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Kugelblitz! Powering a Starship With a Black Hole
space.com ^ | January 16, 2014 | Jeff Lee

Posted on 01/17/2014 7:17:49 AM PST by 12th_Monkey

Interstellar flight certainly ranks among the most daunting challenges ever postulated by human civilization. The distances to even the closest stars are so stupendous that constructing even a scale model of interstellar distance is impractical. For instance, if on such a model the separation of the Earth and sun is 1 inch (2.5 centimeters), the nearest star to our solar system (Proxima Centauri) would be 4.3 miles (6.9 kilometers) away!

The fastest object ever built by the human species is the Voyager 1 space probe, moving at a speed of 18 miles per second. If it were heading toward Proxima Centauri (which it’s not), Voyager 1 would reach our nearest stellar neighbor in about 80,000 years.

Clearly, if interstellar travel is to be accomplished on human timescales, much greater speeds are required. At 10 percent of the speed of light (a thousand times faster than Voyager 1, but a conceivable speed for likely soon-to-be-realized fusion engines), Proxima Centuri could be reached in approximately 45 years — less than a human lifetime.

However, the necessary energies to achieve substantial fractions of the speed of light, thus cutting the travel time to the stars to less than a human lifetime, are equally mind-boggling.

Every pound of starship moving at 99.9 percent the speed of light will have a kinetic energy more than three times greater than the energy of the largest nuclear weapon ever detonated. Nevertheless, there may be a way of supplying an engine with such prodigious energies.

In his 1955 paper Geons, John Wheeler, one of the pioneers of the theory of black holes, coined the term "Kugelblitz" — which translates literally to "ball lightning." He suggested that if enough pure energy could be focused into a region of space, that energy would form a microscopic black hole,

(Excerpt) Read more at space.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Unclassified
KEYWORDS: blackhole; starship
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long article, lots of Trekish science and exotic stuff. Please read, comments welcome.
1 posted on 01/17/2014 7:17:49 AM PST by 12th_Monkey
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To: 12th_Monkey

“The fastest object ever built by the human species is the Voyager 1 space probe, moving at a speed of 18 miles per second. If it were heading toward Proxima Centauri (which it’s not), Voyager 1 would reach our nearest stellar neighbor in about 80,000 years.”

Coincidentally, that just happens to be the orbital speed of Earth around the Sun (~18 miles/sec, or ~66,000 miles/hr).


2 posted on 01/17/2014 7:24:02 AM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: 12th_Monkey

Give me a break. Everyone knows this is what the Romulans use, not us! Geesh!


3 posted on 01/17/2014 7:28:42 AM PST by Free Vulcan (Vote Republican! You can vote Democrat when you're dead...)
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To: 12th_Monkey

So how do they plan to keep form running into things?

Travel at the speed of light rules out radar things. By the time you got a return form an object you would be on top of it.


4 posted on 01/17/2014 7:33:06 AM PST by mountainlion (Live well for those that did not make it back.)
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To: 12th_Monkey
"Every pound of starship moving at 99.9 percent the speed of light...."

Of course when you start talking about speeds close to that of light, it brings up all sorts of weird stuff like time dilation and length contraction.

Here's an explanation of time dilation that I wrote myself a few years ago. Hope it makes sense. The graphic I found on the Web.

First, from Wikipedia: "One second is defined as 'the duration of 9192631770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom'..."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second

Now imagine, instead of a vibrating 'caesium 133 atom', we have a beam of light bouncing back and forth between two mirrors within a vertical tube. Now let's say, for the sake of argument, that it takes precisely 'one second' for the light beam to reach the top mirror (tick), reflect off it, reverse and reach the bottom mirror (tock).

Now let's say the light tube, or 'light clock', is resting on a flatbed train car, and on the flatbed is an observer who we will call "Observer A". To Observer A, who is moving along with the train and is therefore 'at rest' with respect to it, the light beam simply travels from the bottom of the tube *vertically* to the top of the tube and then straight back down again. From the relationship, speed equals distance over time, we get time equals distance over speed. So this is then how Observer A defines time (t=distance/speed). Important to note here, is, according to theory and supported by experimental evidence, light travels at the SAME SPEED for ALL observers.

Now let's say there is an observer B standing on the embankment alongside the train watching it pass by. From this observer's point of view, or frame of reference, the light beam does not simply travel vertically up and down but rather in a slanted or diagonal path, since the train is in motion, let's say from left to right as Observer B sees it. Now since the light beam travels a diagonal path between tick and tock, again, from OB's stationary point of view, the light beam therefore is traveling a LONGER distance (from OB's perspective). Therefore, since the light beam is traveling a longer distance (from OB's perspective) AND since light travels at the same speed for all observers, the light beam MUST take a longer time to bounce between the two mirrors (tick-tock). Therefore, the two observers (A and B) do NOT agree on what a "second" is.


http://galileo.phys.virginia.edu/classes/252/srelwhat.html

The mathematical relationship between the two paths is based on the Pythagorean Theorem for right-triangles that many of us used in high school.

Here is that mathematical relationship (between time as perceived by the two different observers) that is derived from the familiar Pythagorean Theorem (a squared + b squared = c squared, c being the longest leg of the 90 degree (right) triangle depicted in the above illustration):

\Delta t' = \frac{\Delta t}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}}

-ETL

5 posted on 01/17/2014 7:33:35 AM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: ETL

That is an interesting factoid that I’ve never heard before. Thanks.

My memory is fuzzy on the subject, but I think the Voyagers were the first probes to use gravity assists to get to their cruising speeds.


6 posted on 01/17/2014 7:34:55 AM PST by 12th_Monkey (In an alternate universe Obama still dips ice cream)
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To: Free Vulcan

they need that kind of power for the cloaking device.


7 posted on 01/17/2014 7:36:19 AM PST by 12th_Monkey (In an alternate universe Obama still dips ice cream)
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To: 12th_Monkey
In his 1955 paper Geons, John Wheeler, one of the pioneers of the theory of black holes, coined the term "Kugelblitz" — which translates literally to "ball lightning." He suggested that if enough pure energy could be focused into a region of space, that energy would form a microscopic black hole...

PFL

8 posted on 01/17/2014 7:39:37 AM PST by Alex Murphy ("the defacto Leader of the FR Calvinist Protestant Brigades")
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To: mountainlion

If you only traveling at 45% of light then I guess it would still work. But the real point is even an object the size of a pea hitting a ship at 45% of light would probably end the trip rather quickly.

Star Trek Tech used deflector shields to eliminate this pesky problem and deal with hostile aliens as a bonus. But that is just as impossible as building a singularity to power an engine.....at least for now that is.


9 posted on 01/17/2014 7:40:46 AM PST by 12th_Monkey (In an alternate universe Obama still dips ice cream)
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To: 12th_Monkey

They tried that in “Event Horizon”...it didn’t end well...


10 posted on 01/17/2014 7:41:40 AM PST by apillar
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To: ETL

And that’s why I use worm holes for all my interstellar flight.


11 posted on 01/17/2014 7:45:19 AM PST by Pecos (The Chicago Way: Kill the Constitution, one step at a time.)
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To: 12th_Monkey

You can actually use that little formula in my post 5 to see how a second aboard a ship traveling at 45% light speed would compare to that of a second back on earth. Just replace v with .45c


12 posted on 01/17/2014 7:45:41 AM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: 12th_Monkey

V’ger 1 is moving at 38,000 mph which is 10.5 miles/sec. Possible confusion between kilometers and miles pet hour.


13 posted on 01/17/2014 7:47:21 AM PST by buffaloguy
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To: 12th_Monkey

...it would also shorten the trip via ‘length contraction’, from the high-speed ship’s perspective.


14 posted on 01/17/2014 7:47:38 AM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: 12th_Monkey

“Schwarzschild Kugelblitz”

May the Schwartz be with you.


15 posted on 01/17/2014 7:48:39 AM PST by Ray76
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To: ETL
Thanks for your lucid and enjoyable explanation!

Therefore, the two observers (A and B) do NOT agree on what a "second" is.

Two questions:

1) But they would both agree one the height of the (vertical) tube, right?

2) If the tube were not oriented vertically, but rather parallel to (i.e., in line with) the direction of motion of OA, thus undergoing apparent shortening in length (as per the Lorentz Transformation) as viewed by OB, then they couldn't agree on the length of the tube either, could they?

Regards,

16 posted on 01/17/2014 7:49:52 AM PST by alexander_busek (Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.)
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To: ETL

I think time dilation would be in full effect. If it takes 45 years to get to your destination at speeds approaching light then time dilation would mean a great deal of time would pass on earth. In fact, it would be possible for a ship with the capability to fold space (developed while the near light speed was on it’s journey) would arrive ahead of the NLS ship.

Light speed, time dilation and that kind of theoretical thinking messes with my head.


17 posted on 01/17/2014 7:51:20 AM PST by 12th_Monkey (In an alternate universe Obama still dips ice cream)
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To: 12th_Monkey

It has also been theorized that if you built one of these things and kept it fed (you have to add matter to it or else it would eventually evaporate in a BOOM) that you could use the power from on e device to start additional devices...

Basically it is just a Matter to Energy conversion engine that uses a trick of gravity to stay stable.

If you over feed it the amount of energy released actually goes DOWN... It is kinda paradoxical that way...


18 posted on 01/17/2014 7:54:55 AM PST by GraceG
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To: ETL

contraction? I thought that length theoretically increased as an object approached light? Just like matter falling into a black hole is supposed to spaghettify.


19 posted on 01/17/2014 7:55:33 AM PST by 12th_Monkey (In an alternate universe Obama still dips ice cream)
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To: buffaloguy
V’ger 1 is moving at 38,000 mph which is 10.5 miles/sec. Possible confusion between kilometers and miles per hour.

You're correct.

"As of 2013, the probe [Voyager 1] was moving with a relative velocity to the Sun of about 17 km/s.[12]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_1
_____________________________________

Voyager 2:
"The probe is now moving at a velocity of 15.428 km/s relative to the Sun.[6]"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voyager_2

20 posted on 01/17/2014 7:55:35 AM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: ETL

This is very interesting stuff. Your equation for time dilation is, of course, correct.

It seems to me that if you were a photon traveling at the speed of light then time would not elapse at all. Thus you, the photon, would be able to move around the universe “instantly”.

Is that correct?


21 posted on 01/17/2014 7:56:14 AM PST by InterceptPoint
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To: Ray76

Live long and Kugelblitz


22 posted on 01/17/2014 7:56:22 AM PST by 12th_Monkey (In an alternate universe Obama still dips ice cream)
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To: 12th_Monkey

23 posted on 01/17/2014 7:56:42 AM PST by Squawk 8888 (I'd give up chocolate but I'm no quitter)
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To: 12th_Monkey

[ In his 1955 paper Geons, John Wheeler, one of the pioneers of the theory of black holes, coined the term “Kugelblitz” — which translates literally to “ball lightning.” He suggested that if enough pure energy could be focused into a region of space, that energy would form a microscopic black hole, ]

Which is interesting as some have speculated that Ball Lightning is actually a cosmic ray that has impacted at high energies into the atmosphere and that has become a micro black hole that then slowly evaporates... Could explain how they appear to pass through regular matter (the core is very tiny and at that scale solid matter as we perceive it is quite porous)


24 posted on 01/17/2014 7:57:45 AM PST by GraceG
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To: apillar
They tried that in “Event Horizon”...it didn’t end well...,

That is exactly the movie I was thinking of! Yes, it didn't go as planned lol!

25 posted on 01/17/2014 7:59:53 AM PST by Marko413
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To: 12th_Monkey
That's racist!
26 posted on 01/17/2014 8:02:04 AM PST by Bubba_Leroy (The Obamanation Continues)
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To: GraceG

I’m sure just as we have mechanics to regulate the flow of gasoline into an internal combustion engine, some form of regulator would be needed to maintain whatever exotic physics needed to maintain this reaction.

Speed limit is 186,282 miles per second and no matter how much you feed this thing you’re only going to get to 99.999999% of light....in “normal” space anyway.


27 posted on 01/17/2014 8:03:16 AM PST by 12th_Monkey (In an alternate universe Obama still dips ice cream)
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To: FReepers
Did You Know?

The Current FReepathon Pays For The Current Quarters Expenses?

Please Donate And Keep FR Running


28 posted on 01/17/2014 8:03:20 AM PST by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: Squawk 8888

I love the design of the Next Gen Romulan ships. I remember that episode they brought up in the article.


29 posted on 01/17/2014 8:04:58 AM PST by 12th_Monkey (In an alternate universe Obama still dips ice cream)
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To: GraceG

I’ve not heard that before. Interesting. How does a micro black hole evaporate? I thought once a black hole formed, matter falling into ti would sustain it and perhaps cause it to grow?


30 posted on 01/17/2014 8:07:45 AM PST by 12th_Monkey (In an alternate universe Obama still dips ice cream)
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To: apillar
They tried that in “Event Horizon”...it didn’t end well...

"liberate tutame"
31 posted on 01/17/2014 8:08:11 AM PST by ZX12R (Never forget the heroes of Benghazi, who were abandoned to their deaths by Obama)
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To: Bubba_Leroy

Ha! Shall I call it hole of color???


32 posted on 01/17/2014 8:08:22 AM PST by 12th_Monkey (In an alternate universe Obama still dips ice cream)
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To: 12th_Monkey
Contraction? I thought that length theoretically increased as an object approached light? Just like matter falling into a black hole is supposed to spaghettify.

To something moving at speeds near light, the distance they've yet to travel shortens. This is apart from the obvious fact that their motion causes the distance to grow shorter. The spaghettification you can visualize by stretching out the time clock illustration I posted (horizontally). ie, by stretching it out it represents speeds approaching light. Or greater and greater effects of time dilation. In other words, if v could equal c (which in theory it can't) the triangle would flatten out to infinity and it would take an infinite amount of time between tick and tock (as an outside observer sees it).


33 posted on 01/17/2014 8:08:24 AM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: 12th_Monkey
contraction? I thought that length theoretically increased as an object approached light? Just like matter falling into a black hole is supposed to spaghettify.

That is a purely mechanical and unrelated effect you are describing there - and one which the observer falling into the black hole would himself observe - long before he achieved relativistic velocities. Actually, tidal forces (or more accurately: differential gravitational forces) would tend to form whatever object falls into a black hole into a conical shape.

Regards,

34 posted on 01/17/2014 8:10:11 AM PST by alexander_busek (Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.)
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To: 12th_Monkey

The problem is not getting sucked into the black hole, too.


35 posted on 01/17/2014 8:10:24 AM PST by Blood of Tyrants (The War on Drugs has been used as an excuse to steal your rights. Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: ETL

“To something moving at speeds near light, the distance they’ve yet to travel shortens”

in front of the said object traveling near light????


36 posted on 01/17/2014 8:10:30 AM PST by 12th_Monkey (In an alternate universe Obama still dips ice cream)
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To: 12th_Monkey

Bookmark.


37 posted on 01/17/2014 8:12:40 AM PST by The Cajun (Sarah Palin, Mark Levin, Ted Cruz, Mike Lee, Louie Gohmert......Nuff said.)
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To: alexander_busek

To an observer watching something falling into a black hole would see it spaghettify...I forgot that. thanks for the correction


38 posted on 01/17/2014 8:13:24 AM PST by 12th_Monkey (In an alternate universe Obama still dips ice cream)
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To: 12th_Monkey
I’ve not heard that before. Interesting. How does a micro black hole evaporate? I thought once a black hole formed, matter falling into ti would sustain it and perhaps cause it to grow?

Only the matter falling into it would increase its mass - but because it's so small (on the order of the size of a proton at the moment it disappears entirely), it wouldn't interact that much - directly. Ordinary matter would seem like an immense emptiness to a microscopic observer following the micro black hole on its journey.

The zone of disruption surrounding the micro black hole would actually tend to repel things.

Regards,

39 posted on 01/17/2014 8:14:15 AM PST by alexander_busek (Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

that would be a bad place to be in.


40 posted on 01/17/2014 8:16:19 AM PST by 12th_Monkey (In an alternate universe Obama still dips ice cream)
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To: 12th_Monkey
"To an observer watching something falling into a black hole would see it spaghettify

No observer could ever watch because the light illuminating the event would be trapped by the black hole.

41 posted on 01/17/2014 8:18:31 AM PST by circlecity
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To: alexander_busek
Two questions:
1) But they would both agree on the height of the (vertical) tube, right?

Yes.

2) If the tube were not oriented vertically, but rather parallel to (i.e., in line with) the direction of motion of OA, thus undergoing apparent shortening in length (as per the Lorentz Transformation) as viewed by OB, then they couldn't agree on the length of the tube either, could they?

I believe that's correct. But consider this: if the light tube/clock were positioned horizontally, and the platform it was on was moving at precisely light speed (c), the light pulse would NEVER arrive at the other end of the tube. A "second" would drag out to infinity, as seen from the outside observer's point of view. Time would have come to a halt from that outside perspective. Of course, in theory at least, nothing can ever be accelerated to light speed, as it would require an infinite amount of energy to do it, but the effect does become more and more apparent at speeds approaching light.

42 posted on 01/17/2014 8:19:03 AM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: 12th_Monkey

[I’ve not heard that before. Interesting. How does a micro black hole evaporate? I thought once a black hole formed, matter falling into ti would sustain it and perhaps cause it to grow?]

That only works in large black holes that have enough gravitational attraction to bring things to the core of it.

You have remember the event horizon of the black is the “effective size” of it where the singularity is where all the matter that falls into it must end up.

For a microscopic black hole the event horizon is actually about the size of a single atom...

remember matter is porous ...

trying to hit one atom with another it really hard and you have to feed the micro black hole matter constantly otherwise it will evaporate.

A micro black would have to be literally shot into a place with extremely high matter density to be able to absorb enough matter to sustain itself... perhaps the inside of a star where matter density is very high...

A micro black hole in space passing through earth would simply pass through it, the only affect would be the radiation output around it as it slowly evaporates...


43 posted on 01/17/2014 8:19:06 AM PST by GraceG
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To: ETL

My high school physics teacher used the train example to explain relativistic time dilation back in the 1970s. 40 years later relativity still gives me a headache.

Let’s use the old twins example. One twin stays home in mission control and the other twin leaves on a rocket going at close to the speed of light. The twin on the rocket ages at a slower rate. When he arrives at Alpha Centauri he will be younger than his twin back on Earth.

Here is where I get lost. Speed and motion are entirely relative and not absolute. To the twin on the rocket, the twin on Earth is moving at close to the speed of light and the twin on the rocket is stationary. Why doesn’t the twin on Earth age at a slower rate relative to the twin on the rocket?

To really complicate things, use triplets with two going off in rockets in opposite directions from Earth each moving at just under the speed of light. To the brother on Earth, each of his brothers is moving away at the speed of light. To the brothers in the rockets, the brother on earth is moving away at the speed of light. What about the brother in the other rocket? He cannot move away at a relative speed of greater than the speed of light. So what speed are the brothers in the rockets moving relative to each other?

Like I said, relativity gives me a headache.


44 posted on 01/17/2014 8:21:48 AM PST by Bubba_Leroy (The Obamanation Continues)
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To: alexander_busek

If I may ask, is this a particular field of study for you?


45 posted on 01/17/2014 8:22:15 AM PST by 12th_Monkey (In an alternate universe Obama still dips ice cream)
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To: 12th_Monkey

Doesn’t matter what it wants to be called,
the new name will become offensive
because it will come to mean “black hole” anyway.


46 posted on 01/17/2014 8:22:55 AM PST by MrB (The difference between a Humanist and a Satanist - the latter admits whom he's working for)
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To: InterceptPoint
It seems to me that if you were a photon traveling at the speed of light then time would not elapse at all. Thus you, the photon, would be able to move around the universe 'instantly'. Is that correct?

Yes, that is true. You can even say that it hadn't even moved, since its travel distance would have contracted to zero by virtue of its traveling at light speed. Weird stuff, and just the tip of the cosmological iceberg.

47 posted on 01/17/2014 8:24:38 AM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: 12th_Monkey
“To something moving at speeds near light, the distance they’ve yet to travel shortens”

in front of the said object traveling near light????

Yes. Think of the distance yet to travel as a unit of distance approaching the high-speed spaceship. The theory says that moving clocks tick out time more slowly and that moving units of distance are contracted.

48 posted on 01/17/2014 8:28:54 AM PST by ETL (ALL (most?) of the Obama-commie connections at my FR Home page: http://www.freerepublic.com/~etl/)
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To: 12th_Monkey
Ha! Shall I call it hole of color???

Whatever you do, don't call it "black" in Spanish.

49 posted on 01/17/2014 8:30:47 AM PST by Bubba_Leroy (The Obamanation Continues)
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To: 12th_Monkey
"One approach to accomplishing total energy capture is to surround the Schwarzschild Kugelblitz with a tiny Dyson Shell. "


50 posted on 01/17/2014 8:36:11 AM PST by UCANSEE2 (I forgot what my tagline was supposed to say)
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