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RE: starship-design: Solar sails/Laser sails
I didn't mean we had ignored emissivity, we just hadn't specifically talked
about it. Melting point is just a number, reaching that number is a function
of reflectivity, absorption and emissivity of radiation, all of which vary
depending upon the wavelength of the radiation.
As Landis points out, some materials with very high melting points aren't
good choices for sail material because of low reflectivity, low emissivity
or high absorption rates. From a technical standpoint his was about the most
thorough paper I've yet seen on the subject. Too bad he spells like Kelly...