[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

starship-design: ftl, gravity, etc.

Curtis Manges writes:
 > Think about it: there are probably people alive today who can remember
 > when it was thought impossible to break the sound barrier.

Please, let's not trot out that broken analogy yet again.

When people thought the sound barrier couldn't be broken, what they
specifically meant was that they didn't think it could be broken by
conventional aircraft.  There were plenty of examples of objects
travelling faster than the speed of sound in air (high-powered rifle
bullets being a common example).  However, airplanes encountered serious
aerodynamic problems when approaching the speed of sound, and so some
thought it might never be possible to get an airplane to do it.

So far, though, there are no real-life examples of FTL and while
physical theory has come tantalizingly close to allowing for FTL there's
always something that prevents it.  Real, working FTL would overturn a
big chunk of physics.