Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×

Comment Re:interesting discussion here (Score 1) 389

From what's been reported so far I would expect scalability to be a major problem for use on earth. In space I can see applications, if...

But it's my understanding that there are major problems with the theory used to justify it. (No, I'm not competent to evaluate it, and I know that.) This, however, doesn't mean the effect isn't real, and that is something that can be tested. If it proves out in an unequivocal test (which probably means in a satellite) then the theory can be debugged...or redone. Most things showed up as effects before they were explained, and the first explanations were usually wrong.

Comment Re:hare brained "skepticism" (Score 1) 389

While you've got a good point, I think you overstate it. Perpetual motion cannot be proven to be impossible. In fact it appears to exist, just to not be (directly) useful. But the existence may be an illusion, as when you get down to the quantum level it's hard to be certain what's inherent and what's caused by your methods of observation. Still, virtual particles appear to be a kind of perpetual motion. I'm not going to guarantee that there's no way to correlate them, not after we've built Bose-Einstein condensates, which I wouldn't have believed possible.

The thing is, any of these really wild "things" is an incredibly low probability possibility. But we do KNOW the physics needs to be rebuilt from the ground up, because of the conflicts between Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity, so SOME idea that we have classified as "we aren't thinking about that" is correct. But there are so many of that that picking out the correct one is worse than "a needle in a haystack and no magnet". This shows some plausibility, so it needs to be looked at more carefully.

Comment Re:So try it already (Score 1) 389

IIUC the current claim is that it's weaker than a good ion rocket, but doesn't require ejection mass. This doesn't indicate a fast propulsion system, but rather one that can run indefinitely off of just sunlight.

If it works it's got lots of good uses. And, if it works, since we don't understand it now, once we do understand it we may be able to improve on it significantly. (There *is* a theory of operation, but I don't believe it. If it's true it implies that our knowledge of physics is a lot worse than I think.)

Comment Re:Well... (Score 1) 389

OK. But we already KNOW that physics needs to be rebuilt from the ground up, we've just got no idea of the correct starting point. Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity are incompatible, and every attempt at reconciling them has failed. But both are accurate everywhere we can test them.

So I'm really hoping this will give us an idea as to where to start the rebuild. I'm just not expecting it.

Comment Re:If the singularity doesn't happen... (Score 1) 150

You need the virtual reality to siphon off energies that could otherwise lead to rebellion. You need AI to provide a consistent administration that will maintain a stable system over hundreds of human generations. You probably need a human figurehead in control, with the AI ensuring that the incorrect orders get carried out, and that all the correct orders get carried out. Probably most government decisions are optional, but we don't know enough about how societies run to be sure of that.

Comment Re:Wow, and I thought the existing Sednoids were n (Score 1) 150

You should assume that it was put there intentionally, because the requirements for getting into that kind of an orbit are quite difficult. Possibly if the object is just a vacuum cremented collection of dust particles you could assume would also be evidence that the area used to be quite dusty.

Comment Re:Every word is undermined.. (Score 1) 344

Parallel Construction

It is nothing but a euphemism for Lying to the court and defense attorneys. Perjury. A Criminal Conspiracy between law enforcement and the prosecutors to commit fraud upon the court and deprive the defense of the actual evidence in the case. Parallel Construction is a way to make something illegal and unethical sound like it is okay.

Comment Re:a very large planet, 15 times the Earth (Score 1) 150

And something basically to that effect was for a period at the IAU conference the definition being haggled over. A lot of people went home at that point thinking that either that would get voted in as the definition, or there would be no definition, and were fine with either outcome. The committee however changed the proposal before the vote came up.

Comment Re:The universe. (Score 1) 150

These are what the IAU came up with, in a vote that was very controversial among its membership. An association dominated by astronomers, not planetary scientists, who were by and large against the decision. And a set of terminology that you can often find flatly ignored in scientific papers. Example. In short, the only group that the IAU is able to bludgeon into using their term is the general public (using the "We're scientists, if you don't use our term you're wrong and ignorant" gambit), not the scientific community itself.

Slashdot Top Deals

An algorithm must be seen to be believed. -- D.E. Knuth