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From the news article:
The US air force has expressed an interest in the idea and scientists working for the American Department of Energy - which has a device known as the Z Machine that could generate the kind of magnetic fields required to drive the engine - say they may carry out a test if the theory withstands further scrutiny.
Throwing its hat into the ring of machines that offer the possibility of achieving controlled nuclear fusion, Sandia National Laboratories’ Z machine has created a hot dense plasma that produces thermonuclear neutrons
Originally posted by picklewalsh
G-forces wouldn't be a problem in space as there is no gravity.
From the previous article:
Z causes reactions to occur neither by confining low density plasmas in dimensionally huge magnetic fields, as do tokomaks, nor by focusing intense laser beams on or around a target, as in laser fusion, but simply through the application of huge pulses of electricity applied with very sophisticated timing. The pulse creates an intense magnetic field that crushes tungsten wires into a foam cylinder to produce X-rays. The X-ray energy, striking the surface of the target capsule embedded in the cylinder, produces a shock wave that compresses the deuterium within the capsule, fusing enough deuterium to produce neutrons.
Originally posted by apc
Accelerate at 1G to simulate gravity, just too bad it would take forever at that rate to reach these kinds of speeds.
Originally posted by elderban
I wonder if they're going to call it the "Warp Drive"...?
And...where did I put those dilithium crystals...?
[edit on 5-1-2006 by elderban]
Originally posted by stumason
Problem with that is how would you arrange the internal space of the ship?
It would have to built like a Sky scraper on its side, ie, the floors would run vertically so that the g-forces would simulate gravity within the ship correctly.
Then, when the ship isn't in accelerating, you would lose your artificial gravity, so to maintain a simulated 1 G environment, you would need to be constantly accelerating at 1 G, regardless of where you were, even if you were at your destination.
Originally posted by The Parallelogram
How are they planning on making these high-intensity magnetic fields survivable to the crew of the ship?
This is an absolutely staggering development, and the implications left me stammering as I related this news to my friend, but I can't help but harken back to the Philidelphia experiment... or Black Sabbath's "Iron Man", for that matter.
Originally posted by apc
People aren't magnetic.
MRI's dont hurt people, so why would this hypothetical drive?
Originally posted by apc
If someone has enough iron in their body to be affected by a magnetic field they're probably already in liver failure and shouldnt be venturing to the stars anyway.
Really though... MRI's are just immensely intense focused magnetic fields, and people suffer no harm.
Biochemists Turn To Quantum Physics
Charge is a property of electrons most people are familiar with while another property, spin, is lesser known and typically the preserve of physicists. Electron spin occurs in one of two opposing directions - up or down - and biochemists want to start factoring electron spin into their computer simulations of biochemical reactions to make them more accurate.
"Physicists have long known that, according to the laws of quantum mechanics, there are some chemical reactions in our bodies that are 'forbidden' - such as hemoglobin's binding oxygen in our lungs when we breathe. But they do happen nonetheless. So, because these reactions involve electron spin, we decided to take a closer look at them," explained Rodriguez. "Nature loves balance, and you see evidence of it in both charge and spin," Rodriguez continued. "For example, electrons of opposite spin like to pair up with each other as they fly around the nucleus. This allows their spins to balance one another, just as positive and negative charges do between protons and electrons. Even when you have hundreds of electrons forming an immense cloud around a complex molecule, you still see balance in both charge and spin. But sometimes the electrons in metalloproteins seem to be playing a trick on us. As we see with hemoglobin, nature appears to be conserving electronic charge while sacrificing this conservation in spin."
As many of these supposedly forbidden reactions involve biomolecules and transition metals, which can flip back and forth between different spin states under certain conditions, Rodriguez theorized that it was this variability in spin state that was influencing the rate of these reactions. ..."We are creating a new field that attempts to understand biochemical processes at the most fundamental level - that of quantum mechanics. It could be the most important step toward making biochemistry a predictive science rather than a descriptive one," he concluded.
Zeeman-Stark modeling of the RF EMF interaction with ligand binding A. Chiabrera, B. Bianco, E. Moggia, J.J. Kaufman
Bioelectromagnetics, Volume 21, Issue 4 , Pages 312 - 324, © 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc. PMID: 10797459
The influence of radiofrequency electromagnetic exposure on ligand binding to hydrophobic receptor proteins is a plausible early event of the interaction mechanism. A comprehensive quantum Zeeman-Stark model has been developed which takes into account the energy losses of the ligand ion due to its collisions inside the receptor crevice, the attracting nonlinear endogenous force due to the potential energy of the ion in the binding site, the out of equilibrium state of the ligand-receptor system due to the basal cell metabolism, and the thermal noise. The biophysical output is the change of the ligand binding probability that, in some instances, may be affected by a suitable low intensity exogenous electromagnetic input exposure, e.g., if the depth of the potential energy well of a putative receptor protein matches the energy of the radiofrequency photon. These results point toward both the possibility of the electromagnetic control of biochemical processes and the need for a new database of safety standards.
Cell type-specific genotoxic effects of intermittent extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields. Mutat Res. 2005 Jun 6;583(2):184-8. Ivancsits S, Pilger A, Diem E, Jahn O, Rudiger HW. Division of Occupational Medicine, Medical University of Vienna, Waehringer Guertel 18-20, A-1090 Vienna, Austria.
The issue of adverse health effects of extremely low-frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMFs) is highly controversial. Contradictory results regarding the genotoxic potential of ELF-EMF have been reported in the literature. To test whether this controversy might reflect differences between the cellular targets examined we exposed cultured cells derived from different tissues to an intermittent ELF-EMF (50 Hz sinusoidal, 1 mT) for 1-24h. The alkaline and neutral comet assays were used to assess ELF-EMF-induced DNA strand breaks. We could identify three responder (human fibroblasts, human melanocytes, rat granulosa cells) and three non-responder cell types (human lymphocytes, human monocytes, human skeletal muscle cells), which points to the significance of the cell system used when investigating genotoxic effects of ELF-EMF.
Electromagnetic field interactions with biological systems. FASEB J. 1993 Feb 1;7(2):272-81. Frey AH. Randomline Inc., Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania 19006.
This is a report on Symposia organized by the International Society for Bioelectricity and presented at the 1992 FASEB Meeting. The presentations summarized here were intended to provide a sampling of new and fruitful lines of research. The theme topics for the Symposia were cancer, neural function, cell signaling, pineal gland function, and immune system interactions. Living organisms are complex electrochemical systems that evolved over billions of years in a world with a relatively simple weak magnetic field and with few electromagnetic energy emitters. As is characteristic of living organisms, they interacted with and adapted to this environment of electric and magnetic fields. In recent years there has been a massive introduction of equipment that emits electromagnetic fields in an enormous range of new frequencies, modulations, and intensities. As living organisms have only recently found themselves immersed in this new and virtually ubiquitous environment, they have not had the opportunity to adapt to it. This gives us, as biologists, the opportunity to use these electromagnetic fields as probes to study the functioning of living systems. This is a significant opportunity, as new approaches to studying living systems so often provide the means to make great leaps in science. In recent years, a diversity of biologists have carried out experiments using electromagnetic fields to study the function of living cells and systems. This approach is now becoming quite fruitful and is yielding data that are advancing our knowledge in diverse areas of biology.
Originally posted by ImJaded
They can possibly make it to Mars in 3 hours but it still takes 22 hours to fly from Melbourne to New York ? lol
I wanna hear news of faster air travel not space travel! I don't have any plans on going to Mars for a vacation, c'mon guys how about something practical for us to actually use ? lol