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Luciola

Theoretical Physics in Fiction.

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Hello ladies and gentelmen, I'm new to the forum, and very unskilled in the ways of physics (at least in relation to someone who's well schooled in it.)

 

I'm currently writing a science fiction novel that I'm attempting to base as realistically as possible on actual physics. Lately I've found in my research that this is more difficult than anticipated. I've discovered that currently, the world of physics (and science in general) is in quite a mess with differentiations between the theories at its core.

 

Quantum mechanics, string theory and relativity to name a few are intrinsic to todays understanding of what and how everything works, and although Quantum mechanics and special relativity have both been very successful in describing and helping physicists understand certain aspects and states of matter and energy, I've come to realize that they're also "competing" in some sense of the word. I'd suggest that the friction is more so caused by the attempts to merge both theories into one concise and elegant theory for "everything", but nevertheless, the community is somewhat at odds as to what's what.

 

The reason I bring these particular theories into the mix is because I'm currently attempting to define what types of propultion the spacecraft of my story will use, and I was hoping that some of you might be able to shed some light (at least a little bit) on some of the things I've had difficulty understanding during my research.

 

Let's start with the ideas I've got planned out for sub-luminar travel. I'm aiming for a grunge-tech society, so I'm not looking to see technology that is immensly efficient, however I do need a way for my fictional characters to get from point A to point B without immense ammounts of time in between.

 

The sub luminar travel that I've decided to incorporate for inter planetary travel in the novel is based on gravitational distortion by using micro singularities to focus a point of gravity in the direction the vessel wishes to travel that will pull the ship forward. Now, the idea here is that as the ship moves forward (it being the emitter of the field) the gravitational field exerting the force will also move forward and still continue pulling the ship (and the source of the gravity field). The problem that I see here is this. If you're sitting in a sail boat and blow in the sail, you're not going anywhere. I understand that if we use Einsteins relativity of curved space, it's possible to assume that this system would function because it would be like pushing down on a mattress in front of a marble, and as the marble moves toward your finger, you move your finger further away, making it so that the marble continues to move in the direction of your finger (ergo the gravitational field).

 

Now, I want anyone who knows enough about this to A: Punch holes in my theory as best you can, and B: Help me patch the holes up by also expressing any kind of countermeasure to the problems you can see in this idea.

 

For FTL travel I'm using a slightly fictional version of the Alcubierre drive. The idea behind this would be that the necessary warp field could potentially be generated by the micro singularities, the thing that attracts me to the Alcubierre drive is that the ship doesn't suffer from innertia as it's in a freefall geodesic within the warp field; not to mention that the ship doesn't have to obey special relativity either considering it technically isnt moving faster than light, the space around it is. ( I'll need exotic matter or some form of amplifying the Casimir effect*this method would be more desireable* for this drive to work, or perhaps I can fictionally alter string theory to compensate for the need of negative force, however that's moving too far away from "real" phsyics than I want to go.)

 

Again, poke as many holes through my theory as you can, but make sure to also provide some attempt at patching them up.

 

I'd also like for any of you to think of adequat spin off technologies that could be based on either the Alcubierre drive or microsingularities in general. (Consider the existence of negative force, exotic matter or ways to amplify the casimir effect as well)

 

I think that's enough for one post, I'll also be introducing my concepts on particle beam weaponry, superconductors and crystal energy conservation in later posts

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I'm currently writing a science fiction novel that I'm attempting to base as realistically as possible on actual physics. Lately I've found in my research that this is more difficult than anticipated. I've discovered that currently, the world of physics (and science in general) is in quite a mess with differentiations between the theories at its core.

 

As a writer myself, I must truely object! :) Today's science contains so many things you can go and write wonderful science fiction stories about! So many of today's theories are openning into psychological impacts, and mind-boggling implications, if proven true.

 

All you need to do, is invent SOMETHING that proves a theory DEAD-RIGHT (like, say, just an idea I had once about a story - proving that the beginning of life came from an astroid) and you have a great story based on real science.

 

You also need to understand -- and so are your critics and readers -- that science fiction is just that. Science FICTION. It might be BASED on real science, but it will take a spin into the fiction, or it won't be a good story..

 

Take "The Core" for instance. The science wasn't that good, but the initial IDEA of it was quite interresting and it made for a good movie. Same goes with "Butterfly Effect" which was very good in terms of MOVIE and StoryTelling. The fact that "Butterfly Effect" in science doesn't really mean what the movie made it, is not really important. The point of it was good, and it was BASED (even if a little) on real science.

Even "The Day After Tomorrow" was quite good for the same reason. Realism? Not really.. but the main IDEA of the science is true. The writers of the movie just took on themselves to have some creative liscense and speed things up inormously for the sake of the action.

 

 

 

~moo

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Wow mooey, you managed to pick and praise the three of my most hated sci-fi movies in one post! I find that quite interesting. I'm surprised Donnie Darko wasn't tossed in there as well.

 

I would have picked 2001 aSO, Solaris, Aliens and - despite the heckling and ridicule I risk by saying so - the Matrix. I'm a huge fan of futuristic-looking art.

 

That said,

 

Look at the entire Star Trek franchise: being almost complete BS, the "science" is still quite interesting, and has been suggested in online and broadcast fora for some time to have influenced the development of a few key modern technologies' functional and aesthetic attributes (FRS flip phone anyone?).

 

Better yet, Star Wars. They never really went into much detail about how any of the technology worked, and they were 3 of the best sci-fi movies ever! (Just in case you're wondering... Episodes 1-3 weren't Star Wars; they were the interminable, vomit-inducing afterbirth of a beautiful and awe-inspiring masterpiece. Nothing more. I mean, I'm in it for the art, but how can you even enjoy landscapes when so much of it is destroyed by the seven-foot CG abomination that is Jar-Jar repeatedly spouting idiotic clicé phrases made famous by Full House?)

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Wow mooey' date=' you managed to pick and praise the three of my most hated sci-fi movies in one post! I find that quite interesting. I'm surprised Donnie Darko wasn't tossed in there as well.

[/quote']

I knew that people would hate me for it ;)

 

My point wasn't to praise "science depicted wonderfully in those movies!" it was merely to show that science fiction is not about ACCURACY, it's about story.

And with all due respect to those unscientific movies, the lamens who know nothing about science (and have either no access or little interest in it - and there are many) actually got interrested in CHECKING at least what "global warming" means, what its effects are (the fact that global warming can cause an ice age is, in fact, quite accurate), and it gets them interrested in the scientific subject.

 

You shouldn't expect hollywood movies -- or any type of movie, really -- to depict science 100% right. There are movies who do that, I assume, but they usually turn to be quite sophisticated and over-explanatory, and the general public loses interrest in them.

 

It's much better in my opinion to throw a "Science Teaser" to the masses: See what science CAN be, and now check for yourself which of these facts are accurate and which isn't.

 

One of my favourite movies, btw, is GATTACA.

Its science is quite accurate, and though it's FAR from being 100%, it started an entire debate in the world about genetics, implications and ethics. A Debate that wasn't the sole property of scientists alone, but also included the regular people.

 

And btw.. Solaris was awful (moviewise, it was just boring, bad acted, and thus failed in hollywood, so I didn't pick it), Matrix was indeed very good, but people tend to take the movie in its entire three-part, which sucks, since parts 2 and 3 just plainly SUCKED (and also quite failed, relatively to the first movie, and the expectations of the producers), and it speaks more of phylosophy than science btw, and as for Aliens, you're right, it was good, and I add it to the list right now :)

 

I should also add "Star Trek" even for the great advantage of it getting teenagers closer to checking out phenomenas in space, and even though it uses wayyyyyy too much 'technobabble' to cover for scientific-holes, it has some very good depictions of what actually MAY happen in space, using an action filled series that brings science to the people.

 

I personally love that show, and many of my knowledge in the universe' behaviour came out of sheer curiousity about the things that really DO exist, that I've seen in one episode or another.

 

I think it's great.

 

~moo

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Well, I'm glad to see that I've had responses to my post, however it pains me to notice that there was no forward momentum transfered to the point I had originally set out with...

 

I fully understand that science fiction is not supposed to be based one hundred percent on science, and that if I were to attempt to explain alcubierre's warp theory verbatum in my novel I'd lose alot of readers.

 

I'm not doing this research so that I can explain exactly how everything works at the text level of my novel, I'm doing all of this for myself, and so that if someone asks me what or how something works in my novel I can actually answer the question with something that makes relative sense in terms of realistic physics and science. Also, you can't describe something if you don't know how it works, or don't understand how it works fully. If I'm going to use the alcubierre drive, I'm going to have to describe how it looks, what it does and also what can happen if it doesn't work or malfunctions or fails. All these things, which would be explained in details only as an observer, and not as a warp specialist, need to have realistic sources. If a part of my novel happens to describe a ship being hit by a particle beam weapon, I want to be able to describe the visual effects that would insue as the gravitational field of the ships shielding peels back to reveal the layers of plasma that are designed to neutralize the ions of the particle beam weapon. If I just say that it looks like a shimmering light, it would be somewhat void of real visual stimulation. What WOULD happen if a highly charged particle smashed into a gravitational field? Well, we see it all the time here in Canada, it's called the Aurora Borealis, or the northern lights. The ions from the sun get trapped in the layers of the magnetic field that the solar winds don't peel away, and they bounce to the poles where there's less space inside the layers of the field, at which point they smash into eachother creating a reaction of light heat and sound that, at certain altitudes, you can actually hear.

 

These are the things I'm looking to find realistic theories to, things that would make the story more sound, more solid and believalbe to the eyes of the general public, and to the eyes of a physicist.

 

I was in the military for a while, as an infantryman, and everytime I watch a movie where the director decided that he didn't need to pay much attention to the way firearms actually function, I get disgusted and hardly feel like watching the rest of it if there are people firing seven hundred bullets from a fifteen round clip or jumping in mid air and firing accurately at long distances with a pistol. Sure it makes good action scenes, but it's ridiculous and unrealistic. The reason I bring this up is because I understand a certain amount of things about science, and when I watch a movie or read a book that attempts to use science in a way that is unrealistic or just plain idiotic, it really puts the rest of the novel or movie into question because it puts the integrity of the writer or director at stake. I don't want my integrity to be compromised by an unexplainable happening that just doesn't make any sense in the way of science.

 

The light saber, hyperspace, blasters, teleportation and so many other things are far from possible and even if they are they're either not well explained or don't make sense in a grunge-tech story. Gravitational matrix propulsion (using gravity to pull the ship) is not too advanced, it isn't very safe and not extremely efficient because of limitations I'll put on the form of it I'm using in the novel (basically they haven't mastered it), alcubierre drives are also not very efficient, once the field is produced the people inside can no longer control the ship, you have to plot your course perfectly before entering warp. The fictional addition to my version of the alcubierre drive is that they can't use it inside a heliosphere, they have to be outside the magnetic field of a star to use it, for reasons that are still unknown to the scientists. (some mystery is always good). This is also one of the two ways they get out of warp, if the warp field interacts with a heliosphere, it "crashes" because the inner sphere is not moving, the ship simply bumps out of warp and coasts at a very slow speed caused by the bit of turbulence that is transfered to the inside of the warp field as it collapses. (About 4g turbulence, not enough to kill anyone but it's a bumpy exit let me tell you, if you're not strapped in, you might be thrown around a bit.) The second method is due to the field collapsing at a maximum acceleration. For again, unkown reasons, the warp field can accelerate past the speed of light with the help of negative force, however regardless of this there is still a speed limit to the warp system. At some point, the turbulence in the warp membrane becomes too large and the warp field collapses bumping the ship into normal space with a turbulence gforce of about 5 or 6 depending, this is VERY bumpy, but it's common and smaller ships that are more prone to the exit turbulence have countermeasures in the way of innertial dampners (also thanks to negative force technology) that reduce the gforces to about 4, it can take many jumps to get between stars that are considerably far appart, bumping out of warp every now and then due to maximum turbulence. This is also a good plot device for combat strategy. If you know that an enemy ship is on it's way to such and such a planet, you can calculate the odds of the 20% variance in travel time and place their exit point of warp somewhere in a particular area of space, dropping mines in that area or setting up warp field inhibitors or other such devices may lend you the great chance at an ambush.

 

I want these things to exist as plot devices and as means of putting limitations on the science they're using. Other things that I'm adding is inconsistency in flight times. The acceleration of the ships differ from the size of the warp field and the mass inside it. A small ship can make it from point A to point B much quicker than a large ship, they also are more susceptible to the turublence, and drop out more often than large ships but the smaller ships also have greater chances of comming out of warp further inside the heliosphere, which means the slight possibility of collision, and more radiation factors if it's a neutron star or even cataclysmic issues if your warp bumps you out too close to a singularity.

 

Even in same sized vessels time is inconsistent, there's about a 20% variance in the travel time of two ships of the same type, the stories scientists believe this is caused by different levels of interference in the interstellar medium or the random distortion that occurs in the warp membrane as it reaches maximum turbulence.

 

Let me know if any of this doesn't make sense or needs specific re-working, and let me also know if you have any other ideas as to put limitations on the technology that would be good plot devices.

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I knew that people would hate me for it ;)

 

My point wasn't to praise "science depicted wonderfully in those movies!" it was merely to show that science fiction is not about ACCURACY' date=' it's about story.

And with all due respect to those unscientific movies, the lamens who know nothing about science (and have either no access or little interest in it - and there are many) actually got interrested in CHECKING at least what "global warming" means, what its effects are (the fact that global warming can cause an ice age is, in fact, quite accurate), and it gets them interrested in the scientific subject.

[/quote']

 

I never said you praised the science. I just thought those movies were C grade hollywood tripe. I could barely sit through them. The science was laughable, the visuals were a waste of millions of dollars of CG (except for one or two scenes in The Core, and the boat scene in DAT), and the lifeless, procedural acting did little to keep me amused.

 

You shouldn't expect hollywood movies -- or any type of movie' date=' really -- to depict science 100% right. There are movies who do that, I assume, but they usually turn to be quite sophisticated and over-explanatory, and the general public loses interrest in them.

[/quote']

They don't need to be. Star Wars was a good example of how not explaining anything does much for the believability. The "Alien" series was the same. Just beautiful scenery and fun action scenes.

 

It's much better in my opinion to throw a "Science Teaser" to the masses: See what science CAN be' date=' and now check for yourself which of these facts are accurate and which isn't.

[/quote']

Agree.

One of my favourite movies' date=' btw, is GATTACA.

Its science is quite accurate, and though it's FAR from being 100%, it started an entire debate in the world about genetics, implications and ethics. A Debate that wasn't the sole property of scientists alone, but also included the regular people.

[/quote']

I agree for the most part, but "the regular people" tend to assimilate movie fiction as real science.

And btw.. Solaris was awful (moviewise' date=' it was just boring, bad acted, and thus failed in hollywood, so I didn't pick it), Matrix was indeed very good, but people tend to take the movie in its entire three-part, which sucks, since parts 2 and 3 just plainly SUCKED (and also quite failed, relatively to the first movie, and the expectations of the producers), and it speaks more of phylosophy than science btw, and as for Aliens, you're right, it was good, and I add it to the list right now :)

[/quote']

I almost didn't add Solaris, but like I said, I'm in it for the visuals...and probably just general 'atmosphere' more than anything. Solaris was the epitomy of how I visualise the future.

 

I won't even start on the Matrix. Yeah, it's more philosophy than science, but I think they managed suspension of belief rather well... except maybe for the tribal rave scene. I still enjoyed it, though.

I should also add "Star Trek" even for the great advantage of it getting teenagers closer to checking out phenomenas in space' date=' and even though it uses wayyyyyy too much 'technobabble' to cover for scientific-holes, it has some very good depictions of what actually MAY happen in space, using an action filled series that brings science to the people.

[/quote']

I don't see how its depictions of what may happen in space are very good at all - for example, a species that was completely human, except they were sexist (!) and black (!) and wore shiny clothes (!); yep, definately alien. Never seen that before... EXCEPT ON MTV!

 

But I was raised on ST so I overlook its problems for the majority of the time, and still have fun yelling at the TV when I can't.

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The sub luminar travel that I've decided to incorporate for inter planetary travel in the novel is based on gravitational distortion by using micro singularities to focus a point of gravity in the direction the vessel wishes to travel that will pull the ship forward. Now' date=' the idea here is that as the ship moves forward (it being the emitter of the field) the gravitational field exerting the force will also move forward and still continue pulling the ship (and the source of the gravity field). The problem that I see here is this. If you're sitting in a sail boat and blow in the sail, you're not going anywhere. I understand that if we use Einsteins relativity of curved space, it's possible to assume that this system would function because it would be like pushing down on a mattress in front of a marble, and as the marble moves toward your finger, you move your finger further away, making it so that the marble continues to move in the direction of your finger (ergo the gravitational field).

[/quote']

Why not have the singularities be stationary, and have the ship get slingshotted in the same fashion that modern space vessels are now, using our own moon, jupiter etc.? See this article.

 

For FTL travel I'm using a slightly fictional version of the Alcubierre drive. The idea behind this would be that the necessary warp field could potentially be generated by the micro singularities' date=' the thing that attracts me to the Alcubierre drive is that the ship doesn't suffer from innertia as it's in a freefall geodesic within the warp field; not to mention that the ship doesn't have to obey special relativity either considering it technically isnt moving faster than light, the space around it is. ( I'll need exotic matter or some form of amplifying the Casimir effect*this method would be more desireable* for this drive to work, or perhaps I can fictionally alter string theory to compensate for the need of negative force, however that's moving too far away from "real" phsyics than I want to go.)

[/quote']

Of course the ship obeys special relativity, and the space around it is not moving faster than light. These are the two problems that the Alcubierre drive is attempting to solve, so I hope you don't make that mistake in your novel. What you are describing sounds like the fictional "subspace", where SR is claimed not to apply. This is purely fictional, and allows writers the convenience of not having to use seemingly accurate science.

 

Why don't you take the suggestion I was alluding to in my other posts and not go into to much detail about how your FTL systems work. Describing what your characters experience would probably suffice, and would be hard to refute.

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Why not have the singularities be stationary, and have the ship get slingshotted in the same fashion that modern space vessels are now, using our own moon, jupiter etc.?

 

I wouldn't like to use this because I need a means for the vessels to travel at low but constant velocities without using a source of depleting fuel, this way it makes sense that they can go from the heliosphere of a star system to one of it's planets within a reasonable amount of time (a few months in large systems), slingshotting wouldn't be enough for that.

 

 

Of course the ship obeys special relativity, and the space around it is not moving faster than light. These are the two problems that the Alcubierre drive is attempting to solve, so I hope you don't make that mistake in your novel. What you are describing sounds like the fictional "subspace"[/url'], where SR is claimed not to apply. This is purely fictional, and allows writers the convenience of not having to use seemingly accurate science.

 

The space inside alcubierre's warp field is not moving. here "For those familiar with the effects of special relativity, such as Lorentz contraction, mass increase and time dilation, the Alcubierre metric has some apparently peculiar aspects. Since a ship at the center of the moving volume of the metric is at rest with respect to locally flat space, there are no relativistic mass increase or time dilation effects. The on-board spaceship clock runs at the same speed as the clock of an external observer, and that observer will detect no increase in the mass of the moving ship, even when it travels at FTL speeds. Moreover, Alcubierre has shown that even when the ship is accelerating, it travels on a free-fall geodesic. In other words, a ship using the warp to accelerate and decelerate is always in free fall, and the crew would experience no accelerational g-forces. Enormous tidal forces would be present near the edges of the flat-space volume because of the large space curvature there, but by suitable specification of the metric, these would be made very small within the volume occupied by the ship."

 

I'll write more later, gtg.

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I wouldn't like to use this because I need a means for the vessels to travel at low but constant velocities without using a source of depleting fuel, this way it makes sense that they can go from the heliosphere of a star system to one of it's planets within a reasonable amount of time (a few months in large systems), slingshotting wouldn't be enough for that.

First of all, you cannot contain a singularity without using an enormous amount of energy, without some sort of exotic matter that doesn't exist; if you wish to invent that matter, that's up to you. Secondly, a constant velocity means that you stop accellerating, meaning either, you need to conserve fuel for the decelleration period, or you are travelling near the speed of light, where furthur accelleration is nearly impossible.

 

And slingshotting around a black hole would accellerate you to incredible speeds, if it didn't rip your ship apart. The problem afterwards would be stopping your ship.

 

wikipedia:The space inside alcubierre's warp field is not moving. here "For those familiar with the effects of special relativity' date=' such as Lorentz contraction, mass increase and time dilation, the Alcubierre metric has some apparently peculiar aspects. Since a ship at the center of the moving volume of the metric is at rest with respect to locally flat space, there are no relativistic mass increase or time dilation effects. The on-board spaceship clock runs at the same speed as the clock of an external observer, and that observer will detect no increase in the mass of the moving ship, even when it travels at FTL speeds. Moreover, Alcubierre has shown that even when the ship is accelerating, it travels on a free-fall geodesic. In other words, a ship using the warp to accelerate and decelerate is always in free fall, and the crew would experience no accelerational g-forces. Enormous tidal forces would be present near the edges of the flat-space volume because of the large space curvature there, but by suitable specification of the metric, these would be made very small within the volume occupied by the ship."

[/quote']

 

Thus, this ship does not disobey SR, as I said. Your paraphrase was incorrect. And it would be a good idea to cite the wikipedia page here, even though I gave the link to you.

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Yes, you're right that the ship does obey SR but it still can travel at speeds faster than light if I invent negative force matter like exotic matter or if I invent a method of creating a powerful casimir effect.

 

The wiki page I took the quote from would have been posted but I was in a rush, and that's why I didn't get to say the things I'm about to say now, and also why I didn't notice that you had posted the link to the same page. [EDIT: On closer inspection, you didn't post the same page, not the one I got that quote from, it's here] Another mistake in my post due to my tardiness was that I said I wanted the ships to have constant velocity, I meant to say that I need them to have constant acceleration. Constant acceleration at 10 m/s would take about 2 days to travel 1 AU, which is about the timeframe I want for the travel of the vessels at sub-luminer speeds.

 

First off, I like the idea of static singularities used to slingshot, I think I'll use that in certain situations, it's an adequate spin off technology for microsingularity techs.

 

The technology used to contain the microsingularites will be fed by the microsingularity itself and will be birthed by the same technology that assists FTL in the Alcubierre drive, since it has to be negative force technology. A black hole theoretically generates a very large amount of electricity and also dumps massive amounts of different radiations that can potentially be harvested, so you can see how it's possible to use that as the generator for the ship and for whatever other systems are dependant on the singularties maintenance. I'll probably have to invent some kind of pseudo-mathimatical equation to explain the theory of containement, something like a particular ammount of negative force in a specific pattern of dispertion causes a reverberation of certain properties in the singularity making it possible to contain said singularity without having to produce negative force equal to or in addition to that of the singularities forces.

 

What do you think about the negative force technology? Should it be by way of an exploitation of the casimir effect? Or should I go the way most other science fiction authors go and create exotic matter? That being said I think I like the idea of something based off of the casimir effect.

 

Oh, and like I said before, most of these explanation are for myself, and won't be detailed in the novel, or if they are it'll be in very small quantities throughout the novel, and not in large places that would potentially kill the suspense.

 

And thanks for continuing this topic, I'm glad I've got someone to work my theories with.

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They don't need to be. Star Wars was a good example of how not explaining anything does much for the believability. The "Alien" series was the same. Just beautiful scenery and fun action scenes.

 

You're right about that, but when I view these movies I also think about the impact some of the partial science introduction gets to lamens, and when you don't explain ANYTHING, it really does nothing. The 13th floor, for that matter, a GREAT movie that preceded "the matrix" but sadly didn't succeed as much, was awsome, contained some really nice scientific and psychological ideas and was quite good for introducing psychology/neuroscience/computer science to the masses.

 

This is how I depict a "science fiction" movie as good one; Of course I also want to enjoy it in the movies, but seeing how Day after Tomorrow got quite a good review, and people went to see it in the masses, it was successful in introducing the science (even if it wasn't accurate at all, that's why i say 'introducing') of global warming. I think it's good. Gets people interrested to find out the facts that stand behind the fiction.

 

I agree for the most part, but "the regular people" tend to assimilate movie fiction as real science.

I am not sure.. maybe some of those movies, but not all of them, and certainly not in the age of internet and global media; the media is so quick to judge a movie by its scientific contents: Look, again, at "Day After Tomorrow" -- so many scientists wrote and spoke in global media about the inaccuracies in that movie, that I doubt there is one person on the globe that thinks its completely scientific. Same goes with Startrek, Matrix and Gattaca.

 

I almost didn't add Solaris, but like I said, I'm in it for the visuals...and probably just general 'atmosphere' more than anything. Solaris was the epitomy of how I visualise the future.

 

I hated solaris, it was almost religious in its depiction of 'afterlife' and death, had the worst science i have ever seen, was completely unbelievable and took a while to build up any kind of suspense. I found myself WAITING for the movie story to start until about halfway to its end credits. Horrible horrible hoooooooooooorrible!!!!

Had to add that, sorry, let some steam off on that movie. Worst 90 minutes ever.

 

No, wait.. "The Vilage" was worse... okay, "Almost Worst" 90 minutes ever ;)

 

won't even start on the Matrix. Yeah, it's more philosophy than science, but I think they managed suspension of belief rather well... except maybe for the tribal rave scene. I still enjoyed it, though.

 

I =LOVE= the matrix, I think it presents AWSOME ideas about psychology and phylosophy, the meaning of a person's perception about his world, the meaning of freedom (is it really that good to get out of the matrix?) and such. I hate what they did to the point with the second and third movie, and btw, if u look it up, I am sure I wrote something about that in the forums when the movie was released. I loved it. Good example of how you present a "high-end" psychological and phylosophical idea to the lamen masses in desguise of an action movie.

 

And you know what? I'll add another series to my list of great successes: MacGyver! Probably my most favourite show ever when I was younger (and incidently, I am watching some of it now again, with slight amusement over some of the really-bad-science in there). It's true most of it was seriously bad science (people getting eaten by ants was presented in the last episode I watched) BUT it created a wonderful way into chemistry, physics, laws of motion/reaction and such; for me, for instance, it was curious. I remember I used to go and check which of the things Mac did in the episodes were possible and which weren't. This got me interrested in practical physics, and for that, I am completely forgiving it for depicting parts of bad science.

 

I don't see how its depictions of what may happen in space are very good at all - for example' date=' a species that was completely human, except they were sexist (!) and black (!) and wore shiny clothes (!); yep, definately alien. Never seen that before... EXCEPT ON MTV!

But I was raised on ST so I overlook its problems for the majority of the time, and still have fun yelling at the TV when I can't.[/quote']

 

Yeah, I scream at the TV aswell hehe but startrek, having its moments of utter bs science, also has beautiful representations of science. Like the idea of space curviture (lamens don't even know that, and yet you hear 14 year olds speak about it in star trek conventions or just online) and quazars, and the paradoxes of time travel, and many other GOOD things they show there. Yeah, the show is bogus-science, but the BASICS are mostly true, and that's what makes it so nice. Also, you finally hear kids and adults argue about it's "scientific holes" which is something that makes them LEARN about science. There's nothing better and more satisfying than to hear a 13 year old kid speaking about how utterly implausible it is that all the races in the "alpha quadrant" are humanlike, and why star trek creators should've been more creative. It's getting them to think, check, and learn, and all hail them for that.

 

Every book, movie or show that do that, is GREAT in my eyes.

~moo

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Since it is fiction, you obviously have some leeway. Just don't call it pseudo-mathematics ;) (This thread just might belong in pseudoscience though :S)

 

At this point, you're beyond me. The singularity bends space quite drastically so it's conceivable that you could use it to bend spacetime for your Alcubierre drive.

 

If your story allows the technology to create singularities, I would have them be very unstable and collapse after small fractions of a second, temporarily warping spacetime. Though I don't know what happens when a 'micro-singularity' collapses (supernova?) you could just write it as collapsing into nothing (perhaps as the negative and positive timespace distortions in the field converge?). Who knows, this is where the fiction comes in I guess.

 

I would use a non singularity source of energy though, as I doubt the energy you could retain from the singularity being created/maintained could anywhere match the power draw of whatever brings them into existance. Otherwise, it sounds akin to free energy or a perpetual motion machine, and I think that's something people would pick up on rather quickly.

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lots of stuff about movies

Agree many lots of dem tings der.

 

I don't believe Solaris had anything to do with the afterlife. Yah, maybe it was boring, but no afterlife.

 

The ball thing was generating copies of people by reading people's minds. The end Clooney character was a copy of the real one, and was able to remake his wife in the end, as he was of the solaris ball.

 

Nothing about afterlife. It merely raised the same question as Star Trek did about the transporters: When you're deconstructed in one place, jumbled all around and reassembled somewhere else, are you really the same person that was taken apart?

 

In Solaris' case, no. The Clooney character died. His copy was just that, a copy. In Star Trek, they don't go into that much detail, except when Worf is held in the transport buffer in that one episode where he grabs a worm thing, brings it back and it turns out to be a person. I guess they imply the same person is reassembled as was taken apart.

 

But you don't think Solaris was at least an appealing view of what space faring vessels might look like in the future? What about his home? It's all beautiful and rather contemporary. I think the set designers where awesome, and should have received all sorts of accolades.

 

I take it you didn't like "2001: A Space Odysee" either?

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In Solaris' case, no. The Clooney character died. His copy was just that, a copy. In Star Trek, they don't go into that much detail, except when Worf is held in the transport buffer in that one episode where he grabs a worm thing, brings it back and it turns out to be a person. I guess they imply the same person is reassembled as was taken apart.

Actually, there was another episode (even a few more) with a second Commander Riker being found on a planet, after a weird transporter malfunction three years in their past; the "real" riker managed to be beamed, but the transporter on the ground didn't recieve the "okay" message, so he reconstructed him on the ground, having, in effect, two rikers: One continuing on his mission onboard enterprise, and the other stuck for three years on the planet's face. It was really interresting, specifically since after they found the 'second riker', the entire question of what to do with a copy, what to do with malfunctions and all those things came to question. It was quite good.

 

As for solaris: The environment was the only good thing there. Sadly, the movie was so damn boring that I didn't get the same point you did. I just almost fell asleep.. it was.. boring.. and the proof is that all I can remember now - a while after i watched it - is 'something about afterlife'. The message didn't stick at ALL, and that is the most important thing..

 

In any case, I'm going to stand with my face to the wall and have you guys throw stones at me (rightfully so!) since I admit, sadly and shamefully that I hven't watched 2001: A Space Odyssey" yet. It's on my list in netflix, and I will watch it soon. I swear. Don't kill me.

 

 

:P

 

 

~moo

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Actually' date=' there was another episode (even a few more) with a second Commander Riker being found on a planet, after a weird transporter malfunction three years in their past; the "real" riker managed to be beamed, but the transporter on the ground didn't recieve the "okay" message, so he reconstructed him on the ground, having, in effect, two rikers: One continuing on his mission onboard enterprise, and the other stuck for three years on the planet's face. It was really interresting, specifically since after they found the 'second riker', the entire question of what to do with a copy, what to do with malfunctions and all those things came to question. It was quite good.

[/quote']

I forgot about that episode. That was one of the best for sure. Sure is a grounded view of the whole thing: It suggests the mind is merely composed of its physical components (for humans at least...Q doesn't use transporters). I like that.

 

As for solaris: The environment was the only good thing there. Sadly' date=' the movie was so damn boring that I didn't get the same point you did. I just almost fell asleep.. it was.. boring.. and the proof is that all I can remember now - a while after i watched it - is 'something about afterlife'. The message didn't stick at ALL, and that is the most important thing..

[/quote']

Says you. But subjectivity is a good thing about movies.

In any case' date=' I'm going to stand with my face to the wall and have you guys throw stones at me (rightfully so!) since I admit, sadly and shamefully that I hven't watched 2001: A Space Odyssey" yet. It's on my list in netflix, and I will watch it soon. I swear. Don't kill me.

[/quote']

Whatever. It was a bunch of monkeys, some philosophy, a space thing happened and then the dude tripped on acid.

 

It was pretty cracked out for the last 5 minutes. I doubt you'd like it if you didn't like Solaris... Then again, subjectivity's a wildcard.

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Says you. But subjectivity is a good thing about movies

Agreed completely, and naturally it is true hehe. We're arguing based on subjectivity, of course, I just felt I needed to stress my subjective view on the matter ;)

 

And about Space Odyssey -- there's a huge difference (and I say it despite the fact I haven't seen it) between that and Solaris: About 20 years of a difference ;) when you watch a movie, specifically a science-fiction "pretend-to-be-based-on-science" type, you should also make sure you know what time period this movie was made....

 

But I dont want to say anything pro or cons this movie, since I havent yet seen it.

 

~moo

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Lol.

 

2001ASO = Solaris + A Clockwork Orange - 20 years

 

I wonder how the old Solaris compares to the new one. Look it up. It's Russian. You'd like it. Its from like 1950 or something.

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oops.. ;)

 

well, I never heard of Solyaris..... :P

 

~moo

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luciola, good idea to come here,

i just had a thought, the gravity from the singularity would effect different parts of the ship with different intensities, the back end would feel intertia, and the front would feel the gravity, (going to need a high tensile ship)

also, i reckon the ships should have a decent energy budget on even meagre acceleration.

pushing the singularity relative to the surrounding space will require energy just as pulling a marble across a matress has a force toward the marble exerted onto your finger. the only problem i see here is that a marble with some device held infront to push down on the matress will exert a backward force against it. now it would make sense to have some force projected out front or behind to do the warping.

energy will be required to accelerate/lift the marble/ship

 

as for the grunge tech, i found in wikipedia, light has a small momentum, matter out the back at high velocities isnt as efficient as photons out the back unless you have ridiculous velocities in which case you use time dialation to increase the inertia of the particles.

 

in space travel, the main problems involve the mass of the propelleant. if you can collapse matter into energy to power a lazer, you can have decent thrust.

 

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

this site mostly talks about reflection/absorption but it also works the other way.

also, you could look at the ram scoop idea to accumulate propellant and perhaps for a braking system at velocities close to C

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Thank you for your ideas Rocket Man, and for redeeming the thread from being highjacked by movie critics ;)

 

I'll reply in detail to your post in the morning, I need sleep.

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Oops.. since I'm the one of those who hijacked, without noticing, I sencerely appologize.. I didn't even notice, got all into the debate..

 

next time say something ;) Truely sorry.

 

~moo

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Haha, Have no worries mooey, I'm not a tight sphincter burocrat, the wink at the end of that post was meant to ward off any true scolding. If I could mulit-task any better I'd have jumped into the movie/science debate myself like F13 did, but unfortunately I lack that kind of initiative at the moment and felt more comfortable sticking with the topic I had originally conjured up. I think I did so mostly because the questions I had were really bothering me and I was hoping for answers and therefore postponed any other topics until I got some kind of feedback on the original topic, which has happened.

 

Back on track.

 

If it were to be possible to focus the gravitational field of two microsingularites at one point in front of a ship and somehow cancel out the rest of the gravitational field so that the only gravity acting on the ship was the intercecting gravitational fields in front of it, the ship WOULD gravitate toward that point, and say that after said gravitation, the field would re-allign, not move, so that the computer systems that are generating the field would nullify all gravity, and reset the intersecting fields at a location further from the ships current location. Kind of like kicking your way on a skateboard. Would that work? (if the technology existed... I'd probably have to find some way of explaining how the rest of the gravitational field is incapacitated, and this would also mean that the shields that I designed for the ships would be offline at this time.)

 

Speaking of shields, the way I designed them is as such. The gravitational field of the singularities are at rest in a combat situation (where propultion is transfered to propelant like hydrogen), this means the fields are reminescent to that of earths gravitational field in design, some of the plasma that's rotating on the outside of the containment field of the micro singularity ** is vented into the layers of the gravitational fields. This means that at the moment that a particle beam weapon fires onto the shields, if the layers of the field peel back (like they do with solar winds) the plasma inside the layers will be released, causing more resistance for the particles from the beam weapon. This would also cause resistance against projectile weaponry as well.

 

What do you think?

 

**I wanted to make the singularities catalysts for some kind of fusion reaction which would aid in powering the ship (that's what I meant by the singularites being the source of all power, and yes, kind of like free energy or a perpetual motion machine, but not quite, the singularities are not REAL singularities, they're artificially constructed and much weaker than a true black hole, they eventually evaporate which results in a depressurization of the matter, which means quite a large explosion I could probably use this as a plot device or even as a type of weaponry; singularity torpedo? LOL.)

 

You'll have to start helping me pull the base science to these ideas or my topic will be moved to the speculations thread :(.

 

[EDIT: Or the general discussions thread apparently.... ]

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your idea for the propulsion mechanism works; trick space-time into tying a knot infront of the ship to attract the ships mass to a false gravity source.

i was thinking that you had some containment device sitting firmly out front.

 

as for the plasma sheilds, im not convinced, the solar wind doesnt strip layers off the magnetoshpere, it doesnt have layers. it's a gradient of intensity.

the magneto sphere just sits there deflecting charged particles. an aroura is where it fails and the particles hit the highest of the atmosphere.

 

if the plasma is there, you can use it as protection against fast particles and beam weapons, you dont need a sacrificial sheild.

it wont stay as plasma very long either, it will loose heat very quickly via radiation. it'll simply be charged gas.

simply strip the atoms of a few electrons, use the gravity from the singularity to attract them to the ship and a like charge on the ship's hull. the gravity will effect a greater area than the electrostatic force on the hull and essentially hold the plasma in a loose, empty sphere around the ship.

also, if you had like an electron pump, (vandergraaf generator), have the opposing charge deeper in the ship to enhance the effect and hold a denser sheild.

(the sheild will behave like a gas but repel between particles so it's going to be fairly diffuse.)

this can be a massive sheild because in space, there arent many restrictions on size

 

resistance to projectile weaponry... a projectile weapon would cut right through it. you can however detect turbulance patterns easily and react accordingly.

light scattered in the sheild will show the wake of a missile/projectile quite well, it will also show whether it's powered or not. (even cloaked projectiles/craft will show up on radar)

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