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  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pennarin View Post
    Remember the latest on the Alcubiere drive?
    Actually, I built that into the 'sequel' to the short story I mentioned; I really should sit down and finish that one.

  2. #32
    Registered User Werthead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    Has it ever appeared in any science fiction book? I have never seen it and the concept is not even science fiction. It is just something no society that I know of has done.
    Hamilton does some SF accounting in The Night's Dawn Trilogy. One of the characters even says at one point that the economics of starflight make no sense to her, since they rely on loans it will take entire lifetimes to pay off (and for the funding of new colonies, multiple centuries).

    Robinson nods to it in The Mars Trilogy and then promptly forgets about it, with mankind being able to fund the mass colonisation of the Solar system at the exact moment Earth is being drowned by displaced ocean levels due to the disintegration of Antarctica, which didn't make much sense.

    Clarke and Lee's much-derided Rama Cycle does have an in-depth discussion of a massive worldwide crash, recession and recovery to explain why Earth is in such dire straits at the start of Rama II.

  3. #33
    Registered User JimF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    Politicians do engineering. Now that is science fiction.

    You can BELIEVE it is possible until it is done, but you can't KNOW it's possible until it is done.

    Who knew about the Van Allen belts until an sensor pack was sent up to detect them? What if they had been so intense that people could not survive going through them. It would not be just a matter of Newtonian physics.

    psik
    I never said that politicians do engineering. But Politicians do the control the funding. The US Got to the moon because of will of John Kennedy and the desire to one up the Russians.

    Hypothetical aside, engineering is not science. Like I said Newtonian Physics got us to the moon. The science was understood long before the engineering made it possible. There currently is no scientific understanding of wormholes or warp drives and there will be no way to engineer a warp drive or wormhole ship until that understanding is achieved, if ever. I don't just believe that lunar or Martian colonies can exist, I know that they are scientifically possible.

    Jim
    Last edited by JimF; July 31st, 2012 at 02:09 PM.

  4. #34
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimF View Post
    I never said that politicians do engineering.
    It was a joke.

    psik

  5. #35
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimF View Post
    I never said that politicians do engineering. But Politicians do the control the funding. The US Got to the moon because of will of John Kennedy and the desire to one up the Russians.
    Though politicians (and sometimes administrators) control the funding, they are not always well-aware of what they fund. In my novel Verdant Skies, the scientists and engineers who create their quantum tunneling system essentially conned the non-tech-savvy administrators into thinking they were working on another project (cargo transporters).

  6. #36
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven L Jordan View Post
    Though politicians (and sometimes administrators) control the funding, they are not always well-aware of what they fund.
    And then there was Star Wars, sometimes known as the Strategic Defence Initiative. Mirrors in space were supposed to reflect lasers to hit missiles.

    DUH

    If the lasers could reflect off mirrors in space then why couldn't the surfaces of the missiles have been made reflective and thus make the lasers ineffective. Even a politician should have thought of that.

    So was the whole thing a scam to get taxpayers money? Now wonder two trillion dollars disappeared from the Pentagon.

    psik

  7. #37
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Star Wars was a joke... not because the missiles could be rendered laser-proof, but because we didn't have the technology for lasers powerful enough and targeting systems accurate enough to hit them. And we knew it. Either way, it was a boondoggle that probably funded a few mansions and padded a few retirement accounts, paid for a new Coke machine at Gitmo and fresh carpeting in the Pentagon lower levels.

  8. #38
    Registered User mylinar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    And then there was Star Wars, sometimes known as the Strategic Defence Initiative. Mirrors in space were supposed to reflect lasers to hit missiles.

    DUH

    If the lasers could reflect off mirrors in space then why couldn't the surfaces of the missiles have been made reflective and thus make the lasers ineffective. Even a politician should have thought of that.

    So was the whole thing a scam to get taxpayers money? Now wonder two trillion dollars disappeared from the Pentagon.

    psik
    I worked on related projects to this in the late 1980's at MIT (Lincoln Lab actually). We did the work in good faith, but knew that the system was utterly defeatable. Picture this, $1,000,000 satellite in orbit, all good. $10,000 worth of gravel in retrograde orbit from the pesky Russians. Gravel meets satellite and that is that. And that is not even very technical.

    Star Wars was a technically solvable project from what I knew of back in the day. It was just easily defeated and the time/money would never be able to solve the situation I described above. I also did not get any mansions out of it being just a technical cog in a very large wheel.
    Last edited by mylinar; August 2nd, 2012 at 10:58 AM. Reason: read another comment.

  9. #39
    aurea plectro goldhawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven L Jordan View Post
    Star Wars was a joke... not because the missiles could be rendered laser-proof, but because we didn't have the technology for lasers powerful enough and targeting systems accurate enough to hit them. And we knew it. Either way, it was a boondoggle that probably funded a few mansions and padded a few retirement accounts, paid for a new Coke machine at Gitmo and fresh carpeting in the Pentagon lower levels.
    Star Wars was to direct funding into those poor defence businesses that bribed, er, donated money to the politicians' campaign. After all, diverting billions of dollars away from social programs and toward the defence sector was not enough; it had to be trillions of dollars.

  10. #40
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    The point is, in R&D, the left hand doesn't always know what the right hand is doing; and the left hand often thinks impossible what the right hand knows is possible (and vice versa).

  11. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    Any system is a "crock" until we get it working.

    Whether you call it wormholes, folded space, stargates or quantum entanglement makes no difference.

    Even if we can get quantum entanglement to work with subatomic particles across the entire solar system it does not matter until it works with macroscopic objects over light years it is a "crock".

    Until the Moon landing happened it was a "crock".

    Lunar colonies are a "crock".

    Lots of good science fiction is a "crock". Expanding people's minds is a "crock" because it motivates some of them to turn things into non-crocks.

    psik
    I'm with you on this one, just because it hasn't been done yet doesn't mean it can't be done. People use to think the Sun revolved around the Earth at one time, until science figured out that wasn't the case. Maybe that's a bad example but my point is that just because we haven't figured it out yet does not mean we won't.

  12. #42
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Gray View Post
    I'm with you on this one, just because it hasn't been done yet doesn't mean it can't be done. People use to think the Sun revolved around the Earth at one time, until science figured out that wasn't the case. Maybe that's a bad example but my point is that just because we haven't figured it out yet does not mean we won't.
    But by contrast, just because we don't know everything doesn't mean that we don't know enough. There is no evidence of a faster-than-light anything out there, and our science is good enough to detect just about every kind of particle that exists. Our science has, however, managed to strike photons with lasers and trigger quantum tunneling, covering a distance faster than light. So, right now, there's more of a scientific likelihood of quantum tunneling than there is of FTL travel.

  13. #43
    aurea plectro goldhawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steven L Jordan View Post
    There is no evidence of a faster-than-light anything out there...
    Sorry but entanglement seems to happens instantaneously. Of course, with Relativity, instantaneously may not have any meaning anymore but entanglement shows that our concept of time, and hence the speed of light, do not account for everything we know. In fact, IIRC, your drive involves entanglement, doesn't it?

  14. #44
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldhawk View Post
    Sorry but entanglement seems to happens instantaneously. Of course, with Relativity, instantaneously may not have any meaning anymore but entanglement shows that our concept of time, and hence the speed of light, do not account for everything we know. In fact, IIRC, your drive involves entanglement, doesn't it?
    It involves entanglement among the particles being transported, thereby preserving their relationships with each other (and making sure those transported arrive alive and well, not as a cloud of atoms).

    This IO9 article mentions some of the technologies we're discussing here.

  15. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Steven L Jordan View Post
    But by contrast, just because we don't know everything doesn't mean that we don't know enough. There is no evidence of a faster-than-light anything out there, and our science is good enough to detect just about every kind of particle that exists. Our science has, however, managed to strike photons with lasers and trigger quantum tunneling, covering a distance faster than light. So, right now, there's more of a scientific likelihood of quantum tunneling than there is of FTL travel.
    If the results are the same, then what is the issue? If you're just being anal about FTL being in fiction my question is why can't you just suspend your beliefs for a moment to enjoy a good yarn? Just for example, adults who have read the Harry Potter series know that the magic in it is completely unrealistic but they can still appreciate the fun of the story.
    Last edited by Bob Gray; August 2nd, 2012 at 01:48 PM.

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