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Author Topic: Colonising planets  (Read 15846 times)

FloW

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #45 on: May 27, 2013, 01:46:39 AM »

What's this about transmitting data faster than the speed of light? =}

http://scitechdaily.com/nanometer-scale-material-capable-of-straightening-and-speeding-up-light-waves/
(tl;dr- scientists created a material that allows light to pass through it near-infinitely fast. If they can scale it up, it has potential applications in computer processors and communication technologies)

Transmitting data off our planet would still be limited by the speed of light, though.... for now, anyway.

Honestly, if an article tells me that "A nanometer is one billionth of a meter" I highly doubt that this article is intended for people that actually understand science. And if you read the entire article, you can see that they haven't actually created this "meta-atom" yet. They think it's possible, but they haven't made one yet.
Obviously, if they do manage to make such a material, that's great. But until then I'll stick with "Cool theory, but where's the actual stuff?".
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"The point is, you see, that there is no point in driving yourself mad trying to stop yourself going mad. You might just as well give in and save your sanity for later.''
- Ford Prefect, creator of the giraffe; a very long time ago

Sproginator

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #46 on: May 27, 2013, 05:17:30 AM »

Might be easier if we had brain in jar technology.

Heck, replacing the respiratory and digestive systems would lighten the load and complexity of these missions a lot. The human body is an immensely complicated thing for the mindnumbingly simply things that it needs to do.
Cortex Command, lol.

Imagine that, Brains in jars with giant mechs gunning down eachother in a glorious battle and........

Sorry, I'll start thinking normally again now,

I'd love to see the colonization of planets via Space Trade stations and fuel depots, that'd be sweet
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naufrago

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #47 on: May 27, 2013, 02:22:40 PM »

What's this about transmitting data faster than the speed of light? =}

http://scitechdaily.com/nanometer-scale-material-capable-of-straightening-and-speeding-up-light-waves/
(tl;dr- scientists created a material that allows light to pass through it near-infinitely fast. If they can scale it up, it has potential applications in computer processors and communication technologies)

Transmitting data off our planet would still be limited by the speed of light, though.... for now, anyway.

Honestly, if an article tells me that "A nanometer is one billionth of a meter" I highly doubt that this article is intended for people that actually understand science. And if you read the entire article, you can see that they haven't actually created this "meta-atom" yet. They think it's possible, but they haven't made one yet.
Obviously, if they do manage to make such a material, that's great. But until then I'll stick with "Cool theory, but where's the actual stuff?".

The site does try to make things more understandable for people who don't have a PhD in everything the write about, but that's not to say it's dumbed down. Sometimes they throw in stuff that's fairly obvious, but it doesn't hurt to include it. Also, materials have been produced with epsilon-near-zero that work in the microwave frequency range, which they briefly mentioned in that article.

Anyway, it seems I was misunderstanding some stuff. The 'faster than light' stuff they're referring to is the phase velocity of the photons, which apparently can't be used to transmit data alone. From what i read in scientific journals on this stuff, data transmission is also related to group velocity, which is directly related to phase velocity in this case. Apparently, the group velocity in this case is near 0. Basically, it's not possible to transmit data faster than light.

They were throwing around words like "faster than light" and "tunneling," so it's not hard to make certain assumptions. It didn't help that the journals mentioned it had uses in communications systems and such. Oh well, it's not like it was deliberately misleading so much as confusingly worded... Sometimes I wish I had a physicist friend who could tell me when I'm wrong about things.
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FloW

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #48 on: May 27, 2013, 03:31:48 PM »

The site does try to make things more understandable for people who don't have a PhD in everything the write about, but that's not to say it's dumbed down. Sometimes they throw in stuff that's fairly obvious, but it doesn't hurt to include it. Also, materials have been produced with epsilon-near-zero that work in the microwave frequency range, which they briefly mentioned in that article.

Anyway, it seems I was misunderstanding some stuff. The 'faster than light' stuff they're referring to is the phase velocity of the photons, which apparently can't be used to transmit data alone. From what i read in scientific journals on this stuff, data transmission is also related to group velocity, which is directly related to phase velocity in this case. Apparently, the group velocity in this case is near 0. Basically, it's not possible to transmit data faster than light.

They were throwing around words like "faster than light" and "tunneling," so it's not hard to make certain assumptions. It didn't help that the journals mentioned it had uses in communications systems and such. Oh well, it's not like it was deliberately misleading so much as confusingly worded... Sometimes I wish I had a physicist friend who could tell me when I'm wrong about things.

That stuff is actually something I'm learning right now. Basically phase velocity is how fast an electromagnetic wave (photon) travels inside a medium. Can't remember what group velocity was right now though. And tunneling is when a particle/wave goes through a material it's not supposed to. I think it's explained that the particle/wave somehow borrows energy which is given back after the particle/wave passed through the material.

Quantum effects in electronics. Have fun counting all electrons that travel inside your computer over the course of a single millisecond.
Honestly, I doubt that I'll keep my sanity over the course of the next 3-4 years. Though I might have already lost it and still need to realize it.
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"The point is, you see, that there is no point in driving yourself mad trying to stop yourself going mad. You might just as well give in and save your sanity for later.''
- Ford Prefect, creator of the giraffe; a very long time ago

naufrago

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #49 on: May 28, 2013, 12:34:09 PM »

I've always been interested in physics, but never had the patience for really complicated math. In college, I studied science/engineering for a few years before realizing I didn't like math as much as I thought I did. Best of luck in your endeavors!
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Gigalith

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Re: Colonising planets
« Reply #50 on: May 30, 2013, 06:27:07 PM »

I just wanna see how space combat is gonna turn out in RL ;D. It could be really boring though, with ships just shooting kinetic missiles hundreds of miles away from each other.

You might be interested in Atomic Rockets, for all your Hard SF rocketry needs.
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