physics.cpp

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Re: physics.cpp

Postby safemode » Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:12 pm

my 2 cents regarding this whole topic is this:
After all is said and done, is it going to affect anything in-game and what is that effect?

ie, name changes dont matter. Replacing shields with something else that does something similar doesn't really matter. Rebalancing the units doesn't matter. What matters is if gameplay changes and what this change is. That's something that absolutely needs to be discussed before time is spent on the details. For instance, you can spend days figuring out what size engines any given ship would have and what fuel they would use and how much and what power requirements that would all use and etc and end up coming up with numbers for thrust and momentum based on those things and if it turns out to make the ship completely unattractive to a player in the game, then all that work was pointless.

My suggestion is outline what matters physics wise about a given ship (acceleration, torque, mass, defensive strength and offensive strength) and work the explanation for how you get the desired numbers. Ie, work backwards from what you know you need. This should automatically allow the explanation to stop from getting too specific, while remaining realistic and believable enough to satisfy everyone.
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Re: physics.cpp

Postby chuck_starchaser » Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:37 pm

safemode wrote:my 2 cents regarding this whole topic is this:
After all is said and done, is it going to affect anything in-game and what is that effect?

ie, name changes dont matter. Replacing shields with something else that does something similar doesn't really matter.
Actually, I don't propose replacing shields by something that achieves the same thing. That was Deus' proposal. My personal preference, for the game, would be simply getting rid of shields, and of the whole paradigm of regenerative protection. Just make armor stronger than it is at present.

Rebalancing the units doesn't matter. What matters is if gameplay changes and what this change is. That's something that absolutely needs to be discussed before time is spent on the details. For instance, you can spend days figuring out what size engines any given ship would have and what fuel they would use and how much and what power requirements that would all use and etc and end up coming up with numbers for thrust and momentum based on those things and if it turns out to make the ship completely unattractive to a player in the game, then all that work was pointless.
I'd go the other way around: Make the ships' thrusts and maneuverabilities seem more intuitive and consistent with their shapes and sizes and roles, then let players switch their preferences as they see fit. Not all ships are attractive to all players, presently. So, so what if some ship that is attractive becomes less so, and one that isn't too attractive now becomes more so?

My suggestion is outline what matters physics wise about a given ship (acceleration, torque, mass, defensive strength and offensive strength) and work the explanation for how you get the desired numbers. Ie, work backwards from what you know you need. This should automatically allow the explanation to stop from getting too specific, while remaining realistic and believable enough to satisfy everyone.
That doesn't make any sense, Safemode. How would we decide what matters about a given ship, in the first place?
That's precisely what Errol's work might uncover.
If a ship is long, and with small cross section, like an arrow, it makes sense it could roll more easily than it yaw's, for example. This is about making ships behave in ways that are intuitive.
As far as the over-all effect of realistic physics is that it will make the game more immersive. It won't affect balance, over-all, since enemies are affected as much as the player.
It will simply be more fun: Right now, with huge thrusts and accelerations, you never even get to see the ship you're fighting against, except for a fraction of a second at a time, when you pass by it at huge speed. I'd look forward to space fighting that is close and personal, the way it was in Privateer 2, for a good example.
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Re: physics.cpp

Postby safemode » Wed Mar 24, 2010 6:32 pm

ship attractiveness refers to it's uses. Ie, a ship should have a role that fills a function. If it's superfluous, then we should get rid of it. If the refactoring of physics makes certain ships superfluous (basically redundent) then lets save space and just nix it. If we have ships _nobody_ basically ever wants to use, then why have them? It's not a matter simply left to subjectivity, but rather practicality. Ships that are too slow, too weak and basically too expensive are never gonna be used by any player.. That's the kind of thing i'm talking about avoiding.

You have intuitive, and then you have straight simulation. A player in a space combat game is not going to stand straight simulation, because straight simulation is too damn slow, they intuitively expect speed in space ships and the brain doesn't intuitively understand the vast distances of space makes that speed seem like you're going 25mph in Need For Speed. What i'm worried you're heading towards is 2001: a space odyssey rather than something more like Babylon 5. One guarantees nobody is going to play it, the other portrays enough real physics to make most sci fi obviously fake while still maintaining interest. I'm still just not sure where the intention is heading here.
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Re: physics.cpp

Postby chuck_starchaser » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:19 pm

Well, like I said before, I got a project with nphillips for a physics accurate game; so I don't care whether vs goes in that direction or doesn't; but in any case, what Errol said he was working on was establishing a "baseline". You know what that means? It means that finding out how much each ship should be able to accelerate or turn, based on its shape, engine sizes, whatever, is a first step. Gives you numbers for all ships. THEN, if people decide that's too slow, then you cheat and make it faster; but you make it faster evenly for all ships, respecting the relative strengths and weaknesses you found analytically. That way, if in the end they are not intuitive in absolute terms, at least they are intuitive relative to each other.
But what you say about people expecting space ships to be "fast" would be false if it were meaningful. There's no air drag in space, so anything can be fast. I think you're talking about acceleration.
In any case, I've been around these forums about twice as many years as you have, and I can tell you one of the most recurrent complaints of all time is about the dynamics of space fighting, where you never even get to see whom you're fighting, with passes being so fast. It's the same thing in PU, where the bogies are most of the time so far away they are beyond weapons range, and most of the time you're afterburning and waiting for a chance to get a shot. And the shields make the fights interminable, because by the time you get a new shot, the shields have recharged since the last. That's NOT fun; it's not a game; it's office work; I want to be paid by the hour to spend time waiting, never mind the game being free; I want to get paid to play it; and I won't, so I don't play it; period. And there are thousands of people out there that are aware of vegastrike and monitor the progress, and are waiting for the game to become playable, I'm telling you. Right now it's not really playable; and the lack of a story is only part of it.
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Re: physics.cpp

Postby shenle » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:49 pm

Since we're talking of physics and realism, let me throw in 2c as well.

Maneuvering at low speed isn't too realistic right now. Just try it. You're close to a space station and maneuvering to dock. You cut your engines. Soon you come to a stop.

What makes you stop? Is there so much friction in the vacuum? Why isn't momentum conserved?
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Re: physics.cpp

Postby safemode » Wed Mar 24, 2010 9:53 pm

shenle: there are two modes of flight, managed and unmanaged (i believe one is called maneuvering mode and navigation mode ...or something).. either way, the default mode is managed, meaning the computer controls your velocity based on desired speeds you set. If you set your velocity to 0, it will stop you by turning on retro-thrust. etc. In this mode, speed is constant to your fixed value (with necessary ramp up time and ramp down)

In the other mode, you get flight like you were mentioning, where acceleration is constant .
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Re: physics.cpp

Postby shenle » Wed Mar 24, 2010 10:02 pm

If there is a mode where this doesn't happen, I haven't found it yet. I tried both travel and maneuvering mode, it's the same. If it wasn't meant to be, then it's buggy.
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Re: physics.cpp

Postby Deus Siddis » Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:35 pm

shenle wrote:If there is a mode where this doesn't happen, I haven't found it yet. I tried both travel and maneuvering mode, it's the same. If it wasn't meant to be, then it's buggy.


No this is different, try using the "`~" key on the top left of the keyboard. That turns off the flight computer completely, except for artificial rotation deceleration. Use Tab to thrust forward and "<" and ">" keys to thrust left and right and Shift + "<" and ">" to move up and down (or maybe it is the other way around). I don't know if there is a way to manually fire the retro thrusters though, only the main and lateral thrusters. This is a product of the terrible key-mapping VS currently uses.
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Re: physics.cpp

Postby Deus Siddis » Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:59 pm

safemode wrote:You have intuitive, and then you have straight simulation.


Right now VS has neither though. It might be worth a shot to test lower accelerations to see if they help improve intuitiveness, in addition to realism. Because currently, this doesn't feel like any kind of simulator, at least not until you get a Goddard or similarly weighty vessel. Ships like the Gawain turn and move so fast they don't feel like real vehicles of any kind.

Turning accelerations need to be reduced while turning governors should remain where they are. For movement thrusters accelerations should be cut back to like a tenth what they currently are, at least for the faster craft. An F-22 has like 1G of thrust, 10-30G fighters are just insane. Movement governors might need to be lowered by some amount as well (which doesn't affect flight mode of course).

The game will still be plenty fast because of SPEC starting up sooner and dropping you off closer to targets in 0.5 series. Add to that the numbers of attackers you fight every minute because of all the enemies you make with the new faction relations system. :)
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Re: physics.cpp

Postby safemode » Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:24 am

Deus Siddis wrote:
shenle wrote:If there is a mode where this doesn't happen, I haven't found it yet. I tried both travel and maneuvering mode, it's the same. If it wasn't meant to be, then it's buggy.


No this is different, try using the "`~" key on the top left of the keyboard. That turns off the flight computer completely, except for artificial rotation deceleration. Use Tab to thrust forward and "<" and ">" keys to thrust left and right and Shift + "<" and ">" to move up and down (or maybe it is the other way around). I don't know if there is a way to manually fire the retro thrusters though, only the main and lateral thrusters. This is a product of the terrible key-mapping VS currently uses.



use a joystick. i mapped the up down and left right thrusters to my hatswitch. rolling via twisting the stick, then regular flight through the x-y axis of the stick. You are correct though, i dont think there is a means of retro thrusting manually.
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Re: physics.cpp

Postby klauss » Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:46 am

There's a modifier key that maps your joystick axes (when pressed) to RCS thrusters in one plane. The plane may be XY or ZY.

That means, for instance, if I configure it to be key "X" to tie the joystick to axes ZY, that I can press "X" while pulling my joystick all the way back, and I'll be firing the retro thusters in full.

Sadly, we don't have 3D joysticks ;)

But a key for retro thrusters could easily be Shift+Tab. That's worth mapping.
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Re: physics.cpp

Postby chuck_starchaser » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:33 am

BTW, is there a way to detect and neutralize caps-lock?
It's too easy to hit it by accident, and then all kinds of strange things start happening...
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Re: physics.cpp

Postby klauss » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:42 am

I don't know of a portable way OTOH, but each platform must have its own way for sure.
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Re: physics.cpp

Postby shenle » Thu Mar 25, 2010 1:50 pm

chuck_starchaser wrote:BTW, is there a way to detect and neutralize caps-lock?


Pliers.
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Re: physics.cpp

Postby Errol_Summerlin » Thu Mar 25, 2010 2:18 pm

Neskiairti wrote:shields, spec, impossible acceleration, inertial dampeners...
these are not at the leading edge of our tech :P these are purely fantastic.


Thats what I am saying. In my ideal space sim, everything fanatastic should be severely restricted to just what is absolutely essential to make the game fun. For me, that would basically be a method of faster than light travel. That would be it. No shields, no inertial dampers. If you want a ship to accelerate at more gs than a human pilot can endure, you will need to have remotely controlled ships. (we already have pumps that help blood pressure during high g maneuvers to prevent black out, and in the future, this technology could be even more advanced. I picture human pilots having tubes coming out of them that go to mechanical pumps that help pump blood when the heart can't do it alone. Very borg looking and all completely within our technological expertise. Just look at medical devices that pump blood. Anyway, even with these pumps though, your bones will still crack at some point (just guessing around 15g or so?). Furthemore, for long journey's 1g would really be the only acceptable acceleration level. The human body cannot with stand force far removed from 1g indefinitely. Going less than 1g causes bone deterioration and going above it will cause cardiovascular problems and probably brain damage due to lack of oxygen for an extended period of time.)

Anyway, if you have remotely controlled ships, there will be time delay between command input and information receipt due to the limitation of the speed of light (unless you method of ftl travel accomodates low cost ftl communication as well).

That being said, even my FTL travel and communication mechanism would be grounded in the speculation of real scientists. Deciding which of these to use is the tricky part. There are many ideas out there.

The one I like best goes like this. Even empty vacuum has an energy density associated with it. In general relativity, this is proportional to the cosmological constant. This energy density is due to the field fluctuations that are traveling through a vacuum at any point in time. These include the CMB, gravity, etc. Every single object with mass in the entire universe contributes some amount of energy density to every point in space. A "true" vacuum is never actually encountered. But, there are ways to reduce the local energy density of the vacuum relative the rest of the vacuum around it. The Casimir effect takes two uncharged conducting plates and puts them ridiculously close together. This limits the wave modes that can be between the plates creating a tiny drop in the local vacuum energy density. This of course, means that the pressure between the plates is less than that of the external medium and there is a net force that pushes the plates together. This has been shown experimentally to be fact rather than fiction. But how is some local decreased energy density useful. Well, there are two ways in which it can be useful. 1.
There is another interesting possibility for breaking the light-barrier by an extension of the Casimir effect. Light in normal empty space is "slowed" by interactions with the unseen waves or particles with which the quantum vacuum seethes. But within the energy-depleted region of a Casimir cavity, light should travel slightly faster because there are fewer obstacles. A few years ago, K. Scharnhorst of the Alexander von Humboldt University in Berlin published calculations5 showing that, under the right conditions, light can be induced to break the usual light-speed barrier. Under normal laboratory conditions this increase in speed is incredibly small, but future technology may afford ways of producing a much greater Casimir effect in which light can travel much faster. If so, it might be possible to surround a space vehicle with a "bubble" of highly energy-depleted vacuum, in which the spacecraft could travel at FTL velocities, carrying the bubble along with it.


The speed of light is determined by two fundamental constants, epsilon_0, and Mu_0. However, these are vacuum values of these constants with a vacuum energy density included in their value. If you alter the local energy density of a vacuum, the speed of light changes. I don't know..and I think nobody knows exactly how, or by how much, but the logical thing, to me, would be that if you remove all electromagnetic radiation from a given volume, the speed of light in that volume would be infinite. But since there is still a "ground state" for all of the quantum oscillators, there may still be a limit even if you got rid of all the other sources or energy density.

So, I saw this advertisement the other day for a car that uses a new kind of sound canceling technology. Basically, it detects sound and emits sound waves that are 180 degrees out of phase with the incoming sound waves basically killing the sound locally but increasing it elsewhere. Imagine doing the same thing with incoming electromagnetic radiation. You create yourself a nice little pocket of electro-magnetic "dead space" with less energy density than the surrounding space. This would create pressure on the outside of this cavity. In this cavity, the speed of light is > c. How much greater depends on how well you canceled the incoming (and outgoing...and transverse that don't even hit your ship) em waves. Other things that can affect the local energy density would be gravitational waves or gravitions (the virtual particles that transmit the force of gravity between objects). Getting rid of those might help you go even faster, but we don't currently understand gravitational waves and energy to even consider trying to get rid of that. This has several nice aspects. First, in order to cancel em radiation from all around you, your ship needs to be able to compute the right frequency, polarization and phase to cancel out all EM radiation. You would start with the easy ones. The CMB, the stars, pulsars, etc...your ship needs a complete star chart for every significant source of em waves. The better the star chart, the better the cancelation of EM energy. Secondly, you can't go changing course during the middle of your trip without disrupting your bubble, because your computer is calculating the next em waves it sends out based on your motion relative the sources of these em waves. Thirdly, this thing would work badly near other gravitational objects. Fourthly, to stop somebody using this, all you need to do is transmit random (unpredictable) broadband em fields in their general direction. Space stations could have em interference fields surrounding them to prevent hostiles from dropping right on top of them from FTL. Ships could do the same thing. Furthermore, certain stars with unpredictable em radiation could make FTL work far worse than normal. Additionally, stations may have "codes" to their random em field generators. Like knowing both the seed and the algorithm for the em field generators allowing ships with the right code to warp in as close as they want at FTL. Stealing these codes might be part of a military strategy. The visual effect would be a competely dark sphere surrounded by large amounts of em turbulence which would likely heat particles and cause some sort of light emission by synchrotron or brehmstrallung radiation, but I am just speculating at this point. It would also add another interesting military effect. FTL would be blind. Since you are canceling ALL em radiation within a volume, you can't possible send or receive information and your course would be fixed before you left.

However, while this permits travel faster than 3*10^8 m/s, it doesn't necessarily help you get up to that speed. However, given the involvement of c in virtually every fundamental constant of motion, it is reasonable to suspect that the relationship between dx and dt might be altered such that your effective velocity (relative to regular space) may be enhanced by the same factor that you enhanced c. This provides a convenient mechanism for local interplanetary travel, but even this doesn't get us to interstellar distances on the kinds of time scales that players will find fun. At 1000Xc, it still takes 1.5 days to get to the nearest star. 100000Xc still takes 20 minutes. You are getting to some really ridiculous values at this point.

Btw, for what it is worth, vacuum energy density has been calculated to be about 6*10^-27 kg/m^3. You can then calculate the em power in Watts into a sphere of radius r as 6*10^-27*c^3*4*Pi*r^2. The trick is though is that c^3 appears there, and by eliminating the em energy density, you will be changing the value of c. The question then is, which of those c's are going to scale with the changes in c and which are fundamental constants. Here I am going to just have to guess that they all scale because the pressure outside the sphere should go up as you empty the inside and the speed with which the em waves are trying to fill up your sphere will also increase.

So, the finally result is ~2*x^3*r^2 Watts where x is compression factor for c and r the radius of the bubble(needs to be large enough to encompass the ship). Since that is the incoming em power, your ship would need to emit the same amount of power. Near bright objects that make the local energy density larger than usual, you would need more power.

It should also be noted that you only really need the bubble in front of you to clear the path of your ship of em interference. I also haven't mentioned the problem of neutral particles floating around seeing your ship coming at many times c and entering your bubble.

Ok, I will shut about it now.

2. Negative energy density is really the trick to any other type of ftl space-time metric developed. Wormholes and the aclubierre drive both rely on negative energy density to prevent the bubble or wormhole from collapsing immediately. I don't actually understand how they use this negative energy density though. My general relativity is not where I would like it to be.


Ok, back on topic,

Everything besides FTL should just be a reasonable extension of modern technology. We already produce anti-matter. Furthermore, at CERN, they trap it for experimental purposes. Turning these anti-matter traps into batteries just requires a whole lot of energy to produce the anti-matter (or significantly improved efficiency)...for example, the solar energy collected by a giant solar array orbiting the sun at .1 AU or from a large fission reactor chewing up tons of uranium that collects the expelled ions from the reaction in a collimated beam using magnetic fields and then slows them in an electric field taking the energy out of the ions and putting it into the electric field. Either of these could generate sufficient energy to produce anti-matter on "large" scales. The technology is there. It is just a matter of building the facilities in space (since terrestrial energy production is limited due to the presence of civilian population and the lack of vacuum).

I am with chuck on completely getting rid of "shields" as an "energy" phenomena. I don't think it would be out of the question for spacecraft to have big honkin thick plates of armor attached to the front of the ship that look like a medieval shield, but these things aren't going to be the type of thing that regenerates over time. Pieces of the "shield" that get blown off are gone until you actually go outside on the hull and slap on some more sheet metal. Dents may be "fixable" by temporarily surrounding the armor in a thin shell and liquifying it and then re-solidifying it in the correct shape. Then the thin shell would be removed and the ship would be almost as good as new (sans some mass of armor that was actually blown off the ship in the last fight rather than just weakened). Slugs that don't penetrate and become lodged in the armor then end up acting as armor themselves (though the area around the slug may be weakened by the impact). In terms of game-impact, it would be essentially reversing the current situation, making the "armor"...now "internal ship components" regenerate over time (with the right equipment) with the outer layer of protection, formerly "shields", now "armor" not regenerate over time.
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Re: physics.cpp

Postby Neskiairti » Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:36 pm

oh boy, now that is one hell of an essay :P

anyway. I'm with you on cutting everything off. Just make it modules you plug in when needed, and keep the core a solid, realistic base. Make /that/ work, tweak it to be fun, then allow others to play with what ever extra technology they want. I'm speaking of the VS engine of course, not the game.

You will find maintaining a simpler engine to be easier I think, and maintaining modules easier as well.

Personally I love fantastic tech... in very small doses. It is just soo dangerous to write a story with, use too much and you fall in to the fantasy world that is star trek or star wars. where none of it is believable, only the character charisma keeps the show engaging.

You don't even really need to change the hud, make the current 'shields' armor, make the current armor, hull, then the core be the internal structure. Make internal structure regenerate.
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Re: physics.cpp

Postby Errol_Summerlin » Thu Mar 25, 2010 5:53 pm

Yeah, I tend to go into too much detail when I write. Sorry for the length.
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Re: physics.cpp

Postby Deus Siddis » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:40 pm

If it wasn't realistically impractical, having some armor or armor repair packages that can slowly be repaired out of dock would be cool. It might not be something that comes standard or is even very common or cheap at all, but is available as an upgrade option.

Kind of like how you can choose between ammunition limited weapons that offer more bang for your buck, or unlimited weapons that are not quite as effective overall. So then you could make these kinds of choices with defensive systems as well.

Maybe you could purchase bulky, limpet-like armor repair bots that crawl along the outside of your hull when deployed, either simply covering, or maybe repairing a damaged area before moving on to the next.
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Re: physics.cpp

Postby Neskiairti » Thu Mar 25, 2010 8:34 pm

actually the concept isnt that bad.. the only cavet id say, is make sure you cant apply armor patches during combat :P drones get shot off too easily or fly off during rapid maneuvers.

Sitting hidden in an asteroid field while your ship armor is patched up is pretty neat id say.. though the armor repair kits should take alot of space in the cargo. its raw material after all.
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Re: physics.cpp

Postby chuck_starchaser » Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:56 am

Errol, I have my own theory about space, time, and the speed of light, and it goes like this, in a very small nutshell, as
I got to leave for work:

Space, as we perceive it, a 3D "container", is actually a surface; an interface, between two 4D mediums.
And by "4D" I absolutely do NOT mean "3D of space + time"; I mean "4D space". IOW, these two mediums have
extent in four spatial dimensions. Think of the surface of water: Water is 3D. Air is 3D. The interface is
a 2D manifold.
So, "space" (not a Cartesian abstraction, but "the vacuum out there") would be a 3D interface between two
four-dimensional mediums that could behave like water and air.
This 3D interface can be curved, just like the surface of the ocean is curved over long distances.
Electromagnetic waves are transversal waves, it is generally agreed, like the waves on the surface of water, as
opposed to longitudinal waves, like sound. IOW, the motion of water in surface waves is up and down, which
is transversal to the vector of propagation of the waves; whereas sound waves are colinear. EM waves are like
the former, it is agreed, an yet nobody seems to make the connection to the fact that transversal waves can
only happen on interfaces.
Ergo, the Michelson–Morley experiment did NOT disprove the existence of an "ether".
It was simply a misconceived experiment, because it was assuming that light should behave like longitudinal
waves through a homogeneous medium, which indeed are affected by the medium's velocity; ignoring the
already known fact that light waves are transversal and agnostic to a medium's velocity (just as throwing a
stone into a river produces ripples that expand symetrically and do not depend on the speed of the water
flow. The MM experiment was looking for the WRONG ether, and is therefore inconclusive.

Therefore, I believe that to change the speed of light in vacuum, you'd have to affect its dielectric constant
and/or its magnetic permeability, which may or may not imply a change in energy level; but I'd simply say
that energy level is a secondary issue at best. The trick is figuring out where these constants are produced,
or set, and find a way of tweaking them.
Energy level is too broad a concept. At its absurdest, it would imply that for waves to travel faster on the
surface of a lake, you have to kill all other waves. I don't think it would affect the speed of your waves
much, to have perfectly still water to begin with; though you would get a tiny benefit, I believe, from
some non-linearities in wave mechanics on water, which may very well apply to EM waves in space.

Either that, or you tweak time... Which brings me to a pet peeve of mine: The popular belief that time is
a dimension "of space". Time is no more a dimension of space than temperature is. If you want to plot
time along dimension t in a chart, that's fine; but the conceptual similarity to space ends right there.
Time is more like a process than like an extent. You can't really measure extent in the time dimension.
Clocks DON'T do that. Clocks are processes you put faith on; but you cannot unroll a time-tape-meter
between two points in time, at any time, to verify the time extent between them. The belief that time
is an extent leads to absurd and contradictory conclusions, such as the belief that the past still exists
somewhere, and that so is the future already existing, already set, and we're just passive witnesses that
travel at a set speed through the time dimension. This is an absurdity in all counts:
  • There is no evidence that the past continues to exist
  • There is no evidenct that the future already exists
  • There IS evidence that the universe is NOT deterministic (chaos theory + the Uncertainty principle)
  • If the perception of "time passing" was due to consciousness moving through time, then at what speed does it move?
All of which brings me to say that time being a process, it is probably "simulated". That is, time as we
know it (relative time) is dependent on a "speed of simulation" (happening in absolute time).
The proof is the apparent contradiction between the (infinite) speed of quantum information and the
much more limited, relativistic speed of information. Evidently, to be able to simulate relative time,
some "hacks" are needed: certain states need to be ascertained simultaneously, so the universe cheats.
I'm using figurative vocabulary, of course.

And where does all this tie with Vegastrike?

Nowhere. I was just trying to say that current theories are full of shit baggage and conceptual confusion,
and that in their present form they can't hope to point the way to a workable solution for FTL. We're going
to have to wait for a new generation of scientists more capable of critical thinking, IMNSHO.

What I would propose for Vegastrike, in terms of FTL, is some mumbo jumbo that allegedly allows us to
reduce the inertial mass of a ship, but leaves its gravitational mass untouched. Whether that involves
producing "anti-dark-matter that disperses through the ship cancelling mass", I don't care, but the benefits
of inertial mass reduction are just too great to ignore:
  • Increases acceleration per unit of impulse
  • Increases SPEED without spending energy!!! --conservation of momentum dictates that speed must go up as mass is reduced
  • with non-modified gravitational mass, gravity would be stronger relative to inertia/centrifugal force, so ships would use sling-shot maneuvers and stuff in spite of great FTL speeds, making the over-all effect similar to time-compression, but without the game-busting implication of years of planet time having elapsed during your short trip.
These, I say, are too many advantages to mass-reduction-based FTL to ignore it.
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Re: physics.cpp

Postby Deus Siddis » Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:59 am

chuck_starchaser wrote:the benefits
of inertial mass reduction are just too great to ignore:
  • Increases acceleration per unit of impulse
  • Increases SPEED without spending energy!!! --conservation of momentum dictates that speed must go up as mass is reduced
  • with non-modified gravitational mass, gravity would be stronger relative to inertia/centrifugal force, so ships would use sling-shot maneuvers and stuff in spite of great FTL speeds, making the over-all effect similar to time-compression, but without the game-busting implication of years of planet time having elapsed during your short trip.
These, I say, are too many advantages to mass-reduction-based FTL to ignore it.


Also it sounds like you could see the environment around you and change course mid-transit, which are both desirable inside themselves and would mean less changes to current SPEC (you'd only have to remove the fish eye lense effect that represents the "warped space bubble".)
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Re: physics.cpp

Postby klauss » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:46 am

The fish eye lens effect was an approximation to a theorized appearance of objects while traveling at high speed.

Some guy out there wondered how things would look like if you were to move at a considerable fraction of the speed of light, and in essence, after many calculations, he ended up with a weird-looking fish-eye effect. It was far weirder than the game's fish eye, but the fish eye was an easy implementation of the effect.

There should also be blue/red shift that would push wavelengths to X-ray and/or radio waves, but we theorized that the computer could compensate for that and return a true color image (windows were also said to be just monitors, not real windows).
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Re: physics.cpp

Postby shenle » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:49 am

I think the blue/red shift would add an interesting effect, if it's not too costly to implement (talking both CPU cycles and developer hours :))
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Re: physics.cpp

Postby Errol_Summerlin » Fri Mar 26, 2010 1:32 pm

@chuck ah, at last I have met my counterpart, one who can match my long-windedness.

chuck_starchaser wrote:Errol, I have my own theory about space, time, and the speed of light, and it goes like this, in a very small nutshell, as
I got to leave for work:

Space . . . is therefore inconclusive.


I follow you so far.

Therefore, I believe that to change the speed of light in vacuum, you'd have to affect its dielectric constant
and/or its magnetic permeability, which may or may not imply a change in energy level; but I'd simply say
that energy level is a secondary issue at best. The trick is figuring out where these constants are produced,
or set, and find a way of tweaking them.


I don't think you need to qualify that with "I believe". Mu and epsilon determine the speed of light in a given medium. This is true for all materials. Changing them is obviously the key to changing the speed of light in a vacuum, but there is some question as to whether or not the maximum speed of massive objects would be changed by this. For example, air has a different speed of light than vacuum (n=1.0008). For highly energetic particles entering the atmosphere, they are traveling at speeds> c/n but still <c and they produce cherenkov radiation. However, the air slows the particle down to sub-luminal speeds very quickly. The question is, if the air was not there to slow it down, but the refractive index was somehow still 1.0008, would the incoming cosmic rays be slowed to c/n. When a light wave leaves a material with refractive index >1 and re-enters vacuum, it resumes traveling at the speed of light. This does not appear to happen for massive objects.

Energy level is too broad a concept. At its absurdest, it would imply that for waves to travel faster on the
surface of a lake, you have to kill all other waves. I don't think it would affect the speed of your waves
much, to have perfectly still water to begin with; though you would get a tiny benefit, I believe, from
some non-linearities in wave mechanics on water, which may very well apply to EM waves in space.


The "absurdest" is pretty much exactly what this paper showed http://arXiv.org/pdf/hep-th/9810221. It is the paper referred to in the quote in my earlier post. Equation 10 is the relevant equation showing that the refractive index perpendicular to the mirrors is < 1. I am not an expert on QED, but it was accepted to a reputable journal which means that somebody who knows QED said this result was valid. Between the plates, the speed of light should be > c. If you are talking about water, this wouldn't work. Water molecules have mass and the molecules themselves are in excited energy states with far more energy than the vacuum. They also experience physical collisions rather than wave interference. Basically, the analogy that has worked well so far breaks down when you start talking at the quantum level.

Either that,. . . of course.


I feel hinky about time being a "dimension" in cosmology as well, but the math works out and explains observations, so there must be some truth to the equations if not, necessarily, to their interpretation.
And where does all this tie with Vegastrike?

Nowhere. I was just trying to say that current theories are full of shit baggage and conceptual confusion,
and that in their present form they can't hope to point the way to a workable solution for FTL. We're going
to have to wait for a new generation of scientists more capable of critical thinking, IMNSHO.

What I would propose for Vegastrike, in terms of FTL, is some mumbo jumbo

This is where I have to differ. Yes, MANY of the theories are contradictory. None of them explain everything, and most of them cannot be proven in any way shape or form. But rather than just make some "mumbo jumbo" up, I prefer to find a theory that COULD be right and run with it to its logical conclusion. The only requirement for this theory is that A) it has not been proven obviously and catastrophically wrong and B) its logical conclusion works for gameplay. In essence, I selectively picked one of the theories out there to suit my gaming needs instead of just making one up that suits my gaming needs.

The casimir effect and its implications for the local speed of light are a proven effect. If we could find a way to kill off all the harmonics and not just a few in the perp direction, we could substantially change C within that medium. Our manipulation of em waves is getting pretty good now. The invisibility cloak is coming along nicely. (They have light travel around the wearer and come out exactly on the opposite side instead of hitting the wearer.) I used the analogy of the sound-canceling technology on cars by way of explanation. Obviously any sort of em harmonic killing emissions would be substantially more complicated, but based on the same principle.

that allegedly allows us to
reduce the inertial mass of a ship, but leaves its gravitational mass untouched. Whether that involves
producing "anti-dark-matter that disperses through the ship cancelling mass", I don't care, but the benefits
of inertial mass reduction are just too great to ignore:
  • Increases acceleration per unit of impulse
  • Increases SPEED without spending energy!!! --conservation of momentum dictates that speed must go up as mass is reduced
  • with non-modified gravitational mass, gravity would be stronger relative to inertia/centrifugal force, so ships would use sling-shot maneuvers and stuff in spite of great FTL speeds, making the over-all effect similar to time-compression, but without the game-busting implication of years of planet time having elapsed during your short trip.
These, I say, are too many advantages to mass-reduction-based FTL to ignore it.


If we are just making up "mumbo jumbo" anyway, it is best not to put too much physics into it. Just multiply deltaX by some factor X every time step when the thing is on, eat X times as much power while it is on and be done with it.
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Re: physics.cpp

Postby Neskiairti » Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:43 pm

Chuck:
I agree with you 100% about the issue of time. I seriously hate that people try to lump time in with dimensional theories.
there are so many concepts for FTL, any of them would work really. Mass Cancellation is a good one.

Putting physics to it isn't such a bad idea, but at the core put a seed of "handwavium" to solve the problem, that way you don't get geeks picking it apart later. :P
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