# B5 downbelow question.

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by trekkiedane, Feb 9, 2011.

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Whenever I've watched B5 I've wondered about "downbelow" -The name itself (twice!) states that it is under something, under the inner surface of the station itself is how I read it.

So far, so good.

In a rotational gravity environment the perceived downward pull will increase as you move away from the centre of rotation.

The smaller the radius is the higher the rotational speed needs to be in order for the 'gravity' on the inner surface to feel 'normal'.

When the rotational speed is high, the perceived gravitation will increase significantly for each meter you go below the point of ~1 g.

I'm assuming Babylon 5 is built to let people not experience any discomfort due to the difference in perceived gravitation between their heads and their feet.

But the force would be very different if you were to find yourself on the second floor of a 'building' from that you would feel in the basement of the same place.

Assuming the level of the interior surface is equal to 1 g, the 'gravity' in downbelow would be tremendously higher -to the point of making movement significantly different (walking, throwing stuff, falling over...).

Or of course, vice versa: on the inside of the hull the perceived pull outwards is 1 g -making the interior surface one with significantly less than 1 g outwards (downwards!) pull!

Did JMS ever speak about this discrepancy? Or is it just a Babylon 5-suspension of disbelief like the Heisenberg-compensators of Trek?

Whenever I watch B5 it irks me that the internal gravity of the whole thing (with the few scenes taking place near the centre of rotation as the only exceptions) is 'nominal'!

Any links to anything that tries to explain this is greatly welcomed. -as are speculations

2. ### JanCommodoreCommodore

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...is insane. --JMS
This is the best I could find.

Jan

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It's the suspension of disbelief thingy; same way as they had jump gates. In most science fiction you can't be choosy about what you swallow whole. They did get the idea that there is no gravity in the centre right, except that people on the train aren't floating around. Sheridan only started floating after the train blew up.

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[Jan]^Thanks a lot!

It would seem I'll just have to do the math myself

Oh well, it'll keep till I'm finished with my current 'marathon' viewing of the series!

Deckerd; yeah, they walked quite normally in that 'keep your hands on the handrail'-area up there as well!

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The perceived acceleration in metres per second per second is given by r*w*w, where r is the distance in metres from the axis of rotation and w is the angular velocity in radians per second (2*pi radians per second = 1 complete revolution per second). 1G = 9.81 m/s/s so you can get 1G with r = 98.1m and w= 0.31 radian/s (about 1 revolution per 20 seconds). I think...

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^Thanks

I haven't done this sort in decades -in fact: not since school

I did contemplate doing something similar to figure out the actual sizes of Iain M. Banks orbitals though

ETA: hey! new name!!!-?

7. ### JoeD80CaptainCaptain

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Here's another post from Joe about it:

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Not that I don't believe your quote from Joe, Joe, but could you please point me to a place where I might find it!

9. ### JanCommodoreCommodore

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...is insane. --JMS

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As I said, the effective gravity is directly proportional to the distance from the axis of rotation -- simple as that.

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Jan^Thank you very much! - the only B5 resource I knew was 'The Lurker's Guide' -this seems like just a place for me

And now it's onto There All the Honour Lies for me!

Asbo; when it comes to circles, that is the secret -I just haven't done any of that sort of thing for decades!

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Velcro Pants?

Velcro shoes, ala 2001?

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Weird as it might sound: I never bought that scene! -why didn't Kubrick just have her in some harness, pulling her slightly off the ground as it was filmed?

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The thing that always annoyed me was that the bridge was on a non-revolving part of the base, yet everyone miraculously remained stuck to the floor. The docking ports could easily have been revolving since there isn't any reason why a vessel can't manoeuvre on other axes and forwards at the same time. Even sea ships move sideways and forwards when docking.

Battlestar Galactica, Farscape, Firefly, SW as well as all ST just went for some kind of magical gravity which did away with physics. B5 made a really good fist of artificial gravity and then made it inconsistent.

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In the pilot they were all strapped into gravity harnesses.

Then again in the pilot there was a gorilla serving drinks.

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I'm pretty sure command and control on Babylon 5 was in a rotating section.

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It was; this is from the opening on season 2:

As you can see, the command-window is just below the main docking-bay -not that that explains the seemingly normal Earth gravity people there seemed to experience.

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I thought that was Trapper John......

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Whatimeantersayis the bridge is in the centre (almost) of the forward section, where there would be little or no AG, and they're standing on the ceiling, as it were.