Sunday, 15 January 2017

Scientific Rationales

Whenever Poul Anderson invoked the sf cliche of faster than light interstellar travel, he presented a scientific rationale for FTL. In fact, he deliberately presented a fresh rationale in each new series or one-off work where he employed the concept. To do that, it would necessary to know a lot of scientific theory or at least jargon.

Although "gyrogravitics" is STL, the same principle applied. Gyrogravitics:

"'...grew out of the effort to reconcile relativity and quantum mechanics.'"
-Poul Anderson, Tales Of The Flying Mountains (New York, 1984), p. 27.

I have just been reading about that. See here. Gyrogravitic theory describes matter, energy and gravitation as rotating force-fields. This does sound like James Blish's graviton polarity which is based on something called the Blackett-Dirac equations, which have been discussed under the heading of "gyrogravitics." (See the link.)

"'...a gyrogravitic drive should react against the entire mass of the ambient universe.'" (p. 29)

Conservation of energy and momentum are preserved;
minimum power is necessary;
any energy source is sufficient;
no exhaust gases or other pollution;
the drive can hover and does not need a huge motor;
small portable fusion plants as a side-effect;
100% efficient spaceships;
interior gyrogravitic fields providing weight, cushioning against pressure, guarding against particles and meteoroids.

It sounds like Blish's "spindizzies" without FTL but also less dependent on fuel.

The previous post mentioned a late night. Blogging energy is low.

1 comment:

  1. Kaor, Paul!

    I really LIKE this summary of Poul Anderson's carefully thought out rationale for gyrogravitics, as seen in TALES OF THE FLYING MOUNTAINS. I wonder if any physicists and engineers are doing actual research in such matters? I hope so! Such a device would REALLY help us get off this rock!