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Re: Engine (EM radiation) problems

At 6:19 PM 6/5/96, Timothy van der Linden wrote:
>Kelly wrote:
>>I don't follow why the presure or hole?  I was figuring on the reactor
>>being in a parabolic charged bowel that would reflect the particals in the
>>general direction.  (About a 20 degree cone should be good.)  Otherwise
>>trying to contain that much power would be hard and HOT.
>Yes, I believe this pressure thing was something I imagined, and later it
>seemed that the Bussard engine did not work that way.
>The main reason for that pressure thing was to even out the velocities, this
>way we would not get very fast and very slow particles all together.
>Particles with high velocity have a worse momentum:energy ratio (a new
>term?). This means that if you have some energy and want to make the most
>velocity (momentum) from it, you get the most of it if you use low exhaust
>velocities. Unfortunately this also means that more mass is needed, which is
>not preferrable.
>But assuming a specific amount of mass and a specific amount of energy, you
>get the most momentum if you give all the mass the same velocity.
>Having said all this, I haven't the faintest idea how much the efficiency of
>engine would rise if one did this in reality.
>One thing that I'm worried about is the question of how much EM-radiation
>would be formed during the reaction, I know you said none, but any collision
>of particles (or acceleration, or deceleration of charged particles) would
>create EM-radiation. Since it will not be easy to deflect this radiation, we
>need a solution for it.

I worry about EM and secoundary reactions in the plasma.  We are after all
talking about hellish amounts of power.  Even small percentages could
incinerate the engine and ship.  (Even a mile of Lithium might not protect
the crew.)



Kelly Starks                       Internet: kgstar@most.fw.hac.com
Sr. Systems Engineer
Magnavox Electronic Systems Company
(Magnavox URL: http://www.fw.hac.com/external.html)