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Re: starship-design: my $0.02 (finally)
First let me welcome all the new members. hurrah, we're growing again!
I just have a few ideas about some of the propulsion systems that have
1) If we do end up using a black hole for any kind of thrust or
conversion, I'd suggest storing it in front of the ship where it could
act as a sheild. In fact, just figuring out how to get the black hole
up to light speed would mean that the ship could travel along for free,
riding the gravity well. i.e. we stay behind the black hole, just close
enough to be pulled in at the same rate as the black hole is running
away toward Tau Ceti.
2) photon spheres: Assuming we solved the pressure problem, how do we
put photons inside? wherever they went in would have to be less than
100% reflective, or we'd have to have a "door" that could be slammed
shut in zero time.
3) flywheels: Instead of 1 large 200-meter flywheel, how about a lot of
I know better than to suggest 200 1-meter flywheels, but you get the
idea. this should help us stay on course also (angular momentum)
4) wish list: tapping the zero-point energy. estimated to be 1E16 per
cubic centimeter (not sure about number, maybe 1E18.... anyone know the
real figrue) The problem with this one is thermodynamic. where do you
find the "cold sink" (the place with little or no zero point energy) to
generate the gradient. or, how do you convert zero point energy into
matter and antimatter? Virtual particle drive anyone?
5) still think beaming beats them all :-p
Kevin "Tex" Houston http://umn.edu/~hous0042/index.html
"Whoever undertakes to set himself up as a judge of Truth and
Knowledge is shipwrecked by the laughter of the gods." A. Einstein