Support the GITP forums on Patreon
Help support GITP's forums (and ongoing server maintenance) via Patreon
Page 2 of 5 FirstFirst 12345 LastLast
Results 31 to 60 of 147
  1. - Top - End - #31
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Denmark
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ninja Bear View Post
    Right, shipping raw resources is probably out.
    .. unless, as I said, it's some sort of unique ressource that isn't available in any normal solar system. I'm sure it's theoretically possible to mine a neutron star (I have no idea why you'd want to, or what sort of stuff that might yield), or a supernova remnant, or whatever. It's entirely unscientific, obviously, but regardless - anything that isn't going to be found in a mundane system, but has sufficient value, could be the basis of interstellar transport and shipping.

  2. - Top - End - #32
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Tail of the Bellcurve
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    .. unless, as I said, it's some sort of unique ressource that isn't available in any normal solar system. I'm sure it's theoretically possible to mine a neutron star (I have no idea why you'd want to, or what sort of stuff that might yield), or a supernova remnant, or whatever. It's entirely unscientific, obviously, but regardless - anything that isn't going to be found in a mundane system, but has sufficient value, could be the basis of interstellar transport and shipping.
    I'm going to go with it's not possible to mine a neutron star. Mining equipment tends to function poorly when squashed into a mass of undifferentiated neutrons. And by mining equipment I mean 'matter'. And the only thing you could get from a neutron star is.. neutronium. Which, absent a crushing amount of gravity will tend to explode very violently.


    What is unique to specific star systems, or more accurately specific planets, is whatever indigenous life they host. How valuable this is depends strongly on things like how edible it is, and how likely its native virus/bacteria analogues are to jump species and give you the Space Plague From Hell.
    Blood-red were his spurs i' the golden noon; wine-red was his velvet coat,
    When they shot him down on the highway,
    Down like a dog on the highway,
    And he lay in his blood on the highway, with the bunch of lace at his throat.


    Alfred Noyes, The Highwayman, 1906.

  3. - Top - End - #33
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Denmark
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    I'm going to go with it's not possible to mine a neutron star. Mining equipment tends to function poorly when squashed into a mass of undifferentiated neutrons. And by mining equipment I mean 'matter'. And the only thing you could get from a neutron star is.. neutronium. Which, absent a crushing amount of gravity will tend to explode very violently.


    What is unique to specific star systems, or more accurately specific planets, is whatever indigenous life they host. How valuable this is depends strongly on things like how edible it is, and how likely its native virus/bacteria analogues are to jump species and give you the Space Plague From Hell.
    Ok - two things:

    The neutron star thing is just an example. It's one out of many things you are unlikely to find in most star systems, and basically never in an inhabited system. And a potential - if unlikely - source of stuff that would make interstellar trade necessary.

    The other thing is that I'm not suggesting sending some guys down on the neutron star to build a minin rig - obviously, other methods would be necessary. Not sure which. Ablation? But again, it doesn't matter, because we're already using FTL to get here in the first place, so inventing some make-believe method of getting the neutronium up (and keep it stable) isn't really anything new.

    I'd say if we're travelling between stars, our genetics are also at a point where we can create any form of life we find interesting.

    But that's the problem with this type of discussion: No one agrees which part to handwave, and which parts to keep strictly realistic. But here's what: If we're being realistic - we're not travelling between stars. If, then most likely the ships are automated and crewed only by AI and robots. Or some such.

  4. - Top - End - #34
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    BlackDragon

    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Manchester, UK
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Problem is, once you start handwaving *that* much then you have to give a good reason why, given enough energy, a civilisation this advanced can't just fabricate anything they need anyway.

  5. - Top - End - #35
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    Planetar

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Raleigh NC
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Problem is, once you start handwaving *that* much then you have to give a good reason why, given enough energy, a civilisation this advanced can't just fabricate anything they need anyway.
    You have to know something exists before you can fabricate it, and just because you discover something doesn't mean you can instantly solve the solution of how to replicate it. It may take years or decades to get to the bottom of a new concept or artifact and reproduce it. It may be decades or centuries before there is any availability outside the originating system.

    Also, we don't have real replicating technology at this point so we won't know whether the technology really will be perfect -- whether you can perfectly synthesize a bottle of Dom Perignon with a replicator and have it be entirely identical to one created from grapes grown in France. It may be there are other things not detect ed by the sensors, os that the replicated variant tastes "off" in comparison with the original.

    Respectfully,

    Brian P.
    "Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, that debt is paid."

    -Valery Legasov in Chernobyl

  6. - Top - End - #36
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Denmark
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Problem is, once you start handwaving *that* much then you have to give a good reason why, given enough energy, a civilisation this advanced can't just fabricate anything they need anyway.
    Frankly, while I see your point, it's a flat assumption that FTL requires oodles of energy. Maybe you can do it on an AA cell if you know how. Ablating a neutron star is another matter - that's going to require more than just a battery from the supermarket - but .. that's just an example. The FTL isn't.

  7. - Top - End - #37
    Dragon in the Playground Moderator
     
    Peelee's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Birmingham. AL
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Frankly, while I see your point, it's a flat assumption that FTL requires oodles of energy.
    Well, we know that E=mc2, so if we take an arbitrary >c, we can safely assume that one would need to have practically no mass for a relatively low value of E to balance the equation.
    Spoiler: Avatar by always-awesome Cuthalion
    Show
    Spoiler: Come down with fire
    Show
    Spoiler: Lift my spirit higher
    Show
    Spoiler: Someone's screaming my name
    Show
    If anyone has a crayon drawing they would like to put on the Kickstarter Reward Collection Thread, PM me.

  8. - Top - End - #38
    Eldritch Horror in the Playground Moderator
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Presumably this is why most non-Trek sci fi favors one variant or another of "hyperspace" as their FTL enabler. Its not as abusive of physics compared to handwaving massive violations of E=Mc^2, since the energy cost to enter or leave your arbitrary parallel dimension where the rules are what you say they are can also be arbitrary.
    Quote Originally Posted by Red Fel, on quest rewards View Post
    "Is a stack of ten pancakes too many pancakes to give to the party, even if most of them fell on the floor and one or two were stepped on? I wanted to give my party pancakes as a reward but I'm unsure if it's too much. The pancakes are also laced with blowfish poison so the party would have to get an antitoxin before they could eat the ones which weren't pulverized by shoes."

    I don't think anyone would want those pancakes even if you paid them to eat them.

  9. - Top - End - #39
    Dragon in the Playground Moderator
     
    Peelee's Avatar

    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Birmingham. AL
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Glyphstone View Post
    Presumably this is why most non-Trek sci fi favors one variant or another of "hyperspace" as their FTL enabler. Its not as abusive of physics compared to handwaving massive violations of E=Mc^2, since the energy cost to enter or leave your arbitrary parallel dimension where the rules are what you say they are can also be arbitrary.
    I'm a fan of the approach of something like "eh, those early scientists had it wrong" or "today we study real sciences, not those archaic pseudo-sciences such as alchemy or physics". It just seems more fun without having to worry about abusing physics, while getting to throw a wink to the readers.

    Besides, it's really fun to say "Prandtl-Glauert singularity". Not that I ever get to say it, it's totally something you could namedrop to sound super smart without being super smart but its just way too situational dangit! Also, I almost had it right that time. Forgot the E in Glauert. I swear, those names are made up.
    Spoiler: Avatar by always-awesome Cuthalion
    Show
    Spoiler: Come down with fire
    Show
    Spoiler: Lift my spirit higher
    Show
    Spoiler: Someone's screaming my name
    Show
    If anyone has a crayon drawing they would like to put on the Kickstarter Reward Collection Thread, PM me.

  10. - Top - End - #40
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Imp

    Join Date
    Jan 2019

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    There is a point where moving something half way across a galaxy becomes easier than making it locally, so that even if you could there is no reason that you would if you have the time. Finished goods are unlikely qualify, unless they are absurdly difficult to manufacture, but the elements themselves may not. A civilisation may desire to concentrate around a single star, even after they have harvested all of an element in the system, or possibly before. I think we would probably look to other star systems before dismantling Jupiter's core, though every other rock would probably have been used. Ironically, not wanting to move may be what drives shipping.

    As for neutron stars, I don't think we would be strip mining them any time soon. Not because we couldn't, but potentially they are far more useful in other ways. The crushing pressures on their surface mean that chemistry as we know it doesn't occur, but that doesn't mean it is a useless fluid. The existence of quakes on neutron stars implies that the surface is rigid, and that means structure can exist. The details on these structures could have a density orders of magnitude greater than on conventional matter, and that means a computer etched onto a neutron star could be extremely powerful. Even large scale (though very flat) machines could be created (drawn) with the liberal application of lasers. A factory that uses the extreme conditions coupled with a mass driver capable of firing a jet of particles could produce some atoms more easily than any other way.
    Dragon's egg explores the idea of life on a neutron star.


    I don't think FTL will be required. It is easy to get caught up in thinking that 10,000 years is too long to wait for return on investment. We are progressing incredibly fast right now, but that may slow down eventually. If FTL is not possible and we hit hard physics limits, eventually we will realise that going the slow way is the only option. Not great from a story telling perspective, but might be what happens.

  11. - Top - End - #41
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Brother Oni's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cippa's River Meadow
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    I'm a fan of the approach of something like "eh, those early scientists had it wrong" or "today we study real sciences, not those archaic pseudo-sciences such as alchemy or physics". It just seems more fun without having to worry about abusing physics, while getting to throw a wink to the readers.
    There was a short story where Cold War era Earth faced an invasion from space and people were terrified... right until the invading aliens started using black powder weapons.

    Somewhere along the line, Earth's development had missed a simple trick of developing antigravity, so while the aliens were more advanced than us in some aspects, they weren't in others.

    The story ends with humanity reverse engineering one of the alien spaceships and as one of them takes off, a captured alien leader realises the threat that they had just unleashed on the universe by unwittingly giving humanity the secret of their technology.

    In my opinion, it's pure arrogance to assume that there's nothing out there in the whole universe that can challenge our understanding of physics, mainly because our science base is so heavily derived from the conditions found on Earth and our solar system. If something hitherto unknown to us is found in abundance elsewhere, then surely that would affect and influence our understanding, let alone the development of any native species there?

  12. - Top - End - #42
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Flumph

    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Essex, England
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother Oni View Post
    There was a short story where Cold War era Earth faced an invasion from space and people were terrified... right until the invading aliens started using black powder weapons.
    The Road Not Taken, by Harry Turtledove?
    Warning: This posting may contain wit, wisdom, pathos, irony, satire, sarcasm and puns. And traces of nut.

    "The main skill of a good ruler seems to be not preventing the conflagrations but rather keeping them contained enough they rate more as campfires." Rogar Demonblud

    "Hold on just a d*** second. UK has spam callers that try to get you to buy conservatories?!? Even y'alls spammers are higher class than ours!" Peelee

  13. - Top - End - #43
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Sounds like, although it's been forever since I even looked at the book.

  14. - Top - End - #44
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Brother Oni's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cippa's River Meadow
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Manga Shoggoth View Post
    The Road Not Taken, by Harry Turtledove?
    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Sounds like, although it's been forever since I even looked at the book.
    Possibly - I've only read a synopsis, which didn't bother mentioning the author or even title of the story.

  15. - Top - End - #45
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Aug 2020

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by pendell View Post
    Also, we don't have real replicating technology at this point so we won't know whether the technology really will be perfect -- whether you can perfectly synthesize a bottle of Dom Perignon with a replicator and have it be entirely identical to one created from grapes grown in France. It may be there are other things not detect ed by the sensors, os that the replicated variant tastes "off" in comparison with the original.
    Well your taste and other senses are just detectors, and I think that we know pretty good how they works and already are very good at fooling them (see all the flavors of potato chips, gums etc). Of course there may be some "brain" component that when you will be told that one is synthesized you will "feel" the difference but that will be purely psychological issue and will have nothing to do with substance itself
    Additionally we have good understanding of matter up to quantum level and their reactions so this also make it very unlikely there is some aspect of matter we have not yet identified that will prohibit perfect synthesis.

  16. - Top - End - #46
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Denmark
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peelee View Post
    Well, we know that E=mc2, so if we take an arbitrary >c, we can safely assume that one would need to have practically no mass for a relatively low value of E to balance the equation.
    There are few safe assumptions - particularly in fields we know nothing about. E=mc2 is not an equation you can use when discussing FTL - it is, in fact, quite the opposite. It's the equation you can use to state that FTL is impossible.

    So when discussing imaginary tech like 'translating into hyperspace' or 'space folding' ... the theory of relativity can go sit in a corner. It's likely not things that are possible in the real world, and if they are, we have zero clue as to the mechanics involved.

    Is it likely to require massive amounts of energy? Sure, most impressive things do. Do we have any relevant info for our guesswork in that regard? No. None. It's entirely imaginary, outside of anything and everything we know to be real and doable.

    I said it might require as little as an AA battery. But really, I might just as well have said 'all it takes is a little nudge from our as-yet undiscovered psychic powers'. Same difference.

  17. - Top - End - #47
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Aug 2020

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    There are few safe assumptions - particularly in fields we know nothing about. E=mc2 is not an equation you can use when discussing FTL - it is, in fact, quite the opposite. It's the equation you can use to state that FTL is impossible.

    So when discussing imaginary tech like 'translating into hyperspace' or 'space folding' ... the theory of relativity can go sit in a corner. It's likely not things that are possible in the real world, and if they are, we have zero clue as to the mechanics involved.

    Is it likely to require massive amounts of energy? Sure, most impressive things do. Do we have any relevant info for our guesswork in that regard? No. None. It's entirely imaginary, outside of anything and everything we know to be real and doable.

    I said it might require as little as an AA battery. But really, I might just as well have said 'all it takes is a little nudge from our as-yet undiscovered psychic powers'. Same difference.
    Yes, but with that attitude you can make your universe work as you please in any manner, and don't need to feel any obliged to make it work with anything, and then the discussion is pointless, you can do whatever you feel is right.

  18. - Top - End - #48
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Denmark
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by asda fasda View Post
    Yes, but with that attitude you can make your universe work as you please in any manner, and don't need to feel any obliged to make it work with anything, and then the discussion is pointless, you can do whatever you feel is right.
    Yes. That is precisely what I'm saying. But the problem is that this entire topic has zero basis in real life. We're never going anywhere. The end.

    Or else, FTL.

  19. - Top - End - #49
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by factotum View Post
    Problem is, once you start handwaving *that* much then you have to give a good reason why, given enough energy, a civilisation this advanced can't just fabricate anything they need anyway.
    Why? Every advanced nation on earth imports things that it could fabricate itself. The cost of running a factory here, or getting the necessary raw materials, might outweigh the cost of shipping.

    By the end of this century, it would not surprise me to have factories on the moon that take advantage of free vacuum.

    There was a time, during the California gold rush, when people sent laundry from San Francisco to Hawaii, by sailing ship, to be cleaned. If something that absurd really happened, I can accept the idea that something equally absurd allows interplanetary trade.

    Possible reasons for interstellar shipping:

    • It's not possible to build product X without Jovian level gravity.
    • Gold is rare on your planet, but common as mud on some other planet.
    • You cannot generate process X except on a factory close to a highly energetic star.
    • Planet A is highly advanced, and all the people are therefore rich; nobody will make labor-intense works of art. Planet B is low-tech, full of people who will work cheaply.
    • Roast porg from Ahch-To is a highly prized delicacy, and the porgs don't grow on Earth. [Or people claim the ones grown on Earth don't taste as good.]
    • The desert planet that is perfect for some manufacturing process cannot grow itself enough food.
    • The process of creation is messed up by an oxygen-rich atmosphere.
    • People in the future still like movies and books, and their favorite movie company or author is not on this planet.

  20. - Top - End - #50
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Given the previous caveat of enough free energy, most of those are actually doable by the locals instead of spending however long ordering it and waiting for it to be delivered. 4 and 8 are the only ones to escape that, and that's because they're about behavior rather than resources.

  21. - Top - End - #51
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Denmark
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Given the previous caveat of enough free energy, most of those are actually doable by the locals instead of spending however long ordering it and waiting for it to be delivered. 4 and 8 are the only ones to escape that, and that's because they're about behavior rather than resources.
    But we frequently don't want local. And while sad, that's just the market. Denmark is the largest pr. capita pork producer in the world, and pigs are common as .. pigs. They're everywhere, there isn't a nation on Earth that doesn't grow it's own damn pigs. We export pork to China, which is the greatest pork producer in absolute numbers.

    Same for furniture. Danish design is internationally acclaimed, and sells for absurd amounts the world over, but there isn't any place in the world that needs danish furniture because they cannot build their own. This is an example of production with high (oh so high) labor cost, exporting to countries with low labor cost.

    The question is not 'will people chose to buy'. It is 'will we be able to transport'.

  22. - Top - End - #52
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rogar Demonblud View Post
    Given the previous caveat of enough free energy, most of those are actually doable by the locals instead of spending however long ordering it and waiting for it to be delivered. 4 and 8 are the only ones to escape that, and that's because they're about behavior rather than resources.
    A. Your argument applies equally to San Francisco laundry done in Hawaii, or to any nation on earth that imports from across the ocean. T-shirt companies in Thailand sell to American buyers, and there is certainly "enough free energy" to create t-shirts here.

    B. "Enough free energy" doesn't make gold less rare. [Well, yes, technically, it can, through nuclear reactions. But it can't produce massive amounts of gold that isn't radioactive and deadly.]

    C. Given the caveat of "enough free energy", there is no particular cost to interstellar travel, either. You can't just handwave away the difficulties in one direction only, in order to "prove" that the other direction has more difficulties.

    Intercontinental trade happens today, despite plenty of cheap energy. 600-2,000 years ago, the Silk Road transported silk for 7,000 miles overland -- by animal power. Spices were shipped from India and China to Europe by leaky wooden boats. Long, long trade routes that seem unlikely have happened through most of recorded history. They will continue to do so.

    Oh -- and we've solved the basic issues of waiting for their orders, and are now working on more complicated and subtle versions. Supply chain management is now based on ordering long enough in advance to have delivery when needed. There are mathematical papers on how it's done. My dissertation and my patents are both solutions to scheduling problems.

  23. - Top - End - #53
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Kobold

    Join Date
    Aug 2020

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay R View Post
    A. Your argument applies equally to San Francisco laundry done in Hawaii, or to any nation on earth that imports from across the ocean. T-shirt companies in Thailand sell to American buyers, and there is certainly "enough free energy" to create t-shirts here.

    B. "Enough free energy" doesn't make gold less rare. [Well, yes, technically, it can, through nuclear reactions. But it can't produce massive amounts of gold that isn't radioactive and deadly.]

    C. Given the caveat of "enough free energy", there is no particular cost to interstellar travel, either. You can't just handwave away the difficulties in one direction only, in order to "prove" that the other direction has more difficulties.

    Intercontinental trade happens today, despite plenty of cheap energy. 600-2,000 years ago, the Silk Road transported silk for 7,000 miles overland -- by animal power. Spices were shipped from India and China to Europe by leaky wooden boats. Long, long trade routes that seem unlikely have happened through most of recorded history. They will continue to do so.

    Oh -- and we've solved the basic issues of waiting for their orders, and are now working on more complicated and subtle versions. Supply chain management is now based on ordering long enough in advance to have delivery when needed. There are mathematical papers on how it's done. My dissertation and my patents are both solutions to scheduling problems.
    I think there is some misunderstatement regarding "Free energy".
    First of all it's not proper to try to compere traveling on earth to traveling around galaxy. To distances in space are too mind-boggling for the human brain to comprehend (at least mine), and this directly translates to the amount of energy needed for that. The intercontinental transport is possible because it's not very energy intensive to move goods between continents, but even to achieve earth escape velocity is problematic, and the energy to achieve speed of light is unimaginable for me. I've looked how much energy uses CERN, and according to their website it's 600 GWh per year, and they only moves particles which are obviously pretty much weightless. No production process is that energy intensive

    The argument of free energy is that if you have access to level of energy for faster then light travel you can use it to:
    a) terraform planet
    b) fusion/fission reaction to create anything, I'm not physicist but I've never read that this is only possible by making the material radioactive, I think fusion reactors doesn't produce nuclear wastes. As I understand it radioactivity is property of some atoms and right now we tend to use those as they are easier to work regarding to fission, but again with energy budget needed to FTL there will be ways around that.

    Since our current understanding of physic excludes traversable hyperspaces and accelerating uses energy unless you invent some "magic" which makes it possible to achieve FTL without significant energy usage it will be always cheaper to produce at place. I say "magic" because as said before in LHC they are already are working on very high levels of energy and as far as I know nothing has come to their attention that would prove FTL possible, so if there is some unknown physics it need much higher level of energy to be achieved and thus would need high energy budget to work.

  24. - Top - End - #54
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    You don't need a nuclear reactor to change one element to another. Peelee outlined it in another thread a while back, but the jist of it is applying enough energy to move some protons from one atom to another. And again, we've already moved into a post-scarcity energy situation before interstellar anything becomes workable.

    The only thing you can't synthesize with enough energy is the four dimensions, the last of which is time. So your real limiters are going to be width, depth, height and time. How far do you have to go, and how long will it take.

  25. - Top - End - #55
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Denmark
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Not sure whether I have a leg to stand on here, but I feel Replicator technology is even less likely to ever become reality than FTL. It's not just a matter of having enough energy - a hydrogen bomb has plenty of energy, but no one is claiming to use those to produce raw materials in a cheap, efficient manner. It requires rather more precision and finesse than that.

    And even so, it's ... not a question of whether a thing can be made locally. Buying something not made locally is a quality worth paying for, in itself.

  26. - Top - End - #56
    Bugbear in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2013

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by asda fasda View Post
    I think there is some misunderstatement regarding "Free energy".
    First of all it's not proper to try to compere traveling on earth to traveling around galaxy. To distances in space are too mind-boggling for the human brain to comprehend (at least mine), and this directly translates to the amount of energy needed for that. The intercontinental transport is possible because it's not very energy intensive to move goods between continents, but even to achieve earth escape velocity is problematic, and the energy to achieve speed of light is unimaginable for me. I've looked how much energy uses CERN, and according to their website it's 600 GWh per year, and they only moves particles which are obviously pretty much weightless. No production process is that energy intensive

    The argument of free energy is that if you have access to level of energy for faster then light travel you can use it to:
    a) terraform planet
    b) fusion/fission reaction to create anything, I'm not physicist but I've never read that this is only possible by making the material radioactive, I think fusion reactors doesn't produce nuclear wastes. As I understand it radioactivity is property of some atoms and right now we tend to use those as they are easier to work regarding to fission, but again with energy budget needed to FTL there will be ways around that.

    Since our current understanding of physic excludes traversable hyperspaces and accelerating uses energy unless you invent some "magic" which makes it possible to achieve FTL without significant energy usage it will be always cheaper to produce at place. I say "magic" because as said before in LHC they are already are working on very high levels of energy and as far as I know nothing has come to their attention that would prove FTL possible, so if there is some unknown physics it need much higher level of energy to be achieved and thus would need high energy budget to work.
    No amount of energy can reach light speed, the energy needed to reach the speed of light for anything with mass is infinite. You can't skip to FTL by applying more energy because you can't even reach as fast as light with more energy. The premise of the thread is a setting with FTL any setting that has FTL will have the FTL require less energy than reaching light speed because everything reachable is less than infinite. For that reason I don't think energy for normal acceleration is a particularly relevant argument for how energy hungry FTL would be.

  27. - Top - End - #57
    Troll in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaptin Keen View Post
    Not sure whether I have a leg to stand on here, but I feel Replicator technology is even less likely to ever become reality than FTL. It's not just a matter of having enough energy - a hydrogen bomb has plenty of energy, but no one is claiming to use those to produce raw materials in a cheap, efficient manner. It requires rather more precision and finesse than that.

    And even so, it's ... not a question of whether a thing can be made locally. Buying something not made locally is a quality worth paying for, in itself.
    To be honest, replicators as a general concept are not that far from our current technology. On one hand, we have 3d printers with ever widening range of materials they can work with. On the other, we can directly control placement of single atoms using scanning-tunneling microscopes and you can do origami on DNA and get for example smiley faces or little dolphins with movable tails. Granted, those are not as quick or general as the Star Trek replicators, but this is not as unbelievable technology as one might think.
    Last edited by Radar; 2020-10-23 at 09:22 AM.
    In a war it doesn't matter who's right, only who's left.

  28. - Top - End - #58
    Firbolg in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2013

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Well, we've only been doing this for, what, 6 years? 7? They've had a few centuries to work out the kinks.

  29. - Top - End - #59
    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Denmark
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    Quote Originally Posted by Radar View Post
    To be honest, replicators as a general concept are not that far from our current technology. On one hand, we have 3d printers with ever widening range of materials they can work with. On the other, we can directly control placement of single atoms using scanning-tunneling microscopes and you can do origami on DNA and get for example smiley faces or little dolphins with movable tails. Granted, those are not as quick or general as the Star Trek replicators, but this is not as unbelievable technology as one might think.
    Those things have precisely zero comparison to replicators. Replicators produce matter from energy, rather than shift matter around. We are children playing with Dublo bricks, thinking we're gods.

  30. - Top - End - #60
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    California
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: What loss rate of starships would prevent interstellar shipping?

    I think in one of the later Foundation books (Prelude to Foundation, maybe?), Asimov said that Trantor, the galaxy's capital, was importing ~all its food in the years prior to the start of the original Foundation.

    Over the centuries, to support the growing bureaucracy, the original capital city had grown and grown and now completely covered the planet -- it was, at this point, a single planet-wide, miles-tall mega-building, housing hundreds of billions (trillions?) of people. There's no longer any land on which to grow crops, and so they import food. There's a constant stream of shipping vessels from multiple farming worlds, enough to feed those hundreds of billions of people.

    You could argue that they could have managed to grow food in hydroponic bays, using energy from fusion reactors or whatever. But I do think it's important to consider that people don't design a system from scratch. Once they've started importing large amounts of food, it's going to be difficult to switch over. Building hydroponic farms would mean building more structures (or excavating deeper), and maybe building more reactors, so there's a big startup cost that the existing import flows don't have. Plus, once profitable businesses are established, that profit gives them influence, which they will often use to keep the status quo. I could see the importers lobbying for super-strict regulations on hydroponic farms on Trantor (in the name of safety, of course) to make it difficult for competitors to start up.

    So, sometimes the answer is just that "That's the way we've always done it" and it's not bad enough for people to force a change. (And in the case of Foundation, by the time it got that bad, it was too late to fix anything -- the Empire collapsed and the people of Trantor presumably starved before they could switch to a more resilient system.)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •