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Re: starship-design: Antimatter Annihilation Products

Hi Rex,

> [And after we convert antimatter energy to usable energy, we
> still have to convert the usable energy to exhaust kinetic
> energy (via some kind of engine/electrical generator powering an
> accelerator), so the "antimatter conversion efficiency" which is
> the overall efficiency used in the calculation of the starship
> properties reported in my 2/4/97 note will be even lower than
> 0.8.]

Actually, this is the key to the whole problem. It is an engineering maxim
that every conversion process entails waste and in order to increase
efficiency you must reduce conversions. The ideal solution therefore would
be an antimatter propulsion system that converted DIRECTLY to thrust.
Perhaps something similar in concept to a stellarator in design.

I find the possibility of a theory of quantum gravity somewhat more
interesting, having such an understanding would possily eliminate the need
for anything so crude as a reaction engine in the first place....