Arminius wrote:Any mistake on my side?
The calculations themselves seem fine to me.
But you've interpreted the results wrong. The energy figures you've calculated represent the amount of energy emitted every second
So, for your first example, the actual energy output is 2.4 MJ per second
, which is 2.4 megawatts!
Now, before you get all excited about the existence of such a power source, you should check how much a kilogram of pure Pd-103 would actually costs. I don't know the exact prices, but tiny medical pellets of Pd-103 typically cost tens of thousands of dollars. So a full kilogram of the stuff would probably cost billions.
You should also check how much radiation such a thing would emit. Your poor Mr. Stark would have been fried by the radiation, the moment he got anywhere near that thing.
Let me tell you something: I once toyed with the idea of using a beta-emitter to power a interplanetary spaceship. I liked the idea that unlike a conventional nuclear reactor, a decay always proceeds at a constant rate. No need to start it or control it. No fear of a "meltdown" due to an uncontrolled reaction.
Seemed simple enough. But when I did the actual calculations, I found that the whole concept is completely and insanely impractical. The constant radiation flow would be enormous, and no amount of shielding would protect you from it. I've quickly realized that an ordinary nuclear reactor would be a far more practical solution.
Arminius wrote:P.S.: How did you calculate your table splitting up neutrino energy and electron energy?
By the relativistic equation of momentum:
And it's not a direct calculation.
What I did was work backwards: I picked a "guessed" value for the momentum, and plugged it into the above equation for both the electron and the neutrino. Summing up the two energies, I got the total decay energy. And the ratio of the two results give you the split.
I repeated this a few times with different momentum values, trying to aim at a total energy which is close to around number. Whenever I hit close to a round value (say 100 keV or 500 keV) I've posted the data in the table.
Yes, this process is somewhat unwieldy. But it works. And I suppose you can see know why I preferred to just list the numbers in a table instead of actually guiding you through the entire process.