# Space, heat and faster than light travel

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#### dryson

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I was reading in another post that there are limitations to the hull or structure of such airplanes as the F-4 that are made of aluminum. The forum stated that the aircraft could only go mach 2 to 2.4 before the hull burnt up due to heat affecting the structural intergrity of the material used. It understand that this called friction and when an object is moving through such medium as oxygen that the faster you go the faster you strike these atoms which causes energy to be released. Now lets say for example a ship is traveling faster than the speed of light or near the speed of light, would any atoms that the hull comes in contact with create a friction against the hull? Or would the ship simply be traveling to fast and the contact not create any friction?

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#### kelvinzero

##### Guest
The particles would hit you like cosmic radiation. Each particle stopped by your shields would cancel a bit of your forward momentum. This was used as an argument against the Bussard ramjet, that the momentum lost by collecting the interstellar gas would exceed what could be gained by fusion of the gas. I think the real problem is the damage caused by the radiation though. Just imagine, radiation so powerful it actually creates a measurable push against your body! ugh!

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#### origin

##### Guest
dryson":2o1bi4pf said:
I was reading in another post that there are limitations to the hull or structure of such airplanes as the F-4 that are made of aluminum. The forum stated that the aircraft could only go mach 2 to 2.4 before the hull burnt up due to heat affecting the structural intergrity of the material used. It understand that this called friction and when an object is moving through such medium as oxygen that the faster you go the faster you strike these atoms which causes energy to be released. Now lets say for example a ship is traveling faster than the speed of light or near the speed of light, would any atoms that the hull comes in contact with create a friction against the hull? Or would the ship simply be traveling to fast and the contact not create any friction?

The electrons and protons would not be much of a problem becasue the hull would stop them. Depending on what the hull is made of and it's thickness a wayward neutron would also not be a problem. The bigest problem would be ordinary light. The faster you go the shorter the wavelength of the light coming towards you would be. That means the energy of that photon would be higher, which means at very high velocity oncoming ordinary visible light would become gama rays. So I guess gama rays would become uber-gama rays, this last bit may not have the right technical jargon.

The bottom line is don't sweat the friction it ain't going to be nearly as bad as the death from radiation thing...

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#### theridane

##### Guest
At lower speeds each individual particle poses minimum threat. However at speeds nearing the speed of light relativity comes into effect.

If your ship hit a single proton of interstellar medium at a relative velocity of 0.9999999999999999999999999999c (28 nines) it's relativistic kinetic energy would be over 10 kJ, almost the energy of a .50 cal BMG cartridge. Now imagine what would happen if it was something heavier, say a helium atom. Or even a one-miligram speck of dust - then the energy released would be over 1,500,000 gigatons of TNT. That ship would just stop being. Seriously. :mrgreen:

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#### origin

##### Guest
theridane":3dbgsz9o said:
At lower speeds each individual particle poses minimum threat. However at speeds nearing the speed of light relativity comes into effect.

If your ship hit a single proton of interstellar medium at a relative velocity of 0.9999999999999999999999999999c (28 nines) it's relativistic kinetic energy would be over 10 kJ, almost the energy of a .50 cal BMG cartridge. Now imagine what would happen if it was something heavier, say a helium atom. Or even a one-miligram speck of dust - then the energy released would be over 1,500,000 gigatons of TNT. That ship would just stop being. Seriously. :mrgreen:

This is not right. In nuclear reactors there subatomic particles leaving the fision reactions at speeds greater than the speed of light in water. If your analysis was correct then reactors would blow apart during normal operations. Any charged partlicle will transfer its kenectic energy by secondary ionization. Think about it, uranium is an alpha emiter (this is a helium ion), and the alpha particle is traveling at a significant percent of the speed of light and a piece of paper will stop an alpha particle.

Now as for hitting debris I think that would be a problem, however your relativistic mass would be like a gagillion kilograms so I certainly don't think you would stop, I wonder if you encountered a asteroid if you wouldn't just blow right through it with little or no damage - could be off base on that one though!

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#### theridane

##### Guest
You're confusing speed of light a.k.a. "c the constant" and speed of light the speed of photons in a given medium.

Special relativity deals with the former. The Lorentz Factor is calculated using this absolute constant and therefore it applies everywhere (that's what a good law of physics does anyway). If special relativity used the latter meaning of speed of light, your FTL particle would have greater than infinite mass and energy. The reactor would indeed do something nasty rather than just glow pecefully with Čerenkov radiation.

As for the spaceship hitting an asteroid, you would most certainly not blow right through it with little or no damage. If you're going at a relativistic speed towards an asteroid, then so is the asteroid going at a relativistic speed towards you. That's why it's called relativity. Your mass would be relativistic, and so would be the asteroid's. Carnage ensured.

One point to my 0."28 nines" c speed - a real spacecraft would most certainly never come close to this speed no matter what "sublight" engine it used, because interstellar medium would erode the hull of the vessel to dust long, long time before reaching that speed.

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#### dryson

##### Guest
This is not right. In nuclear reactors there subatomic particles leaving the fision reactions at speeds greater than the speed of light in water. If your analysis was correct then reactors would blow apart during normal operations. Any charged partlicle will transfer its kenectic energy by secondary ionization. Think about it, uranium is an alpha emiter (this is a helium ion), and the alpha particle is traveling at a significant percent of the speed of light and a piece of paper will stop an alpha particle.

Now as for hitting debris I think that would be a problem, however your relativistic mass would be like a gagillion kilograms so I certainly don't think you would stop, I wonder if you encountered a asteroid if you wouldn't just blow right through it with little or no damage - could be off base on that one though!

So if this is true then Origins which I have come to understand that you are seemingly very educated on the matter then could it be possible to place a lining of water between the hull plating that would actually increase the reaction speed of the particle impacting the hull to twice the speed of light where a grid similar in function to how the grid of the ION engine works that would attract the IONS and then by using Vasimir Antennas would direct these ions to the first RF Antenna that would turn the ion into a gas and then strip an electron off by going through a second RF Antenna that would create cold plamsa. Then the plasma would pass through the ICH section thus affectively creating a heated plasma on the order of 1 million degrees Kelvin.

Or since the antenna used can knock electron of of their atom could the hull of the ship be lined with such antenna that would act in such a way to strip electrons from their atoms making the atom lighter and less heavy to travel through at light speed and faster travels. Also since the ION engines grid is meant to attract could it also not be used to repel atoms that might come in contact with the hulls surface thus possibly creating a slipstream like event around the hull where at least 90% of all atoms are either reduced in their weight or are changed to a lesser state of matter that would be more easily traveled through?

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#### origin

##### Guest
You're confusing speed of light a.k.a. "c the constant" and speed of light the speed of photons in a given medium.

Actually I am not. I only brought that point up to indicate that charged particles produced in reactors have a very high velocity just below c.

Special relativity deals with the former. The Lorentz Factor is calculated using this absolute constant and therefore it applies everywhere (that's what a good law of physics does anyway). If special relativity used the latter meaning of speed of light, your FTL particle would have greater than infinite mass and energy. The reactor would indeed do something nasty rather than just glow pecefully with Čerenkov radiation.

Again you seem to have missed the point of the post. You implied that a proton would be like a 50 cal bullet hitting the ships hull and then you said, "Now imagine what would happen if it was something heavier, say a helium atom [hit the hull]", my point is it would be inconsequential considering a piece of paper will stop an alpha particle.

Particles on the atomic or molecular scale would not be a problem if the a ship that had a reasonably thick hull. The hard gama rays would be a show stopper.

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#### origin

##### Guest
So if this is true then Origins which I have come to understand that you are seemingly very educated on the matter then could it be possible to place a lining of water between the hull plating that would actually increase the reaction speed of the particle impacting the hull to twice the speed of light

Well I certainly must not have been clear with my speed of light in water comment. The speed of light is constant. The fastest speed is in a vacuum; this is known as c. The speed of light in glass, water and diamonds is slower. There is a phenomina called Čerenkov radiation (the blue glow seen in boiling water reactors) this is when a particle with mass is moving faster than the speed of light in water, it is NOT, however moving faster than the speed of light in a vacuum (c). Nothing can move faster than the speed of light in a vacuum.

I am not a physicist - hence my silly comments like a ship can travel through an asteriod - I always try to indicate when I am expressing an opinion or guessing about a topic, as opposed to sharing what I have learned!

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#### theridane

##### Guest
origin":2r2vlt2c said:
a piece of paper will stop an alpha particle.

That's only true for an alpha particle coming from an alpha decay event. Those have energies in the 5 MeV ballpark, i.e. their speeds are only about 0.05c (gamma=1.003). If you would hit that particle at a velocity very close to c, for example the velocity as in my previous posts, the Lorentz factor (gamma) would be 5e+27 and its relativistic kinetic energy would be high enough to brutalize that piece of paper (and a couple inches of steel behind it).

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#### origin

##### Guest
theridane":1l7tfstx said:
origin":1l7tfstx said:
a piece of paper will stop an alpha particle.

That's only true for an alpha particle coming from an alpha decay event. Those have energies in the 5 MeV ballpark, i.e. their speeds are only about 0.05c (gamma=1.003). If you would hit that particle at a velocity very close to c, for example the velocity as in my previous posts, the Lorentz factor (gamma) would be 5e+27 and its relativistic kinetic energy would be high enough to brutalize that piece of paper (and a couple inches of steel behind it).

Thanks for the follow up - I stand corrected. I did indeed think that the particles were moving much faster than 5% of c on alpha decay.

You did say that the alpha particle would only penetrate a couple of inches of steel before it was attenuated so I will cling to that comment and reiterate (somewhat sheepishly) that a reasonable thick hull will provide protection form ions but not the hard gamma rays. :mrgreen:

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#### theridane

##### Guest
I've done some more thinking - it's gargantuous energy has to go somewhere, that's undisputable. But since it's just a single nucleus (He), colliding with another single atom (let's say Fe), I think that most of the energy will be released as even-more-uber-gamma photons. There's going to be some more junk coming out of that, like mesons and other unstable particles, that will have a part of this ridiculous amount of energy and will possibly collide with surrounding Fe atoms (of the hull), but the bulk is going to radiate away (doing some damage on the way, why not).

So a single particle might not have the same effect as a .50 cal round, even though their energies are equivalent. The erosion will be more microscopic - chemical properties of the hull will start changing, cracks start to appear, and so on. But no big holes from highway speed atoms.

Heavier particles though (microgram dust particles) would still hit pretty ugly, because they have enough matter to transfer this energy more destructively.

Ad gamma rays - how penetrative are the ones you talk about? What frequencies are they? I'm sure there's a slab of lead, gold or polycarbonate thick enough to keep 'em out...

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#### origin

##### Guest
theridane":2i4ubdn3 said:
Ad gamma rays - how penetrative are the ones you talk about? What frequencies are they? I'm sure there's a slab of lead, gold or polycarbonate thick enough to keep 'em out...

The typical gama rays produced by the decay of Co60 result in a lead tenth thickness of 2" and a water tenth thickness of 24", that is off the top of my head from my radcon days in the navy.

I know of neutron embrittlement but not from beta or alpha. The mechanism for slowing down proton, beta and alpha particles is secondary ionization primarily in the electrons shells of the material. I would imagine that the electrons would eventually head back towards the nucleus - unless the were blown out of the hull altogether.

It would be fun to calculate the frequency change due to a high velocity ship - but I am actually trying to finish a report for Monday - so I will have to get going or else I will have alot more time on my hands than I really want .

edited to add: It looks like at a velocity of 99.9% the speed of light, that green light would be blue shifted to X-rays, and you would have to get to 99.999999% percent the speed of light to approach gamma ray energy levels.

and Co 60 emits 2 gama rays at 1.17 and 1.33 MeV.

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#### dryson

##### Guest
I would like to know if this process is possible which is based off of real world technologies some of which have been reversed in their actual functions.

Another means of creating a less ductile interaction between the atoms in space and the hull of a ship would be to add a lining of titanium to the outter surface of the ships hull of maybe an 1/8th of an inch. titanium is also non-magnetic which means it will would not be as effected by a planets gravity or other areas of gravity that the ship may pass through.
Did you know that titanium is used in making the icing paint that is used on the M in M an M's?
http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/tita ... erview.php

The second layer of this field would be the opposite affect of occurs in an ION Engine, where instead of attracting the ions to the grid the ions would be repelled away from the hull after being ionized by the RF coupler.

Now the only problem with this theory is that the antenna works on gas atoms, would the same process of how the RF coupler functions work on non-gaseous atoms in space work on the atoms that the radio frequency would encounter?
This would theoretically allow the Vasmr to achieve a faster overall rate of velocity when used in conjuction with the Vasimr/Ion Grid combination.

I was also thinking that the faster the ship travels and builds up a pressure against the hull between the hulls surface and atoms that it comes into contact with a possible electric discharge may occur not in the form of lightning but would in the form of static electricity buildup on the surface of the hull.

The engine nacelle would therefore be a compsite of titanium-tephra. As the ship is traveling faster and faster, the presure of the interaction between the atoms and the titanium-tephra would create an ionizing affect on the engine surface that would lead to electromagnetism that would create a stable field around the nacelles. This effect when coupled with the reverse process of how the ion grid network functions in similar fashion of repelling ions like the grid of the ion engine attracts ions will force the ions away from the nacelles in essence creating a bubble or layer of obsolute space between the engine nacelle and the surrounding atoms in space.

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#### origin

##### Guest
dryson":2iwb0ckj said:
I would like to know if this process is possible which is based off of real world technologies some of which have been reversed in their actual functions.

Another means of creating a less ductile interaction between the atoms in space and the hull of a ship would be to add a lining of titanium to the outter surface of the ships hull of maybe an 1/8th of an inch. titanium is also non-magnetic which means it will would not be as effected by a planets gravity or other areas of gravity that the ship may pass through.
Did you know that titanium is used in making the icing paint that is used on the M in M an M's?
http://www.csa.com/discoveryguides/tita ... erview.php

The second layer of this field would be the opposite affect of occurs in an ION Engine, where instead of attracting the ions to the grid the ions would be repelled away from the hull after being ionized by the RF coupler.

Now the only problem with this theory is that the antenna works on gas atoms, would the same process of how the RF coupler functions work on non-gaseous atoms in space work on the atoms that the radio frequency would encounter?
This would theoretically allow the Vasmr to achieve a faster overall rate of velocity when used in conjuction with the Vasimr/Ion Grid combination.

I was also thinking that the faster the ship travels and builds up a pressure against the hull between the hulls surface and atoms that it comes into contact with a possible electric discharge may occur not in the form of lightning but would in the form of static electricity buildup on the surface of the hull.

The engine nacelle would therefore be a compsite of titanium-tephra. As the ship is traveling faster and faster, the presure of the interaction between the atoms and the titanium-tephra would create an ionizing affect on the engine surface that would lead to electromagnetism that would create a stable field around the nacelles. This effect when coupled with the reverse process of how the ion grid network functions in similar fashion of repelling ions like the grid of the ion engine attracts ions will force the ions away from the nacelles in essence creating a bubble or layer of obsolute space between the engine nacelle and the surrounding atoms in space.

Sorry but I am not sure what you are talking about...

I bolded a part of your text because you mixed up magnetism and gravity. Here is a quick test to show that the 2 are not related. Test a bowling ball to see if it is magnetic - it isn't, then have a friend climb a ladder and drop the bowling ball on your foot. You will know if the bowling ball is affected by gravity if you here the echo of your screams of pain.

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#### aaron38

##### Guest
In Clarke's novel "Songs of Distant Earth", a relativistic sub-light starship had a large ice shield at the bow of the ship for that very purpose. To plow a hole through the interstellar medium and protect the ship. The ice had slowly worn down over the light years, and the ship was in orbit over a planet, using it's space elevator to bring up water to refuel and replenish the shield.

Really the ship would refuel at an ice moon and avoid the gravity well, but the planet was inhabited.

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#### dryson

##### Guest
The gravity of the planet is somewhat magentic as it is the force pulling the bowling ball to the ground and i wouldn't be dumb enough to allow some moron to drop a bowling ball on my head to begin with.

I did find creditable information however to back up the claims of particles traveling faster than the speed of light.

Now it mentions that particles can travel faster than the speed of light in a medium but not in the vacuum of space.
I wonder if the new discovers relating to dark matter as not affecting particles traveling through it is actually wrong and that dark matter is the key to surpassing particle FTL travel in space.

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#### origin

##### Guest
dryson":1p5ysxej said:
The gravity of the planet is somewhat magentic as it is the force pulling the bowling ball to the ground and i wouldn't be dumb enough to allow some moron to drop a bowling ball on my head to begin with.

The gravity of a planet has absolutely nothing to do with magnetism. They are completely different. I do not think you are dumb I put that rather concrete example out there to help you to prevent yourself from confusing gravity and magnetism.

I did find creditable information however to back up the claims of particles traveling faster than the speed of light.

That is correct because light travels more slowly in water. That is why when you put a straight stick (for instance) in clear water it looks like the stick makes a sharp angle where it enters the water.

Nothing travels faster than [the speed of] light [in a vacuum]!! Matter cannot even travel AT the speed of light!

Now it mentions that particles can travel faster than the speed of light in a medium but not in the vacuum of space.
I wonder if the new discovers relating to dark matter as not affecting particles traveling through it is actually wrong and that dark matter is the key to surpassing particle FTL travel in space.

I think we can be pretty confident that dark matter has nothing to do with FTL.

If we could go 50% the speed of light we could get to mars in like less than an hour, and we could get to the nearest star in 8.5 years! We don't need FTL fercrying out loud!!

edited to qualify my speed of light comment to say the speed of light in a vacuum.

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#### MeteorWayne

##### Guest
dryson":2ipskx33 said:
The gravity of the planet is somewhat magentic as it is the force pulling the bowling ball to the ground and i wouldn't be dumb enough to allow some moron to drop a bowling ball on my head to begin with.

That's debatable if you believe that a planet's gravity is "somewhat magnetic". I continue to be amazed at the ignorance of grade school physics displayed here...

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#### theridane

##### Guest
origin":1zkzw8zk said:
I think we can be pretty confident that dark matter has nothing to do with FTL.

For that matter we're not even sure if it really exists. It just fits the model. Till we come up with something better.

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#### dryson

##### Guest
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/d ... 00125.html

I was reading the article above and found something interesting:

The quote says that dark matter doesn't often interact with most other matter which means that some particles and dark matter will interact with each other all of the time, some of the time or not at all more often than with others with possibly light being the particle affected the most. LS (Light Speed) has been deemed the fastest possible particle speed attainable. But since we cannot even see dark matter with telescopes or other equipment then we would not see the particles that are affected by it traveling faster than the speed of light.
Could it be possible that dark matter is a form of gravity in the wavlength form that when the wavelength interacts with other wavelengths these wavelengths are accelerated to faster than the speed of light whereas particles that are affected by the dark matter's wavelength are reduced to an overall rate of velocity of fast as light with the haevier particles traveling at a comparable velocity given their number of electrons, protons and neutrons that would be affected by the dark matter. The reason why we cant see or measure the particles that would be affected in this manner of going faster than the speed of light would be because we haven't developed the equipment or science to detect them. I think that the more dark matter is investigated we will find that dark matter is what sets the Universal Speed limit based upon it's interactions with the atoms that are traveling through it. By this I mean some particles would be accelerated faster than the speed of light when they pass through the dark matter or as fast as the speed of light or slowly thatn the speed of light.

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#### origin

##### Guest
dryson":8yvlrh85 said:
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/dark-matter-search-on-earth-100125.html

I was reading the article above and found something interesting:

The quote says that dark matter doesn't often interact with most other matter which means that some particles and dark matter will interact with each other all of the time, some of the time or not at all more often than with others with possibly light being the particle affected the most. LS (Light Speed) has been deemed the fastest possible particle speed attainable. But since we cannot even see dark matter with telescopes or other equipment then we would not see the particles that are affected by it traveling faster than the speed of light.

What?!

Here is the deal dryson, the way in which galaxies rotate and the gravitational lensing of the galaxies indicate there is more gravity than would be expected for the amount of matter that can be seen. That is the problem in a nutshell. So there appears to be more matter in the galaxies - Since we cannot see it we call it dark matter. We do not know what it is. The dark matter does not appear to interact with other matter (except for gravity) becasue we can't see it. There may not be any matter at all it could be some effect we just do not understand. To jump (some how!) to the outlandish claim of FTL particles is absurd.
And again no particle (anything with mass) can go the speed of light (c). Only photons go the speed of light.

Could it be possible that dark matter is a form of gravity in the wavlength form that when the wavelength interacts with other wavelengths these wavelengths are accelerated to faster than the speed of light whereas particles that are affected by the dark matter's wavelength are reduced to an overall rate of velocity of fast as light with the haevier particles traveling at a comparable velocity given their number of electrons, protons and neutrons that would be affected by the dark matter.

No

The reason why we cant see or measure the particles that would be affected in this manner of going faster than the speed of light would be because we haven't developed the equipment or science to detect them. I think that the more dark matter is investigated we will find that dark matter is what sets the Universal Speed limit based upon it's interactions with the atoms that are traveling through it. By this I mean some particles would be accelerated faster than the speed of light when they pass through the dark matter or as fast as the speed of light or slowly thatn the speed of light.

Would you like italian or bleu cheese with that?

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#### dryson

##### Guest
But then again we does anyone even know they very nature in how dark matter operates? As of yet no we do not. If we look at every other form of forward or reverse motion which all bodies are made up of some type of particle structure that are this then shaped in some form of another and then travels through a medium such as water(ocean based),snow,ice,rain,hail, mud, dirt, sand ect all of which are other forms of particles that are combined into structures that affect the overall velocity of a body moving through such medium then darkmatter would affect particles in space in the same way that a boats overall speed is affected by the water it travels on top of. When a boat is being pulled behind a trailer it is traveling the same speed as the vehicle towing it even though the boat is not using any of it's energy the boat is still traveling at 65 mph. When the boat is placed into the water the boat would most likely have a top speed of 25 to 35 mph. The same can be said to be true about dark matter. Without darkmatter present our boat which is representing the non-photon particle, would be able to travel at the speed of light or faster but since darkmatter affects the electron's neutrons and protons of the particle, when the particle interacts with darkmatter the process of the interaction slows the particle down. Sorta how a giant spider's web would slow you down if you walked into it. But since energy particles do not have the ability to make a concious choice in whether or not to speed up or down the particle would continue to travel at the relative velocity that it was after it had last interacted with the darkmatter. Some particles would not be affected at all by the darkmatter and would travel as fast as the speed of light and faster than the speed of light. So why can't a particle travel faster than the speed of light? is it because Einstein said a particle cannot travel faster than the speed of light or is it because only god is supposed to be able to travel faster than the speed of light and were not supposed to ask questions like that?

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#### MeteorWayne

##### Guest
What a pointless post, saying nothing in so many words....

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#### dryson

##### Guest
http://www.space.com/common/media/video ... #playerTop

Here is a video spot by a NASA employee that says that during the Big Bang that velocities might have exceeded faster than light speed. I find his knowledge more informative then then neysayers trying to drum up a dramatic response.

Going as fast as light is simply stated as being able to remove the affects of the medium around your ship that would force a resitance back upon your ship the faster you went. You remove the medium and the affects from around your ship then you can go at least the speed of light.

The future is not won by keeping the past knowledge in front of you to make yourself popular by what has already been done, the future is won by building upon the past knowledge without worry of ridicule by those stuck in the past or want of popularity.

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