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From: m.driussi@genie.com
Subject: (whorl) psychic physics
Date: Sat, 11 Oct 97 21:10:00 GMT

[Posted from WHORL, the mailing list for Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun]

Reply:  Item #8093828 from WHORL@LISTS.BEST.COM@INET00#


Okay, so we're saying that to get a reduction from 1 g-sim to an
arbitrary 0.5 g-sim, all we have to do is drive "south" at such a
speed as to reduce the rotational speed to about 70 percent.  Thus
on the 400 mph model whorl, one drives at 120 mph.

The set up for the floater flight was a line (somewhere) where a
driver said that if one drives too fast in the "north" direction, the
floater behaves as if it is carrying a load of bricks.  Suggesting
that if one drives too fast in the "south" direction the floater will
act like it is carrying a load of anti-bricks. (Oh, here it is--later
on in chapter 9: shoveling sand on you, not bricks. Rather than "set
up" that should be "after-the-fact note," I guess.)

Yes, the floating needler, that's what I was thinking of.  Since it
rises up out of the holster and rotates, this suggests to me that the
vehicle is not only in a micro-gravity state, it has also undergone a
slight vector change in a direction opposite that of the "rising"
needler (since if there were no vector change the pistol would stay
in the holster).  And, sure enough, Silk says "We are flying upside
down" (CALDE, ch. 9).

They are at about the same altitude as the airship, only somewhat lower.
Upside down and turning slowly along the vertical axis.  Yet the pistol
can fall down and Silk can almost fall out--both in micro-gravity, yes,
but that still suggests that the floater is somehow hanging there . . .
the floater is not falling like the objects are.  Oh, I see--it is still
rising (actually accelerating toward the long sun) while upside down.  Then
when they fire the floater's guns that imparts an equal but opposite
vector change to the floater, pushing it down and probably rotating it
along its horizontal axis.

So what altitude is the airship at?  How long does the floater
fly--three minutes, five minutes?

Interesting.  So the variables include: What amount of reduction of sim-g
is required? (Maybe a resulting .8 to .5 sim-g.)  What is a realistic
high-speed for a military ground vehicle? (Maybe 100 mph, 120?)


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