Nuclear Fusion and Starship design – a few thoughts -Part 2


Having nailed my colours to the mast with regards to my fictional version of Nuclear Fusion, I’d like to continue digging my literary grave with a few thoughts on faster than light travel and Starship construction.

Current thinking seems to favour the ‘space warp’ / wormhole method of sidestepping ‘normal’ space times limitations as documented in the writings and theories of Albert Einstein and others.

Now as far as travel through such portals is concerned, my own thinking is in total concurrence. The only way of transcending the speed of light is via some other dimension or set of dimensions, like the theoretical realms of sub space or hyperspace. Where my view diverges from many of the concepts on offer is in the areas of field dynamics and thus starship design, and here I would like to offer the following thoughts, structured as postulates.

Postulate 1; Such a ‘Starship Drive’ would require power in the Gigawatt, Terawatt, and possibly even the Petawatt range, from a Nuclear Fusion reaction.

Postulate 2; Such a starship could only travel through the realms of sub or hyperspace in a heavily magnetically shielded ‘warp’. Unshielded media, signals or ordinary matter, even if they could enter such a realm, such as by a ‘Stargate’ type device would immediately become disorganised and lose cohesion. Perhaps explosively so. This would rule out any form of Teleportation of unprotected matter.

Postulate 3; Star ship design would have to be governed by the field dynamics of an electromagnetic field. Using this paradigm, the most efficient shape for a starship would be perfectly globular or cylindrical to provide a medium to establish a tight magnetic circuit close to the hull. At least field densities sufficient to allow a transition to a different set of space time dimensions.

In my fictional universe, Starship design favours blank cylinders with no windows, only camera and radar displays to show the outside. Also sub space, at least to our eyes, would be effectively invisible, as our eyes and senses are limited to the wavelengths of the visible electromagnetic spectrum, which might not be valid in a sub or hyperspace type transition. We would have no means of directly viewing such a set of dimensions, except being able to view the inside of a magnetic field boundary, which I describe as a uniform silky black.

My reasoning is thus; whilst all the external bits and pieces bolted on look very pretty, Starships of the “Enterprise” or irregular hull shapes would likely require too much energy, and the field shape would contain too many irregularities for the magnetic field to properly protect and enable translation between transitional space time and normal space time. A smooth and regular field shape is more desirable and easier to maintain than one that is all odd angles.

This issue is addressed in The ‘Sky full of Stars’, where a flaw in field dynamics design results in ‘Quantum foam‘ damage to the hull of the ‘Vancouver’ (A transport starship), nearly results in disaster for Paul Stovek and Lan Yue.

Quantum foam being microscopic vortices of subspace that momentarily exist in the wake of a subspace field collapse during transition to ‘normal’ space. The end result is transforming solid material into a porous sponge like lattice of hull material. In the case of the narrative, a titanium alloy. Such is my fictional interpretation of current thinking, anyway.

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Martyn K Jones

A writer who first trained as an Electrical Engineer, then fulfilled various roles within the computing industry. First published in 'SuperBike' magazine, 1978 under the pseudonym Harry Matthews. Since then has written and had published a wide variety of work; from PR copy in trade magazines to supernatural short stories and the occasional satirical article. Emigrated to Canada in 2007. Became a Canadian Citizen December 2014. Now branching out as a serious science fiction novelist.

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