Nihilism Engineering

unspace interrupter: a type of switch used in extremely-high-power electrical systems, the unspace interrupter is designed to overcome the ultimate limit in switching: namely, the dielectric strength of possible insulators used to separate the contacts.

Perfect insulators are generally considered impossible since all baryonic – and most exotic – materials, even the most insulating, still contain small quantities of charge carriers, and sufficiently high voltages are capable of tearing the electrons from atoms, or otherwise motivating these charge carriers. Even vacuum is not a perfect insulator; a perfect vacuum still breaks down at 1e12 megavolts per meter, and the much more achievable high vacuum at a mere 30 megavolts per meter, even discounting processes such as thermionic emission.

The unspace interrupter bypasses this by observing that charge carriers require space to exist within, and by taking away that space, one assures that they cannot exist, and thus cannot flow. Unspace interrupters have been constructed using a variety of techniques, but one simple example is to consider two widely separated contact points – or an equivalent system, such as a photonic motor-generator set – linked by a tunable-pinch wormhole, i.e., one which can be closed or opened at will. When opened, current flows freely; when closed, the effective dielectric strength of the interrupter is determined by the arbitrarily large distance between its separated ends, which can be functionally infinite. Moreover, the opening of the contacts by this system is not subject to arcing or flashover.

– the Glossology of the Anbaric Spark, 997th ed.

Notable Replies

  1. As a plus side, the capacitance of such a switch is zero!

  2. What kind of applications need that much power all concentrated in a single wire?

  3. Serious power generation or storage, flash accumulators, extra-large beam weapons or mass drivers, basement universes and other metric engineering, megastructure infrastructure, moon-brains…

    …that sort of thing.

  4. Ever gonna give us a “Things to See, Places To Go” of a moon-brain one day?

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