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  Topic: Travelling the gallaxy, an offshoot of the UD thread.< Next Oldest | Next Newest >  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,10:53   

Quote
In the year of thirty-nine
Assembled here the volunteers
In the days when lands were few
Here the ship sailed out into the blue and sunny morn
The sweetest sight ever seen
And the night followed day
And the story tellers say
That the score brave souls inside
For many a lonely day
Sailed across the milky seas
Ne'er looked back never feared never cried

Don't you hear my call
Though you're many years away
Don't you hear me calling you
Write your letters in the sand
For the day I'll take your hand
In the land that our grand-children knew

In the year of thirty-nine
Came a ship in from the blue
The volunteers came home that day
And they bring good news
Of a world so newly born
Though their hearts so heavily weigh
For the earth is old and grey
little darlin' we'll away
But my love this cannot be
Oh so many years have gone
Though i'm older but a year
Your mother's eyes from your eyes cry to me

Don't you hear my call
Though you're many years away
Don't you hear me calling you
Write your letters in the sand
For the day I'll take your hand
In the land that our grand-children knew

Don't you hear my call
Though you're many years away
Don't you hear me calling you
All your letters in the sand
Cannot heal me like your hand
For my life, still ahead, pity me.


39 - Queen.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,11:12   

It's the Stones dude...

Sun turnin' 'round with graceful motion
We're setting off with soft explosion
Bound for a star with fiery ocean
It's so very lonely, you're a hundred light years from home

Freezing red deserts turn to dark
Energy here in every part
It's so very lonely, you're six hundred light years from home

It's so very lonely, you're a thousand light years from home
It's so very lonely, you're a thousand light years from home

Bell flight fourteen you now can land
Seen you on Aldebaran
Safe on the green desert sand
It's so very lonely, you're two thousand light years from home
It's so very lonely, you're two thousand light years from home

--------------
Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,11:13   

Dippy Joe:

http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelli....-288685

 
Quote
46

Joseph

05/15/2008

8:05 am
Allen,

Metal rusts and silicon can crack.

Also, if science is correct, a silicon and metal “entity” requires a meat-based entity to create it.

Quote
If there are interstellar travelers, they clearly would not be made out of meat.-Allen


And you know this, how?


Joe has pointed out that the deadly 'space mist' might cause some rusting. It's not like vacuum is famous for preserving things or anything.. Does he think that Allen is talking about becoming a robot who drinks tea, has a bath, etc whilst waiting thousands of years for his interstellar voyage to finish?

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,11:14   

Then Lou sez:

Quote (Richardthughes @ May 15 2008,10:23)
Dippy Joe:

http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelli....-288685

   
Quote
46

Joseph

05/15/2008

8:05 am
Allen,

Metal rusts and silicon can crack.

Also, if science is correct, a silicon and metal “entity” requires a meat-based entity to create it.

   
Quote
If there are interstellar travelers, they clearly would not be made out of meat.-Allen


And you know this, how?


Joe has pointed out that the deadly 'space mist' might cause some rusting. It's not like vacuum is famous for preserving things or anything.. Does he think that Allen is talking about becoming a robot who drinks tea, has a bath, etc whilst waiting thousands of years for his interstellar voyage to finish?

Physics as we currently understand it would seem to indicate that the acceleration and deceleration necessary to make interstellar flight practical would render a meatsack little more than a messy stain on the bulkhead.

Of course, space-faring aliens would presumably have a better understanding of physics than we do, so there's possibly a loophole.  Either that or they took the multi-generational approach to space travel, though I'd hardly call that "practical".

ETA:  Dan Simmons dealt with the splatter issue by pulling an alien parasite out of his ass, which as outlandish as it sounds, worked OK for his story, Endymion.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,11:14   

Rich is currently copying the relevant comments from the UD thread, at which time I'll clean up over there and we can carry on the conversation here.

--------------
Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

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Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,11:15   

Lou / JDog:

Quote (J-Dog @ May 15 2008,10:53)
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 15 2008,09:45)
Of course, space-faring aliens would presumably have a better understanding of physics than we do, so there's possibly a loophole.  Either that or they took the multi-generational approach to space travel, though I'd hardly call that "practical".

Ha!  You Darwinist Nay-Sayers forgot all about how GOD The Intelligent Designer can work miracles, so Dippy Joe can be at his destination even before he leaves.

If He can make the Virgin May appear in a grilled cheese sandwich, interstellar travel is nothing!

I'm thinking the alien parasite is more plausible, but I'm just a Materialist Church Burning Ebola Boy Nazi Chance- Worshiping Homo-sympathizing Bastard Darwinista Minion of Elsberry, so take that for what it's worth.

Also, I'm a Democrat.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,11:16   

Some Tard opines:

Quote (Lou FCD @ May 15 2008,09:45)
ETA:  Dan Simmons dealt with the splatter issue by pulling an alien parasite out of his ass, which as outlandish as it sounds, worked OK for his story, Endymion.

In 'the forever'* war they use accelerations suits or something. Time dilation doesn't meaningfully kick in until you reach a high percentage of C, so I think I'll wait for superluminal transit, thank-you-very-much.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,11:18   

Here's some words that point out why we will never have to worry about IDists suddenly appearing elsewhere in the universe:

The Best Way To Travel lyrics - It's the Moody Blues dude

And you can fly
High as a kite if you want to
Faster than light if you want to
Speeding through the universe
Thinking is the best way to travel

Ok!  I am now done with posting lyrics from British Banks of the 70's.  Hey - it's not my fault - Rich did it first...


ok.  I'm done with lyrics from British bands of the 70's.  I promise.
It's all a dream
Light passing by on the screen
And there's you and I on the beam
Speeding through the universe
Thinking is the best way to travel

We ride the waves
Distance is gone, will we find out?
How life bean, will be find out?
Speeding through the universe
Thinking is the best way to travel

And you can fly
High as a kite if you want to
Faster than light if you want to
Speeding through the universe
Thinking is the best way to travel

--------------
Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,11:22   

Badly edited other bits:

Quote
Nerull



Posts: 122
Joined: June 2007
 (Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,10:12    

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, not really. 1G is sufficient, and that hardly would make us a splat on the bulkhead, and we'd get to Alpha Centauri in 2-3 years or so, ship time. I'm not sure how long it would take to Earth, but at least that system would probably be a reasonable time frame.

Actually, it wouldn't take that much longer to get anywhere else, either, though if you go too far there won't be an earth left to go back to.

Isn't relativity great?


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Lou FCD


Then my bad.

I thought I'd read that moderate G acceleration and deceleration would take much, much longer (on the order of 100 years (ship-time) each way to Alpha Centauri).

Edited to specify.
Edited again to further specify.

Edited by Lou FCD on May 15 2008,11:31


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Richardthughes



Posts: 4692
Joined: Jan. 2006
 (Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,10:27    

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Where's Heddle? Working on his space telescope? I think it gets incrementally harder to accelerate as you approach C so in terms of energy storage and mass of the vehicle (which effects acceleration) you get into trouble quite quickly..

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Richardthughes

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Nerull


A human could, in theory, travel to other galaxies if he had a constant acceleration 1g drive. Of course, the galaxy may not be where it was when he started by the time he gets there. At a constant 1g time dilation would become a major effect very quickly. No generation ships required, though since its a one way trip in most cases, bringing a breeding population for your new colony is not a bad idea.

Of course, if you go too far, everything will have changed. The planet you wanted to colonize and its star will have died long ago.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lou FCD



Posts: 2400
Joined: Jan. 2006
 (Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,10:32    

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Actually, it wouldn't take that much longer to get anywhere else, either, though if you go too far there won't be an earth left to go back to.

Isn't relativity great?

Then my bad.

I thought I'd read that moderate G acceleration and deceleration would take much, much longer (on the order of 100 years each way to Alpha Centauri).

Edited to specify.

“You get time dilation, Lou. the faster you go, the slower time goes for you relative to the universe. So it depends 'which clock' you use.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation

I was aware of that, and just finished editing my comment to reflect that, coincidentally enough.

I was thinking 100 years ship time.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------  
 
Nerull



Posts: 122
Joined: June 2007
 (Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,10:34    

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 15 2008,11:27)
Where's Heddle? Working on his space telescope? I think it gets incrementally harder to accelerate as you approach C so in terms of energy storage and mass of the vehicle (which effects acceleration) you get into trouble quite quickly..

It does, but you can still get well into the range of serious time dilation in a reasonable time frame.

At least I'm pretty sure that's the case. I don't claim to be an expert on the matter.

--------------

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lou FCD



Posts: 2400
Joined: Jan. 2006
 (Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,10:41    

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We begin to stray from UD here, but I would like to see an expert (a little help, heddle?) chime in here, if for no other reason than curiosity.

Also, there's a web calucator here, though it's just some website and I have no idea if it's accurate.

--------------
Expelled Exposed



To be bored to tears by a crazy guy, call Lou @ 555-CHCB  

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Richardthughes

Posts: 4692
Joined: Jan. 2006
 (Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,10:42    

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
You need fuel to accelerate which requires more mass to store it which requires more fuel to accelerate it which requires more mass to store it which requires more fuel to accelerate it which requires more mass to store it which requires more fuel to accelerate it which requires more mass to store it which requires more fuel to accelerate it which requires more mass to store it which requires more fuel to accelerate it which requires more mass to store it which requires more fuel to accelerate it which requires more mass to store it which requires more fuel to accelerate it which requires more mass to store it which requires more fuel to accelerate it which requires more mass to store it which requires more fuel to accelerate it which requires more mass to store it which requires more fuel to accelerate it which requires more mass to store it which requires more fuel to accelerate it which requires more mass to store it which requires more fuel to accelerate it which requires more mass to store it which requires more fuel to accelerate it which requires more mass to store it which requires more fuel to accelerate it which requires more mass to store it which requires more fuel to accelerate it which requires more mass to store it which requires more fuel to accelerate it which requires more mass to store it.


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oldmanintheskydidntdoit



Posts: 1969
Joined: July 2006
 (Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,10:44    

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I believe that's the big deal about the new "ion thrusters" or whatever they are called, for sats. Very very small amount of acceleration but it's constant over a very long time and so builds up and eventually is faster then the old style "chuck some exploding chemicals out the back" option :)

I Am Not A Space Scientist However :-)

--------------
"I've made the mistake in the past of making grandiose claims that I could not back up and I'm beginning to see the error of my ways." Daniel Smith  

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--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,11:24   

Thanks Rich.

Carry on.

The original comments can be more easily read here on the bathroom wall, if it's an issue for anyone.

Edited by Lou FCD on May 15 2008,14:24

--------------
Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

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Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,11:31   

Relevant, if a bit scifi:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faster-than-light

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,11:31   

Quote (Richardthughes @ May 15 2008,11:16)
Some Tard opines:

[quote=Lou FCD,May 15 2008,09:45]ETA:  Dan Simmons dealt with the splatter issue by pulling an alien parasite out of his ass,

Hmmm.... Could this be the same location that the awe-inspiring Super Secret Theory Of ID is stored????

--------------
Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,11:43   

Lene Hau has done some stuff that I think may become relevant to space travel in the distant future.

It was her experiments on stopping light, turning it into matter, and restarting the light beam from a different point in space (albeit just a few nanometers away) that inspired the drive mechanism for the ship in The Lilith Quotient.

--------------
Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
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Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,11:43   

I think we should creat some sort of "Summon Heddle" button that would be like the bat signal or perhaps like this

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,11:45   

Quote (J-Dog @ May 15 2008,12:31)
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 15 2008,11:16)
Some Tard opines:

 
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 15 2008,09:45)
ETA:  Dan Simmons dealt with the splatter issue by pulling an alien parasite out of his ass,

Hmmm.... Could this be the same location that the awe-inspiring Super Secret Theory Of ID is stored????

Most probably.

(Also, I just noticed that I appear in your sig.  Thanks.)

Edited by Lou FCD on May 15 2008,12:47

--------------
Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

Work-friendly photography
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J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,12:35   

Quote (Lou FCD @ May 15 2008,11:45)
Quote (J-Dog @ May 15 2008,12:31)
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 15 2008,11:16)
Some Tard opines:

 
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 15 2008,09:45)
ETA:  Dan Simmons dealt with the splatter issue by pulling an alien parasite out of his ass,

Hmmm.... Could this be the same location that the awe-inspiring Super Secret Theory Of ID is stored????

Most probably.

(Also, I just noticed that I appear in your sig.  Thanks.)

Nice try....

Now you have to do some real work:

Take all those Poster Bonus Points away from Rich and apply them directly to my Swiss bank account.  (That is me that did a "DI Borrow" with your comment for my signature line... :(

Thanks for your prompt response,

--------------
Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,12:46   

Quote (J-Dog @ May 15 2008,13:35)
 
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 15 2008,11:45)
 
Quote (J-Dog @ May 15 2008,12:31)
   
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 15 2008,11:16)
Some Tard opines:

     
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 15 2008,09:45)
ETA:  Dan Simmons dealt with the splatter issue by pulling an alien parasite out of his ass,

Hmmm.... Could this be the same location that the awe-inspiring Super Secret Theory Of ID is stored????

Most probably.

(Also, I just noticed that I appear in your sig.  Thanks.)

Nice try....

Now you have to do some real work:

Take all those Poster Bonus Points away from Rich and apply them directly to my Swiss bank account.  (That is me that did a "DI Borrow" with your comment for my signature line... :(

Thanks for your prompt response,

I think you need to clear the cobwebs from your brain even more than I do, dude.

I quoted you, and was speaking to you (as evidenced by said quote which you quoted in your quote which I quoted).

Pay attention, doofus.

ETA:  I just fixed your quote tag when I quoted your quote of Richard's quote of me.  Perhaps that's wherein the confusion lies?  Don't quote me on that, though.

Edited by Lou FCD on May 15 2008,13:49

--------------
Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

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J-Dog



Posts: 4402
Joined: Dec. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,13:01   

Quote (Lou FCD @ May 15 2008,12:46)
Quote (J-Dog @ May 15 2008,13:35)
   
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 15 2008,11:45)
   
Quote (J-Dog @ May 15 2008,12:31)
     
Quote (Richardthughes @ May 15 2008,11:16)
Some Tard opines:

       
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 15 2008,09:45)
ETA:  Dan Simmons dealt with the splatter issue by pulling an alien parasite out of his ass,

Hmmm.... Could this be the same location that the awe-inspiring Super Secret Theory Of ID is stored????

Most probably.

(Also, I just noticed that I appear in your sig.  Thanks.)

Nice try....

Now you have to do some real work:

Take all those Poster Bonus Points away from Rich and apply them directly to my Swiss bank account.  (That is me that did a "DI Borrow" with your comment for my signature line... :(

Thanks for your prompt response,

I think you need to clear the cobwebs from your brain even more than I do, dude.

I quoted you, and was speaking to you (as evidenced by said quote which you quoted in your quote which I quoted).

Pay attention, doofus.

ETA:  I just fixed your quote tag when I quoted your quote of Richard's quote of me.  Perhaps that's wherein the confusion lies?  Don't quote me on that, though.

Ahem,

Will a simple Ooops do this justice, or do I have to resort to:

"I offer a complete and utter retraction. The imputation was totally without basis in fact, and was in no way fair comment, and was motivated purely by malice, and I deeply regret any distress that my comments may have caused you, or your family, and I hereby undertake not to repeat any such slander at any time in the future."

Maybe a Big Red D on all my posts? (D = Doofus)

Please advise!

--------------
Come on Tough Guy, do the little dance of ID impotence you do so well. - Louis to Joe G 2/10

Gullibility is not a virtue - Quidam on Dembski's belief in the Bible Code Faith Healers & ID 7/08

UD is an Unnatural Douchemagnet. - richardthughes 7/11

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,13:19   

Ooops'll do it.  I've made bigger oppses in this very thread already.

Let's get it back around to Tards in Space, though.

--------------
Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

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Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,13:42   

Heddle! get your science noggin type mind in here.

Could one utilize some sort of solar-sail type thing and go round and round the sun faster and faster? That'd be good because the fuel would be external to the vehicle.

ETA:

maybe this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magsail

would be betterer.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
Lou FCD



Posts: 5402
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,14:05   

There's a Wikipedia entry for Solar Sails which includes some more recent experiments and (disheartening) results.

I ran my fictionalized Hau Drive idea past some physics/astronomy geeks over at the BadAstronomy/UniverseToday forums.  The reception there was chilly, but I learned some stuff and I don't think the message of "It has to be plausible, not necessarily doable" really got through.

Nevertheless, there's been some follow-up to the conversation that I interrupted regarding solar sails and other ideas for interstellar flight that one might find interesting.

--------------
Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
I think I might love you. Don't tell Deadman -Wolfhound

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Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,14:09   

I like 'warp drives', but you need exotic matter ('unobtainium' from that link Lou gave) to warp space.

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,14:42   

Did someone mention interstellar travel?

Its likely impossible, or so expensive hardly anyone will go anywhere by it.  
But we'll see.  
For the actual argument see this post by Charles Stross, award winning SF author and person who can talk enthusiastically about a variety of topics in the pub:
http://www.antipope.org/charlie....ux.html

On the Fermi paradox:
http://www.antipope.org/charlie....or.html

Both of those, and the discussion, should help people get their heads around things.

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,14:50   

Your suggested Hau drive reminds me of the matter transfer method in Piers Anthony's "Tyrant of Space" series.  It effectively worked by changing a spaceship into a beam of light and then changing it back into a space ship.  
Yes, of course it breaks all known physical laws.

So hows the story going?  care to tell us about it?

  
Richardthughes



Posts: 10756
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,14:52   

It's good - but I'm not through it all yet!

--------------
"Richardthughes, you magnificent bastard, I stand in awe of you..." : Arden Chatfield
"You magnificent bastard! " : Louis
"ATBC poster child", "I have to agree with Rich.." : DaveTard
"I bow to your superior skills" : deadman_932
"...it was Richardthughes making me lie in bed.." : Kristine

  
guthrie



Posts: 696
Joined: Jan. 2006

(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,14:57   

Quote (Lou FCD @ May 15 2008,14:05)
 The reception there was chilly,

Looked normal enough to me, given you were probably a newbie and they'll probably be more hard real science oriented.  There has been something of (another) split in SF over the past decade or two, I think.  As science develops, the more outlandish stuff gets jettisoned by the people attempting something like hard SF, leaving lots of soft SF people using wibbletech, and the hard SF people using nothing.
But then even Stross is using wormholes in some of his books, so they are respectable enough, especially for a story like you have been thinking of.

Adam Roberts, in his book called "Stone", has an FTL drive that is basically a variant on the old idea of qunantum tunneling, whereby every atom tunnels a really tiny distance, but you do it millions of times a second, so it adds up to FTL over the days you travel for.  But his version had severe limitations of size, maximum being about 2 or 3 metres across.
Whereas Gordon R Dickson had an FTL drive which relied upon the ship being treated like an electron, you know, how the probability of an electron being in a particular place is not quite zero over pretty much the entire universe.  So the spaceship is spread over the universe, and brought back together again at a different place.

  
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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,15:02   

Quote (guthrie @ May 15 2008,15:50)
Your suggested Hau drive reminds me of the matter transfer method in Piers Anthony's "Tyrant of Space" series.  It effectively worked by changing a spaceship into a beam of light and then changing it back into a space ship.  
Yes, of course it breaks all known physical laws.

So hows the story going?  care to tell us about it?

Read up on Lene Hau's work, guthrie.  It may not be breaking quite as many laws as it at first appears.

Rich, you've had it for like two months!  And it's only like a third of the book!  Wanker.

Guthrie, maybe I'll throw the first chapter up for fun (and advertisement, of course - "Read my book!").

It started with a comment here on AtBC, then a five part series on UDoJ, now it's about a third of a novel.  I hope to publish it when it's done and trick some suckers into buying it convince someone to read it (and hopefully enjoy a good tale).

It's come a long way, and barely resembles the original comment.  Heck, it doesn't even really resemble the blog posts (much less explicit sex than the blog version), although a good hunk of those posts and several of Janie's other posts have gotten incorporated into the book version.

Edited by Lou FCD on May 15 2008,16:04

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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,15:03   

I'm slow, Lou.

Shakes fist!

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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,15:18   

Quote (Richardthughes @ May 15 2008,16:03)
I'm slow, Lou.

Shakes fist!

My work on it stalled just after I sent you a copy.

Coincidence?  *shakes fist back*

(Actually, things just got a little busy/crazy/hectic, and I fell out of THE ZONE.  I'm getting back to work on it today, though.)

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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,15:18   

I was talking about the Tyrant of space stuff breaking the laws of physics, not the light slowing stuff that Hau is doing.  I must read up on that again, it seems kind of screwy at first glance, but things have been getting weirder the more people explore the implications of quantum.

  
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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,15:22   

Quote (guthrie @ May 15 2008,16:18)
I was talking about the Tyrant of space stuff breaking the laws of physics, not the light slowing stuff that Hau is doing.  I must read up on that again, it seems kind of screwy at first glance, but things have been getting weirder the more people explore the implications of quantum.

Oh, I see.

Yeah, it's a strange and wonderful universe in which we live.

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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,15:39   

Kate's post about Dr. Hau's work is here, from last year, complete with links to some articles about it (one of them in Nature, in physicseese) and the actual lab results page.

From Kate's post:

 
Quote
Dr. Hau has previously managed to slow light down to 38 mph. Yes, you read that correctly. Despite the theories of relativity, which state that the speed of light cannot be altered, Dr. Hau figured out how to make light move at a pace of half the speed limit on I-95.

Then, just when the scientific community was beginning to catch its collective breath, she brought it to a dead stop, held it, and released it back into the wild at its regular speed of about 300,000 kps (186,000 mps).

As if that wasn’t enough, this Woman of Wow has just rocked the physics we all know and love yet again. This time, it’s an exponentially bigger advance.

Dr. Hau took a beam of light, transformed it into matter, transported it through space to another location, changed it back into light, and sent it on its merry way. Now, Dr. Hau has done this on a very minute scale. We’re talking about thousandths of an inch here.

But let me just say this about that:

It’s now just a matter (no pun intended) of scale.


And from the lab results page:

 
Quote
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Physicists have for the first time stopped and extinguished a light pulse in one part of space and then revived it in a completely separate location. They accomplished this feat by completely
converting the light pulse into matter that travels between the two locations and is subsequently changed back to light.

Matter, unlike light, can easily be manipulated, and the experiments provide a powerful means to control optical information. The findings, published this week by Harvard University researchers in the journal
Nature, could present an entirely new way for scientists and engineers to manipulate the light pulses used in fiber-optic communications, the technology at the heart of our highly networked society.

"We demonstrate that we can stop a light pulse in a supercooled sodium cloud, store the data contained within it, and totally extinguish it, only to reincarnate the pulse in another cloud two-tenths of a
millimeter away," says Lene Vestergaard Hau, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.


(more at each link)


Weird stuff.

Edited by Lou FCD on May 15 2008,16:41

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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,15:50   

Quote (Lou FCD @ May 15 2008,15:39)
They accomplished this feat by completely
converting the light pulse into matter that travels between the two locations and is subsequently changed back to light.

*cough cough*
Umm, her method seems to require some matter to travel...

I vaguely recall at the time thinking that technically they ahvn't stopped or slower light, they've merely trapped it, or got it to elastically do quantum stuff, so avoided losing energy and therefore since photons are all identical* it looks exactly like you are slowing light down.  It is interesting nonetheless, I'm sure there will be definite uses for it somewhere.

*as far as we can tell

  
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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,15:51   

There was another experiment done (seems like shortly before that, but I'm having trouble locating it) where they ran light through a tube and it arrived at the far end before it left the near end.

Also weird and cool.

ETA: And I think I was putting the two experiments together in my head or something.

ETAA: As guthrie points out like a big dose of bitter reality.

Edited by Lou FCD on May 15 2008,16:59

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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,15:57   

Quote (guthrie @ May 15 2008,16:50)
 
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 15 2008,15:39)
They accomplished this feat by completely
converting the light pulse into matter that travels between the two locations and is subsequently changed back to light.

*cough cough*
Umm, her method seems to require some matter to travel...

I vaguely recall at the time thinking that technically they ahvn't stopped or slower light, they've merely trapped it, or got it to elastically do quantum stuff, so avoided losing energy and therefore since photons are all identical* it looks exactly like you are slowing light down.  It is interesting nonetheless, I'm sure there will be definite uses for it somewhere.

*as far as we can tell

Alright alright.  Quit killing my buzz.

:p

Edit to click the little smiley button

Edited by Lou FCD on May 15 2008,16:57

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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,16:19   

If you all keep pointing out where I'm wrong, I'm going to go talk to Ben Stein.

I'm still looking for that light experiment.  It may have been done by Lijun Wang (at Princeton?).  I found a couple of references to it in articles, but can't find anything directly about it somewhere credible.

Edited by Lou FCD on May 15 2008,17:20

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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,16:24   

Its alright, I know how it feels.  I've had stories critted by SF authors, and they spent 10 minutes shredding the ideas I'd spent ages lovingly putting together.

Bascically, there is no way right now we can see us getting FTL.  Unless we get negativ energy and weird matter stuff, but that is not clear.  

So go ahead and include some sort of FTL anyway.  So many best selling SF authors still use wibbletech FTL that nobody will care.

  
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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,16:40   

Quote (guthrie @ May 15 2008,17:24)
Its alright, I know how it feels.  I've had stories critted by SF authors, and they spent 10 minutes shredding the ideas I'd spent ages lovingly putting together.

Bascically, there is no way right now we can see us getting FTL.  Unless we get negativ energy and weird matter stuff, but that is not clear.  

So go ahead and include some sort of FTL anyway.  So many best selling SF authors still use wibbletech FTL that nobody will care.

I think I will (I sort of have to, actually), but I was off trying to track down that experiment, for my own personal gratification.

From looking around though, the earliest references to it seem to date all the way back to 2000, and it seems to have just been re-circulated or something.  Each time someone talks about it, they talk about it having just been or about to be published in Nature, yet I can't find it there.

I'm beginning to think it might be an internet meme, though there may actually be a physics researcher by that name (everything at Nature is behind a frickin' pay wall - ya' can't even tell).  If it's an internet hoax, it's sucked in an awful lot of people though, including Space.com, the AP, and CNN.

Edited by Lou FCD on May 15 2008,17:42

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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,16:43   

Lemme see how many I can remember:

Dune: Folding space (wormhole type stuff?)
Star Wars*: Hyperspace
Star Trek: Warp drive (warping space / war fields / strange matter?)

Although they talk about 'jumping to lightspeed'. This would make the trip instance for the travellers, but the universe would age normally.

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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,16:47   

Here it is, in Nature.

(but I have no idea if it says what they say it says...)

Edited by Lou FCD on May 15 2008,17:49

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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,16:50   

Quote (Richardthughes @ May 15 2008,17:43)
Lemme see how many I can remember:

Dune: Folding space (wormhole type stuff?)
Star Wars*: Hyperspace
Star Trek: Warp drive (warping space / war fields / strange matter?)

Although they talk about 'jumping to lightspeed'. This would make the trip instance for the travellers, but the universe would age normally.

Yeah, I kind of skirted the whole twins paradox thing by setting my drive up so that it travels well below the speed of light while in physical space.  I don't know if that would work in reality, but it sounded sciency.

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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,16:52   

Quote (Lou FCD @ May 15 2008,16:40)
From looking around though, the earliest references to it seem to date all the way back to 2000, and it seems to have just been re-circulated or something.  Each time someone talks about it, they talk about it having just been or about to be published in Nature, yet I can't find it there.

I'm beginning to think it might be an internet meme, though there may actually be a physics researcher by that name (everything at Nature is behind a frickin' pay wall - ya' can't even tell).  If it's an internet hoax, it's sucked in an awful lot of people though, including Space.com, the AP, and CNN.

No no, it looks real enough to me.  Her presence on the Harvard internet links up fine with the school she works in etc etc.
Remember academic stuff goes on for years, and it can take years to tease interesting things out using experiments.  It deosn't look like a hoax to me.

  
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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,17:15   

Quote (guthrie @ May 15 2008,17:52)
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 15 2008,16:40)
From looking around though, the earliest references to it seem to date all the way back to 2000, and it seems to have just been re-circulated or something.  Each time someone talks about it, they talk about it having just been or about to be published in Nature, yet I can't find it there.

I'm beginning to think it might be an internet meme, though there may actually be a physics researcher by that name (everything at Nature is behind a frickin' pay wall - ya' can't even tell).  If it's an internet hoax, it's sucked in an awful lot of people though, including Space.com, the AP, and CNN.

No no, it looks real enough to me.  Her presence on the Harvard internet links up fine with the school she works in etc etc.
Remember academic stuff goes on for years, and it can take years to tease interesting things out using experiments.  It deosn't look like a hoax to me.

No, I was talking about the second experiment, where the light came out of the tube before it went into the tube.

I found it though, it's a few comments up.

Edited by Lou FCD on May 15 2008,18:16

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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,17:26   

Ok, I think my brain may have caught up to my fingers.  It helped that I kept notes on the book, but it would have helped more if I'd have gone back and read them before opening my yap.

Here's the dirty version what I was thinking when I "designed" my drive:

Take the ship (which is matter), do the second half of Hau's experiment, sorta (turn the matter into energy), do the Lijun Wang quantum entanglement thing where it seems to make light go superluminal, do the first half of Hau's experiment and turn it back into matter.  Repeat a few thousand times a second.

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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,18:15   

Aww, did youse guys get all science-fiction-y while I was out?

Some alternatives to heavy-acceleration, high fraction of c drives or FTL:

Generation Ship: The slow boat. So much drama on board, you'll think it's reality-holovid!

Life Extension: sit back and enjoy the ride due to futur-ific bio-tech or sleep comfortably in your cryo-chamber and let the AIs do the work!

Upload: Why leave all the fun to the AIs? Be one!

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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,18:20   

Better than upload is replicate and then later combine into meta-me. WeMe could be so productive. I are legion!

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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,19:09   

Quote (Lou FCD @ May 15 2008,15:02)
Quote (guthrie @ May 15 2008,15:50)
Your suggested Hau drive reminds me of the matter transfer method in Piers Anthony's "Tyrant of Space" series.  It effectively worked by changing a spaceship into a beam of light and then changing it back into a space ship.  
Yes, of course it breaks all known physical laws.

So hows the story going?  care to tell us about it?

Read up on Lene Hau's work, guthrie.  It may not be breaking quite as many laws as it at first appears.

Rich, you've had it for like two months!  And it's only like a third of the book!  Wanker.

Guthrie, maybe I'll throw the first chapter up for fun (and advertisement, of course - "Read my book!").

It started with a comment here on AtBC, then a five part series on UDoJ, now it's about a third of a novel.  I hope to publish it when it's done and trick some suckers into buying it convince someone to read it (and hopefully enjoy a good tale).

It's come a long way, and barely resembles the original comment.  Heck, it doesn't even really resemble the blog posts (much less explicit sex than the blog version), although a good hunk of those posts and several of Janie's other posts have gotten incorporated into the book version.

All you need is two versions.  One for us and the real world, and one for the guaranteed sales of Christian  / ID sites.

Any time you write science proponents, you can subsitute God did it.  This is called the Dover Reverse Strategy, and will work perfectly. I am sure nothing could go wrong.

Let's look at a scene...

"Janie Bell, NO!  Science Proponesists damn it , that ticks me off. "

Richard prepared to retract the star-ships sails, but the Evil Warlord DaveScot remained close behind.  Too close.

With DaveScot preparing to rear-end them - again - Richard resorted to a quick prayer to the Science Proponesist, and punched the warp-drive...

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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,19:20   

heh.

That goes well with the comment that spawned the novel, from way back somewhere in the UD thread:

Quote
Tardicus struggled to free himself, but the force field wouldn't give. Sweat trickled from his naked body although the temperature on board was an ever constant 18 C.

The click of Kate's boot heels on the steel decking echoed through the halls of the ship, and as she raised the laser whip for the first blow, Janie's voice cracked over the com.

"Kate, get up here! It's the Starship Dumbskass, and she's closing fast! I need you at weps!"

Kate's eyes narrowed at Tardicus. "Don't go away."


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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,20:49   

Quote (Lou FCD @ May 15 2008,19:20)
heh.

That goes well with the comment that spawned the novel, from way back somewhere in the UD thread:

 
Quote
Tardicus squeeled like a little girl and struggled to free himself, but the force field wouldn't give. Sweat trickled from his naked, bloated, cheesey-poof stained body although the temperature on board was an ever constant 18 C.

The click of Kate's boot heels on the steel decking echoed through the halls of the ship, and as she raised the laser whip for the first next blow, Janie's voice cracked over the com.

"Kate, get up here! It's the Starship Dumbskass, and she's closing fast! I need you at weps!"

Kate's eyes narrowed at Tardicus. "Don't go away."

Here you go.  I punched it up for you.  No extra charge.

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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,21:19   

I'm wondering how close can you get to C before wind drag becomes a problem. After all, if the ship is going .999999C, then any particles it hits are also going .999999C, and even if there aren't many of them per cubic meter that's going to add up. Another factor is that with number of particles hit per second ship time goes up proportionally with time dilation (although occupants of the ship would see that as length contraction).

(And that's ignoring the gamma rays and maybe other radiation generated each time one of those .999999C particles hits the ship.)

Henry

  
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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,21:47   

Quote (Henry J @ May 15 2008,22:19)
I'm wondering how close can you get to C before wind drag becomes a problem. After all, if the ship is going .999999C, then any particles it hits are also going .999999C, and even if there aren't many of them per cubic meter that's going to add up. Another factor is that with number of particles hit per second ship time goes up proportionally with time dilation (although occupants of the ship would see that as length contraction).

(And that's ignoring the gamma rays and maybe other radiation generated each time one of those .999999C particles hits the ship.)

Henry

That is a definite problem. Go fast enough and you'll quickly be reduced to subatomic particles. Don't know how fast you need to go, though. I suppose it depends on what you hit.

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olegt



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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,21:59   

Quote (Henry J @ May 15 2008,21:19)
I'm wondering how close can you get to C before wind drag becomes a problem. After all, if the ship is going .999999C, then any particles it hits are also going .999999C, and even if there aren't many of them per cubic meter that's going to add up. Another factor is that with number of particles hit per second ship time goes up proportionally with time dilation (although occupants of the ship would see that as length contraction).

(And that's ignoring the gamma rays and maybe other radiation generated each time one of those .999999C particles hits the ship.)

Henry

It was Woody Allen who pointed it out first:
Quote

It is impossible to travel faster than the speed of light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off.


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olegt



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(Permalink) Posted: May 15 2008,22:12   

Quote (Lou FCD @ May 15 2008,15:39)
Kate's post about Dr. Hau's work is here, from last year, complete with links to some articles about it (one of them in Nature, in physicseese) and the actual lab results page.

From Kate's post:

 
Quote
Dr. Hau has previously managed to slow light down to 38 mph. Yes, you read that correctly. Despite the theories of relativity, which state that the speed of light cannot be altered, Dr. Hau figured out how to make light move at a pace of half the speed limit on I-95.

Then, just when the scientific community was beginning to catch its collective breath, she brought it to a dead stop, held it, and released it back into the wild at its regular speed of about 300,000 kps (186,000 mps).

As if that wasn’t enough, this Woman of Wow has just rocked the physics we all know and love yet again. This time, it’s an exponentially bigger advance.

Dr. Hau took a beam of light, transformed it into matter, transported it through space to another location, changed it back into light, and sent it on its merry way. Now, Dr. Hau has done this on a very minute scale. We’re talking about thousandths of an inch here.

But let me just say this about that:

It’s now just a matter (no pun intended) of scale.


And from the lab results page:

 
Quote
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Physicists have for the first time stopped and extinguished a light pulse in one part of space and then revived it in a completely separate location. They accomplished this feat by completely
converting the light pulse into matter that travels between the two locations and is subsequently changed back to light.

Matter, unlike light, can easily be manipulated, and the experiments provide a powerful means to control optical information. The findings, published this week by Harvard University researchers in the journal
Nature, could present an entirely new way for scientists and engineers to manipulate the light pulses used in fiber-optic communications, the technology at the heart of our highly networked society.

"We demonstrate that we can stop a light pulse in a supercooled sodium cloud, store the data contained within it, and totally extinguish it, only to reincarnate the pulse in another cloud two-tenths of a
millimeter away," says Lene Vestergaard Hau, Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and of Applied Physics in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences and School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.


(more at each link)


Weird stuff.

Lou,

Light only travels at the speed c in vacuum.  In matter it slows down in the inverse proportion to its index of refraction n.  In diamond, n is as large as 2.5, so light travels at about 100,000 km/s instead of 300,000.  

The index of refraction can be pretty large in the vicinity of an absorption line where the light-matter interaction is quite strong, so it will slow down quite a bit.  Think of it as a constant absorption and reemission of photons by atoms.

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Lou FCD



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(Permalink) Posted: May 18 2008,04:27   

Louis, from The Bathroom Wall

Quote (Louis @ May 18 2008,03:28)
I can't help much with the relativity discussion, but I can comment on the "silicon life form" thingy:

No. Bad UD. U can not has sillykon lyfe phorm. (Well, sort of not)

Catenation (the property of an atom to make bonds with another atom of the same element) is the kicker here. Silicon can catenate to itself better than most atoms, forming chains of ~11 silicon atoms IIRC, but nothing like carbon which can catenate to form long chains (and rings and stable multiple bonds and...). As far as I am aware we haven't found an upper limit to the number of carbon atoms that can be stuck in a chain. This, for life, really is a big deal. And not even just "life as we know it, Captain". Developing a molecule based*, "wet" lifeform with molecules conferring heridity etc is going to be very tough with chains just 11 atoms long at the best (and they are pretty unstable chains too), weak multiple bonds etc. I'm not saying it absolutely 100% couldn't happen, but a "silicon" lifeform is far more likely to be a carbon lifeform with the occasional atom of silicon in there than the other way around. It is extremely unlikely. This is ignoring things like the strength of bonds with other atoms for example (silicon is very well sequestered by oxygen or fluorine for example), the fact that the stellar nucleogenesis of heavy (ish) atoms has certain biases (and carbon comes out better than silicon IIRC) and a whole host of other factors that reduce it's likelihood. Whilst you're at it, think on this, there's not exactly a shortage of silicon on the one planet where we know for a fact that life evolved, and yet carbon was the daddy!

Louis

*As opposed to, say, sufficiently complex AI in a computer/quantum computer. I don't care what Penrose says! ;-)


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Louis



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(Permalink) Posted: May 18 2008,11:10   

Quote (Lou FCD @ May 18 2008,10:27)
Louis, from The Bathroom Wall

 
Quote (Louis @ May 18 2008,03:28)
I can't help much with the relativity discussion, but I can comment on the "silicon life form" thingy:

No. Bad UD. U can not has sillykon lyfe phorm. (Well, sort of not)

Catenation (the property of an atom to make bonds with another atom of the same element) is the kicker here. Silicon can catenate to itself better than most atoms, forming chains of ~11 silicon atoms IIRC, but nothing like carbon which can catenate to form long chains (and rings and stable multiple bonds and...). As far as I am aware we haven't found an upper limit to the number of carbon atoms that can be stuck in a chain. This, for life, really is a big deal. And not even just "life as we know it, Captain". Developing a molecule based*, "wet" lifeform with molecules conferring heridity etc is going to be very tough with chains just 11 atoms long at the best (and they are pretty unstable chains too), weak multiple bonds etc. I'm not saying it absolutely 100% couldn't happen, but a "silicon" lifeform is far more likely to be a carbon lifeform with the occasional atom of silicon in there than the other way around. It is extremely unlikely. This is ignoring things like the strength of bonds with other atoms for example (silicon is very well sequestered by oxygen or fluorine for example), the fact that the stellar nucleogenesis of heavy (ish) atoms has certain biases (and carbon comes out better than silicon IIRC) and a whole host of other factors that reduce it's likelihood. Whilst you're at it, think on this, there's not exactly a shortage of silicon on the one planet where we know for a fact that life evolved, and yet carbon was the daddy!

Louis

*As opposed to, say, sufficiently complex AI in a computer/quantum computer. I don't care what Penrose says! ;-)

If we're going to do "odds of life on other planets" can I just say "Drake Equation" and thus hint at all the well hashed arguments surrounding the parameters described within and thereby avoid discussions of odds.

;-)

Louis

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RupertG



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(Permalink) Posted: May 18 2008,11:22   

Quote (C.J.O'Brien @ May 15 2008,18:15)
Aww, did youse guys get all science-fiction-y while I was out?

Some alternatives to heavy-acceleration, high fraction of c drives or FTL:

Generation Ship: The slow boat. So much drama on board, you'll think it's reality-holovid!

Life Extension: sit back and enjoy the ride due to futur-ific bio-tech or sleep comfortably in your cryo-chamber and let the AIs do the work!

Upload: Why leave all the fun to the AIs? Be one!

I've always been partial to the idea of just uploading one's consciousness to a long-duration spaceship and pushing off in the general direction of out there. The good thing is there's no reason to be bored - if you're in the interstellar cruise and you're tired of counting stars or re-reading archives of tard, just wind your clock speed down and the universe speeds up for your pleasure.

Comms is a bit tricky, mind, and I'm never quite sure what the original I would feel about it. It's nice knowing there's another me out there having big fun, but rather annoying at the same time. Perhaps you do the transfer, cryogenically freeze the meaty bits and take them along for later. In case you got peckish, like.

R

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Lou FCD



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(Permalink) Posted: May 18 2008,12:27   

Thanks oleg.  I get what you're saying, but I'm not sure if that's what Hau's claiming, is it?  I had the general idea of her experiment firmly situated in my mind and understood the principle just fine until you jerks started interjecting the facts.

:p

Louis, I think calculating "the odds" is rather pointless until we have more information.  The sample size and our knowledge of the samples we have are just too incomplete yet.  Of course, I haven't made a correct statement on this thread yet, so why break the streak?

Rupert,

That sort of brings up what I was mentally masturbating thinking regarding Hau's experiment.

Let's say we eventually get to the point where we can do the experiment backwards with complex objects, like a human for instance.  Y'know someone's going to do it, if it becomes possible.

Ok, so we take our unconscious creotard victim volunteer, turn him into a beam of energy, shoot him to the moon base, and reconstruct him.

Is the person who came out the same person who went in, or just a perfect copy?  How do we know?  If he's a perfect copy, he'll think he's the same person, even if he's not.  The only person who knows for sure is the person who went into the cosmic spitball machine, and that person may or may not even exist any more.

I'd almost be willing to torture myself through an O'Leary essay to see what Granny has to say about it (for the humor value), but I'm sure it'd be "the soul goes with" smothered in ten tons of crap.  I'd be more interested to see what the quantum physicist of a century from now has to say on the subject.

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
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RupertG



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(Permalink) Posted: May 18 2008,13:05   

Quote (Lou FCD @ May 18 2008,12:27)
Thanks oleg.  I get what you're saying, but I'm not sure if that's what Hau's claiming, is it?  I had the general idea of her experiment firmly situated in my mind and understood the principle just fine until you jerks started interjecting the facts.

:p

Louis, I think calculating "the odds" is rather pointless until we have more information.  The sample size and our knowledge of the samples we have are just too incomplete yet.  Of course, I haven't made a correct statement on this thread yet, so why break the streak?

Rupert,

That sort of brings up what I was mentally masturbating thinking regarding Hau's experiment.

Let's say we eventually get to the point where we can do the experiment backwards with complex objects, like a human for instance.  Y'know someone's going to do it, if it becomes possible.

Ok, so we take our unconscious creotard victim volunteer, turn him into a beam of energy, shoot him to the moon base, and reconstruct him.

Is the person who came out the same person who went in, or just a perfect copy?  How do we know?  If he's a perfect copy, he'll think he's the same person, even if he's not.  The only person who knows for sure is the person who went into the cosmic spitball machine, and that person may or may not even exist any more.

I'd almost be willing to torture myself through an O'Leary essay to see what Granny has to say about it (for the humor value), but I'm sure it'd be "the soul goes with" smothered in ten tons of crap.  I'd be more interested to see what the quantum physicist of a century from now has to say on the subject.

Quote
Is the person who came out the same person who went in, or just a perfect copy?  How do we know?  If he's a perfect copy, he'll think he's the same person, even if he's not.  The only person who knows for sure is the person who went into the cosmic spitball machine, and that person may or may not even exist any more.


I've wondered about this a lot, and I'm not sure it actually matters. I'm not the same person I was yesterday, let alone the one I was twenty trips around the sun ago  and that's without anything going seriously haywire with my machinery. When I'm asleep, I'm not here at all. And everyone has the experience of behaving and thinking in different ways depending on who they're with - this idea of being some sort of continuous, immutable consciousness identifiable as the self is far weirder than it seems.

When you think what it must have been like to have been a hominid going through the process of becoming hom. sap., it fair squeezes the eerie glands. Cognitive science and evolutionary biology will have a very productive union, once the time's right.

But a *lot* of what we think we are is constructed, not given, of that I'm sure and not just because I drank the po-mo kool-aid (tasted disgusting and came straight back up again). That may be a reason behind the long-term popularity of religion; we construct ourselves and our societies, and they all attain a fair degree of reality that lie outside the self - so why not with gods? On some levels it's not that different from the construction of science - and perhaps that again is why some people don't have problems combining the two.  

Which is by way of saying: in a world where people constantly futz with themselves, body and mind, to get to some target for the weirdest of motives, I don't think there'll be any shortage of people willing to transmigrate into machinery - and whether they'll be the same people afterwards (or even people at all), will be pretty irrelevant.

Not to the god-botherers, of course. We can expect bounteous tard on that front.

R

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Uncle Joe and Aunty Mabel
Fainted at the breakfast table
Children, let this be a warning
Never do it in the morning -- Ralph Vaughan Williams

  
Lou FCD



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(Permalink) Posted: May 18 2008,13:13   

Quote (RupertG @ May 18 2008,14:05)
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 18 2008,12:27)
Is the person who came out the same person who went in, or just a perfect copy?  How do we know?  If he's a perfect copy, he'll think he's the same person, even if he's not.  The only person who knows for sure is the person who went into the cosmic spitball machine, and that person may or may not even exist any more.


I've wondered about this a lot, and I'm not sure it actually matters. I'm not the same person I was yesterday, let alone the one I was twenty trips around the sun ago  and that's without anything going seriously haywire with my machinery. When I'm asleep, I'm not here at all. And everyone has the experience of behaving and thinking in different ways depending on who they're with - this idea of being some sort of continuous, immutable consciousness identifiable as the self is far weirder than it seems.

In the grand scheme of things, and in the mind of the guy who pops out of the machine, you're right - it probably matters not one whit.

To the guy about to step into the machine, it would probably matter a great deal.  After all, he might get a trip to the moon, or he might get dead.

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
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RupertG



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(Permalink) Posted: May 18 2008,13:25   

Yes, but I feel the same way every time I get on a Virgin to LAX...

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Louis



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(Permalink) Posted: May 18 2008,13:25   

Quote (Lou FCD @ May 18 2008,18:27)
[SNIP]

Louis, I think calculating "the odds" is rather pointless until we have more information.  The sample size and our knowledge of the samples we have are just too incomplete yet.  Of course, I haven't made a correct statement on this thread yet, so why break the streak?

[SNIP]

Oh no, that sounds about right to me. Hence why I mentioned the Drake equation. Anyone familiar with the ructions surrounding it knows at least one reason for ignoring many discussions about "odds" (aside from all the other good reasons of course). The Drake equation is a good start for an assessment of what we need to know to know anything about odds at all.

Louis

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Lou FCD



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(Permalink) Posted: May 19 2008,10:21   

Quote (Louis @ May 18 2008,14:25)
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 18 2008,18:27)
[SNIP]

Louis, I think calculating "the odds" is rather pointless until we have more information.  The sample size and our knowledge of the samples we have are just too incomplete yet.  Of course, I haven't made a correct statement on this thread yet, so why break the streak?

[SNIP]

Oh no, that sounds about right to me. Hence why I mentioned the Drake equation. Anyone familiar with the ructions surrounding it knows at least one reason for ignoring many discussions about "odds" (aside from all the other good reasons of course). The Drake equation is a good start for an assessment of what we need to know to know anything about odds at all.

Louis

Hey, I get a point, I get a point!

Forgive my inordinate happiness, this thread was beginning to make me feel like a perennially rejected teenager again.

---------

On another note, let me just inform everyone that it's safe to say that if you ask ten different physicists about the possibility of FTL and interstellar space travel, you're sure to receive (at least) twenty different and mutually exclusive, directly contradictory responses.  I think I'm going with a version of my original drive for the book, because it's A) easiest for me to write B) plausible enough to engender suspension of disbelief C) works best for my plot and most importantly D) doesn't require 15 years of physics education to understand and 500 pages to explain.

----------

I was wondering what the latest tardological pronouncements were on the whole "What if we discover intelligent aliens?" thing.  One of the various permutations of search parameters I force-fed Teh Google was 'aliens "original sin"'.

Google barfed up this.  I hate when a really good idea jumps the shark, then gets eaten by the shark, shit out by the shark, climbs back on the skis, and starts all over.

I loved the first two, but it's been all downhill from there.  AVP was mildly entertaining and amusing for the "Dracula vs. the Wolfman" value, but other than that, someone really just needs to euthanize the franchise.

Alien remains the single scariest book I've ever read, though admittedly I was like 10 or 12 when I read it.

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
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J-Dog



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(Permalink) Posted: May 19 2008,11:16   

Quote (Lou FCD @ May 19 2008,10:21)
Alien remains the single scariest book I've ever read, though admittedly I was like 10 or 12 when I read it.

As a True Member ™ of the Atheistic Darwinism Ebola Boy Brigade, I have to say that the Bible  is the scariest book I've ever read.  

It threatens to beat you up  and/or stone you here and now, and even tries to threaten you after you're dead.  

Reminds me of a bad Stephen King novel, or a zombie movie.

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Lou FCD



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(Permalink) Posted: May 19 2008,11:26   

Quote (J-Dog @ May 19 2008,12:16)
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 19 2008,10:21)
Alien remains the single scariest book I've ever read, though admittedly I was like 10 or 12 when I read it.

As a True Member ™ of the Atheistic Darwinism Ebola Boy Brigade, I have to say that the Bible  is the scariest book I've ever read.  

It threatens to beat you up  and/or stone you here and now, and even tries to threaten you after you're dead.  

Reminds me of a bad Stephen King novel, or a zombie movie.

I stand corrected.

again.

ETA: Although technically, the Bible is an anthology of books and letters...

Edited by Lou FCD on May 19 2008,12:27

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Lou FCD is still in school, so we should only count him as a baby biologist. -carlsonjok -deprecated
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guthrie



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(Permalink) Posted: May 19 2008,11:50   

Quote (Lou FCD @ May 19 2008,10:21)
Forgive my inordinate happiness, this thread was beginning to make me feel like a perennially rejected teenager again.

I know an author or two, and I think it safe to say that many of them feel like that for years at a time.  One I know has taken a year or two to get over the fact that they have published his first book, and his second, and he's now at work on a third.

  
Richardthughes



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(Permalink) Posted: May 19 2008,13:44   

Just a thought to add:

This is why cyberspace is better than real space. You make the rules.

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RupertG



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(Permalink) Posted: May 19 2008,16:35   

Quote (Richardthughes @ May 19 2008,13:44)
Just a thought to add:

This is why cyberspace is better than real space. You make the rules.

And that's why cyberspace is so much worse than real space for fiction - it's ridiculously easy to deus ex machina your way out of anything. Like the transporters and communicators on Star Trek, they seem real cool at first, but as a "Scotty, get my arse outta here" system they have to go wrong for dramatic purposes. A lot.

Incidentally, I dreamed up a space drive that doesn't need to throw any mass away, can work up to relativistic speeds and doesn't use any energy to translate to any velocity in free space. It only needs one tiny little bit of magic - something that can instantaneously reverse the directional vector of momentum (I tried picking apart relativistic and quantum momentum maths to see what breaks if you change the sign of v, but gave up. Quickly.).  

You're allowed one piece of magic in all but the very hardest SF, after all.

Imagine you accelerate an object in any way you like to an appreciable velocity, and then let it coast for time T1. Flip its direction 180 degrees and let it travel for T2. If T1 equals T2 it's back where it started. Flip it again. Make T1 = T2 = very, very, very small, and the object appears to just sit there. Then start varying the mark-space ratio, and it moves in the direction of whatever direction has the larger T - and in the absence of external acceleration or gravity or whatever, it carries on moving at a velocity proportional to the ration of T1:T2.

This means you can 'charge' up your object in situ anywhere you've got enough energy, and then bugger off at willl, especially if you bung in energy in all three axes. You'll use up energy getting out of gravity wells, but assuming your instantaneous velocity is high enough that won't be a problem. About the only issue i can think of (excepting the bit of magic) is that if you do charge up to a healthy fraction of c, your mass and time dilation will become annoying to you and those around you, but what that means when your local frame becomes very small... wibble.

But it makes for some interesting ways to go through space, from hovering ominously above peasants through to visiting Alpha Centuri, and suggests some rather spectacular failure modes/weaponry applications. You know what happens when a flywheel seizes...

I read a _lot_ of SF when I was young; less so now so I've missed a lot. I was just wondering whether anyone else has used this device? (Was rather annoyed when I found Larry Niven had stolen my idea for radioactive money that goes critical if you get too rich, and he'd had the bad taste to do so ten years before I'd had it. As it was the only original SF idea I've ever had, I found that unforgivable.)

R

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Uncle Joe and Aunty Mabel
Fainted at the breakfast table
Children, let this be a warning
Never do it in the morning -- Ralph Vaughan Williams

  
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