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 The Science of Sirius

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Shadow Viper
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PostSubject: The Science of Sirius   Fri May 08, 2009 1:35 am

Originally posted in the Vanguard Federation of Freelancers.
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How Trade Lanes came to be:

Even with advanced propulsion systems it took space ships days or weeks to move between planets in a solar system. Anything that could quicken this travel was thus of immense interest for everybody.

Various efforts were made to increase the speed of ships, but most of them failed either because of too high fuel volume and cost, or because they were too limited in scope. The most successful attempt was that of the old Colonists, who built acceleration gates that employed gravity in an unique way to slingshot ships between planets. This gave the ships enough momentum to fly between planets in a much shorter time than before. But the original colonists never discovered how to build inter-stellar jump gates, so their acceleration gates were limited to their home system (where they still exist today).
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PostSubject: Re: The Science of Sirius   Fri May 08, 2009 1:37 am

The Principles of Jump Gate Technology.

Jump gates are built around artificial wormholes, created by exploiting gravitational resonances found in binary systems. This resonance is as a friction between gravitational waves of stellar objects, the more massive the objects, the stronger the resonance between them. Positions of planets in a solar system, as well as the complex structure of dust rings around heavy planets illustrate this resonance.
In binary systems there exists strong resonance phenomenons, where the gravitational field of two stars in a stable binary formation would interfere with each other, like ripples from two wave sources.




These stable wave patterns come in a succession of standing wave patterns, similar to those created on a guitar string. The strongest resonance is the 1:1 resonance (the first harmonic, so to speak), with two stationary node points situated in the center of each of the two stars. The second strongest resonance is the 1:2 resonance (the second harmonic), where an additional stationary node point appears in the field exactly mid-way between the stars (if of equal mass), and so on for successive resonances.
At the node points, the rapid oscillation of the gravitational field in opposite directions creates strong shear in the contravariant energy-momentum tensor. Under normal circumstances this stress is dissipated by high-frequency graviton radiation, and does thus not create any noticeable macroscopic phenomenons.
But if this stress is confined and forced to build-up in a limited region of space, then the tensor-field will eventually develop a steadily growing high-curvature tentacle like structure in the space-time continuum. More specifically, the tentacle constitutes a self-avoiding 4-manifold that attempts to grow farther and farther from itself. The tip of the tentacle, where the curvature is highest, effectively acts like a magnet on space-time, and for high enough curvature it can eventually induce the creation of a small tentacle in remote high-density regions, that can reach to the tip and spontaneously combine. An analogy of this phenomenon is when lightning strikes ground, where the tip of the downward lightning actually creates a small upward lightning emanating from the ground and the two combine somewhere above the ground, thus closing the electrical circuit.
The main device of jump gates is a so-called mass boson sphere, based on one of the fundamental physic fields that mediates mass, and thus interacts strongly with gravitational waves. The sphere is filled with mass boson plasma, which reflects gravitational waves, pretty much in the same way as a mirror reflects light. By adjusting the plasma density so that it reflects the high-frequency gravitational waves...




...involved in the dissipation of tensor shear, this radiation is trapped within the sphere, thus leading to a steady net increase of the gravitational stress within the resonance node, which eventually leads to the creation of the high-curvature tentacle. An analogy of this is the laser, which builds up a highly coherent and intense beam of electromagnetic energy by enclosing oscillators within a reflecting cavity.
The distance between the two ends of the wormhole depends on the mass of the suns in the binary system and on what resonance node the jump gate is located. In order to connect two jump gates a trial-and-error method is needed, often lasting many years. This is because the tentacle created by the tensor-field cannot be controlled or directed in where to open. But by having another jump gate in a nearby system build up gravitational-stress in it its own, without reaching critical point, at the same time that the tentacle is growing, then the likelihood of a connection being made increases statistically, although many attempts are still often needed. This is similar to raising a metal rod in a thunder storm.
The first jump gate versions limited in the way that once a wormhole had been created and a ship slipped through a new wormhole had to be made before another ships could pass. As it could take several days or even months to re-connect the two jump gates, passing was slow. Later versions of jump gates allowed the jump gates to hold the wormhole open for a longer time and modern day jump gates can keep a wormhole connection open for several dozen years before it has to be reset. Also, the first jump gates were only able to connect and hold a single wormhole at a time but today they can hold several wormholes open at the same time, allowing jump gates to be connected to several other jump gates at once.
In an average binary system the jump gate has a range of around 5 light-years, provided the jump gate is constructed on the third resonance node. More powerful jump gates can be constructed on the second resonance node between the stars. Because these nodes are much farther from a solar system (often up to 0.5 lightyear away) and, more importantly, are also harder to harness, they have only recently started to be utilized. On the other hand, they have much greater range than the basic jump gates.
There are several strict limitations on jump gate travel. First of all, jump gates can only be constructed in systems with two or more suns, because of the resonance nodes. This effectively makes one in every three systems ineligible for jump gate construction.
Secondly, only one jump gate can be in operation in a system at any given time. This is due to the erratic fluctuations in the resonance fields caused by a mass boson sphere; if more than one such sphere is active at the same time in the same system, they both become highly unstable and impossible to operate.
And thirdly, ships can only travel through wormholes if both ends of it are connected to a jump gate. This means that ships must travel between systems in normal space in order to build a jump gate. The reason for this is the extreme dilatation of the metric along the longitudinal dimension of the tentacle, meaning that the spatial coordinate along the length of the wormhole is expanded, while the radial component is cyclically curved.




A spaceship entering the wormhole is subject to a strong metric gradient that would put its structural integrity in jeopardy. This can be prevented by locally countering the stretching around the immediate vicinity of the ship. Here the mass boson sphere plays its second role in the gate mechanism. When the ship goes through the mass boson sphere, a mono-atomic layer of mass boson gets deposited on the ships surface. This layer counters the stretching of the ship against the metric gradient, enough to keep the structural integrity of the ship for the duration of the trip through the hole. This doesn't mean that the gradient is completely wiped out, and even seasoned space veterans still know the feeling known as 'going down the drain' when entering a wormhole.
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PostSubject: Re: The Science of Sirius   Fri May 08, 2009 1:40 am

FTL Communication:

After mastering the technique of wormhole creation, it was thought that distance had finally been conquered. But despite of this communication still needed to be transmitted at the speed of light, and though wormhole did shorten distances between distant regions, interactive communication remained impossible. This problem was quickly identified as being one of the most important handicap remaining in the conquest of deep space.
It wasn't until the famous Azbel-Wuthrich experiment that the functionality was demonstrated with success. Industrialization quickly followed, leading to one of the greatest stock market surge ever as thousands of companies extended their reach to the whole known universe.

The roots of the solution lay in an ancient paradox, often called the EPR paradox, the name shrouded in mystery. The EPR paradox is famous for contradicting quantum physics in some very important ways. Specifically it shows another old physic theory, the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, to be untrue. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, believed to be named after a place or a person, affirms that the exact state of quantum particle cannot be determined with full accuracy, no matter how refined the measurement equipment is. The classical example being the measurement of the velocity and position of a free particle: to be able to measure the position of a particle you must be able to 'see' it. This means that you have to illuminate it at least with one photon. But the collision between the photon and the particle changes the velocity of the particle, thus making it impossible to determine what the velocity was before the position was measured.
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