The Bilderberg Group and the project of European unification Prof. Mike Peters Introduction Despite their reputation for 'empiricism', British academics have tended to treat political power by means of abstract concepts rather than empirical information about the actions of determinate individuals and groups e.
I wanted to keep the website as free from handwavium as possible. However, while Faster-Than-Light travel is about as handwavium as you can get, it is unfortunately the sine qua non of interstellar space opera. Space opera with no StarDrive is like chocolate cake without the chocolate.
The technical term for FTL is "superluminal". In a science fiction universe containing FTL starships, the traditional term for a ship traveling slower than light is "sublight".
In vintage SF, the propulsion was commonly termed "hyperdrive"since the starships evaded Einstein by entering a dimension called "hyperspace" where there was a higher speed limit.
Star Trek has its "warp drive" that reduces the distance to be traveled by warping space. In his "Lucky Starr" novels, Isaac Asimov uses the term "Hyperatomic spaceships", presumably since the spacecraft had both a faster-than-light Hyperspace engine and a more conventional atomic engine.
Go read the "Faster Than Light" entry in Wikipedia. No one, after all, wants to take decades or centuries to get anywhere. You just can't leave home without it. Warp was old-fashioned even when classic Trek used it, and is hardly encountered any more.
Interestingly, though, it is one piece of Techjargon that has entered the everyday language; people who never heard of FTL know that warp speed means "really, really fast.
FTL radio is also common the most frequent Techjargon term is Ansiblebut is sometimes left out as not entirely necessary - you can always send a ship with a message, and the resulting haphazard communications are a rich source of plot complications.
FTL requires Handwavium because of that damned speed-of-light barrier to travel in normal space. Over the years, SF writers have grasped at any conceivable loophole in the laws of physics that might theoretically allow them to speed things up.
The physicists have actually been - very marginally - helpful in this regard, what with wormholes, quantum tunneling, and so forth.
Basically, though, FTL remains sheer Handwavium, in that its properties are wholly arbitrary. Unlike, say, a matter-antimatter DRIVEfor which you can at least calculate energy-to-thrust ratios and the like. Broadly speaking, FTL environments fall into two classes, those that you "fly" through and those that you "jump" through.
The first type allows you to actually navigate - change course, or even fight battles - while in FTL. It also favors artsy semi-streamlined spacecraft designs, a la Trek, presumably to slide cleanly through whatever it is you go through in FTL.
In contrast, "jump" FTL is a sort of rabbit hole that you hop through to get where you're going. Navigation is all done beforehand, in normal Space, as you line up to make the jump.
Once you make it you have no further control till you pop back out, hopefully where you wanted to go. Both types of FTL often require some kind of intuitive skill for successful navigation. This is for a couple of reason. The semi-demi-plausible wormhole and quantum-tunneling concepts seem to imply a jump.
More important, though, jump FTL is less intrusive in stories. But right at the heart of the whole damn thing is what amounts to magic. So far as genuine scientific plausibility goes, a ship's FTL Drive might just as well be a pretty woman in a white dress who lights some candles and flips tarot cards while chanting in Welsh.
So the only decent thing to do with FTL is make it as inconspicuous as possible, act as if stars are really just a little farther apart than planets, and hope against hope that the physicists eventually turn up something solid.
Keep chanting in Welsh, babe. Hack writers will assume that "if we have to break a few laws of physics for FTL, why not just throw all the laws out the window?
Omitting physics will degrade your novel to a pathetic lack of accuracy worse than an average Space Ghost cartoon.
Keep all the physics you can. And when you break the laws for your FTL drive, at least establish some limitations and rules. Then stick to them! Internal self-consistency is better than nothing. The general rule is what physicists call the correspondence principle or the Classical limit.
This states that any new theory must give the same answers as the old theory where the old theory has been confirmed by experiment. Newton's laws and Einstein's Relativity give the same answers in ordinary conditions, they only give different answers in extreme conditions such as near the speed of light, refining the accuracy of the GPS systemor calculating the orbit of Mercury none of which Newton could confirm by experiment.The Cygwin DLL currently works with all recent, commercially released x86 32 bit and 64 bit versions of Windows, starting with Windows Vista.
Progressions Documents for the Common Core Math Standards Funded by the Brookhill Foundation Progressions. Draft Front Matter; Draft K–6 Progression on Geometry. With member countries, the World Bank Group is a unique global partnership fighting poverty worldwide through sustainable solutions.
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