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Re: RE: starship-design: Ramjet workings?

In a message dated 9/10/97 3:47:42 AM, lparker@cacaphony.net (L. Parker)

>Kelly, Timothy and Isaac,
>Just a couple of ideas:
>I haven't really been following this thread very closely so excuse me if I
>misunderstand or misconstrue...
>If you have magnetic fields capable of generating enough delta v to grab a
>fuel pellet moving that fast and drag it toward the axis of the engine (?) 
>in such a limited time, WHY are you bothering to fuse it? It sounds to me 
>like you already have your propulsion - the magnetic field itself. If it 
>can do what you say, then simply accelerate the pellet in the appropriate
>direction, the heck with trying to fuse it.

If you don't fuse the fuel, how do you power the magnets?  Whatever you do
(unless you have some seriousl new physics) it will take a lot of power to
accelerate a starship.  It has to come from somewhere.  (Frankly fusion is
inadiquate to be practically effective at this.)

>Second, YOU ONLY NEED ONE PELLET. Actually, more would help, but if you
>have two ships accelerating in opposite directions they can throw the same 
>pellet(s) back and forth. This perfect for breaking one ship while the 
>other half accelerates for a fly by. Of course this assumes that your 
>catcher field can stop a pellet moving at light speed and then reaccelerate 
>it back to light speed going the other way.

  And how do you ever have the ship return to earth if for any ship going one
way, another must be going in exactly the opposite direction?