Monday, July 3, 2017

Sending Humans to the Stars on Beams of Light #Science #Physics #Fantasy

The idea ran yesterday and got a mixed reaction but it's still doggin' me because I keep thinking, you know, what if this even works.  (Ithaka:  The Way Humans Will Get to the Stars #Science #Space #Fantasy)

The foundation premise is based on the research into extending the brain beyond its actual limits by linkage to external systems by various arcane methods.  There's also research into chip implantation along with the study of neural networks to more fully understand how the brain actually processes.  From that has come the buzz of the digital human or something which lives beyond the body and maybe even forever.

We don't know and, frankly, don't care if a digital human will live forever since our interest is in the speed of light.  If we can actually produce a digital human then presumably we can encode it.  If that's the case then we can shoot that encoded digital human to the stars via laser beam.

To that end, we have the HAL 9000 (i.e. Highly-Amplified Laser) which shoots that signal into space with enough amperage behind it to drive a rock concert at Wembley Stadium.

That brings us to the Sticky Part since we need to deal with the Time Dilation Effect.  There's Objective Time on Earth and it seems a starship takes, say, a century to get to another star.  There's also Subjective Time on the starship on which, say, twenty years have passed.  That effect comes due to any approach to the speed of light and it's more dramatic as you get closer.

The Rockhouse has enough physics to be aware of the Time Dilation Effect but not enough to explain the why of it and hence the conundrum in transmitting encoded humans via laser (i.e. the Digital Dagwood Conundrum).

We have McStarship because, wtf, the Brits named it and that will be outbound at 50% of lightspeed before it turns at the midpoint and starts decelerating.  From above, we will use a Subjective Time for the ship of twenty years to get there.

From the Objective Time on Earth, one hundred years will pass.  However, the question is whether we can beat that with a digital signal since that will leave Earth at the speed of light; it's a laser and a HAL-9000 laser, I might add.

The actual question is how far into the Objective one hundred years do we have to go on Earth before we can fire the signal toward the star such that it arrives about the same time as the ship.  We're not concerned about getting an immediate link because the payload is digital and we will just keep sending it until we get a positive acknowledgement it was received.

Say the target star is one light year away.  It should take one year for the laser signal to get there and then another year to turn it around to send the positive acknowledgement.  However, that seriously lacks of the physics to define when, from Earth's standpoint, we could be sure the starship is already there.

Don't even hesitate to say the thinking is buggered since I think it's probably buggered anyway but there's part which keeps nagging ... you know, what if it would work.

If that concept would work then the sci fi story would write itself before breakfast.

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