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High Energy Subatomic Particle Absorbtion

Posted by: Sigma - Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:29 am
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High Energy Subatomic Particle Absorbtion 
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Post Re: High Energy Subatomic Particle Absorbtion   Posted on: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:41 pm
Sigma wrote:
Is there any way to use a hyper-dense form of matter to absorb high energy particles like neutrinos or gamma? Could a shielding system absorb radation to then emmit it accelerated in one direction?



This is what I understand that you want to do:
'Capture bombarding neutrinos and gamma rays and then convert them into propulsion.'

Neutrinos: unlikely. Due to their uncharged and very low mass nature (if we are talking about the interacting flavours) they would barely interact with the hypothetical space craft (I assume this is what we are talking about). The detectors that they were using consisted of huge amounts of heavy water (or chlorine, or gallium) with thousands of photomultipliers to detect maybe four infintesimally small flashes of light when the neutrinos interacted with the molecules (or atoms as is the case with chlorine and gallium).
Neutrinos would be equally useless as propulsion. They have to interact with the ship to exert force on it in order to propel the space craft. And you'd need more than just a couple of interactions, the tiny mass of the neutrino would result in only a tiny force on the craft.

Gamma rays: I don't think this is feasible in the manner that you were suggesting: capturing them and using them as a source of propulsion.
It would be a better move to develop a photovoltaic cell that could function with gamma ray energies, converting the gamma rays into electricity to power the craft.
Gamma rays would be produced should nuclear material (small, controlled nuclear bursts) ever be used as propulsion. The gamma rays could add an insignificant amount to the force applied on the craft, but in proportion to the nuclear bursts it would hardly be worth counting.


Sigma wrote:
I was under the understanding that the faster you accelerate a mass the more it weighed and also the greater the thrust, With the capacity to absorb all of the radation of sphere x and seletivly accelerate mass you could get thrust.


By the equivalence principle, the force on a mass accelerated at X ms^(-2) is equal to the force on a mass on the surface of a planet with surface gravitation X ms^(-2).
So yes, the greater the acceleration on a mass, the more it will weigh.
But it sounds like you also have a little confusion in there with special relativity.
The greater the velocity of a mass, the more energy is require to increase it's velocity.

The last part of your sentence "With the capacity to absorb all of the radation of sphere x and seletivly accelerate mass you could get thrust" makes no sense; an explanation, s'il vous plait?

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Post Re: High Energy Subatomic Particle Absorbtion   Posted on: Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:16 am
I was thinking if your shielding was your engine, the more extreme the environment the more power one could generate.

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Post Re: High Energy Subatomic Particle Absorbtion   Posted on: Thu Feb 23, 2012 5:16 pm
In short, here's the problems with the concept. Nutrinos weigh next to nothing, and barely interact with matter. They fly right throough the Earth without hardly ever hitting anything on the way. Their low mass means you'd have to accellerate a lot of them extremely quickly to have any detectible thrust from it.

Gamma is rare. High energy, but massless, and costly to generate. (Without annihilating Mass, that produces plenty of energy.) You're talking about using ambient sorces of Gamma, and there's just not enough of it out there to be a significant source of propulsion.

Other than that, you could use more common particals, and energy in our neighborhood. The solar wind puts out plenty of lower energy photons, and higher mass particals, like Protons. The latter are charged, so they could be collected, and accellerated with a plasma bubble (Theoretically.) If you could also absorb Nutrons (Not nutrinos), it may be possible to fuse them with the protons into Helium for a nuclear rocket. Instead, the light could be collected for the energy to do this, which is actually the basis for one of my designs.

If you could make a plasma bubble confined by a magnetic field, it would absorb the protons from the solar wind, which could be used as reaction mass to dive toward the sun. Then acting as a Busard Ramjet, with gravity on your side it could be possible to accellerate to escape velocity from the solar system for interstellar travel. I believe it would be best to send an ultralight robotic probe rather than a massive crewed vehicle, but some may argue for a generation ship, instead.

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