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Re: starship-design: Genuine STR question

Steve VanDevender wrote:

> Simultaneity is a completely relative concept.  There is only one
> reference frame in which two events can be simultaneous.  This
> turns out to be the resolution to a great many relativistic
> "paradoxes".

Exactly. This was my biggest problem, as you know. Getting used to the
concept of relative simultaniety was not easy.
> Other than that, special relativity isn't hard to learn, in that
> the math isn't hard and a lot of other Newtonian concepts like
> conservation of momentum or conservation of mass remain true.  I
> see the difficulty as not in the structure of special relativity
> theory, but in overcoming some pervasive assumptions.

Yes, the math is very simple. But the logical parts of it are hard to
accept until you really get a 'feel' for the theory. In fact, relativity
is quite beautiful when you get to know it better.

> General relativity seems to hold some promise for FTL loopholes,
> but even the ones that have been well-postulated are awfully
> difficult to exploit (i.e. building an infinitely long ultradense
> rotating cylinder or creating a region of negative energy density
> are not exactly seen to be feasible).  There's no way to tell
> whether a theory of quantum gravity will close or widen those
> potential loopholes.

True. We just don't really know the possibilities yet. It may be
possible to distort space using some kind of field, rather than matter.
Who knows?

Kyle R. Mcallister