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(io9)   Ten myths about space travel. Article was submitted tomorrow and needs to be greenlit to avoid fatal time paradox   (io9.com) divider line 245
    More: Interesting, time paradox, spaceflights, Death from the Skies, faster than light, laws of physics, time dilations, asteroid belt, artificial gravity  
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9392 clicks; posted to Geek » on 22 Aug 2012 at 7:48 PM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-08-22 06:41:19 PM
TFA: "And you'll notice that on shows like Star Trek, when life support and power are turned off, artificial gravity somehow always keeps working."


Really?


s13.postimage.org
upload picture
 
2012-08-22 06:56:03 PM
None of those things seem to be "myths" -- with the exception of the spacing issue (# 5).

They just seem to be things that are impossible with current technology -- but science fiction writers assume we'll solve sometime in the future.
 
2012-08-22 07:29:25 PM
Hey, it worked!
 
2012-08-22 07:31:49 PM
*looks at photo*

phew

/subby
 
2012-08-22 07:33:50 PM
If you hit Alt-F4 you can travel back in time a couple minutes.
 
2012-08-22 07:52:58 PM
images1.wikia.nocookie.net
 
2012-08-22 07:53:10 PM
#11 - Gravity is the same (1 G) on every planet.

And a fun fact: There was no FTL in the Firefly universe.


UberDave: TFA: "And you'll notice that on shows like Star Trek, when life support and power are turned off, artificial gravity somehow always keeps working."

Really?

[s13.postimage.org image 320x240]
upload picture


Should have read the whole entry:

(With the exception of Star Trek VI, of course.)
 
2012-08-22 07:59:04 PM
Myths? How much space travel did they do to research this?
 
2012-08-22 07:59:15 PM
That's why it's called science fiction, dumbarticlewriter.
 
2012-08-22 08:00:45 PM
8) Cheap energy is readily available

There's a Charles Stross book (Glasshouse, I think) that gets around this (and the ray gun thing) in a fun way: the protagonist uses a weapon that opens a wormhole that links it to the inside of a star to generate the weapon's beam.

Of course that will just start an argument about wormholes...
 
2012-08-22 08:01:50 PM
I think there's some Trek technobabble that addresses each of those.
 
2012-08-22 08:01:59 PM

UberDave: TFA: "And you'll notice that on shows like Star Trek, when life support and power are turned off, artificial gravity somehow always keeps working."


Really?


[s13.postimage.org image 320x240]
upload picture


It's really a shame you couldn't read one more sentence.

And you'll notice that on shows like Star Trek, when life support and power are turned off, artificial gravity somehow always keeps working. (With the exception of Star Trek VI, of course.)
 
2012-08-22 08:02:30 PM

fusillade762: #11 - Gravity is the same (1 G) on every planet.

And a fun fact: There was no FTL in the Firefly universe.


UberDave: TFA: "And you'll notice that on shows like Star Trek, when life support and power are turned off, artificial gravity somehow always keeps working."

Really?

[s13.postimage.org image 320x240]
upload picture

Should have read the whole entry:

(With the exception of Star Trek VI, of course.)


Obvious reason is because they were all filmed on earth. Live action has its limitations.
CGI and anime tend to be more scientifically accurate.

dl.dropbox.com

dl.dropbox.com

/When they feel like it.
/Because they can be wildly and amazingly inaccurate when the plot calls for it too.
 
2012-08-22 08:02:49 PM

Handsome B. Wonderful: Myths? How much space travel did they do to research this?


They had to work very hard to make Cracked seem like a bastion of informed and well-researched articles.
 
2012-08-22 08:03:30 PM
Author of TFA is right about the "gravity pump" or whatever you wanna call it still working even when the life support, propulsion, and communication is all down.
 
2012-08-22 08:03:48 PM
#3 You can stop and start without worrying about inertia

They created inertial dampeners to explain why the acceleration and deceleration don't send people flying. Now if you want to say that inertial dampeners don't exist... fine, but pretend like they don't explain it.
 
2012-08-22 08:06:20 PM

Oldiron_79: Author of TFA is right about the "gravity pump" or whatever you wanna call it still working even when the life support, propulsion, and communication is all down.


You'll notice that they also usually have lighting as well.
It seems humans in several scifi universes value gravity and mood lighting more than life support when things have gone bad.
 
2012-08-22 08:07:11 PM
Up next: 10 myths about air travel, by physicists of the 1880s.

Seriously though, not one of these was a myth about space travel. They're all about sci-fi movie tropes that are necessary to filming a drama here on Earth. Furthermore, "myth" generally implies something is widely believed. I don't think anyone is laboring under the illusion that FTL travel is possible without new physics.

I was expecting to see stuff like "your blood boils in space." (It does, but only if it's outside your body.)
 
2012-08-22 08:11:49 PM

tomcatadam: Oldiron_79: Author of TFA is right about the "gravity pump" or whatever you wanna call it still working even when the life support, propulsion, and communication is all down.

You'll notice that they also usually have lighting as well.
It seems humans in several scifi universes value gravity and mood lighting more than life support when things have gone bad.


The funny thing is, I'm pretty sure lighting and gravity are life support systems. They never seem to indicate exactly what "life support" is, or why you'll die when it's disabled. Is it the atmosphere recycling system? If so, why don't they have CO2 scrubber masks that people can put on? And furthermore, how can gravity generators require less power than some fans and filters?
 
2012-08-22 08:12:37 PM
I think if you have artificial gravity you can make up some treknobabble pretty easily about the lack of inertia when turning or accelerating/decelerating and yet still feeling the impacts of incoming weaponry.

Also explains how Scalosian bras work.
 
2012-08-22 08:15:12 PM
static4.depositphotos.com

But but but the species and magic materials and like exploring and science! WAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!
 
2012-08-22 08:15:23 PM
Risen Empire

Not 'great', but has a more interesting take on technology and science.

Messing with time makes for humanity taking a... back seat. We simply don't live long enough for that kind of more practical application of science to make this stuff compelling without the time-element held up as 'the' theme.
 
2012-08-22 08:17:45 PM

Cinaed: We simply don't live long enough for that kind of more practical application of science


We don't? But I'm chairman of the Human Life Shortening project. Short life is what gives life meaning and makes you want to do things!!!
 
2012-08-22 08:23:24 PM
A question for physicists: how is time dilation compatible with theory of general relativity? If I travel away from earth at close to the speed of light, and then turn around and travel back to earth at close to the speed of light, supposedly hundreds of years will have passed on earth, and I will be in the future. But who is to say that I didn't stay put, and it was the earth that was traveling? What is the absolute reference point in the universe against which motion is calculated for the purpose of time dilation?
 
2012-08-22 08:24:33 PM
Did the author use a time machine to visit 2300+? If not, then facts about what's currently possible or known to be possible are not meaningful.
 
2012-08-22 08:27:06 PM
7) Ray guns can actually disintegrate someone

i'd love it if someone made a film with invisible (no red flashes) blasters.

and the only sounds they make are the objects they hit sizzling and spluttering in a myriad of different ways instead of the universal "pew" "pew" "pew"

imagine someone getting hit right in the head, and seeing nothing but a small puff of steam and maybe a bit of smoke coming out of a freshly exploded eye socket.
 
2012-08-22 08:27:33 PM
Meh, better link of myths about space travel.
 
2012-08-22 08:28:09 PM
FTA: 9. You can travel at the speed of light and no time passes elsewhere

Yeah, about that -- Star Trek directly addresses this one by explaining that warp drive travels through space AND time. That way you can travel faster than the speed of light without arriving before you left, hence preserving causality (and making the show a lot easier to understand.)
 
2012-08-22 08:35:15 PM

Tommy Moo: A question for physicists: how is time dilation compatible with theory of general relativity? If I travel away from earth at close to the speed of light, and then turn around and travel back to earth at close to the speed of light, supposedly hundreds of years will have passed on earth, and I will be in the future. But who is to say that I didn't stay put, and it was the earth that was traveling? What is the absolute reference point in the universe against which motion is calculated for the purpose of time dilation?


There isn't any absolute reference point. To simplify it hugely, the time differential comes because you underwent the acceleration to near c, and the earth did not. It seems reciprocal until you realize that only one end sees the induced gravity effect of acceleration. If the earth accelerated more, it would be the one going into the future.
 
2012-08-22 08:36:06 PM
Sure, cheap energy is often readily available, but sometimes it ends up being slow-moving mineral-like ancient beings who actually founded the galaxy and are really pissed off that you're using them as spaceship fuel.
 
2012-08-22 08:38:31 PM

Tommy Moo: A question for physicists: how is time dilation compatible with theory of general relativity? If I travel away from earth at close to the speed of light, and then turn around and travel back to earth at close to the speed of light, supposedly hundreds of years will have passed on earth, and I will be in the future. But who is to say that I didn't stay put, and it was the earth that was traveling? What is the absolute reference point in the universe against which motion is calculated for the purpose of time dilation?


I think that there is no absolute reference, it's all relative...that's the point.

I'm not a physicist but I slept at a Holiday Inn last night
 
2012-08-22 08:43:02 PM

thrasherrr: Tommy Moo: A question for physicists: how is time dilation compatible with theory of general relativity? If I travel away from earth at close to the speed of light, and then turn around and travel back to earth at close to the speed of light, supposedly hundreds of years will have passed on earth, and I will be in the future. But who is to say that I didn't stay put, and it was the earth that was traveling? What is the absolute reference point in the universe against which motion is calculated for the purpose of time dilation?

There isn't any absolute reference point. To simplify it hugely, the time differential comes because you underwent the acceleration to near c, and the earth did not. It seems reciprocal until you realize that only one end sees the induced gravity effect of acceleration. If the earth accelerated more, it would be the one going into the future.


So the arbitration would have to do with the fact that an outside force acted on me, but not the earth? That I can accept. This was really bothering me for a while!
 
2012-08-22 08:47:19 PM
Tommy Moo: A question for physicists: how is time dilation compatible with theory of general relativity? If I travel away from earth at close to the speed of light, and then turn around and travel back to earth at close to the speed of light, supposedly hundreds of years will have passed on earth, and I will be in the future. But who is to say that I didn't stay put, and it was the earth that was traveling? What is the absolute reference point in the universe against which motion is calculated for the purpose of time dilation?

Dictionary, use it.
 
2012-08-22 08:48:28 PM
#3 You can stop and start without worrying about inertia

i.imgur.com

i.imgur.com

He didn't worry about inertia
 
2012-08-22 08:53:36 PM

Tommy Moo: But who is to say that I didn't stay put, and it was the earth that was traveling?


You're the one who's saying you didn't stay put, actually.

Short answer: The difference between you and the Earth is that you are, by your own admission, changing reference frames. You go out, your turn around, and then you come back. As it turns out, it really doesn't matter how slowly or quickly you do this; you can no longer say that you're standing still while the Earth was moving.

Because you're going some distance out and then presumably turning around, the problem no longer becomes you + earth. The problem becomes you + earth-and-wherever-you-decide-to-turn-around; and whenever you have to consider multiple points in a single reference frame, things change. The relevant change here is a slightly less well known effect of relativity in which clocks that were synchronized at rest now lose synchronization when in apparent motion. This ultimately causes your turnaround point to jump farther ahead in time during your voyage out, and it causes the earth to jump even farther ahead than that during your return trip, even though both clocks do indeed appear to tick more slowly than your own.

Seems counter-intuitive at first, but the traveler (you) will agree that the earth is now many years ahead of you by the time the you return.

If you wish, I can give you a much more thorough answer (with negligible amounts of math) once I'm finished with work for the day.
 
2012-08-22 08:55:04 PM
MrEricSir: FTA: 9. You can travel at the speed of light and no time passes elsewhere

Yeah, about that -- Star Trek directly addresses this one by explaining that warp drive travels through space AND time. That way you can travel faster than the speed of light without arriving before you left, hence preserving causality (and making the show a lot easier to understand.)


More simply, it bends the universe around itself, hence the "warp bubble". Same idea as a worm hole.

There's no movement involved, and thus no relativity to break.

Truth be told nBSG did FTL better with their instantaneous jumps. If you have the power to control space-time, it seems warping space would be easy and instantaneous. You wouldn't "travel" like in Trek. But the problem is knowing where and what you're jumping into. You could jump across the universe, but good luck that you don't jump into a sun accidentally. Better to take smaller jumps with coordinates precisely plotted out.
 
2012-08-22 08:59:46 PM
Has anyone pointed out that these are not myths, per se, but a list of things sci-fi audiences are willing to suspend disbelief about?
 
2012-08-22 09:01:31 PM
The author of this article must be fun at parties.
 
2012-08-22 09:05:27 PM

MrEricSir: FTA: 9. You can travel at the speed of light and no time passes elsewhere

Yeah, about that -- Star Trek directly addresses this one by explaining that warp drive travels through space AND time.


So. .. . . the Enterprise is really a TARDIS? When did the Federation admit Gallifrey as a member planet? 

/Star Trek II: Daleks vs. The Borg
 
2012-08-22 09:07:08 PM
Quantum Apostrophe:

Cinaed: We simply don't live long enough for that kind of more practical application of science

We don't? But I'm chairman of the Human Life Shortening project. Short life is what gives life meaning and makes you want to do things!!!


I really love your well thought out, apropos posts in every thread related to space. The sheeple need to know that hardly any money is spent on human life sciences ($30.86b not including private investment that can be done on a small scale) what with the absurdly huge amounts of money spent on space $(17.71b for something that has a high bar for entry).

Really, people need to realize that lying in bed forever should override EVERYTHING! So long as Q.A. lives forever and ever and the nurse comes in to change the channel to his favorite programs when he wants, who the hell cares what happens to his children. 

Just know that we appreciate your vision... Speaking of which, have you taken that pill that you described in an earlier Fark post that will fix your faulty vision? I've been concerned about that.
 
2012-08-22 09:08:37 PM

Fricknmaniac: #3 You can stop and start without worrying about inertia

They created inertial dampeners to explain why the acceleration and deceleration don't send people flying. Now if you want to say that inertial dampeners don't exist... fine, but pretend like they don't explain it.


Reminds me of the Heisenberg compensator from Star Trek, which would explain how transporters worked in Trek without violating the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

When asked by Time magazine in 1994, "How do the Heisenberg compensators work?" Michael Okuda replied, "They work just fine, thank you."
 
2012-08-22 09:09:34 PM

BorgiaGinz: MrEricSir: FTA: 9. You can travel at the speed of light and no time passes elsewhere

Yeah, about that -- Star Trek directly addresses this one by explaining that warp drive travels through space AND time.

So. .. . . the Enterprise is really a TARDIS? When did the Federation admit Gallifrey as a member planet? 

/Star Trek II: Daleks vs. The Borg


comicsmedia.ign.com
 
2012-08-22 09:11:25 PM
Can't the Holodeck be described as a room that is bigger on the ....
 
2012-08-22 09:11:44 PM

maxheck: Quantum Apostrophe:

Cinaed: We simply don't live long enough for that kind of more practical application of science

We don't? But I'm chairman of the Human Life Shortening project. Short life is what gives life meaning and makes you want to do things!!!

I really love your well thought out, apropos posts in every thread related to space. The sheeple need to know that hardly any money is spent on human life sciences ($30.86b not including private investment that can be done on a small scale) what with the absurdly huge amounts of money spent on space $(17.71b for something that has a high bar for entry).

Really, people need to realize that lying in bed forever should override EVERYTHING! So long as Q.A. lives forever and ever and the nurse comes in to change the channel to his favorite programs when he wants, who the hell cares what happens to his children. 

Just know that we appreciate your vision... Speaking of which, have you taken that pill that you described in an earlier Fark post that will fix your faulty vision? I've been concerned about that.


I do it for my art, man.

In case you actually believe that sci-fi is reality, here is what I suggest.

klinchan.net
danielmiessler.com
upload.wikimedia.org

That should help with your vision.
/I don't know, are you a Space Nutter? A True Believer in the "wet rock" hypothesis, and defender of the (echo effect) SPEEECIES??? 
//If so, what is your stance on socialized health care?
 
2012-08-22 09:13:40 PM

Tommy Moo: thrasherrr: Tommy Moo: A question for physicists: how is time dilation compatible with theory of general relativity? If I travel away from earth at close to the speed of light, and then turn around and travel back to earth at close to the speed of light, supposedly hundreds of years will have passed on earth, and I will be in the future. But who is to say that I didn't stay put, and it was the earth that was traveling? What is the absolute reference point in the universe against which motion is calculated for the purpose of time dilation?

There isn't any absolute reference point. To simplify it hugely, the time differential comes because you underwent the acceleration to near c, and the earth did not. It seems reciprocal until you realize that only one end sees the induced gravity effect of acceleration. If the earth accelerated more, it would be the one going into the future.

So the arbitration would have to do with the fact that an outside force acted on me, but not the earth? That I can accept. This was really bothering me for a while!


You can think about it that way. Just remember that the force is not the ultimate cause, but does track the event.
 
2012-08-22 09:18:58 PM

BorgiaGinz: So. .. . . the Enterprise is really a TARDIS?


No, the Enterprise doesn't really exist, it's all a holodeck simulation.
 
2012-08-22 09:21:54 PM
dervish16108:

Fricknmaniac: #3 You can stop and start without worrying about inertia

They created inertial dampeners to explain why the acceleration and deceleration don't send people flying. Now if you want to say that inertial dampeners don't exist... fine, but pretend like they don't explain it.

Reminds me of the Heisenberg compensator from Star Trek, which would explain how transporters worked in Trek without violating the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle.

When asked by Time magazine in 1994, "How do the Heisenberg compensators work?" Michael Okuda replied, "They work just fine, thank you."


Reminds me of the Benny Hill routine about "How do male elephants find female elephants in the tall grass?"

"Quite nice, thank you!"

I'd also add that #8 and #10 are engineering problems, not theoretical problems. In fact, figure out #8 and #10 gets a lot simpler... Our own planet figured out how to make a bubble around itself that blocks immense amounts of radiation. 

But yeah, fiction is fiction. Go figure. You move the story along with wantum physics.

Just as there aren't any... Oh, I dunno, pick something absurd such as fire breathing dragons or immortal humans.
 
2012-08-22 09:24:06 PM

eraser8: They just seem to be things that are impossible with current technology -- but science fiction writers assume we'll solve sometime in the future.


There's a difference between physics and technology.

Physics just *is*. It exists as it is despite our knowledge, ignorance, wishful thinking, abilities.

Technology, on the other hand, is a product of knowledge and effort which develops over time.

Unless we uncover a fundamental feature of physics that permits FTL, no amount of technology or effort will get past it. 

e.g. "Man can never travel in heavier than air craft" was a belief based upon technology, not physics. When we conquered flight, physics didn't change, technology did.
 
2012-08-22 09:30:18 PM
lohphat: eraser8: They just seem to be things that are impossible with current technology -- but science fiction writers assume we'll solve sometime in the future.

There's a difference between physics and technology.

Physics just *is*. It exists as it is despite our knowledge, ignorance, wishful thinking, abilities.

Technology, on the other hand, is a product of knowledge and effort which develops over time.

Unless we uncover a fundamental feature of physics that permits FTL, no amount of technology or effort will get past it. 

e.g. "Man can never travel in heavier than air craft" was a belief based upon technology, not physics. When we conquered flight, physics didn't change, technology did.


Physics not might have changed, but our understanding of it did. Same with the atom bomb and nuclear fission. It was there until a very smart man found out E=MC^2 and others used that to build technology to harvest it.

It be pretty arrogant to think we understand all physics and quantum mechanics as is now. We're only starting to get a grasp on the building blocks of particles and what entanglement means in practical use terms.
 
2012-08-22 09:37:30 PM

TyrantII: It be pretty arrogant to think we understand all physics and quantum mechanics as is now. We're only starting to get a grasp on the building blocks of particles and what entanglement means in practical use terms.


Science knows it doesn't know everything, otherwise it would stop.

We know we don't know everything, but we're doing pretty well if we can see all the way to the microwave background glow of the big bang and find the Higgs.

Are there bigger/smaller structures? Most probably.
Are there things we don't understand? Of course.
Nature of light and it's max speed? We've pretty well hammered that one out from a lot of angles. It would take a new discovery of something never before encountered in all the observations and experimentations we've done up until now.
 
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