Re: Major Technologies

Spike Jones (
Sat, 09 Jan 1999 13:44:42 -0800

>spike wrote: i need to do the calcs, but intuition tells me a meteor
>could not punch material out of the sun's gravity well, and even
>if so, the simple relicator would not survive the jillions of years of
>wandering thru i.s. space. guess that would explain why we have
>never had one fall on this planet.

> Michael Lorrey wrote:

> Actually, its a matter of proportions, obviously. A 10 ton meteor impacting a 1 ton
> meteor will obviously impart such energy that peices of the second meteor which are
> repelled along the path of the first meteor will have more than 3 times the
> velocity of the first meteor... which should be in excess of the sun's escape
> velocity...

this is not so michael. imagine a stationary 1 ton meteor struck by a 10 ton meteor travelling at 1 km/sec. imagine that these meteors are made of a substance that is perfectly elastic, so that no kinetic energy is lost in the collision. after collision, the 1 ton meteor travels away at close to 2 km/sec. now let the impacting meteor get arbitrarily large. the 1 ton meteor's velocity approaches 2 km/sec after impact, but cannot exceed 2 km/sec, regardless of the size of the impacting 1 km/sec meteor.

if this is not obvious, look at the situation from the point of view of the large meteor. it sees a perfectly elestic small meteor coming down at 1 km/sec. after impact the small meteor bounces back up at 1 km/sec. the smaller meteor cannot bounce away faster than its original velocity wrt the larger one, even as we cannot create an elastic ball that bounces higher each time it hits the floor. too bad for us. {8^D

i will back pedal on the original statement however. a meteor could punch material out of the sun's gravity well, if the meteor is going fast enough to start with. its mass isnt the critical factor, its velocity is. spike