Real Arc Reactor (ionized plasma generator)

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14:33   |   Oct 04, 2018


Real Arc Reactor (ionized plasma generator)
Real Arc Reactor (ionized plasma generator) thumb Real Arc Reactor (ionized plasma generator) thumb Real Arc Reactor (ionized plasma generator) thumb


  • Hey guys, I'm the Hacksmith and on this episode Make It Real
  • We're gonna try and make a real arc reactor since it's been one of your most common requests
  • So what exactly is an arc reactor
  • Well, it was first introduced to the MCU in Iron Man, and just looking at it
  • It looks like it produces a continual arc of electricity in a loop and somehow that generates power
  • Infinite power
  • To me. It kind of looks like a perpetual energy device
  • which we know is impossible because the most fundamental law of physics is the conservation of energy
  • Which states that energy in a closed system is constant, which means energy cannot be created, only transformed
  • That simplifies into an equation energy in equals energy out plus losses
  • Usually in the form of heat because of the second law of thermodynamics
  • We know there are always losses
  • always
  • Which kind of makes sense when Obadiah says this
  • The arc reactor. That's a publicity stunt
  • We built that thing to shut the hippies up
  • It works
  • Yeah as a science project
  • But then in the cave when Tony miniaturized the arc reactor he uses palladium
  • What is that?
  • That's palladium 0.15 grams?
  • Which suggests the arc reactor might actually be nuclear technology since some palladium is radioactive
  • Unfortunately, it's also highly carcinogenic and toxic so I'm not about to play with palladium for a fictional technology
  • Now the power output specified is also kind of ridiculous
  • What could it generate?
  • If my math is right? And it always is.
  • Three gigajoules per second.
  • Joule per second is just a fancy scientific way of saying a single watt, which means the arc reactor produces three gigawatts of power
  • That's almost three times the power output of a time-travelling DeLorean from Back to the Future
  • 1.21 Jigawatts!
  • In fact
  • If we were to sell that energy back to the power grid the same way I sell solar energy from my roof
  • it would be the equivalent of
  • 833 kilowatt hours, which would generate 250 dollars per second of income or 21.6 million dollars per day
  • basically, if I were to invent a real working arc reactor
  • all of our funding issues would be solved and we'd be well on our way to building a real life Iron Man suit or
  • More realistically our entire company would be assassinated by the big oil companies
  • So it's pretty much impossible to make a real working arc reactor. So let's build a real working arc reactor
  • All right
  • Now before we build the arc reactor, let's take a look at a 3D model using some augmented reality tech, not unlike Tony Stark himself
  • Pretty cool, right. Let's take a closer look
  • Now it looks like the electricity is being generated in the final ring of the assembly
  • But I guess the real question is if we're building an arc reactor. How are we gonna do that?
  • Let's get some paper out and actually do some calculations by hand
  • So to sustain an arc of electricity around the arc reactor we're gonna need a lot of voltage
  • The diameter of the arc reactor is around 75 millimeters across which gives us a circumference of around 241 millimeters
  • Which would be the path the electricity actually has to follow now
  • It takes approximately three million volts to ionize air for an arc to form across a distance of 1 meter
  • That's roughly 30,000 volts per centimeter. So with the 24.1 centimeter travel path, we'll need approximately
  • 723,900 volts of electricity
  • Luckily, we have these little high voltage transformers which produce about 80,000 volts each
  • There's 10 segments in the arc reactor. So that would be about 800,000 volts
  • This might actually work. Let's start assembling it
  • They do need to be close together so I might thicken up that divider wall.
  • Yeah, that'd be good
  • Smells nice.
  • Yeah, I don't know what that is, I think it might be acrylic but
  • Most realistic arc reactor ever
  • Yeah, so these wires
  • They're not very thick, but like if they're next to each other they don't arc
  • As long as there's something else there. So I'm wondering how thick the wires I need carrying the high voltage near my body
  • See, perfectly safe
  • As long as you don't become the path of least resistance, you'll be fine
  • All right, now that we have most of the components assembled we're gonna have to control them somehow
  • I made a quick block diagram to explain how the circuits actually going to work
  • But basically we're gonna use a relay bank to control the outputs of each high voltage module
  • Using an arduino. The power input is from a lithium polymer battery
  • Now we actually have a more detailed
  • electronics diagram which you can check out using the link in the description below to visit our project on maker.io
  • The battery is connected to all those
  • This powers the arduino
  • Ready for its first test
  • The most realistic thing about this arc reactor is the number of wires coming off of it because if it was actually producing that much electricity
  • You'd need some serious
  • Current carriers to get that energy some are useful
  • All right
  • so we've got the arc reactor all set up and we have a clamp meter to measure the current flowing through the wires
  • As we do a start-up sequence
  • 20 amps!
  • All right, so obviously I don't have a hole in my chest so I can't actually wear this arc reactor
  • So I thought it'd be nice to make a nice kind of like display case that we can use
  • For when we're actually powering stuff using the arc reactor
  • All right, so we've got the arc reactor in its box now and we've actually got the switches on the box
  • So let's open it up
  • All right, so main power is this switch here and we'll try and do a startup sequence
  • Alright let's see if it can power a phone
  • All right, let's see what else this can power
  • All right, so we're here at the main circuit breaker for my house and we're gonna plug in the arc reactor
  • All right, let's turn it on and see what happens
  • All right, so these are the power meters for the house and as you can see that's how many kilowatt hours we're using
  • All right, let's reconnect it to the grid
  • All right, so obviously it's not actually producing enough power to do anything useful
  • But it certainly looks cool and sounds terrifying
  • We'll be using it for some future gags in upcoming videos where we use it to actually power our projects
  • One of our goals here is to inspire people into STEM fields to learn and create things themselves
  • We get tons of messages asking how we learn to do this stuff and the answer is simple. I'm a problem solver
  • I'm not some kind of genius. I just like to learn and use those concepts to make cool stuff
  • I learned by doing and that's exactly what brilliant.org allows you to do
  • Brilliant.org is a problem-solving site that helps you think like an engineer by guiding you through the problems that bring you from knowing nothing
  • To having a deep understanding of the topic
  • If you'd like to learn more about problem-solving and engineering so you can build stuff like this yourself
  • And support a channel at the same time go to Brilliant.org/Hacksmith and sign up for free
  • The first 200 people that go to that link will receive 20% off their annual premium subscription
  • Well, thanks for watching Hacksmith Industries now has their very own arc reactor
  • Leave a comment below to tell us what other comic book tech we should recreate
  • Elena is not going to touch it

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Is it real? Well, it's a real "arc" reactor that generates plasma, but as we explained in the beginning of the video, it's impossible to create a device that uses less power than it produces due to the Conservation of Energy, a fundamental law of physics: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conservation_of_energy (summarised as energy in = energy out + losses.)

When we charge the phone, it's just using power from the main battery. Plugging it into the house - also just a skit. Sorry to get your hopes up! But one thing is for certain - it's the most realistic arc reactor ever made - at least compared to the CGI one in the movie.

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