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Re: starship-design: Re: FTL travel

Good scientists don't justify their work by citing works that they will
not show to anyone else.  Good scientists don't say that you have to
prove them wrong; if they are right, then they can prove themselves
right by experiment and so can others.  Good scientists can explain
their theories without resorting to "I know more than you do, so just
shut up" or calling those who disagree with them miseducated brainwashed
fuddie-duddies.  If you think you understand physics better than other
physicists, then you can prove them wrong -- but only if you make a
repeatable experiment that shows how.

When we formed this list, we agreed that starships will be built by
engineering and not just theorizing.  So we also agreed that trying to
design a ship around scientifically unproven principles would be a
pointless exercise, and since faster-than-light motion of mass has not
been experimentally demonstrated there's no way to figure out how to
engineer a ship that can go faster than light.  Atomic fission and
fusion are _experimentally_ proven.  The existence and properties of
antimatter are _experimentally_ proven.  We honestly can't say whether
FTL is possible or not, because no one has ever demonstrated it
experimentally.  Until it's been proven possible and the engineering
properties of an FTL drive can be determined, there's just no way to
build it into a ship.

If you can demonstrate it experimentally, then do so.  If you can't,
please understand that we won't accept it until you do.  I looked over
your "proof" of the possibility of FTL.  Sadly it's a jumble of
equations and statements with no logical flow.  And some of its
assumptions seem to be wrong, like the justifying claim that one can
accelerate an object to light speed in about a year, which uses the
Newtonian rather than the relativistic equations for accelerated motion.

Saying that you can reach high relativistic velocities using a drive
powered by nuclear fission is similarly dubious.  Achieving high
relativistic velocities requires tremendous amounts of energy, and
nuclear fusion is barely capable of achieving the necessary energy
yield, and requires thousands to millions of times as much fusion fuel
as payload.  In theory, sure, a fission-powered rocket could get to the
same velocities, but only with absolutely incredible amounts of fission
fuel, at least billions of times the mass of the payload.