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Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2003 10:44:38 -0500
Subject: Re: (urth) chems on Urth and a FTL Whorl
From: Michael Buice 

On Monday, August 18, 2003, at 04:10  AM, 
matthew.malthouse@guardian.co.uk wrote:

> Any requirement for acceleration to or deceleration from that speed 
> would
> occasion subjective duration for those aboard.  Viz the light-huggers 
> of
> Alastair Reynolds trilogy.

Strictly speaking there are only technological barriers preventing the 
subjective duration from being as small as desired.  Practically 
speaking, however, I can only offer a "yup, what he said."   
Acceleration would be the difficult engineering feat.

> More "speed of light" isn't sufficient.  A 30 light year journey would
> still take minimum 30 years in the external time frame.  Practically
> speaking to make interstellar travel no more an obstacle to empire than
> say sailing across the Atlantic would require superluminal travel and 
> I'm
> not sure we even have a theory to suggest what subjective duration 
> would
> be for those concerned.

We do, however, have a theory that says superluminal travel completely 
wrecks causality.  To my knowledge, no satisfactory solution outside 
polysyllabic vociferation or invoking General Relativity in weird and 
clever ways is known.



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