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  1. #91
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phil_geo View Post
    Not to beat this to death, but I'll say that I have worked on IC circuit design, and we never considered anything about quantum theory when doing it. Classical physics wass more than enough to give us headaches. Quantum effects are just too small to be of any practical use in essentially anything that has been produced to date in any field.
    I'll reiterate that quantum theory involves much more than entanglement and Schrodinger's cat, and is older than most people realize.

    "Classic physics" essentially stopped at the knowledge that a current (from wherever it came from) would draw two metal leaves together. Quantum physics provided the knowledge of what was actually happening at the sub-atomic level, which is where and how solid-state circuitry functions. We would never have developed the transistor without it; an IC chip would be just a collection of thin wires, and would have done nothing.

    Your knowledge of IC design was already established when you started using it (assuming you're not older than sixty). The quantum mechanics that dictated the theory behind IC design is about a century old. You may not have needed to be conversant with quantum theory to do your work, any more than I need to be conversant with it to type on this laptop, but your work depended on the established principles developed under quantum theory nonetheless.

  2. #92
    This whole "warp drives are impossible" thread reminds me of a discussion i had about 10 years ago. I asked a well-known physics professor who even had his own tv show: "So what was before the bigbang?". He explained to me in length and detail that since time came into existence with the bigbang it does not make sense to ask what was before, since there was no time and therefore there was no "before or after". Now, 10 years later i keep reading about scientist all over the world coming up with theories about the time before the bigbang.
    It seems to me FTL travel is similar, it seems impossible according to current physics, until someone comes up with an idea that shows its not so.

  3. #93
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    What evidence is there for how widespread this "hatred" for warp drive is?

    psik

  4. #94
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbb View Post
    This whole "warp drives are impossible" thread reminds me of a discussion i had about 10 years ago. I asked a well-known physics professor who even had his own tv show: "So what was before the bigbang?". He explained to me in length and detail that since time came into existence with the bigbang it does not make sense to ask what was before, since there was no time and therefore there was no "before or after". Now, 10 years later i keep reading about scientist all over the world coming up with theories about the time before the bigbang.
    It seems to me FTL travel is similar, it seems impossible according to current physics, until someone comes up with an idea that shows its not so.
    Scientists are still arguing over what "time" is, and a great deal of it is more philosophical than physical, considering the fact that we cannot alter time (time alters us) nor study it from outside its confines. That's significant to the FTL discussion, since most FTL methods involve our belief that we will somehow conquer and control time flow, something somewhat less likely than our learning to use our sense of smell to reinterpret fractal geometry.

  5. #95
    Registered User Pennarin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by psikeyhackr View Post
    What evidence is there for how widespread this "hatred" for warp drive is?

    psik
    You never got this impression from forums (this one) and blogs that there is a portion of the readership and even authorship that consider FTL downright magical and strive to exclude them from the stories they read or write?

  6. #96
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pennarin View Post
    You never got this impression from forums (this one) and blogs that there is a portion of the readership and even authorship that consider FTL downright magical and strive to exclude them from the stories they read or write?
    Yes, but I don't recall anyone picking on "warp drive" before. All of the FTLs require an equal amount of hand waving as far as I am concerned.

    Give me a good story that uses some kind of FTL and I won't worry about the details. Weber's "sails" are kind of funny but I don't get bent out of shape about them. There is still unknown physics out there so I won't bet any kind is flat out impossible but I wouldn't bet that it is workable either.

    I just find "HATE" for one form somewhat peculiar.

    psik
    Last edited by psikeyhackr; August 20th, 2012 at 06:25 PM.

  7. #97
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Jeez.

    I never said it was ANYONE'S hatred but my own.

    And you could've just said you didn't hate it, and walked on, seven pages ago.
    Last edited by Steven L Jordan; August 21st, 2012 at 08:42 AM.

  8. #98
    I believe the main problem with a 'plausible' method of ftl transportation is that once you can go ftl, you get free time travel. People in different frames of reference may disagree on the order that events happen... because of... Light cones or something. I'm hazy on the details, but I know that ftl and time travel are interlinked. You can similarly use a time machine to help you go faster than light.

    So... Sf authors have 3 options. They can stick to the speed limit like Reynolds. They can make use of the time travel as Baxter has. Or they can ignore it and assume there is some sort of universal agreed time, and relativity and ftl don't have any effect on things.

    I'm happy to read any approach. But what does kinda wind me up is when an author tries to develop a complicated ftl drive theory, which may be logical to an extent, and spends pages explaining the system... But just ignores the time travel aspect. I'm happier with someone just saying jump drive or warping of space and leaving out the details.

    Glancing through the original post I think you've misunderstood something about the expansion of the universe. If something is 2 light years from me and the space between us expands to double it moves to 4 ly away. If something starts 4ly away and the space expands in the same way it becomes 8 ly away in the same period of time. The further object has travelled faster than the close one. Expansion is, in a way, faster the further away things are... but that does not imply there is some sort of centre to the universe - the same situation applies no matter where you start from.

  9. #99
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Armcie View Post
    Glancing through the original post I think you've misunderstood something about the expansion of the universe. If something is 2 light years from me and the space between us expands to double it moves to 4 ly away. If something starts 4ly away and the space expands in the same way it becomes 8 ly away in the same period of time. The further object has travelled faster than the close one. Expansion is, in a way, faster the further away things are... but that does not imply there is some sort of centre to the universe - the same situation applies no matter where you start from.
    I do understand the ramifications of expansion of the universe; as it happens, the system I suggest is not impacted by universal expansion, as it simply (ha!) selects a universal frequency alpha corresponding to the intended location, not the distance from starting point. That frequency describes a sphere, with the center of expansion at its center. Then a chosen direction dictates where on that sphere you land.

    It's true that the center of expansion may not be galactic center, as the point of expansion can be in motion as well. However, the system I describe uses relative positioning, not absolute positioning, as its method; so this is not a problem.

    I also developed a simple method to confirm the intended location and its ability to receive your craft without problems: A simple probe, sent to the spot a few seconds in advance of the craft, can do a quick scan to check location and confirm its safety; upon returning, the craft downloads and checks the probe's data; and once confirmed, makes the jump itself. A simple thing, most likely never used because of the possible drama it erases from the moment of the jump, but eminently rational and practical (assuming a jump system can be placed in a small probe).

  10. #100
    SF Author SR_Seldon's Avatar
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    Steven, your details are intriguing. I'm a big fan of Asimov and he never explained the science behind his hyperspace travel, but it was much as you are describing, an instantaneous jump from one location to another. The probe would have been a good idea. It makes sense unless that after 100 years not a single probe encounters anything and then it might get dropped as a useless measure.

    I think the various solutions to FTL all boil down to how limited you want to be. Do you want to assume that there will be no advances that could make these seemingly magical things a reality, or do you want to imagine what future generations might accomplish. I think what is required for any FTL method is a solid theory. You have definitely found one, but it probably isn't the only one. Not all theories will work. Most of them we probably will never know for sure. All we writers can do is come up with something our readers will find believable enough. I'd say, at least for now, you've done just that.

  11. #101
    I like SF. SF is cool. Steven L Jordan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SR_Seldon View Post
    The probe would have been a good idea. It makes sense unless that after 100 years not a single probe encounters anything and then it might get dropped as a useless measure.
    I see it as a purely precautionary safety measure, since there's no other way to ascertain what's at the other end of a jump besides sending something ahead to check. As workable as this method might theoretically be, I don't expect a ship to be able to calibrate its jump with much exactitude other than direction... distance will largely be a fine but educated guess, and a ship might have to make a number of jumps to minimize the distance from arrival point to final destination. Better to let a probe do all that multiple-jumping to refine the distance calculation.

    It may not encounter anything after 1,000 jumps... but the one time it does could be disastrous, much like the one time in 5,000 flights that a plane crashes... overall, a simple check that's worth the trouble.

    I suppose some less cautions ships might skip it... and every once in awhile, a ship wouldn't turn up at its intended destination when it dropped too close to a gravity well, a source of lethal radiation or (the silliest trope of all) the miscellaneous asteroid field.

  12. #102
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    The Warp Drive Could Become Science Fact

    A warp drive would manipulate space-time itself to move a starship, taking advantage of a loophole in the laws of physics that prevent anything from moving faster than light. A concept for a real-life warp drive was suggested in 1994 by Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre, however subsequent calculations found that such a device would require prohibitive amounts of energy.
    http://news.discovery.com/space/warp...ss-120917.html

    psik

  13. #103
    Webmaster, Great SF&F owlcroft's Avatar
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    Beat me to it.


  14. #104
    Live Long & Suffer psikeyhackr's Avatar
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    So is the next movie going to be

    The Revenge of Star Trek

    ???

    psik

  15. #105
    Nice to see that "the hated" warp-drive has gone from science fantasy to hard SF.

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