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Thomas Braun

Newtonian Physics vs. the SC's Physics

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my easiest explanation, although I'm probably totally wrong for the gravity drive, is that it has something to do with magnets...using the magnetic field of somthing to manuver through...almost like a sub through water...although not that simple...anyway thats my $0.04...I added an extra two as a tip, because I havn't had a discussion like this for a while...

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quote:

thought gravity was just a property of mass...

No. Gravity is energy, as much as light and magnetism is (well different energy forms) Gravity is generated by anything, but is MUCH weaker than magnetism, which is weaker than light. So theorically as much as we created lightbulbs and interruptible+variable magnets, with technology we can assume we will eventually be able to create artificially gravity.

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Yes, gravity is energy. I wasn't denying that. So is magnetism, but you can't "produce" magnetism per se the way you can light. Light is the release of photons, discreet units of energy. Magnetism is a property of matter, as is gravity (all matter has mass). But magnetism cannot be generated, it is developed by aligning atoms in a metal in the same direction (often through the use of electricity). Gravity, is an effect that massive bodies have on other massive bodies, it is not the same as light and neither is magnetism.

(Or I'm just a really big idiot getting ready to put my foot in my mouth as I click "Add Reply")

[ 01-30-2002, 18:24: Message edited by: T-WOPR ]

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I don't think it's difficult to believe that mankind will still be stuck in a universe of newtonian physics for the indefinite future. And if we're not I would at least like some sort of explanation beyond "it's just a game". I mean, we've had an explanation for faster than light travel within the context of the game. Why did we get this and not an explanation for the basic flight characteristics of the craft? I don't really have a problem with the physics model in use, other than the fact that ships can stop on a dime (I imagine all of my crew are smashed to a pulp from deceleration and are instantly cloned by the ships computer).

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Guest Eihort

quote:

Originally posted by T-WOPR:

Yes, gravity is energy. I wasn't denying that. So is magnetism, but you can't "produce" magnetism per se the way you can light.

erm... If it can be created using electricity... then can't it be..... erm.... created?

Also... if you put ANYTHING in a strong enough magnetic field, it will levitate. Also, if we ever find a grand-unification theory, gravimetric drives may become not only possible, but quite probable.

My 2 cents.

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Now what this remids me of, is that old "Engineering 101" thread in the RP section. We were trying to create some ideas to how some of the technology in the BC universe worked. Until the server hiccupped and the thread disappeared.

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Gravity a form of energy? Maybe.

I perfer tot hink of it as a PROVIDER of energy. When gravity acts on an object it provides it with potential energy; when that energy is used it is converted to kinetic energy. But this is progressing into physics and many forum readers may not have studied that.

I think of gravity as the great background. The "rubber sheet" theory. You have a giant rubber sheet. All of the objhects in the universe - the planets, the stars, the nebulas, the people on the planets, are all placed upon the sheet. Very heavy items - like planets and stars - cause the sheet to stretch.

So forces like magnetism, electricity, etc., only influence the items on the sheet. They don;t affect the sheet itself. Only large masses affect the sheet - by causing it to stretch.

How does this apply to real life? Draw a gridwork on the rubber sheet. Each square is one light year - the distance light travels in a year under normal conditions. But where the sheet is stretched - distorted - these squares are actually larger. As a result, the light travels further in the same period of time. This is gravity's affect on the beam of light - it draws it towards the center of gravity faster.

Slower-than-Light (STL) gravity-based drives work simply by creating a gravity differential. If the ship needs to move forward, it creates a gravitational field in front of the ship that draws it forward. Kind of like dangling a carrot in front of a donkey. The ship "falls" forward under the infleucnce of gravity, but the fall is perpetual, because each time the ship itself falls forward, the gravity field moves with it.

Faster than Light (FTL) gravity based hyperdrives work by creating a singularity. This is an area of gravity so powerful that it disrupts the laws of gravity. Imagine that a mass was placed on the sheet so heavy that it stretched the sheet to breaking point. When it breaks, the "hole" in the sheet wraps around to emerge at a new point.

This is what a wormhole, theortically is. Hyperdrive technology creates an artificial, traversible wormhole.

So, for hyperdrive travel to be possible, we must assume that artifical gravity field generation is also possible. Which would make a STL gracity drive possible.

Engineering 101 here we come...*grin*.

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I'm sorry. I think one of the big problems here now are confusing types of energy. Electrical, electromagnetic, magnetic, and gravatic (which isn't a word but it works with everything else) energy are all significantly different. Note that I do not thing energy is limited to these forms as it is not. Electrical energy is the sharing of electrons through some kind of matter, metals are best for this because of the way atoms bond in metals. Magnetic energy is having all of the atoms in a material aligned in the same direction. This can be accomplished with an electric coil. This causes a force with a positive and negative end (North and South) to form. Anything can become magnetized but once again, atomic structures in metals work the best. Electro-magnetic energy is sort of like both electrical and magnetic energy. It is the release of free subatomic particles (Radiation/Light/Radio/etc. And can often be easily be converted into forms that are magnetic or electric, such as in solar panels.

Gravitational energy is kind of special. It is potential energy stored in all matter that happens to be released by pulling on other matter. It is not well understood, but there is no identification of any particle involved in gravity, except "Dark Matter" which is a rather radical theory that was in a Time Magaizine Issue on the end of the universe.

Any way, this is a difficult argument to have because there is so little actually known about gravity. It must be measured by its effect, like time. Time is often believed to be a form of energy and it seems to be proven that gravity and time are some how related. Maybe by 3010, someone will have found a particle that "is" gravity (like the electron "is" electricity, the photon "is" light. . . Which once again leaves magnetism as a special force with no particle linked to it yet.

Magnetism and Gravity are forces, not energy, even though I have been mistakenly using the terms interchangabley I don't want to go back and change them all. . . They are forces that are base on matter, instead of actual energy AS WE KNOW IT. When someone finds a magnetic particle or a gravatic particle (like in the Outer Limits Episode), I would have to say that gravity can not be "produced" and neither can magnetism.

Fun to do with magnetism:: Wrap a coil of 16-guage wire around a steel pole. Then get yourself an AC-DC bridge with as little resistance as possible. Wire the bridge into a 120 volt socket and the coil. Keep the coil cooled and plug it in. I do not suggest oil or alcohol cooled. . . But now you have a pretty heavy duty electromagnet. Try it with 240 volt outlet too but make sure you have a fire extinguisher and a good circuit breaker or else you'll blow everything up to the nearest transformer. . .

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While gravity may not be an energy per se, we can already manipulate gravity in the physical environment that we presently understand. By spinning a vessel or station in space, we can in effect create a type of "artificial gravity" in that we simulate the effect of what we think of as "standard gravity" on Earth. It may be possible by the 31st century that we have taken gravity manipulation to the point where we can use it to propel our ships in space. After all, look at the technological developments of the last 100 years. In 1902 the "horseless carriage" was a novel idea. Give us another 1000 years of development, and we could go anywhere. We have to remember that there are aspects of physics that we 1)Don't understand yet and 2)Have not discovered their existence. In my mind, a gravity based drive would be a reasonable answer to our questions. We don't need to know precisely how it works, and we can create technobabble to describe it if we so desire (which was the basis of the ST:TNG Technical Manual).

There is also a slight basis that the ships do use a gravity based drive system. In the parts list is an item listed as the "Gravity Stabilizer" (part #146). Why would a ship need a grav stabilizer if the ship's gravity were always stable? A gravity drive would distort the local grav field around a ship, including internally. This part could be used to stabilize the ships internal grav field and negate any negative effects produced by the drive.

quote:

Originally posted by Thermidor:

I don't really have a problem with the physics model in use, other than the fact that ships can stop on a dime (I imagine all of my crew are smashed to a pulp from deceleration and are instantly cloned by the ships computer).

I think that the best explanation for this is an inertial compensator (or intertial damper for you Star Trek fans ;-) ). This is a device that takes the intertia created by acceleration and harmlessly disperses it. Without such a device, as you said, the crew would be smashed to a pulp. But with it, a crew can survive the acceleration involved in going from rest to thousands of kilometers per second without difficulty. An example of this I used in a RP a while back is located at this thread (toward the end of the page). It was the best explanation I had at the time, and still is.

[ 02-01-2002, 01:21: Message edited by: Ben Somerset ]

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Yeah. . . But "artificial gravity" as you have mentioned is created by centrifugal forces, not real gravity. By spinng really fast, thigs are forced to stick to the outer wall of the device using that kind of "artificial gravity" There is also a ride like that. . .

But, that is not to say that maybe in the future, there may be a way to do this, just not with conceived notions on REAL gravity. Inertial dampening has often been used to explain this. It was in 3001 (The book), and in MOO3 (The game). I'm suprised no one mentioned this. I wasn't looking for what kind of engine the ships use or even how they really move. I was looking for a decent excuse for near instant stops, insane turning, limited acceleration, etc. I didn't REALLY intend to start a physics debate. . .

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quote:

Originally posted by T-WOPR:

I didn't REALLY intend to start a physics debate. . .

No, no, no.... Keep at it! I like these scientific debate thread thingies...

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Because its a game, and if you can code it, you can do it, if you can do it, you can abuse it.

Thats my view

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quote:


Originally posted by T-WOPR:

I didn't REALLY intend to start a physics debate. . .


..of course you didn't, dear.

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Just a small point on newtonian physics. The advantage I see to them is it's much more fun piloting a ship, and your able to do a lot better manuvers, and think more. It's sorta cool thrusting one way, then swinging your ship around to fire behind you, or strafing across a surface, etc.

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Accurate Newtonian physics is typically a bit too much to handle in a game (and would be especially difficult in a game like BCM with so many systems to manage), but some semblance of intertia is always welcome in any game that involves flight of some sort- imagine losing your engines right before you enter a planet's atmosphere, emerging at 10,000 feet careening at very high speeds at an angle that will take you into the ground, unable to slow and barely able to turn... it's that slightest touch of intertia that allows this classic sci-fi crash-landing.

[ 02-03-2002, 19:29: Message edited by: Sunanta ]

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quote:

Originally posted by T-WOPR:

Yeah. .. If we could detatch the saucer section and there were trees. . . it would be perfect. . .

LOL- That's exactly the kind of landing I was thinking of!

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It's a old threat but I couldn't resist to add some comments.

On sound in space.

There is "sound" in space! If you are close to an exploding spacecraft, you will see an expanding cloud of debris. These particles (like dust) will have a significant speed (and are not slowed down in vacuum), but are not fast or energetic enough to trigger the shields. When the particles slam into your hull by the trillions, they create small shockwaves through your ship. Your hull starts vibrating and part of that vibration is transferred to the air inside your ship. In there, the sudden particle-hailstorm will sound like an explosion or a short thunderclap.

On newtonian physics:

They do not apply at high speeds.

On gravity:

It's just another field-force we have yet to master. If we haven't found out how it works by 3000AD. We never will.

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T-WOPR

quote:

Which once again leaves magnetism as a special force with no particle linked to it yet.

The repel also. Protons (+) and Electrons (-) are found in EVERYTHING as far as I know. What happens when you have two positive charges? They repel. What happens when you have to Negative charges? Now, what happens when you have a positive and a negative (or a negative and a positive)? They ATTRACT! Esencially this IS magnetism (correct me if I'm wrong, or at least clear it up if im missled ) As far as I understand, say for example you have a magnet. In a magnet the protons and electrons are specially placed so that they are in a very uniform pattern. Protons on one side, electrons on the other (for example). Now when you get, say, an iron nail and put it near the side of the magnet with the protons on it, the protons in the nail move to the opposite side, which leaves the electrons closest... now what happens then? The protons attract with the electrons and the nail is "stuck" to the magnet. Same theory applies here too... say for instance you do this efficently enough that the protons and electrons in the NAIL are now evenly spaced out just like in the magnet... now you place that nail, to another nail... and it happens all over again!

Hope that clared up the mystery of magnetism a bit

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Well, there is another game out there that uses Newtonian physics but not really a Newtonian flight model. Starshatter uses newtonian physics but compensates by having an velocity limit, and thrusters that work to keep your ship pointed in the direction you want. You can turn these things off so you can glide in one direction and glide in the other.

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Actually, the nail example is one of Electric Charge similar to the automotive battery. Protons do not move appreciably in any solid material. Electrons can be displaced due to a moving magnetic field, but not a stationary one. Should the number of electrons in a nail be appreciably displaced to one end, one would detect an electric charge on the nail just as they would a battery.

Don't get me wrong, there is an inescapable link between electricity and magnetism, but what magnetism exactly is comprised of is still unknown. We do know it is the result of charges in motion, and it occurs naturally in very few minerals. We can induce a magnetic charge in a variety of iron composites, but they are not completely permanent (lasting several months, depending on the alloy involved). These magnetic moments are believed to be caused by molecular arrangement within the metals. The unique characteristics of the metal's structure allows for this type of reform, but the structures of other materials do not, being far more rigid, which is why they cannot be magnetised or magnetically attracted. A polar gas can be magnetised, but it quickly dissipates the orientations once the field is removed, returning to a chaotic and random state.

Unlike electrical impulses, magnetism exists (as far as we know) only as a "field" which permeats space irrespective of walls or other obstructions. There is no particle identified as possessing the "magnetic field" and no magnetic "mono-pole" (e.g. a North without a South) has been identified.

The confusion is understandable, since E&M is a very complex and confusing subject.

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quote:

Originally posted by T-WOPR:

Terminus. It offered thrust capabilities for all directions, infinite acceleration (up to the point were it would tear your ship (always a fighter) apart).

Terminus was one of those games that had ya saying if only they...... I didn't mind most of the game the one thing in the game that had me laughing my butt was the character select. They used real photo's of people that looked like left overs of an all night frat party. What the heck were they thinking with that!!!

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Actually, in the sci-fi world Shields are only protection for energy weapons if you need protection from that all pesty debris you need Deflectors. Deflectors also prevent your ship from careening into another. To give you a real world sample of the affects of deflectors: Take two magnets of the same polarity and slowly bring them together or fast it doesn't matter observe what happens.

quote:

Originally posted by Eihort:

When you start going that fast, even the tiniest piece of space debris could become a potential ship killer. With all sorts of stuff flying around out there you wouldn't want to go that fast. Once you start shooting up ships even more stuff gets thrown around. Just imagine all the shrapnel caused by a BC Mk3 getting blown to pieces. Some of that stuff is moving awfully fast.

So then we invent shields. Shields will protect us from all this nasty stuff so we can travel at more manageable speeds. All is good and well but some things are still going too fast. Maybe there is some sort of galactic standard for shields that says "If your ship goes _______ fast then your shields must be ________ strong." Kinda seems like common sense to me. Any faster and your shields will start to degrade from being hit all the time. Not good if you're planning on going really fast into battle.

So shouldn't a capital ship go faster than a fighter because it can have more powerful sheilds? It can, but then again it has to be able to stop in a reasonable amount of time and space without having to turn the entire thing around and do a full burn in the opposite direction just to keep from smashing into things. Also remember there is still a human element involved. Unless all craft are piloted by AI and computers, then a human must be able to make decisions in a human response time or the whole craft is going too fast and is quite useless.

Just my 2 cents

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quote:

Originally posted by Thermidor:

I don't really have a problem with the physics model in use, other than the fact that ships can stop on a dime (I imagine all of my crew are smashed to a pulp from deceleration and are instantly cloned by the ships computer).

Ummmm, Inertia dampers are employed.

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