Thursday, December 24, 2009

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Nuts and bolts (15/12/09)

Some interesting items I came across recently worth a look at:

Interstellar Propulsion Research: Realistic Possibilities and Idealistic Dreams by Les Johnson gives an introductory rundown on the current status of possible interstellar missions and propulsion options. Apart from the mentioned warp drive (update: read this and this), all of the options are based on sound physics however all of them have severe technical and engineering difficulties to overcome if they are going to happen one day. Ironically getting the hardware required into orbit for these big spacecraft could be the biggest hurdle to overcome as using chemical rockets is expensive. The above options are based on our current understanding of Physics and we still have a lot to learn how nature really works.

The Final Frontier: The Science of Star Trek, interview with Lawrence Krauss. I read the first version of his book years ago and found it quite stimulating reading should interest all you Star Trek fans out there. I saw the world premiere opening of the movie at the Sydney Opera House and got a few autographs myself from the (new) Spock, Sulu and JJ Abrams,  I liked the movie.

A Blueprint for a Quantum Propulsion Machine, here's also a review from Paul Gilster on this paper by Alexander Feigel. It remains to be seen if these so called "magneto-electric particles" do change the momentum of the quantum vacuum and thereby provide a means to change the orientation of a spacecraft without using propellant although many do this already using gyroscopes for eg however the physics if sound would be very interesting as this would provide another avenue to study the Quantum Vacuum. Another paper on this worth reading is here.

Been busy working on Sydney Harbour most days day and night as it is the busy season here. Some recent photos: Nice sailing boat in Farm Cove and checkout this sailing boat skipper going under the Anzac bridge, got his air draft right! Big tow job Bradley's Head outbound (click on photos for larger version).