Question Light Sail materials: are we using the wrong materials?

Jan 11, 2021
I discovered some information recently that may have some bearing on the materials used to create light or solar sails. I am wondering what your thoughts are and if this could be used in a future light sail experiment. I wonder if a thin coating of calcium would increase the performance of such a sail. Here is what I discovered in a book I found:

5. Solar Radiation
That the suns of space are not very dense is proved by the steady streams of escaping light-energies. Too great a density would retain light by opacity until the light-energy pressure reached the explosion point. There is a tremendous light or gas pressure within a sun to cause it to shoot forth such a stream of energy as to penetrate space for millions upon millions of miles to energize, light, and heat the distant planets. Fifteen feet of surface of the density of earth would effectually prevent the escape of all X rays and light-energies from a sun until the rising internal pressure of accumulating energies resulting from atomic dismemberment overcame gravity with a tremendous outward explosion.
Light, in the presence of the propulsive gases, is highly explosive when confined at high temperatures by opaque retaining walls. Light is real. Sunlight would be economical at a million dollars a pound.
The interior of our sun is a vast X-ray generator. The suns are supported from within by the incessant bombardment of these mighty emanations.
It requires more than one-half million years for an X-ray-stimulated electron to work its way from the very center of the sun up to the solar surface, where it starts out on its space adventure, maybe to warm an inhabited planet, to be captured by a meteor, to participate in the birth of an atom, to be attracted by a highly charged dark island of space, or to find its space flight terminated by a final plunge into the surface of a sun similar to the one of its origin.
The X rays of a sun’s interior charge the highly heated and agitated electrons with sufficient energy to carry them out through space, past the hosts of detaining influences of intervening matter and, in spite of divergent gravity attractions, on to the distant spheres of the remote systems. The great energy of velocity required to escape the gravity clutch of a sun is sufficient to insure that the sunbeam will travel on with unabated velocity until it encounters considerable masses of matter; whereupon it is quickly transformed into heat with the liberation of other energies.
Energy, whether as light or in other forms, in its flight through space moves straight forward. The actual particles of material existence traverse space like a fusillade. They go in a straight and unbroken line or procession except as they are acted on by superior forces, and except as they ever obey the linear-gravity pull inherent in material mass and the circular-gravity presence of the Isle of Paradise.
Solar energy may seem to be propelled in waves, but that is due to the action of coexistent and diverse influences. A given form of organized energy does not proceed in waves but in direct lines. The presence of a second or a third form of force-energy may cause the stream under observation to appear to travel in wavy formation, just as, in a blinding rainstorm accompanied by a heavy wind, the water sometimes appears to fall in sheets or to descend in waves. The raindrops are coming down in a direct line of unbroken procession, but the action of the wind is such as to give the visible appearance of sheets of water and waves of raindrops.

6. Calcium—The Wanderer of Space
In deciphering spectral phenomena, it should be remembered that space is not empty; that light, in traversing space, is sometimes slightly modified by the various forms of energy and matter which circulate in all organized space. Some of the lines indicating unknown matter which appear in the spectra of our sun are due to modifications of well-known elements which are floating throughout space in shattered form, the atomic casualties of the fierce encounters of the solar elemental battles. Space is pervaded by these wandering derelicts, especially sodium and calcium.
Calcium is, in fact, the chief element of the matter-permeation of space. Our whole universe is sprinkled with minutely pulverized stone. Stone is literally the basic building matter for the planets and spheres of space. The cosmic cloud, the great space blanket, consists for the most part of the modified atoms of calcium. The stone atom is one of the most prevalent and persistent of the elements. It not only endures solar ionization— splitting—but persists in an associative identity even after it has been battered by the destructive X rays and shattered by the high solar temperatures. Calcium possesses an individuality and a longevity excelling all of the more common forms of matter.
As physicists have suspected, these mutilated remnants of solar calcium literally ride the light beams for varied distances, and thus their widespread dissemination throughout space is tremendously facilitated. The sodium atom, under certain modifications, is also capable of light and energy locomotion. The calcium feat is all the more remarkable since this element has almost twice the mass of sodium. Local space-permeation by calcium is due to the fact that it escapes from the solar photosphere, in modified form, by literally riding the outgoing sunbeams. Of all the solar elements, calcium, notwithstanding its comparative bulk—containing as it does twenty revolving electrons—is the most successful in escaping from the solar interior to the realms of space. This explains why there is a calcium layer, a gaseous stone surface, on the sun six thousand miles thick; and this despite the fact that nineteen lighter elements, and numerous heavier ones, are underneath.
Calcium is an active and versatile element at solar temperatures. The stone atom has two agile and loosely attached electrons in the two outer electronic circuits, which are very close together. Early in the atomic struggle it loses its outer electron; whereupon it engages in a masterful act of juggling the nineteenth electron back and forth between the nineteenth and twentieth circuits of electronic revolution. By tossing this nineteenth electron back and forth between its own orbit and that of its lost companion more than twenty-five thousand times a second, a mutilated stone atom is able partially to defy gravity and thus successfully to ride the emerging streams of light and energy, the sunbeams, to liberty and adventure. This calcium atom moves outward by alternate jerks of forward propulsion, grasping and letting go the sunbeam about twenty-five thousand times each second. And this is why stone is the chief component of the worlds of space. Calcium is the most expert solar-prison escaper.
The agility of this acrobatic calcium electron is indicated by the fact that, when tossed by the temperature- X-ray solar forces to the circle of the higher orbit, it only remains in that orbit for about one one-millionth of a second; but before the electric-gravity power of the atomic nucleus pulls it back into its old orbit, it is able to complete one million revolutions about the atomic center.
Our sun has parted with an enormous quantity of its calcium, having lost tremendous amounts during the times of its convulsive eruptions. Much of the solar calcium is now in the outer crust of the sun.
It should be remembered that spectral analyses show only sun-surface compositions. For example: Solar spectra exhibit many iron lines, but iron is not the chief element in the sun. This phenomenon is almost wholly due to the present temperature of the sun’s surface, a little less than 6,000 degrees, this temperature being very favorable to the registry of the iron spectrum.

7. Sources of Solar Energy
The internal temperature of the suns is much higher than is commonly believed. In the interior of the sun practically no whole atoms exist; they are all more or less shattered by the intensive X-ray bombardment which is indigenous to such high temperatures. Regardless of what material elements may appear in the outer layers of a sun, those in the interior are rendered very similar by the dissociative action of the disruptive X rays. X ray is the great leveler of atomic existence.
The surface temperature of our sun is almost 6,000 degrees, but it rapidly increases as the interior is penetrated until it attains the unbelievable height of about 35,000,000 degrees F. in the central regions.
All of these phenomena are indicative of enormous energy expenditure, and the sources of solar energy, named in the order of their importance, are:
1. Annihilation of atoms and, eventually, of electrons.
2. Transmutation of elements, including the radioactive group of energies thus liberated.
3. The accumulation and transmission of space-energies.
4. Space matter and meteors which are incessantly diving into the blazing suns.
5. Solar contraction; the cooling and consequent contraction of the sun yields energy and heat sometimes greater than that supplied by space matter.
6. Gravity action at high temperatures transforms certain circuitized power into radiative energies.
7. Recaptive light and other matter which are drawn back into the sun after having left it, together with other energies having extrasolar origin.
There exists a regulating blanket of hot gases (sometimes millions of degrees in temperature) which envelops the sun [corona?], and which acts to stabilize heat loss and otherwise prevent hazardous fluctuations of heat dissipation. During the active life of a sun the internal temperature of 35,000,000 degrees remains about the same quite regardless of the progressive fall of the external temperature.
You might try to visualize 35,000,000 degrees of heat, in association with certain gravity pressures, as the electronic boiling point. Under such pressure and at such temperature all atoms are degraded and broken up into their electronic and other ancestral components; even the electrons and other associations of ultimatons may be broken up, but the sun is not able to degrade the ultimatons.


Apr 1, 2020
If you're going to plagiarize someone else's work, at least give them the credit by listing the author.