Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Plot Device Alert! | Notes on Kurtz-Dunar Field Theory
For a while, I've been looking online for credible proposals to tap ground-state vacuum energy, more popularly known in science fiction and popular science fantasy as zero-point energy, that attempting to use the Casimir effect to produce unlimited free energy. And a wondrous development it would be if it were not only credible, but real. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case. Oh, those mean physicists and faceless conspirators who suppress the information... *chortle* Seriously, I couldn't find a single source proposing ways of tapping this energy that didn't also engage in conspiracy mongering as a substitute for doing serious science. So I'm going instead to use a rubber science plot device from my Gods of Terra SF universe, the precursor to a complete theory of everything, or perhaps theories of everything, Kurtz-Dunar Field Theory, a useful middle step in unifying gravity and the other known forces of nature under a single set of ideas, learning for the first time to tap the Superforce. Be warned: this is not an attempt to promote a real theory, but complete fictional fluff to fill out an equally fictional universe. It is pseudoscience brushed up with technobabble. This set of explanatory and descriptive ideas was discovered independently by Terran physicist Raoul Kurtz and Kai'Siri physical philosopher Ranan Dunar. Both discovered the key to unifying the forces of nature, and how to more effectively tap them, even to describing the requirements of the advanced-generation fusion reactors needed to do so. The energy is bountiful, but not completely free. You may get a lot of power from the process using a reactor, more than would be possible using strictly nuclear methods of generating it, but you still need to spend energy to get more of it. Simply put, the acquisition of cost-effective fusion power is almost certainly necessary for a civilization to lay the conceptual groundwork to develop the theory and to put it to use. In the setting I've created, this theory's practical use, commonly known as the Kurtz-Dunar Field Effect, allows the use of much of the setting's technology, from the apparent, and very cost effective cancelation of gravity and it's use in spacecraft and starships, to the generation and fine control of pseudo-gravity onboard those same craft when not dirtside, to the awesome ability to rip holes in the universe and travel through twists and folds in space-time to other regions of the galaxy, and with natural conduits to assist, to other galaxies millions or billions of light years away. Those conduit points, BTW, are strategically important locations, move around a bit, and many more stable points are heavily garrisoned. The Kurtz-Dunar effect uses the energy of a fusion reactor, taps the Superforce to amplify it's output, and molds the metric of space-time in very useful ways, even, and at first, especially star travel that bypasses the speed-of-light limit. I'll avoid too much explanation, as a good one is better than none, but none at all is better than one which sounds too contrived. This effect, though, makes use of submicroscopic hyperspatial wormholes in the quantum foam that permeates the universe, and perhaps the multiverse. These wormholes are grabbed and ripped open to the scale of a large vehicle, such as a spacecraft, this same field-effect acting as a shield to protect the craft from radiation and tidal effects, permitting directed travel along the length of the wormhole after the ship's navigational systems calculate entry and exit points prior to translation to hyperspace and then the translation back to 3+1 spacetime. Upon completing translation back, the wormhole is free of the field and collapses, closing, back to submicroscopic size. For travel back to the ship's origin point, a new wormhole must be selected, opened, and entered for another translation through hyperspace. This is the easiest use of the effect, to allow cost-effective, relatively quick interstellar travel, and is generally the first application to be discovered for it. Hence the need for fusion power to develop the background knowledge for the theory. The other applications require less energy to use, but require more fine-tuning of the theory's mathematics and application. These other uses are less immediately intuitive, and it is rare that any civilization develops them at an earlier stage, because of often unforeseeable subtleties in the laws governing the universe of the setting. The gravitic effects are achieved by slightly manipulating local space-time's curvature, and the effect's radius and any tidal effects this generates may be adjusted as needed. To leave a world's surface, the local gravity well is inverted, either exactly balancing the pull of gravity or actually causing the craft to rise skyward, assisted by low-acceleration thrusters, even to the point of leaving orbit, by reducing the requirements of achieving escape velocity. With the Kurtz-Dunar effect, surface to orbit travel and beyond becomes highly cost-effective. That's the currently conceived scope of this plot device. I don't want to make it even more rubber-sciencey than it is, with too many overly convenient functions and not attempting to justify them, as that would lead to TME - Too Much Explanation. As the Kai'Siri would say in their formal speech, stay strong, stay well, and brilliant as the stars, or in the original vernacular... Talotaa frang, talotta kas, talotaa tranga sulat.