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Re: RE: starship-design: Zero Point Energy

In a message dated 1/17/00 9:22:07 AM, Chris.Walker@BSKYB.COM writes:

>> One idea I heard was that virtual partical ALMOST always are reabsorbed,
>>but sometimes they separte out which can cause new mass creation in the
>>universe.   Maybe we can artificially up the odds to get the fuel we want.
>> Kelly
>Is this separation you mention the same as what happens with Hawking
>radiation? A virtual particle pair pops into existence very close to the
>event horizon of a black hole. One of the particles escapes and the other
>doesn't, thereby contributing negative energy to the black hole.

Thats about the same.  The singularity just makes it a lot easier to get them 
to separte.  Course with a singularity there ae tricks you can do to convert 
half of all mass feed into it, into pure energy.  Which is a prety usefull 
trick in itself.


></Inserts tongue into cheek/>
>So maybe one method would be to have a drive based around a singularity.
>I remember an episode of ST: TNG ("Timescape") which mentioned that Romulan
>ships are powered by artificial singularities...maybe they figured this
>    ;)

Or the mass to energy trick I mentioned.  That would certainly beat the 
Federations trick of draging around tons of antimater in their ships!  Given 
thats how they've been powering their ships for about 150 years, they really 
are geting pretty stagnent!   ;)

>Seriously though, if Hawking radiation means that negative energy can exist,
>isn't that good news for the Alcubierre drive? I suppose we just have to
>figure out how to create -ve energy, if indeed we ever can.

I think its agreed that negative energy can exist, and that Alcubierre's 
ideas (anyone know how to pronouce his name!?) are theoretically sound.  
Course going from bizar equatins to relyable hardware could take a while!  
Then again this is a big step from the old FTL must be impossible attitude.