Re: 1 g acceleration?

Michael Lorrey (
Sat, 04 Jul 1998 01:06:51 -0400

Brent Allsop wrote:

> Michael Lorrey <>,
> Very fascinating. Thank you for this great information.
> > Since this velocity is higher than light speed, you cannot obviously
> > reach this velocity. Instead, as you get closer to light speed, two
> > things begin to happen. A) your vehicle becomes steadily heavier
> Heavier? As in more mass right?


> I have a question about this.
> Lets say you and an identical companion ship have accelerated to 90%
> the speed of light going away from earth at the constant 1 g
> acceleration (relative to the people on the ships) for however long
> that took. At this point both ships have stopped accelerating and are
> now coasting at a constant 90% the spped of light relative to the
> earth. Now, each ship relative to the other is stationary right?


> As
> in 0 MPH?


> Now, how much energy is required to accelerate one ship to
> 90% the speed of light going away from the other coasting ship in the
> direction away from earth?

Insufficient information at this time to make a calculation.

> Isn't it the same as is required for
> either of the ships to get to 90% the speed of light relative to
> earth?

It is essentially about the same amount of energy to accelerate from 90%c to 99%c, as it is to accelerate from 0%c to 90%c, and from 99%c to 99.9%c, and so on. You can never reach 100%c, even if you consume all of the energy and mass in the universe to do so, since the universe is finite. You could, however, keep traveling for so many years at constant acceleration (ship time) that you continue to loop entirely around the universe enough times that eventually your ship posesses most of the energy in the universe, and the remaining mass is a rarified vacuum interspersed with iron molecules.....and lots of neutrinos...

> And will you not continue experiencing the same 1 g
> acceleration as you accelerate away from the other, still coasting
> twin ship?


> I guess my real question is, according to the people on the
> ship, does it appear to take more and more energy to maintain a
> constant 1 g acceleration experience or is this only true in the
> space/time frame of the people on earth? So, according to the people
> on the ship, you can accelerate at 1 g forever right?

This is a good question, that I cannot answer at this time. I would suggest others carry on from here...

> It's just that
> the earth starts accelerating away from the ship at an ever decreasing
> rate and the total speed never approaches greater than the speed of
> light right? The coasting ship ends up receding from the still
> accelerating ship at 90% the speed of light but the earth is now only
> receding at 99% the speed of light or something like that?


> If you continued to accelerate away from the earth at 13 feet
> per second per second, relative to the earth, wouldn't you, on the
> ship, start experiencing greater than 1 g acceleration as you
> approached the speed of light relative to earth?

1 g is 32 feet per second per second, or 9.8 meters per second per second

> Being eventually
> crushed by this gravity like effect due to the ever encreasing energy
> or force being applied by the engines long before ever actually
> reaching that speed?

Like I said, eventually your ship would contain a huge amount of kinetic energy, which could, at some point, create a singularity. That would be interesting to see.

> Mark <> also replied:
> > And a table showing how much energy you'd need to sustain that
> > acceleration... without an extremely exotic power source you won't
> > do it for long.
> It requires greater then an infinite power source to
> accelerate to greater than the speed of light away from earth doesn't
> it? That is QUITE exotic! Is that what "warp drives" are? And if
> you do achieve this, doesn't the earth appear to the people on the
> ship to start going backwards in time? As in effects start causing
> the causes?...

Well, it all depends on what your propulsion system is. If you are using a reaction fuel based system, and are relying on internal fuel stores, he is right, you won't last very long. However, it is theoretically possible to build the interstellar equivalent of a ramjet that uses large magnetic fields to funnel interstellar hydrogen into fusion reaction chambers, the energy gained from which is used to propell the vehicle. Such a vehicle is capable of traveling across and around the entire universe at barely sublight speeds, and it does not rely on 'exotic' technology at all (exotic is a term used by physicist for classifiying physical processes not present in the local, macro universe. Since hydrogen fusion is a local, macro phenomenon, it cannot be classified as an 'exotic' power source).

> Is it possible to achieve this kind of acceleration, given
> very exotic engines able to deliver greater than infinite force, in an
> orbital fashion so that you aren't really going away from the earth,
> but just going around it? Like superman did to save Lois Lane? What
> do rotational or centrifugal forces behave like as you approach
> orbital speeds of light? As large stars collapse into a black whole,
> don't they start rotating, like a whirlpool, at near such speeds? If
> you were orbiting, at near the speed of light, just above the event
> horizon, wouldn't you feel weightless?

No, you would feel rather strained, to say the least....

> Would beings with warp drives,
> accelerating to greater the rotational speed of light as they dropped
> below the event horizon, be able to eventually watch the creation of
> the rest of the universe around the black whole in their
> weightlessness?...

Since warp phenomenon have been recently thought to only exist at a nano scale, it is not likely that a workable drive could be built in a macro scale.

> I better stop, I think I'm getting a head ache. But it sure is
> fun!

Sure is.

   Michael Lorrey
------------------------------------------------------------ Inventor of the Lorrey Drive
MikeySoft: Graphic Design/Animation/Publishing/Engineering
How many fnords did you see before breakfast today?