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

Steve VanDevender wrote:
> kyle writes:
>  > I think that the problem with most scientists is that we would like
>  > to think that we know everything about physics, and that there are
>  > not an incredible amount of alternative posibilities and situations
>  > which we have not yet begun to understand. We have only begun to
>  > learn. Many a number of unexplored posibilities await us. We are just
>  > beginning the journey. In my opinion, I think we should consider FTL
>  > as possible in our mission.
> The starship-design exercise is to design a starship and interstellar
> exploration mission that can be reasonably expected to be buildable in
> 2050.  That means we are being intentionally conservative about the
> technology used.  While we sometimes extrapolate technological trends in
> making assumptions about the materials and techniques that will be
> available, for the most part nobody has tried to postulate technology
> that violates _currently known_ laws of physics, because that's all we
> have to work with now.

FTL doesn't necessarily violate physics. Or consider these: distance
The ability to make sublight journeys to stars by quantum jumping; That
been done in laboratories. Any particle physist will tell you that.
You'd be 
surprised at how many scientists have postulated "technology that
currently known laws of physics". As I said earlier, physics is almost
an unknown for us. We haven't begun to unlock its secrets. Maybe FTL
violate physics. There have been scattered reports of slight FTL
(E-mail me if interested). I know most of you say that these reports are
junk science, but thats exactly what was said to the Wright brothers. 

> The biggest problem with trying to design an FTL starship today is that
> no one, not even the most expert physicist, has the slightest idea how
> FTL could be realistically accomplished in a manner that would allow it
> to be used in a starship drive system.  

Not necesarily true.

>If you don't know the size and
> requirements of the drive system, how can you design a ship around it?

Hmmm...Aha! Estimate! (we've done plenty of it)

> On the other hand, while the requirements of a relativistic drive system
> are difficult, they are not physically impossible, and it might be
> possible to build one in 2050.

FTL may not be impossible.

My conclusion: I still stick by FTL as being a good propulsion system to
use on our ship. (whichever one we build) Giant sail ships wouldn't
work with it though- distortion would be so large, it would require
energy to create and maintain it without risking ship's integrity. Sail
ships are dangerous even if used for sublight travel: One stray meteor
shower and there went your mission, your crew, and several hundred
dollars. My design does incorporate FTL travel. Similar to Alcubierres
drive, but more...2050ish.

Kyle Mcallister