[FoRK] Inertial Mass != Gravitational Mass?

Jeff Bone jbone at place.org
Tue Jun 15 08:30:00 PDT 2010

On Jun 14, 2010, at 11:31 PM, Stephen Williams wrote:

> Scotty!  Just tell me if you can build the anti-grav stabilizer and interplanetary star drive or not!  Those Klingons will be here any minute!
> Well Captain, any difference in gravitational gradients is theoretically exploitable to create an inertial damped propulsion system, but the fourth-dimensional torsional shearing will likely create tachyon bursts that will fry your brain.
> I'm sure Bones has something for that, just do it!

BTW, before we get all geek-jizzy about the sci-fi possibilities of the conjecture, it's worth pointing out:  it probably means a *further* set of restrictions that limit what's achievable in terms of this sort of thing.  No "anti-gravity" per se.  No FTL per se implied (though perhaps it implies varying c, apropos your Vinge reference, though probably not with his speculated consequences.)  No magic bullets.  Abundant ambient and usable energy (later post, asymmetric Casimir effect generated by asymmetric fractal meta-materials, turning an engineered vacuum energy-density imbalance into kinetic energy, mentioned here over a decade ago in sketchy detail) but further limitations on propulsion;  in particular, as mentioned, it probably limits any locally-accelerated matter from getting past an asymptotic limit of "about" 2/3c.

Sorry, Stephen.  Still no monkeys in pressurized tin cans zipping around the cosmos at warp speed.


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