Rebirth of Silver Imperium civilian technology

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TrashMan
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Re: Rebirth of Silver Imperium civilian technology

Post by TrashMan » Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:12 am

Mecron wrote:yes well the breakthrough sometimes can be as small as particle accelerator :twisted: ....what if the breakthrough was in understanding there is a subtle equilibrium to the state of matter in the universe...what if the experiment proved that a relatively small amount of power applied in the exact right way breaks down matter like a drop of liquid water on an icelayer a few molecules thick? Not saying all those systems dissolved or anything, just giving an example of how something might not be orders or magnitude in power or even super god tech, but perhaps just in precision.



That is certanly an explanations - just not one that I find..appealing of scientificly accurate.

Action and reaction is the main principle of the universe. I just don't think that the universe is so flimsly constructed that one could unravel it completely so easily.
Big things require big energy expenditures. This seems to be universal law.
I've yet to see anything in science that indicates one could blow up a planet without investing obscene amounts of energy in that.

Of course, SOTS is sci-fi, so super-tech falls under Acceptable Breaks from Reality.
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Re: Rebirth of Silver Imperium civilian technology

Post by Golden Yak » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:04 pm

TrashMan wrote:Action and reaction is the main principle of the universe. I just don't think that the universe is so flimsly constructed that one could unravel it completely so easily.


No one said it was easy.

That said, you can destroy a massive forest that took thousands of years to grow with a simple match, if conditions are right. A tiny crack in a dam, a snowflake on a mountainside... then the dominos fall like a house of cards.

Checkmate.
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Re: Rebirth of Silver Imperium civilian technology

Post by Azrael Ultima » Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:12 pm

It's not so much about reducing the amount of energy required, but rather about reducing the amount you have to supply yourself or changing the time in which it has to be applied.

We've been able to reduce mountains to rubble for millenia now. It just takes time.
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Re: Rebirth of Silver Imperium civilian technology

Post by Mecron » Wed Mar 09, 2011 8:16 pm

the energy of trash's voice that brings the avalanche down on his head is a few orders of magnitude less than the amount of energy required to shovel all that snow off him. Last time I checked, the average person did not think of mountain ranges as "flimsy". :wink:

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hargert
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Re: Rebirth of Silver Imperium civilian technology

Post by hargert » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:15 am

If you want to see something that does not require a great deal of energy look up what happens to a star once it starts to make iron. Something so simple that you most likely have it in your kitchen.

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Re: Rebirth of Silver Imperium civilian technology

Post by Azrael Ultima » Thu Mar 10, 2011 12:41 am

Stars in general involve massive amounts of energy, regardless of what they are doing.

And the avalanche is a good example of what i was talking about... huge amounts of energy, but you need very little (in comparison) to set it off.
And while shoveling that away might need more energy overall, it doesn't require all of it at once. Getting 50 men for 200h might be easier than getting 180 for 50h.
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Re: Rebirth of Silver Imperium civilian technology

Post by Gwenio » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:04 am

Mecron wrote:the energy of trash's voice that brings the avalanche down on his head is a few orders of magnitude less than the amount of energy required to shovel all that snow off him. Last time I checked, the average person did not think of mountain ranges as "flimsy". :wink:


Lots of energy is needed for the avalanche; however, nearly all of it was already in place. To suggest what happened in the Silver Imperium was similar would be to say that there is an easy way to make star systems vanish. And it would be immersion breaking to have that and not make it availible in game, which cannot be done because it is game breaking. Hence why a suggestion that it was simple is highly suspect.

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Re: Rebirth of Silver Imperium civilian technology

Post by ZedF » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:06 am

Hm I dunno... to me it just means it might be simple for a "sufficiently advanced" race, but the SotS races are not yet "sufficiently advanced." Maybe the Silver Imperium was on the cusp of being sufficiently advanced when they had their lil oopsie. ;)

Or, maybe it's something else altogether. I'm sure we'll all find out the real story (or a reasonable facsimile thereof if there are still unrevealed secrets tucked away for an expansion) around the time SotS2 rolls out. :mrgreen:
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Re: Rebirth of Silver Imperium civilian technology

Post by Gwenio » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:11 am

ZedF wrote:Hm I dunno... to me it just means it might be simple for a "sufficiently advanced" race, but the SotS races are not yet "sufficiently advanced." Maybe the Silver Imperium was on the cusp of being sufficiently advanced when they had their lil oopsie. ;)


But for how long? If they continue to start each game (III, IV, ect) with more tech and higher up techs in the tree are made availible, then we will reach rediculous stuff before long if it is 'easy'. Having it be way advanced leaves more room for expansion.

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Re: Rebirth of Silver Imperium civilian technology

Post by ZedF » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:32 am

Maybe the current era Tarka will, if they discover the principle involved, decide that meddling with the building blocks of the universe in that particular way is a topic better left unexplored. ;)
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Re: Rebirth of Silver Imperium civilian technology

Post by Gwenio » Thu Mar 10, 2011 1:36 am

ZedF wrote:Maybe the current era Tarka will, if they discover the principle involved, decide that meddling with the building blocks of the universe in that particular way is a topic better left unexplored. ;)


On the other hand, the same can be said for lots of stuff in the game from fission up. It has not stopped any of the races yet.

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Re: Rebirth of Silver Imperium civilian technology

Post by Azrael Ultima » Thu Mar 10, 2011 9:23 am

Well, they might go "oh, so that's what happened to the old empire" and decide that blowing their empire to pieces a second time might not be the most brilliant course of action.

Or maybe they just stumbled over it accidentally and simply don't figure it out this time.

Third option would be that due to the actions of the silver empire, we now have a stable equilibrium, so it doesn't work anymore. Once the avalanche goes off, it doesn't roll back up the mountain. But it might snow again in the future...


I'm sure one could come up with a couple of other ways to prevent them from doing it again as well. Maybe it even ends up being a scenario in the future.
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Re: Rebirth of Silver Imperium civilian technology

Post by Erinys » Thu Mar 10, 2011 7:06 pm

It is arguably in the interests of all the civilized races, particularly the Tarka and the Hiver, to know what happened to the Silver Imperium and the Hiver Queen. Clearly whatever happened is not something that they would care to reproduce, but it can be safely assumed that in the absence of any known Precursor race or Suul'ka involvement, it was probably caused by either the Hiver or the Tarka or both. And since the effect was so catastrophic, it was probably an accident.

As for the argument put forward that only "massive and unlikely amounts of energy" could cause the catastrophe and that "any other explanation is scientifically unsatisfying"...please keep in mind that this same faulty argument has been put forward many times in the past, in many cases where the speaker was dead wrong, particularly about expenditures of energy.

People argued until they were blue in the face for centuries that Flight was impossible without aggressive flapping of clumsily wing-shaped appendages. Why? Because they did not understand Bernoulli's principle and how a bird's wing really functions as an air foil. They insisted that the input of energy (the flapping) was necessary and that the problem was that you could never flap hard enough. But the reality is that birds were expending very few calories to achieve lift. It didn't take much energy at all. Which is why we now have airplanes so huge that they are like flying office buildings or trains.

What Mecron has been trying to explain is that it does not take a lot of energy to change a system which is in a delicate state of equilibrium. The avalanche is one example; another is the way a single drop of water can convert many square meters of razor-thin ice back to liquid in an instant. Further, an equilibrium state can appear very solid and stable, but it is not.

The science behind this particular piece of science fiction is actually quite simple. What I'm suggesting is that the asymmetry of matter and antimatter in the visible universe is an illusion. The Meniscus is the Mirror of Creation, the protective sheathe of the universe, which separates the matter and antimatter components of a closed system. The Meniscus is the reason that antimatter is so uncommon in the visible universe, the reason that we are not all constantly being converted back into raw energy as matter and antimatter recombine all around us. It also explains a number of other problems with the visible universe--including the problems of "missing" matter and energy.

On the other hand, it does NOT take tremendous energies to penetrate the Meniscus--the smallest Tarka destroyer could do it at a whim, and even the tiniest particles cross the Meniscus routinely in order to sort themselves to the proper side. In fact, Hiver scientists would explain, if asked, that the secret of generating antimatter in sufficient quantities for propulsion is really not a matter of "creating" antimatter--antimatter is generated by all energy-to-mass reactions--but of preventing its escape.

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Re: Rebirth of Silver Imperium civilian technology

Post by Jabbawocky » Fri Mar 11, 2011 3:53 am

First off, I agree with Meocron et al - a large amount of energy is not required to cause big differences within systems. I think the confusion may have arisen from the use of an avalanche as an example because in that particular system there has been a gradual build up of a rather large amount of potential energy. There are other systems/situations, Erinys mentioned one (the flight example), where a small amount of energy, used in the correct manner, can be far superior to a 'brute force' solution. For instance, the current cosmological model assumes a small change in the quantum foam lead to... well... everything :D. I could also invoke 'chaos theory' but that is a bit cliche, and is more to do with a small change in the initial (or MUCH earlier) state of the system leading to big effects later on.

Erinys wrote:...

The science behind this particular piece of science fiction is actually quite simple. What I'm suggesting is that the asymmetry of matter and antimatter in the visible universe is an illusion. The Meniscus is the Mirror of Creation, the protective sheathe of the universe, which separates the matter and antimatter components of a closed system. The Meniscus is the reason that antimatter is so uncommon in the visible universe, the reason that we are not all constantly being converted back into raw energy as matter and antimatter recombine all around us. It also explains a number of other problems with the visible universe--including the problems of "missing" matter and energy.

...


Pardon me for a moment... ARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!!! Sorry.... the dark energy/matter theories are highly ad hoc and bring me no small amount of pain when I hear them invoked - admittedly this is in a science fiction game so I can put my usual predispositions aside. Still, I do like how you have used a sane explanation of dark matter in your science fiction rather than the current "invisible magic fairy dust" explanation that is common among the physics (well cosmology) community :bangdesk:. But I digress...

A question has occurred to me: when matter is brought over the Meniscus (either way), it retains it's properties, yes? i.e. antimatter from the antimatter side remains antimatter when brought over to the matter side of the Meniscus..? Is there any way to preform a 'matter/antimatter transform' of sorts? I'm not great with eloquent language, so I may have to resort to other means to explain what I mean, so sorry if this is a bit confusing. With that warning, let me explain what I mean.

Let the 'antimatter universe' (the antimatter side of the Meniscus) be 'Universe A', and this universe (the matter side of the Meniscus) be 'Universe B'. If I were to have made a device in Universe A, can I bring it over to Universe B, but have it exist as matter, rather than antimatter..? Man, that is still pretty awkward, sorry :? . In addition, would an equal mass of matter from Universe B have to be transported & converted back into Universe A? The implications of this line of questioning is whether it is possible that the Silver Empire 'switched positions' and performed a 'matter/antimatter transform' on itself, replacing the lost stars (or possibly just the homeworld itself) with its converted equivalent from the other side of the Meniscus..?

Furthermore, out of curiosity, can the Meniscus be thought of having a 'thickness' (by that I mean an internal 3d space? Possibly a stupid question, since multiple dimensions are probably implied)? Might there be some connection between the Meniscus itself and Nodespace (i.e. Tarka warp the Meniscus, but the Humans & Zuul travel *through* it)?


Erinys wrote:...
On the other hand, it does NOT take tremendous energies to penetrate the Meniscus--the smallest Tarka destroyer could do it at a whim, and even the tiniest particles cross the Meniscus routinely in order to sort themselves to the proper side. In fact, Hiver scientists would explain, if asked, that the secret of generating antimatter in sufficient quantities for propulsion is really not a matter of "creating" antimatter--antimatter is generated by all mass-to-energy annihilation--but of preventing its escape.

--Arinn


This may be a nerdy question, but what happens when a particle crosses the Meniscus "sort themselves to the proper side"? Does it require to be in an excited state to pull it off? Or is the tendency for particles to cross the Menicus a kind of force, and by crossing the Meniscus it emits energy (presumably in the form of a photon) because it has 'lost' the potential 'Meniscus energy' by crossing over? Finally, and sorry for being a stickler (I feel a right bast**d right now to be honest - but I can't really help it since I'm an antimatter researcher. I'm sure you can understand & forgive me... :cry: ), antimatter isn't generated by mass-to-energy annihilation (but it is always required) but is ALWAYS generated in energy-to-mass situations.

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Re: Rebirth of Silver Imperium civilian technology

Post by Azrael Ultima » Fri Mar 11, 2011 2:24 pm

I think that mass-to-energy might have been a word switch sort of thing... it doesn't really make any sort of sense, after all.(Why would you gain mass when you are actively trying to turn it into not-mass?)


On another note: Imagine somebody were able to completely destroy the meniscus... brr *shudder*
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