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Old April 16 2008, 12:02 AM   #136
Fleet Captain
Location: Pittsburgh PA, USA
Re: Star Ship Polaris

aridas sofia wrote: View Post
Jimmy_C wrote: View Post
Looking good. I like the visual style. I don't like the physics that much, though. What powers the ship and its landers?
The ship would have a small reactor (fusion or perhaps m/am) powering something like Casimir cavities amidships (that create anti-gravitational negative energy) and micro-massive singularity containers (fore and aft) that are hypergravity sources. As I mentioned before, the forward singularity causes the fabric of space ahead of Polaris to contract, while the aft singularity causes the space behind the ship to expand. Polaris would ride a wave inside a warp bubble of flat space. The ship would not be moving within this warp bubble, but rather be "carried along" as the region of warped space moves. The scenario is something like a manufactured wormhole, with the throat being kept open by the ship's antigravity "rings." Instead of a warp bubble, or a wormhole, I call it a "warp tether," intentionally evoking the nautical sense of "warping" as a verb describing a ship's use of a rope to tug itself towards its destination.

As for the lander, my thinking is that since the ship is relatively small (too small for exotic antigravity technology), and needs to be durable and dependable for multiple landings, a simple nuclear rocket might be the best, most powerful "tried and true" technology. Whether there would be room in that lander for an advanced NERVA or some other type of nuclear motor, I haven't worked out. Obviously, if there's not enough room, either the design will be modified, or there will be an assumption that the tech has advanced to the point that it is possible.

Most space on real rockets seems to be devoted to fuel. If the ship is constantly accelerating, that would take a lot of stored energy, right? And the landers seem kinda small to me to have enough potential energy to land and fly back from the surface of the Earth to whatever orbit the ship is on (and how to orbits work for a craft that always accelerates itself?)
The one slice of pure bolognium in this scheme is my idea that one gee acceleration applied over time can charge artificial gravity generators for an equal amount of time via "stored momentum". Something about the relationship between time, gravity and momentum allows this, but in reality, its just the need for artificial gravity in situations like the orbit you mentioned that drives my appetite for the bolognium.

I think I can say that both Dennis and I would like to depict a technology that is not nearly as magical as that depicted in Star Trek, but is advanced enough to permit space opera with some respect for science. So, "maybe" technologies like negative energy and "warp tethers" can share the stage with an old stalwart like the nuclear rocket, and a pure fantasy concept like my gravity bank (which I'd get rid of if I could think of anything better).
Interesting, because you're making a Gravitational Quadrupole, with weird "negative energy" singularities as well as normal singularities.

Your ship might emit gravitational waves, but the negative energy part complicates matters. If it was an electric field, far away then the potential might drop off as r^-4 from the center of the ship (it would be non-zero, though). Of course, you can't have very massive singularities, or the ship would crush itself.

Assuming it is like a pair of electric dipoles lined up with opposite polarity (+q ... -2q ... +q), with a ship length of d, then then if it was an electric field the potential would be from the center (looking at the front or back):

E = 3G(2qd^2)(r^-4)

On the other hand, if you reversed the singularities and negative energy sources, could you get negative potential (and thus maybe work the way you want it too)?

Also, when near a large gravitational body, you might get torque on your ship. Would that mean you can't engage the engines unless you are far enough away from a planet (unless you have enough structural integrity to survive).

Of course, I'm using electric fields to simulate gravitational fields, because I don't understand how to deal with gravitational fields well enough. IANAP yet.
"Is this all that I am? Is there nothing more?" - V'GER
"Don't tell me what it can't do: I built the damn thing!" - Emory Erickson
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