At 01:53 PM 13/06/00 +1000, I wrote too quickly (as usual):
>When it gets to the nose of the ship, the lump is moving at 0.9999 c, say,
>and masses 2.2 million megatonnes. It hits the plate at the end of the ship
>and recoils, shoving the ship the hell forward (but the ship has meanwhile
>been flying backward, hasn't it, impelled by this internal mass driver
>effect?), and as it recoils down the launcher its energy and momentum are
>sucked back into the ship, pushing it the other way, balancing the books.
That's wrong, I guess. You should slow the recoiling mass by equally vast
expenditure of energy, rather than using the brake to generate juice.
Otherwise it actually does balance out and you're left where you started.
Or is this all totally silly?
If it's not, I'm patenting my version as the Broderick WHAM! Drive (Wildly
Hugely Accelerating Masher Shriek).
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