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RE: starship-design: scoops and sails and something to push against.
I would be very much interested in hearing about magnentic monopoles and
their potential use in starflight.
On Thu, 1 Oct 1998, L. Parker wrote:
> > Statically probably yes.
> > Hence Kevin wrote about pulsing the fields in some way.
> > That might work, like the similar trick with pulsing
> > magnetic fields in electric motors.
> I read somewhere once about a stardrive that relied upon pulsed magnetic
> fields created by air-core magnets. The idea was to switch them on and off
> in such a way that the fields were not conserved locally, but were conserved
> globally so there was no violation of physics involved...I also seem to
> remember a column by John Cramer explaining why it wouldn't work.
> I'm no physicist, but I don't think it will work. This is an excellent
> example of why they want to create or find a magnetic monopole. Steve or
> David can probably give you a better explanation than I can.
> I'm afraid the best we can hope for in the time frame we are discussing is a
> first or second generation fusion engine or hybrid antimatter/fusion engine.
> In truth, we can design a ship around a drive that can get a small vessel up
> to 0.3 c. It won't be as fancy as Kelly's Explorer, but we should be able to
> put a crew of 5 to 10 people on Alpha Centauri after a 12 year flight. Kind
> of long, but doable. Tau Ceti of course would take longer, probably at least
> thirty years one way. We would have to put a crew of twenty year old
> astronauts aboard and expect them to get back when they were eighty!