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Re: starship-design: Zero point energy: Power source

In a message dated 6/14/97 10:02:00 PM, stevev@efn.org (Steve VanDevender)

>KellySt@aol.com writes:
> > >A revolution in physics that makes FTL possible will change a lot of
> > >other things too.  It's just not as easy as saying "yes, you really can
> > >make something go FTL"; you have to reconcile the FTL effects with a lot
> > >of other things.  I know, and most physicists admit, that the "causal
> > >ordering principle" is just an assumption, not a proven law of nature,
> > >but there are also no known violations of it, making it a pretty safe
> > >assumption.
> > 
> > Conservation of mass was an equally universally true and fundamental
> > assumption until a couple of decades ago.
>Umm, so far as I've heard conservation of mass/energy has remained a
>proven principle in physics since it was postulated.  I certainly
>haven't seen anyone claim to have found a violation.

But you forget.  The rule was that mass was always conserved, AND Energy was
conserved.  We didn't know a century ago that you could convert one to the
other.  Its only been since then that we take about the conservation of
mass/energy.  I.E. that we talk about them as interchangable.  

In the same way way didn't used to think time or space were bendable things.
 Now its a common assumption.

> > >Sublight interstellar travel will really require a different cultural
> > >mindset than we currently apply to exploration.  It will certainly
> > >require an outlook more oriented towards pure exploration rather than on
> > >short-term return.
> > 
> > More then that.  The rediculasly poor return on such projects.  I.E. it
> > be decades to centuries to get back any info.  Puts them in an
> > catch-22.  If you really want the info, your not going to be that
> >  If your not in that much of a hurry.  Why not wait a couple more
> > (or centuries) for the launches?
>That's part of the change in mindset.  What if you just wanted to find
>out for yourself?
>In any case any information found can be sent back at c, making the
>return as fast as physically possible.

But you could get it back faster with telescopes, and with less cost.
 Beside, a rich explorer might deside to spend his her life on a voyage
knowing he/she would never be able to return the info to the home
civilization left behind.  (Yes someone would be back their, but they woun't
be your civilization or culture.)  But civilizations (and voters or
investors) don't routinely sign big checks that they know they never see a
return on.