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Old 06-22-2021, 07:56 PM   #11
Toltrin
 
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Default Re: WARP Drive

Can we measure the power needed in Mega joules to get all these different drives moving?
Warp drive must use titanic amounts of power. Where is that power coming from? Does "using up" hydrogen or deuterium yield enough power realistically to go faster than light?
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Old 06-22-2021, 09:26 PM   #12
Fred Brackin
 
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Default Re: WARP Drive

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Originally Posted by Toltrin View Post
Warp drive must use titanic amounts of power. Where is that power coming from? Does "using up" hydrogen or deuterium yield enough power realistically to go faster than light?
"Realistically" nothing yields enough power to go FTL. Except perhaps if you sie some enormous amount of power to create hypothetical things like negative mass. Thats only hypothetical though.

The problem with hydrogen fusion is that you can't fuse it fast enough to use on Traveller's scale that way.

Let's say you change 1/1000th of the fuel mass from matter to energy. With the 20 tons a J-2 100 ton Scout uses that's the equivalent of 20 kilos of antimatter. Done all at once that's enough energy for (I think) a 430 megaton explosion. Even spread over 168 hours that's equal to 700 tons of TNT per second. If you end up with half of that as waste heat it'll destroy your ship even if your superscience drive does something useful with the rest.

Comiing at things from another direction if you calculate the fusion fuel use for the defined output of the power plants used in canonical Traveller they're using a figure rated as kilos per year rather than tons per week.
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Old 06-22-2021, 10:22 PM   #13
Anthony
 
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Default Re: WARP Drive

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Can we measure the power needed in Mega joules to get all these different drives moving?
FTL isn't a problem that is subject to being solved by 'more energy', except in the sense that any solution that allows FTL must occur in are part of physics we haven't been able to observe, and most of those are at very high energy densities.
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Old 06-23-2021, 02:47 AM   #14
SteveS
 
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Default Re: WARP Drive

Based on the technology level progression in classic Traveller, gravity control is the first superscience; the minimum for an air/raft is TL8. Usable fusion also begins at TL8 in classic. So it's reasonable to conclude that gravity manipulation is one path toward vehicle scale fusion.

At TL9, Jump starts to become available. Is a Jump drive a special device that uses gravity control to pop a hole from normal space into Jump space? Gravitational influences can precipitate starships out of Jump space, so maybe so.

Another bit of technological magic in Traveller space vehicles is waste heat disposal. Maybe there's some gravitic technology that allows compact space radiators.

At TL12, there's a technology that is clearly not based on gravity: the nuclear damper box used to store californium warheads. Rather than messing with gravity, that manipulates strong and weak nuclear forces. But maybe that's a smaller leap, given that one fundamental force has already been tamed.

Obviously superscience is necessary for a lot of the Traveller technology tree to function. But if the advances all build on a single break from real science, it all feels more like a connected system of rules than an entire pantheon of deus ex machina.
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