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Re: Re: starship-design: Suspended animation.

	This is quite an interesting idea, one I liked quite a bit.  Here
are the only two problems i see with your idea.  First, i'm not sure if
your 'phosphor' exists, it might though.  Second:: The energy source for
the engine is the microwave background, which is leftovers from the big
bang (I don't think that the casmir effect has much to do with this)  In
essence, you are trying to extract useful work (accelerate the starship)
from the thermal energy of the universe, the same as trying to run a boat
by sucking heat out of the ocean.  This angers the gods of thermodynamics.  
However, I can't for the life of me think of what process might go on to
keep your ship hove to.
	As to practicality, I'm the wrong guy to ask.  I still think that
digging through 52 miles of Texas bedrock so that physicists can have a
new toy is a really great idea.  Also, art should be generously publicly
funded, no matter how incomprehensible.  
Best Regards,
Nels Lindberg

On Sun, 9 Jan 2000, Connor wrote:

> On a totally irelevant subject, I thought of a form of passive
> interstellar travel, and I wanted to run it by all you thinky-types
> before I look stupid in the real world. I'm calling it the
> Casimir-Foreward balloon, and it runs solely on microwave radiation
> all through space. It's based on actual facts, but a few of the
> materials involved are semi-theoretical.
> materials: A thin mesh that will block some microwaves (ma) and let
> others through (mb)
> 	        A material that lowers the frequency of mb microwaves to
> ma (like a phosphor.)
> construction: First you make a very light buffer system, like the
> inside of a car muffler, and coat it in the 'phosphor'. Now wrap the
> mesh all around it, leaving an
> 	 		    opening in the back. That's about it.
> 	The idea, which you've probably figured out, is that the
> microwaves pass through the mesh and are lowered in frequency, getting
> trapped and deflected until they exit out the back. You could trail
> some kind of habitat behind it, and it wouldn't need any fuel.
> 	There are just a few problems. First, I'm totally uneducated,
> and may be missing a very obvious point that renders my whole idea
> impossible, thus making me look like a goon. Secondly, you would need
> a cartoonishly big balloon, and thirdly, travel would start out very
> slow, but eventually become almost as fast as the light leaving it
> (like ion drives.)
> 	Is this possible, and then is it practical?
> Connor
> chithree@boo.net
> Connor
> chithree@boo.net