could be described as what happens when you compress helium so much that it fusses at temperatures low enough for humans to contain: thus giving you cold fusion.

This is because when you divide a number over and over again like this you get an exponential falloff. If you half a number once it is 1/2, do it again, it is 1/4, then 1/8, 1/16, etc. until you get to the 20th iteration which is 1/1,048,576 also known as 1/ (2^20). So you multiply 20 iterations by 7cm per iteration resulting in a close approximation of 140cm. Once you decide just how energetic your core is, you can use this method to decide how much water you need to keep around it to utilize its energy output.

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  • $\begingroup$ This sadly hits the same restriction on the RP as the nuclear reactor idea: No nuclear reactors of any kind (fusion reactors apply for their rules). Wont work. $\endgroup$ Dec 22, 2020 at 16:40
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    $\begingroup$ @Eristheguest Why is it so? It is the second time you refuse a nuclear/fusion reactor-based answer. You should add it to your question if it is really important for you ^^. $\endgroup$ Dec 22, 2020 at 16:49
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    $\begingroup$ @Eristheguest If any kind of reactor is banned, then so would your zero-point energy source. Because it needs a fuel source to be sustained, it is by definition a reactor. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Dec 22, 2020 at 16:57
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    $\begingroup$ technically burning a block of wood for energy in a box is a reactor (depending on definition anyway) so that "no reactor rule" is really unclear and easy to misunderstand. it should also have been in the question from the start since edits that invalidate answers arent allowed. especially like this where you are specifically blocking out a large group of answers because some admin doesnt like the answers. and the fact you "do not know why" also concerns me because that could cause many other answers to be replied to with "admin doesnt allow that" and will cause more confusion. (cont) $\endgroup$
    – Topcode
    Dec 22, 2020 at 17:11
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    $\begingroup$ @Topcode Just saw that about answer invalidation. Sorry to have suggested that :/. I think we're stuck on almost the same point where the question is more than different to be an all together different question. But almost. $\endgroup$ Dec 22, 2020 at 17:55
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Nuclear reactor with extra steps

I am one of those people who do not know what that "Fortnite Zero point" is, but what you have described here kinda fills the bill of a nuclear reactor.

By your rules:

  • Cannot exponentially gain energy (energy put into it makes it generate faster, but there has to be a way to stop it from exponentially gaining more energy) - Check.

The energy will depend on the neutron flux inside the reactor. Too much flux will cause a chain reaction that can spiral out of control, too little will cause the reactor to shut down (in simplified terms). This can be regulated by introducing additional material, like boron to adjust the neutron flux to the level you need it at.

  • Should not grow in size (Do you want it to eat the entire earth?) - Check

Nuclear reactors do not, in fact, grow.

  • If possible, it shouldn't emit any radiation (But if needed, its OK) - Check

There is obviously radiation, but you can (and probably should) shield the reactor.

  • Needs occasional bursts of mass or energy to keep it "charged" (will slowly run out of energy if not fed) - Check

Radioactive material will eventually decay and you will need to replace it with a new portion.

As for "Unimaginable" power, that is a pretty broad definition. Nuclear materials can be used to generate A LOT of power so it depends what you consider unimaginable.

There are also various propositions for different reactor designs. If you want a big glowy ball of light to represent your energy sphere, perhaps a gas-core reactor with electrostatically or magnetically confined fission material will fit your bill. And if you want even more power, go for fusion reactor. In any case the rest is just a case of capturing the energy and using it (most likely) to generate electricity, which is exactly what nuclear reactors do.

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A zero point reactor will use zero point energy.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-point_energy

That's why they call it that, right? The TV show Stargate had Z-point energy generators that were about the size of footballs. I am sure this is where Fortnite got the idea.

Zero-point energy (ZPE) is the lowest possible energy that a quantum mechanical system may have. Unlike in classical mechanics, quantum systems constantly fluctuate in their lowest energy state as described by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.[1] As well as atoms and molecules, the empty space of the vacuum has these properties... Physics currently lacks a full theoretical model for understanding zero-point energy; in particular, the discrepancy between theorized and observed vacuum energy is a source of major contention.[4] Physicists Richard Feynman and John Wheeler calculated the zero-point radiation of the vacuum to be an order of magnitude greater than nuclear energy, with a single light bulb containing enough energy to boil all the world's oceans.[5]

Scientists are not in agreement about how much energy is contained in the vacuum. Quantum mechanics requires the energy to be large as Paul Dirac claimed it is, like a sea of energy. Other scientists specializing in General Relativity require the energy to be small enough for curvature of space to agree with observed astronomy. The Heisenberg uncertainty principle allows the energy to be as large as needed to promote quantum actions for a brief moment of time, even if the average energy is small enough to satisfy relativity and flat space. To cope with disagreements, the vacuum energy is described as a virtual energy potential of positive and negative energy.[94]

How to sum this up? The vacuum is not empty. Things pop into and out of existence all the time. If you have waves popping into and out of existence, and two mirrors very close together, there is only room for small waves in between. On the outside of the mirrors there are small waves and big waves. A net force exerted by these energies manifesting in the vacuum push the mirrors together.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-is-the-casimir-effec/

This effect, that two mirrors in a vacuum will be attracted to each other, is the Casimir Effect. It was first predicted in 1948 by Dutch physicist Hendrick Casimir. Steve K. Lamoreaux, now at Los Alamos National Laboratory, initially measured the tiny force in 1996.

One of the most interesting aspects of vacuum energy (with or without mirrors) is that, calculated in quantum field theory, it is infinite! To some, this finding implies that the vacuum of space could be an enormous source of energy--called "zero point energy."

So that is your zero point.. A region which taps this limitless Z-point energy. Infinite energy counts as unimaginable energy I think. Presumably this ball would be a vacuum state which differs in its quantum energy from the adjacent normal space, and this difference is tapped as energy.

Z-point energy is heady stuff.

If you want to get into the weeds so more, here is some light reading. http://large.stanford.edu/courses/2017/ph240/blakemore1/ I was interested to see that NASA has an experimental engine based on Z-point energy!

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  • $\begingroup$ Did I not make myself clear? Reactors are banned. This violates a rule I said. $\endgroup$ Dec 22, 2020 at 21:43
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    $\begingroup$ I am curious what you consider to be a reactor? Maybe you don't like the name "reactor"? That is OK. We can just call it the Zero Point. The Fortnite Zero Point. I will accept my upvote now, because I have discovered for you the nature of the thing you asked about. You should be pleased! $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Dec 22, 2020 at 22:40
  • $\begingroup$ I edited out the word "reactor" from my answer. Sorry about that. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Dec 22, 2020 at 22:41
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm. I dont see the change, and plus this kind of thing was STATED to be banned by the RP admins. $\endgroup$ Dec 22, 2020 at 22:42
  • $\begingroup$ I do like the answer though, maybe in the future I will use it. $\endgroup$ Dec 22, 2020 at 22:42

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