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Re: starship-design: Re: FTL Drive designs

In a message dated 6/20/97 10:23:36 PM, stevev@efn.org (Steve VanDevender)

>Let's think about Kyle's figure of 10^28 W/cm^3.  Viewed as a rate of of
>total mass-to-energy conversion, that's 1.1 * 10^11 kg/s * c^2 per cm^3.
>Very roughly that is like continuously shoving neutronium and
>antineutronium in a blender.  For reference, the total solar flux is
>about 3.6 * 10^26 W; your energy flux is literally like a nova per cubic
>centimeter per second.
>I have only two things to say about that figure.
>1.  If that kind of energy production density was possible, we could
>send entire planets on high-acceleration relativistic trips around the
>universe using tiny reactors.
>2.  I don't think it's feasible to use this for a man-rated spacecraft.
>No human could stand to be near that kind of flux without shielding
>that's at least as fanciful as the reactor that produces it.

Ah, don't wory about man rating the ship.  Unless you have 100% energy
efficency the waste heat or rad leakage would fry out the star system!

Thou FTL would be far more usefull then planet sized STL travel.  ;)

>I have serious reservations about "zero-point energy" being useful.  My
>primary concern is that extracting such energy from the vacuum has to be
>disruptive -- you're lowering the ground state of the vacuum in a
>region, and that's got to produce some kind of effect as that
>disturbance propagates into the surrounding vacuum.  And if you extract
>that energy by making the vacuum effectively unstable, what risk do you
>run of having that reaction be self-sustaining and uncontainable?  For
>all we know the Big Bang might have been someone's disastrous ZPE

This is really speculative.  zero point energy is such an edgy concept we've
got know idea if its possible, or if it would have side effects in macro
space.  (Ignoring the waste heat problem.)  Who knows maybe you can duct the
resulting power and waste back into the zero point flux and leave no effect.