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Oct 21, 2012

The Kline Directive: Theoretical-Empirical Relationship (Part 4)

Posted by in categories: business, cosmology, defense, economics, education, engineering, nuclear weapons, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy, scientific freedom, space

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts, Legal Standing, Safety Awareness, Economic Viability, Theoretical-Empirical Relationship, & Technological Feasibility.

In this post I have updated the Interstellar Challenge Matrix (ICM) to guide us through the issues so that we can arrive at interstellar travel sooner, rather than later:

Interstellar Challenge Matrix (Partial Matrix)

Propulsion Mechanism Relatively Safe? Theoretical-Empirical Relationship?
Conventional Fuel Rockets: Yes, but susceptible to human error. Known. Theoretical foundations are based on Engineering Feasible Theories, and have been evolving since Robert Goddard invented the first liquid-fueled rocket in 1926.
Antimatter Propulsion: No. Extensive gamma ray production (Carl Sagan). Issue is how does one protect the Earth? Capable of an End of Humanity (EOH) event. Dependent on Millennium Theories. John Eades states in no uncertain terms that antimatter is impossible to handle and create.
Atomic Bomb Pulse Detonation: No, because (Project Orion) one needs to be able to manage between 300,000 and 30,000,000 atomic bombs per trip. Known and based on Engineering Feasible Theories.
Time Travel: Do Not Know. Depends on how safely exotic matter can be contained. Dependent on a Millennium Theory. Exotic matter hypotheses are untested. No experimental evidence to show that Nature allows for a breakdown in causality.
String / Quantum Foam Based Propulsion: Do Not Know. Depends on how safely exotic matter can be contained. Dependent on a Millennium Theory. String theories have not been experimentally verified. Exotic matter hypotheses are untested. Existence of Quantum Foam now suspect (Robert Nemiroff).
Small Black Hole Propulsion: No. Capable of an End Of Humanity (EOH) event Don’t know if small black holes really do exist in Nature. Their theoretical basis should be considered a Millennium Theory.

It is quite obvious that the major impediments to interstellar travel are the Millennium Theories. Let us review. Richard Feynman (Nobel Prize 1965) & Sheldon Lee Glashow (Nobel Prize 1979) have criticized string theory for not providing novel experimental predictions at accessible energy scales, but other theoretical physicists (Stephen Hawking, Edward Witten, Juan Maldacena and Leonard Susskind) believe that string theory is a step towards the correct fundamental description of nature. The Wikipedia article String Theory gives a good overview, and notes other critics and criticisms of string theories. In What is String Theory? Alberto Güijosa explains why string theories have come to dominate theoretical physics. It is about forces, and especially about unifying gravity with the other three forces.

Continue reading “The Kline Directive: Theoretical-Empirical Relationship (Part 4)” »

Oct 17, 2012

The Kline Directive: Theoretical-Empirical Relationship (Part 1)

Posted by in categories: business, cosmology, defense, economics, education, engineering, events, finance, human trajectories, particle physics, philosophy, physics, policy

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts:

1. Legal Standing. 2. Safety Awareness. 3. Economic Viability. 4. Theoretical-Empirical Relationship. 5. Technological Feasibility.

In Part 1 of this post I will explore Theoretical-Empirical Relationship. Not theoretical relationships, not empirical relationships but theoretical-empirical relationships. To do this let us remind ourselves what the late Prof. Morris Kline was getting at in his book Mathematics: The Loss of Certainty, that mathematics has become so sophisticated and so very successful that it can now be used to prove anything and everything, and therefore, the loss of certainty that mathematics will provide reasonability in guidance and correctness in answers to our questions in the sciences.

History of science shows that all three giants of science of their times, Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton & Christiaan Huygens believed that light traveled in aether medium, but by the end of the 19th century there was enough experimental evidence to show aether could not be a valid concept. The primary experiment that changed our understanding of aether was the Michelson–Morley experiment of 1887, which once and for all proved that aether did not have the correct properties as the medium in which light travels.

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Oct 14, 2012

The Kline Directive: Economic Viability

Posted by in categories: business, complex systems, defense, economics, education, engineering, finance, military, nuclear weapons, philosophy, physics, policy, scientific freedom, space, sustainability

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts:

1. Legal Standing. 2. Safety Awareness. 3. Economic Viability. 4. Theoretical-Empirical Relationship. 5. Technological Feasibility.

In this post I will explore Economic Viability. I have proposed the Interstellar Challenge Matrix (ICM) to guide us through the issues so that we can arrive at interstellar travel sooner, rather than later. Let us review the costs estimates of the various star drives just to reach the velocity of 0.1c, as detailed in previous blog posts:

Interstellar Challenge Matrix (Partial Matrix)

Propulsion Mechanism Legal? Costs Estimates
Conventional Fuel Rockets: Yes Greater than US$1.19E+14
Antimatter Propulsion: Do Not Know. Between US$1.25E+20 and US$6.25E+21
Atomic Bomb Pulse Detonation: Illegal. This technology was illegal as of 1963 per Partial Test Ban Treaty Between $2.6E12 and $25.6E12 . These are Project Orion original costs converted back to 2012 dollar. Requires anywhere between 300,000 and 30,000,000 bombs!!
Time Travel: Do Not Know. Requires Exotic Matter, therefore greater than antimatter propulsion costs of US$1.25E+20
Quantum Foam Based Propulsion: Do Not Know. Requires Exotic Matter, therefore greater than antimatter propulsion costs of US$1.25E+20
Small Black Hole Propulsion: Most Probably Illegal in the Future Using CERN to estimate. At least US$9E+9 per annual budget. CERN was founded 58 years ago in 1954. Therefore a guestimate of the total expenditure required to reach its current technological standing is US$1.4E11.

Note Atomic Bomb numbers were updated on 10/18/2012 after Robert Steinhaus commented that costs estimates “are excessively high and unrealistic”. I researched the topic and found Project Orion details the costs, of $2.6E12 to $25.6E12, which are worse than my estimates.

Continue reading “The Kline Directive: Economic Viability” »

Oct 14, 2012

Congratulations Skydiver Felix Baumgartner

Posted by in categories: business, complex systems, defense, engineering, events, fun, philosophy, physics, space

Congratulations Skydiver Felix Baumgartner, on the success of your 24 mile skydive. You proved that it is possible to bail out of a space ship and land on Earth safely.

The records are nice to have but the engineering was superb!

Oct 10, 2012

The Kline Directive: Legal Standing

Posted by in categories: business, complex systems, defense, economics, engineering, ethics, finance, philosophy, physics, policy, space

To achieve interstellar travel, the Kline Directive instructs us to be bold, to explore what others have not, to seek what others will not, to change what others dare not. To extend the boundaries of our knowledge, to advocate new methods, techniques and research, to sponsor change not status quo, on 5 fronts:

1. Legal Standing. 2. Safety Awareness. 3. Economic Viability. 4. Theoretical-Empirical Relationship. 5. Technological Feasibility.

In this post I will explore Legal Standing.

With respect to space exploration, the first person I know of who pushed the limits of the law is Mr. Gregory W. Nemitz of The Eros Project. He started this project in March 2000. As a US taxpayer, Nemitz made the claim that he is the Owner of Asteroid 433, Eros, and published his claim about 11 months prior to NASA landing its “NEAR Shoemaker” spacecraft on this asteroid.

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Oct 9, 2012

The Kline Directive: Introduction

Posted by in categories: business, complex systems, defense, economics, engineering, ethics, finance, philosophy, physics, policy, space

Science and engineering are hard to do. If it wasn’t we would have a space bridge from here to the Moon by now. If you don’t have the real world practical experience doing either science or engineering you won’t understand this, or the effort and resources companies like Boeing, Lockheed, SpaceX, Orbital Sciences Corp, Scaled Composites, Virgin Galactic, and the Ad Astra Rocket Company have put into their innovations and products to get to where they are, today.

If we are to achieve interstellar travel, we have to be bold.
We have to explore what others have not.
We have to seek what others will not.
We have to change what others dare not.

The dictionary definition of a directive is, an instruction or order, tending to direct or directing, and indicating direction.

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, US Department of Defense 2005, provides three similar meanings,

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Oct 7, 2012

Debunking Pulse Detonation Engines — Yes, No, Maybe

Posted by in categories: business, defense, engineering, military, nuclear weapons, physics, space, treaties

Previous posting in this Debunking Series.

In this post we will look at the last three types of engines. Can these engine technologies be debunked?

Start with the boring stuff. Nuclear/plasma engines. For more information look up Franklin Chang-Diaz’s Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR). Real. Cannot be debunked.

Now for the more interesting stuff. The second is Pulse Detonation Engines (PDE). This type of engine uses detonation waves to combust fuel and oxidizer mixture. “The engine is pulsed because the mixture must be renewed in the combustion chamber between each detonation wave initiated by an ignition source.” Theoretically this type of engine is capable of speeds from subsonic to Mach 5.

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Sep 22, 2012

Debunking the Black Hole Interstellar Drive

Posted by in categories: business, engineering, fun, physics, policy, space

Louis Crane and Shawn Westmoreland co-authored the paper Are Black Hole Starships Possible? (http://arxiv.org/abs/0908.1803) that suggested that one could use Small Black Holes to propel starships close to the velocity of light for interstellar travel. To give them credit, they stated that this is at the “edge of possibility” and would only be possible in the very distant future:

“The purpose of this paper is to investigate whether it is possible to build artificial BHs of the appropriate size, and to employ them in powerplants and starships. The conclusion we reach is that it is just on the edge of possibility to do so, but that quantum gravity effects, as yet unknown, could change the picture either way… Many questions which arise in this program lead to calculations in general relativity which have not been done. Whatever the other merits of our proposal, we are confident it will pose many interesting problems for classical and quantum relativity.”

Note, BH = Black Holes

That is it. Crane & Westmoreland were presenting an academic exercise to pose “many interesting problems for classical and quantum relativity”.

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Sep 17, 2012

iPhone 5 Hyper-Anticipation: It Didn’t Mean What You Think it Meant (AGAIN)

Posted by in categories: business, complex systems, economics, events, rants

iPhone 5 Hyper-Anticipation: It Didn’t Mean What You Think it Meant (AGAIN)
https://lifeboat.com/blog/2012/09/iphone-5-hyper-anticipatio…eant-again

Okay, now — bear with me on this — and check it out:
For now and for better or worse, The United States is home to a plurality of the world’s techiest technology, investment capital, productive creativity, and cutting edge research. As such, hiccups in those technology-driven economies of real currency and ideas can ripple around the entire planet.

Amid considerable anti-intellectualism and various public & private R&D funding issues, American tech leadership and innovation is stuttering and sputtering and might be in danger of faltering. While we’re not at that point just yet, there is an interesting harbinger with a peculiar manifestation: New iPhone Anticipation Loopiness. As I said, bear with me.


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This is a repost & redux from an October 5, 2011 Anthrobotic.com piece — published a day before the suspected-to-be-iPhone 5 was released as the iPhone 4S. While the fanboy drool and mainstream gee-whiz was considerably dialed down this time around (in part due to lots of leaking), the sentiment of this piece remains relevant and largely unchanged. Now, we did have the Nuclear-Powered Science Robot Dune Buggy with Lasers (AKA the rover Curiosity) this year, and that was very big, but on a societal level we still have a sad hole in our technology heart.

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Sep 10, 2012

International Nuclear Services Putting Business Before Safety

Posted by in categories: business, economics, ethics, nuclear energy

Whilst I was checking up on C.O.R.E. (Cumbrians Opposed to a Radioactive Environment) this weekend, I read of latest plans to ship plutonium MOX fuel assemblies from Sellafield to the small German port of Nordenham near Bremerhaven on the NDA’s (Nuclear Decommissioning Authority) ageing ship Atlantic Osprey.

The Atlantic Osprey, built in 1986, is a roll-on roll-off ferry purchased third hand by British Nuclear Fuels plc (BNFL) in 2001 and converted to carry radioactive materials. It is the only ship not to be custom-built of the UK’s designated nuclear cargo ships, and so is not double-hulled, and has only a single engine, among other short-comings.

According to CORE it has a chequered history as a nuclear carrier that includes an engine-room fire and breakdowns at sea, and equivalent sister ships have historically been retired at or before a standard 25 years of service. Whilst the ship is soon to finally brought to the scrapyard, it is due to be replaced by a 25-year old ship Oceanic Pintail recently saved from the scrap yard itself — and one would get the impression that the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority are cutting corners on safety to save on expenditure.

CORE spokesman Martin Forwood has pointed out that INS (International Nuclear Services — a subsidiary of the NDA) appears hell-bent on shipping this MOX fuel to Germany on a third-hand ship with second class safety and kept afloat on first class INS PR alone” and on learning about the current state of affairs, one would be inclined to agree.

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