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From: "Mitchell A. Bailey" <MAB@lindau.net>
Subject: (urth) Fliers of Urth
Date: Mon, 02 Aug 1999 18:25:17 

Now let me get this straight: the cherry-leaf fliers the Autarch and a
few privileged characters of the Commonwealth (including Vodalus)
possess supposedly get their lift from the supposed repulsion of
antimatter to a gravitational field of pro-matter (i.e. that of Urth) ??
I.e. antimatter generates antigravity?

This looks like a definite case of "hard-physics-this-ain't". General
relativity definitely says that antimatter would behave
indistinguishibly from promatter, gravitywise. Supposedly there are some
exotic field theories out there that predict _maybe_ differently, but
they aren't any of them widely accepted. 

So far as empirical confirmation is concerned, the amount of antimatter
ever manufactured and collected so far can be inventoried by the
particle (antiprotons and positrons). So far, no one has succeeded in
making antihydrogen atoms not moving at relativistic velocities, but
there's some work at CERN ongoing. That's sort of problematical for
measuring acceleration in a gravitational field. Some early, very
questionable experiments suggest that antimatter does indeed fall down.

Did Mr. Wolfe write himself out on a limb assuming that one of the
exotic field theories which call for antigravity antimatter would pan
out? Or did he have something else in mind altogether?

Now, regarding the odd noisy "locust"- like fliers which were still
extant during Typhon's reign - does anyone else get the idea that their
thrumming racket, strange shape, and advancing extinction indicates
these are more or less conventional military helicopters? Such beasts
are quite demanding, maintenance-wise.

Perhaps the Ascian pentadactyls of Sev's time are more advanced
helicopter-like designs using protected rotors/blowers or their entire
spinning hulls for lift, hence the strange wind Sev always notices
accompanying them?

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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