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Thread: Gravitons

  1. #1
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    Gravitons

    Would it sound feasible if the star ship drive in my sci-fi used gravitons?

    I was planning to use two drives. One would be a fusion ion thruster to accelerate the vessel till it got to speed for the graviton drive to work.

    I was considering 400 gravities for two weeks to accelerate, and the same to decelerate, then the second drive would grab gravitons to almost instantaneously move the vessel to close to its destination.



  2. #2
    Administrator Wickett's Avatar
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    As long as the story isn't supposed to be as close to realism as possible, yeah I don't see why not. It would be a good way to add detail, and some opportunities to do something really neat with it throughout the story. You might also want to make sure you cleverly explain how gravitons are supposed to function. Perhaps a crew member of the ship explain it to someone in passing the first time their used, just to make sure the reader understands what they're supposed to do.

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    Senior Member Gilfindel's Avatar
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    Well, it's science fiction, so you can pretty well use whatever mechanism suits your needs. Are the workings of your starship engine relevant to your story? In other words, is it important for the reader to understand how the engine works? Some of my favorite scifi authors (Isaac Asimov, Jack McDevitt, and so on) deal with interstellar travel on a regular basis, but almost never describe how the system works, merely the end result and perhaps the effects experienced by the ship and/or passengers.

    Gravitons, currently, are hypothetical particles that carry the gravitational force between objects with mass. I'm not sure that "grabbing" gravitons would be of benefit in driving a starship; to some extent, you'd want the opposite effect, to negate the effect of gravitons, since objects with mass need infinite power to achieve the speed of light, let alone exceed it. Perhaps you actually need an antigraviton generator instead. (For the record, there are no such things, as far as I'm aware).

    I'd hesitate to get too far into the physics involved; you may be better off inventing some technobabble and moving on to the more critical aspects of the plot.

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    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    I'm with Gil.

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    I was actually thinking in terms of a gravitational wave. I know that gravitons are hypothetical massless particles that appear as a wave.

    Space travel is not integral to the plot so it is just a side light. It might be one of those things fan boys discuss so much. I just wanted to get past the "Easy" button for hyperdrive. Science or speculative fiction can let you do a lot of things other genres don't but it does need some base for the technobabbble

  6. #6
    Administrator Wickett's Avatar
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    I agree with Gil as well. It really depends on the context of the story, which obviously we don't know. If it fits and you can easily explain it without really reaching, then I think it's beneficial flare.

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    Senior Member Gilfindel's Avatar
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    As we all know (being the quantum physics experts that we are), things like photons (and presumably gravitons) exhibit both wave-like and particle-like properties, so feel free to exploit whichever aspect suits your purpose. You could even have your ship surf the gravitational waves, if you were so inclined....

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    Administrator Wickett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilfindel View Post
    (being the quantum physics experts that we are)
    We need to make a forum just for quantum physics. The possibilities are endless.

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