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Customer Discussions > Science Fiction forum

Anti-gravity Out of Magnetics?


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Showing 26-50 of 867 posts in this discussion
In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2009 1:43:30 PM PDT
M. Ogre says:
M Helsdon, Thanks for the article. I like your reprinting it here, esp since it was short; it is better than a link, since many times I'll "mean to look at it later".

If this is what they're already doing now, I wonder what they'll be doing with it in X years, after the thought/creative process about mag-lev (and similar tech) has matured...

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2009 2:30:06 PM PDT
M. Helsdon says:
Meaty Ogre,

"If this is what they're already doing now, I wonder what they'll be doing with it in X years, after the thought/creative process about mag-lev (and similar tech) has matured... "

The interesting thing is that the technology is already 'here' and there are working mag-lev trains - though not many of them. So the application 'only' has to be scaled up. (The 'only' doubtless includes many technical challenges.)

The main issues are the will to do it, and a suitable post-shuttle spaceplane or other suitable vehicle to be launched from it....

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2009 3:27:06 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 19, 2009 3:27:58 PM PDT
M. Ogre says:
MH, I'm not really thinking about mag-lev in it's current iteration. I'm thinking about what might happen after it has evolved from being huge horizontal ground based rails, to elegant self-contained units able to be freed from terran support. After science has discovered far more about the laws and phenomenon associated with the underlying theory, starting FROM these initial crude experiments and early applications.

I'm looking partly at everything else that science and engineering has first figured out how to bring into bulky being, and THEN tailored down to a more sleek and usable and economical form. I'm also thinking of the subsequent discoveries---sometimes accidentally---that have led to whole new explorable phenomenon, that no one had even imagined at the time of early experimentation.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2009 3:42:49 PM PDT
M. Ogre says:
Marilyn, Thanks for the links to nextbigfuture and niac. Unfortunately the niac site is optimized for use with Firefox browser. I've just loaded Google's new Chrome browser, which so far I love, but I can't access most of the niac site with it. Apparently niac closed, so I wonder what's up with that. Also, I can't access the gallery, which is a disappointment

Posted on Jul 19, 2009 3:46:40 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 19, 2009 3:48:14 PM PDT
M. Ogre says:
Speaking of galleries, here is one of my very favorite sites for massively cool space pics.

http://hubblesite.org/

Edit: In Gallery, the wallpaper page is a great place to start.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 19, 2009 3:58:34 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 19, 2009 4:08:05 PM PDT
Hi MO!

Sorry the niac site isn't accessible to you. The Nasa Institute for Advanced Concepts was shut down a few years ago, so there may be some updated information elsewhere. You might want to check out these sites:

spacedaily.com

centauri-dreams.org (If you open up their right sidebar topic, "Breakthru Propulsion", you'll see an article on "Deep Space Propulsion Via Magnet Fields", which brings us back to the proposed topic!)

Cool sites with up-to-the-minute information on space stuff. Cheers!

Posted on Jul 19, 2009 6:02:38 PM PDT
Ronald Craig says:
Magnetic sails (magsails) ... "Instead of using the solar wind, [they tap] magnetic fields like those around the planets." Around the planets and moons (orbs?) with strong magnetospheres.

Lots of speculation about "ChipSats" and launching swarms of "needle probes" (some with nanotech!) at Alpha Centauri. Interesting, but (still) no antigravity. ;)

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 4:20:21 AM PDT
M. Helsdon says:
The most urgent obstacle at present is finding an efficient and economic means of launching vehicles (manned or unmanned) into orbit. Once in orbit all manner of potential technologies could provide a means to travel elsewhere.

Mag-lev launch rails are a realistic means of enhancing our 'lift' capabilities.

There is another: the nuclear pulse propulsion envisaged by Project Orion in the 50s. Unfortunately, whilst potentially feasible it is unlikely to ever happen because the necessary detonations contravene the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963, and if people protest about interplanetary probes with nuclear power packs being launched by rocket, they are unlikely to accept atomic bombs being detonated to launch a massive vehicle, even if the total fallout would be relatively low...

Orion drives appear in a number of sf novels, including 'Orion Shall Rise' by Poul Anderson and 'Footfall' by Jerry Pournelle and Larry Niven.

Posted on Jul 20, 2009 5:04:12 AM PDT
Ronald Craig says:
I believe that's the propulsion method used in the new TV show "Virtuality". Have only seen the trailers online, of course, given my location. ;)

"Footfall" I've read, but not the other. ("Poul ... proof that the name Anderson *CAN* be associated with good science fiction!" ;D )

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2009 9:52:46 AM PDT
+ JaGaTi + says:
Anti-gravity would be a device that shields a craft from the effect of gravity. Mag lev doesn't do that.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2009 10:12:40 AM PDT
M. Helsdon says:
Ronald,

""Footfall" I've read, but not the other. ("Poul ... proof that the name Anderson *CAN* be associated with good science fiction!" ;D ) "

'Orion Shall Rise' isn't his best work, but that still means it is far ahead of many others. It's part of his 'Maurai' sequence.

'Footfall, if I recall correctly, includes a laser based launch system (can't recall if it was ablative laser or pulsed plasma propulsion), used by the aliens -- with an incredible scene where one of the alien spacecraft packed full of civilian prisoners taking off from Kansas is destroyed when the Russian ICBMs penetrate the alien orbital 'laser defense shield' and destroy the launch facility and much of the surrounding territory... Always thought that 'Footfall' would make an incredible movie, with some updates, but Hollywood would doubtless dumb it down.

Like a mag-lev launch rail, a laser system has the benefit that the vehicle doesn't have to carry (all of) its source of thrust.

Haven't seen or heard of "Virtuality". 8-(

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2009 10:17:19 AM PDT
M. Helsdon says:
Black Sun,

"Anti-gravity would be a device that shields a craft from the effect of gravity. Mag lev doesn't do that."

Yup, the thread probably should probably be "Magnetics - a means of opposing gravity?" though we seem to be widening it to consider other means of providing propulsion.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2009 12:54:17 AM PDT
Ronald Craig says:
(Can we pry as to what the "M" stands for? I hate the formality of Mr Helsdon. ;)

FOOTFALL SPOILER!

IIRC the ship built in secret by the human resistance used nuke warheads as both its propulsion method and part of its weapons system.

I don't know a lot about Virtuality, other than that it's directed by Peter Berg (Feh!) and is kind of a reality-TV documentary about the crew of an interstellar mission who use virtual reality adventures to while away some of the travel time.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2009 4:46:48 AM PDT
M. Helsdon says:
Ronald,

"FOOTFALL SPOILER!"

Apologies, yes.

I read it again after Challenger broke up on launch. Poignant.

There's a decent picture of 'Michael' at:

http://www.up-ship.com/apr/michael.htm

M = Martin.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2009 7:32:12 AM PDT
J. Clarke says:
"MH, I'm not really thinking about mag-lev in it's current iteration. I'm thinking about what might happen after it has evolved from being huge horizontal ground based rails, to elegant self-contained units able to be freed from terran support."

I hate to rain on your parade, but maglev relies on very well known and well understood physics (electromagnetic theory is well over 100 years old and has been in practical application for all of that time), and relies on an interaction between the rails and the object being levitated. Its lack of commercial application in the past has not been due to lack of understanding of the physics but to the cost of superconducting magnets.

While someting being supported high overhead by magnets operating in opposition to Earth's magnetic field a la the Diet Smith Space Coupe is an attractive notion, Earth's magnetic field just plain isn't strong enough for something like that to be workable unless the flying object has a magnetic field intensity so enormous as to be dangerous to everything around it (if such field intensity is even achievable--both conventional conductors and superconductors have limits on the field intensity they can produce).

There is a proposal called "Startram" that would levitate part of a launch tube using repulsion between superconducting electromagnets on the ground and on the tube, and would use maglev acceleration within the tube to accelerate a payload to orbital velocity, but that is quite different from an object being freely supported at high altitude by Earth's magnetic field. The ground based magnet would be generating a magnetic field billions of times as strong as Earth's.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2009 8:03:09 AM PDT
M. Ogre says:
Oh, you engineers and realists and your inconvenient laws of physics. All right, well, to HECK with conventional space travel. Bring on the worm holes!!!

:)

Posted on Jul 21, 2009 8:19:32 AM PDT
In the spirit of open-mindedness, or the understanding that good or innovative ideas can come from the most bizarre sources, I offer below some sites and articles:

ufoseek.com (Go down to their list of articles, and open "UFO Propulsion")

cosmicvault.com (Go to their articles on "Magnetic Motors" and "UFO Propulsion Primer".)

Cheers!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 21, 2009 10:36:12 AM PDT
M. Helsdon says:
Marilyn,

"the understanding that good or innovative ideas can come from the most bizarre sources, I offer below some sites and articles:"

I've just read through some of the articles. It is never pleasant to witness science, engineering and the English language so hideously mangled!

* gyratron radiation

* anti-mass field theory

* graviton streams

* "Perpetual Motion Machines ARE Possible!"

* "free" energy

* "We can learn the secrets of UFO propulsion by studying crashed UFOs, by studying the human sleep dynamo, and by studying poltergeists."

The sources are certainly completely bizarre! 8-)

Oh the horror!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2009 7:19:59 AM PDT
Hi MH! First of all, I applaud the fact that you took the time and effort to check out these bizarre sites. I wanted some feedback from the scientific community, and you delivered that.

And I gotta admit, studying UFO propulsion thru poltergeists is seriously Out There! Thanks for enduring the "horror", and posting your opinion.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2009 10:13:49 AM PDT
M. Helsdon says:
Marilyn,

"I wanted some feedback from the scientific community, and you delivered that."

I'm not the 'scientific community' but it was immediately apparent that there was a very great deal of technobabble, some using debated but not supported by detectable evidence such as gravitons. ST:TNG has a lot to answer for...

From working through a few of the articles it was apparent that several of the writers were working from and embellishing upon each other's ideas: where one writer suggests something, someone else then treats it as fact and further enhances the descriptions. Debatable events such as crashed flying saucers become `established' and are then used to support another level of `facts'. It looks very much like a traditional mythology, gaining new themes and ideas by the accretion of different sources. There's probably a sociological or psychological study in there somewhere.

The saddest story was that of the perpetual motion machine that failed to work because it was built with the 'wrong' magnets.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2009 11:29:22 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 22, 2009 11:31:49 AM PDT
Thanks for the feedback, MH. I revisited the sites I'd posted. ufoseekers.com is non-responsive. However, centauridreams.com seems to take a better "more research needs to be done" cautious approach.

I was intrigued, however, by an organization that meets in Albuquerque every year, called STAIF (Space Technology and Applications International Forum). I couldn't find a website, but books-express.co.uk has published at least the 2008 Convention compilation of articles.

And Franklin Felber delivered a 2006 paper on "Anti-gravity Thesis", that DOES involve magnetics.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2009 1:04:04 PM PDT
M. Helsdon says:
Marilyn,

"I couldn't find a website"

That would be here:

http://www.unm.edu/~ISNPS/staifhome.html

"And Franklin Felber delivered a 2006 paper on "Anti-gravity Thesis", that DOES involve magnetics."

This paper is highly controversial, not least because Dr. Felber has never published in the field of general relativity before (though he is well known in other fields), and it requires a mass to be travelling at a high percentage of the speed of light before the effect might occur, if I understand it correctly.

It doesn't look like a feasible method of countering planetary gravitational fields. Sadly, a search on the web shows hits on many fringe websites, none I can find on reputable websites.

Posted on Jul 22, 2009 5:32:28 PM PDT
Ronald Craig says:
I don't know ... using poltergeists to study UFO propulsion makes perfect sense to me. :)

Like asking angels about the care and feeding of unicorns.
Or inquiring about bigfoot sightings among the leprechauns and other wee folk.
Or enlisting the merpeeps in the search for Nessie.

Gad, some days it all just comes together too easily. ;)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 22, 2009 11:00:58 PM PDT
M. Helsdon says:
"I don't know ... using poltergeists to study UFO propulsion makes perfect sense to me. :)"

Eight out of ten poltergeists, when asked, knocked twice for no in answer to the question: 'do you believe in flying saucers?'

8-)

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2009 4:34:14 AM PDT
M. Ogre says:
Martin, If the researchers had dug a little deeper, they'd have found that those dissenting poltergeists don't believe in ghosts or an afterlife, either. Skewed results, poorly designed experiment.
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Discussion in:  Science Fiction forum
Participants:  62
Total posts:  867
Initial post:  Jul 17, 2009
Latest post:  Jul 17, 2013

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