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Timothy replies to Kevin:

>> >clearing the matter and see the whole forest instead of only trees
>> >(as Polish saying goes).
>> We have the same saying in Dutch...
>Interesting, in english we say it the other way around:
>for example,
>"He can't see the forest for the trees"

I guess that in both cases we can't see the forest because of the trees. In
fact the Dutch saying is like you wrote it. Zenon uses a negated sentence
and so changed the construction of the sentence and says the same...

>Consider the following Gedenken <sp?> experiment: (inspired by actual events)

It should be "Gedanken Experiment" (it's German)

>Now, consider the the following engine design:
>Sol sends out a maser beam, and the "Asimov" absorbs it, turning it into 
>electricity (let's say 80% eff)  This gives the Asimov a nice 1 G accel.  
>The energy is stored (if I knew how, I wouldn't need you guys  ;) )

The only way to store so much energy would be a matter & anti-matter mixture.
Talk to Kelly if you want to hear why this wouldn't work :)

>much better if a way can be found to hold the maser in a "mirrored box" 
>and let it out with out needing conversion to electricity.  I wonder, can 
>Quantum mechanics help us here?  can the wave be put in a box that allows 
>only one harmonic to exist?  

- What would be the advantage of one harmonic?
- No two particles (photons) can be in the same state, so a single harmonic
isn't possible.
- There is a perfect one-way mirror: a blackhole
- An unperfect mirror isn't usefull at all, even the slightest unperfection
will give an almost 100% loss in a small time. (The box should at best be a
sphere to avoid losses in the edges and joints.

So in short your method could work but we don't know a way to store the
energy. Besides that, if we could store that energy, it would be better to
take it with us from the start, since than there would be no efficiency
losses during capturing and beaming.
So if we could create anti-matter efficiently and store it, it would always
be cheaper then beaming.

>5-15 yrs-- exploration / refuel / rebuild /
>15 years-- maser array at TC finished.  Send radio message informing earth

I wonder if about 100 (wo)men can build a 10 by 10 kilometre maser array
(including a power source?) in 10 years.

>(esp. Steve and Tim -- renowned throwers of ice water)   :)

I hope I've cooled you down enough :)