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Re: starship-design: Re: New Drive design

> Kyle,
> Unfortunately, the saying "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably
> is." applies to Mr. Howard's idea.

Well, sometimes this saying is true, but not always.

> >If you swing a mass on a string around in a circle, the mass is pulled
> >outward by centrifugal force.  The swinging of the mass in a circle
> >caused
> >an angular acceleration on the mass pulling it outward.  The angular
> >acceleration [feet/second squared] is equal to angular velocity
> >[radians/second] squared times the radius [ft.] of swing.  The
> >acceleration
> >force [lb.] outward equals the mass [lb.sec.sq./ft.] times the angular
> >acceleration [ft./sec.sq.].
> This is incorrect.  As other members have stated in response to an
> earlier question about centrifugal force, it doesn't exist.  There is no
> force pulling masses on a string outward.  If there was, the masses would
> indeed go outward; they actually go inward, pulled toward the center by
> whatever force is causing the mass to spin around in the first place.
> That inward force is called centripital force, and it is real.

There is if you believe in the existence of an Ether. Actually, there is
a force on the mass pulling it outward, called inertia. And we cant even
begin to explain it because we don't know what it is. Interactions with
ether? Something else? If there is no force pulling outwards, drum
rotator habitats won't work. You'd be slammed against the side of the
wall, not pulled toward the outside. Clearly, centrifugal force is real.
Simply misunderstood.

> For the mass on the string example, you are supplying tension on the
> string which pulls the mass inward.  Because the mass is already
> travelling sideways, it comes toward you but also moves to the side,
> forming a perfect circle if the tension is correct.  There's no outward
> force.
> Once you stop supplying the tension, the ball does indeed fly away, but
> A) it leaves with the velocity that it had at that moment; no additional
> forces come into play, and B) it doesn't fly Outward; it flies off at a
> tangent.
> >If the radius is increased, the angular force is increased in direct
> >proportion.  Consider a stationary gear with another gear with the same
> >diameter rotating around it.  Place a mass at the outer side of the
> >rotating gear.  The locus of the mass as it rotates has a greater radius
> >on
> >one side than the other.  It can be plotted as x=acos(A)-1)sin(A) and
> >y=sin(A) where A equals the angle of rotation.  If four gears are place
> >90
> >degrees apart,  and the forces from the masses are summed, a constant
> >force
> >with an amplitude of 2 is produced. The mechanisms could be driven by
> >electric
> >motors and constant propulsion force and acceleration could be produced.
> Of course, you could test this theory by standing on a skateboard and
> swinging a mass around your head, lengthening the string on one side of
> your body and reeling it in on the other side.  If there's a net force
> you can propel yourself in this manner.

Crude analogy, but I might just try it. But actually this won't work. As
Frank said, you need four, themselves being spun around an axis. Of
course, if I got it to work, no one would listen, saying something like:
"It acted as a fan" I do it in a vacuum: "It is a simple trick played on
you, or something or other" I do it 50 years from now inside a
spaceship: "Hmmm...interesting". 

> You can't do this, and this is why:  An object with no forces acting on
> it can continue to spin, but it will only spin at its center of mass.
> And, of course, an object spinning at its center of mass will have all of
> its forces balance; it won't start accelerating in any particular
> direction.  No net forces in, no net forces out.

Center of mass can be altered slightly, and very inefficiently by
rotating superconductor rings. Heard of Eugene Podkletnov? But you cant
use a spherical object! Toroidal is needed. 

> If you want to spin something off-center (as Mr. Howard suggests), you
> need to supply a force.  A centripital force, to be precise, such as the
> earlier tension in a string.  Mr. Howard's idea ignores this force you
> need to put in to spin something off-center, (which, in fact, is the only
> real force in the whole problem).  It exactly balances his proposed
> "acceleration", and in a rotating coordinate system where nothing seems
> to move, there is a net force of zero on the whole system.
> Same with magnetic fields; they do no work and can't speed up a proton;
> just change its direction.

Then how do particle accelerators work? They have BIG magnets in them.
And protons going relativistic speeds. 
> Unfortunately, the laws of physics are against us on this one.  If there
> is an easy way to get to the stars we'll find it in new physics, not
> through 400-year old mechanics.

'Laws' of physics change just about every 50 years. The reason we call
them laws instead of "what we believe to be correct" is simply ego, not
wanting to see our pet theories disrupted. I know, I used to be that
way. And I was stupid for being that way.

Kyle Mcallister

P.S.: I haven't seen any 'new' physics here, or didn't I try to post
some? Remember Galileo and the Clerics...