In the universe that I am developing the following has occurred... A new type of "liquid energy" has been found/created: 432,540,909,020.0724 Mj in 1 Liter

Edit: Description of what the fuel is in case it makes a difference - A type of exotic matter that allows for generating virtual particles with an energy of 432,541 Mj = 1 uL. The matter is not being converted to energy, but rather it is allowing for the virtual particles to be pulled from another dimension into ours. As the amount of energy is pulled through and used the liquid is destroyed. The energy in the matter used up to pull the energy over.

Later a device called an IEG (Infinite Energy Generator) is invented which works by drawing matter from other universes. There are an infinite amount of universes, therefor an infinite amount of matter to draw from, and thus energy. They are not "cheap" to make and smaller versions are at least 5m^3 in size, so not everyone has one nor can they just be built everywhere.

The IEG must fill and be drained between activations. Simple math and easy to figure out... Every time this is turned on it produces 65449.85483 Liters in a 5m sphere, instantly.

So here's the questions.

Q1 Given, the size of this thing, and the amount it how much energy could it actually produce using current technology? The sphere has to be turned on, turned off, and drained to begin with (and possibly cleaned). Let's say there is no "power up/power down", but that still leaves the speed at which the fluid could be removed from the IEG...

Once that is calculated, there is the matter of line capacity. So even if you have this much potential you still have to deal with the limits of the line the electricity is being carried on to be able to handle... So would the carrying capacity be able to keep up with the production amount using modern lines?

Q2 Now... After that, next part. We're dumping a lot of energy into the universe. What would be the long term consequences of doing this? Would there be any?

Q3 And lastly, while this is a "limitless" energy/matter source it clearly has a limit as should be indicated by part 1. Would this limit be enough that it doesn't completely break our civilization?

For reference, 150 liters is enough to power 8 Hera Class Genesis Drives (What is a genesis drive is explained here) to travel from Earth to Alpha Centauri and back. Basically each drive travels at 10c and produces a 10 meter diameter "warp" field when they touch form a capsule bubble rather than sphere (this is just for ease as a designer ^.^). So in interstellar flight I can't imagine this being a lot of energy, but I could be wrong.

  • $\begingroup$ Why would “current technology” limit it? It will use energy-wasteful technology enabled by the device. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Aug 23, 2016 at 22:44
  • $\begingroup$ I assume that fluid dynamics and electrical carrying capacity will not be greatly increased considering that it is largely based on physics, not some obscure technology. There might be a meta-material out there, but even given the rate of progress today, I doubt we'll have a new meta-materal that will allow for far greater carrying capacity in 60 years, but maybe there will be. I don't know enough about the subject to assume that there will be. $\endgroup$
    – Durakken
    Aug 23, 2016 at 22:57
  • $\begingroup$ Sooo... can this be used as an explosive? My Evil Overlord is still looking for something that makes a pretty bang... $\endgroup$ May 23, 2017 at 9:38

1 Answer 1


You may have to work on your definition of "cheap." As long as they cost less than a few quadrillion dollars a piece, you're going to be mass producing them as fast as possible.

Your $5m^3$ IEG generates $2.2*10^{23}J$ with each activation. From one of my favorite charts on the internet, Orders of Magnitude (Energy):

  • $3.9×10^{22} J$ - Estimated energy contained in the world's fossil fuel reserves as of 2010
  • $2.2×10^{23} J$ - Total global uranium-238 resources using fast reactor technology
  • $5.5×10^{24} J$ - Total energy from the Sun that strikes the face of the Earth each year

These are the scales you are working on. Using your technology just 20 times gives the owner as much energy as the entire solar flux on the Earth. The value of this is so great that I don't think you can even talk about it using dollar numbers. This kind of power will force us to redefine economics as we know it. Obviously this will swamp our existing electrical line system, but you wouldn't use them for this. You already have the energy in a highly transportable form, why not use it that way. Transport it in tankers just like oil.

As for how fast it could be done, a pump designed for moving oil in and out of oil tankers can push $2800 m^3/hr$ or roughly $0.7 7m^3/s$. This means one of these existing tanks could drain your sphere in roughly 6.5 seconds.

This leads us to another interesting entry from the orders of magnitude chart:

  • $3.8×10^{26} J$ - Total energy output of the Sun each second

Let's assume the entire process of filling and emptying takes 10 seconds. Each one of these spheres can then generate $2.2*10^{22}J/s$. This gives us a neat exchange ratio: 17,272 of these devices, in parallel, generates exactly the power of our sun.

This answers some of your "long term" questions. 17,272 of these dumps as much energy into the universe as a star. Unless you make a lot of these, there should be minimal universal impact. However, needless to say, becoming a Class II society almost overnight will probably wreck any society we have. That's just too much of a shift to handle in one big move.

  • $\begingroup$ The price of an IED (drive that is directly powered by an IEG) in 2156 I marked down as $3billion based on amount it costs to build the most expensive military submarines I could find ^.^ What I figure is that to build it is prohibitively expensive + privately own patent + companies and governments might build them but it's not like they're going to just give away the energy for free even though they're producing it virtually for free. $\endgroup$
    – Durakken
    Aug 23, 2016 at 23:58
  • $\begingroup$ My fave chart on the internet too, +1 for just referencing that. @Durakken - it should be noted that 2 activations of your device is also equivalent to "Approximate energy released in the formation of the Chicxulub Crater in the Yucatán Peninsula". The order of magnitude you are working with here is an extinction level event waiting to happen. $\endgroup$
    – Twelfth
    Aug 24, 2016 at 0:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Twelfth Good thing it's in the hands of a crazy inventor and the government. Nothing could possibly go wrong in that scenario ^.^ $\endgroup$
    – Durakken
    Aug 24, 2016 at 0:12
  • $\begingroup$ Appears to be Trumps middle east policy wrapped up in a worldbuilding question $\endgroup$
    – Twelfth
    Aug 24, 2016 at 0:31
  • $\begingroup$ @Durakken If you did that, you would create an imbalance of power the likes of which society has never seen before. It's less of a "mideival despot ruling over the powerless serfs," and more like the power of a tyranical hegemon controling the entire world's armies vs. the power of an ant... except an ant has more relative power than you'd have in the case of IEGs. You really have to rewrite all of society, from the ground up... it's that society breaking. Privately owned patent? With the amount of value we are talking about, a patent lawsuit isn't going to do diddly. $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Aug 24, 2016 at 0:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .