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Casimir Battery
I was reading on the Atomic Rockets website and came across one of Robert Forward's ideas, how to tap the Casimir effect for useable, though highly anemic, electrical power.

There may be no free lunches, but it seems there is a free breath mint.

Maybe it would be useful to power interstellar probes' onboard systems at a very low level while on multi-millennia-long journeys.
I have thought of something along these lines, although I imagined it as a kind of capacitor with numerous parallel flat plates, separated mechanically. Dr Forward's idea of a spiral is elegant, although it sounds as if it would take a lot of tweaking to make it work. Would the amount of energy that could be stored in this fashion exceed other methods that operate on a similiar scale and energy density? The fine tweaking (which Forward calls 'careful control') might be an energy drain that reduces the efficiency of the battery.
I suspect that this would be something that would be used to provide a very small amount of power to a device with very low requirements. IIRC from reading about this in a book by Forward, the 'battery' could only work once and then the leaves would collapse together and the battery would be exhausted.


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