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Thread: what was the Death Star's laser thinkgy composed of?

  1. #31
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    Yup. Once one comes to terms with the fact that science fiction and space fantasy are two distinct subgenres, cognitive discord goes away.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Well, there’s no Death Star in Star Trek, so I think the distinction is relevant here.
    The planet-killing robotic Doomsday Machine from the episode of the same name. You're welcome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swift View Post
    I have no problem with the fantasy nature of Star Wars. I find it amusing when people try to apply some sort of scientific explanation to the things in Star Wars that are obviously just fantasy elements there to tell a story.
    It can be a fun thought experiment, if you don't take it too seriously.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    Yes, interesting that. Sound travels instantaneously with light, but laser light travels at the speed of bullets!
    Maybe the Force works like Pratchett's magic field.

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    Quote Originally Posted by loglo View Post
    Maybe the Force works like Pratchett's magic field.
    The "force" aspect of the films is probably the only fantasy that may have some element of real science. Well at least the basic concept, in that all things within the universe are somehow connected at a quantum level. I'm not talking about the "midiclrorians" mumbo jumbo and people with special powers that can manipulate them. But the possible reality that things have some sort of subatomic connection like "spooky connection at distance" and quantum entanglement... where particles that appear unconnected in anyway can influence each other.

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocrazy View Post
    The "force" aspect of the films is probably the only fantasy that may have some element of real science. Well at least the basic concept, in that all things within the universe are somehow connected at a quantum level. I'm not talking about the "midiclrorians" mumbo jumbo and people with special powers that can manipulate them. But the possible reality that things have some sort of subatomic connection like "spooky connection at distance" and quantum entanglement... where particles that appear unconnected in anyway can influence each other.
    That could be an explanation ... with a certain amount of hand waving.

    Quantum particles do not assume a "final" form until they are observed. (Oversimplification, yeah, but ...) So, if you can find a way to "proactively observe" an object you can control what it does. IOW, you can make the cat either dead or alive based on how you choose to observe it.

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  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    That could be an explanation ... with a certain amount of hand waving.

    Quantum particles do not assume a "final" form until they are observed. (Oversimplification, yeah, but ...) So, if you can find a way to "proactively observe" an object you can control what it does. IOW, you can make the cat either dead or alive based on how you choose to observe it.

    The Force Explained Scientifically. Maybe I should copyright this.
    Obi-one Kenobi did once state "the truth depends on a certain point of view". Maybe this is what he was eluding to (my bold)

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocrazy View Post
    Obi-one Kenobi did once state "the truth depends on a certain point of view". Maybe this is what he was eluding to (my bold)
    Obi-wan flat out LIED and then made up some fortune-cookie philosophy to cover for it.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    The Force Explained Scientifically. Maybe I should copyright this.
    If you left out midichlorians, you have explained nothing.

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    Midichlorian sounds like something you'd clean the sink with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    Obi-wan flat out LIED and then made up some fortune-cookie philosophy to cover for it.
    I think I read/heard somewhere that in the original draft Anakin Skywalker was indeed betrayed and killed by another jedi who became to be known as Darth Vader and that they decided to add the twist of Anakin actually becoming Darth Vader instead? Maybe this was in fact true and that the script was adjusted (added in "fortune-cookie philosophy") to counter Obi-wans original explanation to Luke about his father?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocrazy View Post
    I think I read/heard somewhere that in the original draft Anakin Skywalker was indeed betrayed and killed by another jedi who became to be known as Darth Vader and that they decided to add the twist of Anakin actually becoming Darth Vader instead? Maybe this was in fact true and that the script was adjusted (added in "fortune-cookie philosophy") to counter Obi-wans original explanation to Luke about his father?
    Butbutbut ORIGINAL VISION!
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  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim View Post
    Quantum particles do not assume a "final" form until they are observed. (Oversimplification, yeah, but ...) So, if you can find a way to "proactively observe" an object you can control what it does. IOW, you can make the cat either dead or alive based on how you choose to observe it.
    You just need to figure out what things to observe. For example, if you want to help out a cat that has met with an unfortunate accident, you simply need to determine the exact observable that would be complementary to the cat's alive-dead state. Then perform an observation of this property very precisely. Just as observing the position of a particle precisely leaves the momentum completely undetermined, or measuring the spin along one axis leaves the spin undetermined along the two orthogonal axes, observing this property of the cat will leave its complementary property (i.e., it's alive-dead state) completely undetermined. When you check the cat again, whether it is alive or dead will be entirely random. If the cat remains dead after this process (which will unfortunately happen 50% of the time), it's not a problem, as you simply need to repeat the process until that cat is alive again. Do note the importance of not ever making an observation of this property on a cat that is already alive. I believe that quantum mechanics will eventually become a crucial part of veterinary medicine.
    Conserve energy. Commute with the Hamiltonian.

  14. #44
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    In terms of the superlaser, it makes no sense to have the beams combine unless there is some object too small to be seen.
    Maybe a Bose Einstein condensate lens?

    http://www.physicscentral.com/explore/action/light.cfm
    https://www.symmetrymagazine.org/art...ision-of-light

    An idea might be to fill a "lens" or accumulator with as much energy as possible--and the last beam from the central location of the Death Star Dish kicks the accumulated energy along the path of the central beam.

  15. #45
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    It simply takes place in a parallel universe with slightly different laws of physics.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  16. #46
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    In the novelization, Starkiller base ran on a type of Dark Energy
    https://starwars.fandom.com/wiki/Quintessence

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    It simply takes place in a parallel universe with slightly different laws of physics.
    But where many of the characters look exactly like humans, and even speak American English!
    As above, so below

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    But where many of the characters look exactly like humans, and even speak American English!
    They speak Galactic Basic, which coincidentally happens sound exactly like English.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  19. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by publiusr View Post
    In terms of the superlaser, it makes no sense to have the beams combine unless there is some object too small to be seen.
    Or simply not visible.

    Perhaps there is a main beam in the centre that does not emit visible light, and the peripheral beams do some some boosting thing that incidentally makes it visible.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    But where many of the characters look exactly like humans, and even speak American English!
    The story is translated for Milky Way consumption. Subtitles were considered but ultimately discarded.

  21. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jens View Post
    But where many of the characters look exactly like humans, and even speak American English!
    Just like all of the movies where the Romans and Egyptians speak English with British accents!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    It simply takes place in a parallel universe with slightly different laws of physics.
    No no no... it takes place a "long time ago in a galaxy far far away"

  23. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocrazy View Post
    No no no... it takes place a "long time ago in a galaxy far far away"
    Then I guess the laws of physics changed at some point. In those days they couldn't have a movie with the teaser, "In space no one can hear you scream" because in fact you could.
    As above, so below

  24. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmocrazy View Post
    No no no... it takes place a "long time ago in a galaxy far far away"
    What's farther away than another universe?
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  25. #55
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    The energies involved are (perhaps) worth considering. In order to destroy Alderaan so thoroughly, the first Death Star must have been capable of wielding a beam with an energy of 4*10^27 Joules; this is about as much energy as the Sun emits in 12 days. If the Death Star uses antimatter as a way to store energy, then it must have a block of antimatter about 10km on a side somewhere in there (there should have been enough room for this; it was a big object). A beam that powerful should be visible, even in the near-vacuum of space (every atom the beam hits should emit plenty of light).

    I'm more concerned about the vast amount of energy emitted by the Starkiller base in The Force Awakens. If it absorbs all the energy of a star, that presumably allows it to emit all of that energy when used as a weapon. The Sun will continue to shine for at least five billion years - even if we ignore the post-main-sequence luminosity, this amounts to a lot of energy. Remember that the Earth (or Alderaan) could be destroyed by 12 days worth of Solar power; after 12 billion years we are talking about 10^11 times as much energy - enough energy to destroy just about every planet in the Star Wars galaxy (or the Milky Way).

    Yet the Starkiller base only managed to destroy about five planets, all in the same system. Not very efficient; perhaps most of the energy was wasted sending the beam through hyperspace. If you can disassemble a star there must be a better way to use the energy liberated.

    How about using it to improve the living conditions of all those Star Wars citizens? Some of them seem to be barely scraping a living, scavenging droids and whatnot.
    Last edited by eburacum45; 2019-Apr-28 at 04:12 PM.

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by eburacum45 View Post
    How about using it to improve the living conditions of all those Star Wars citizens? Some of them seem to be barely scraping a living, scavenging droids and whatnot.
    The Imperial remnant First Order appears to have the same problem with its priorities as the Empire of Palpatine... that is, improving lives of its citizens is not a priority. But flashy budget busting superweapons are. Ask a Russian from the Soviet era how realistic that portrayal is.
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    At least they have robot labor. I've been waiting for my robot maid to show up for the last 20 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Noclevername View Post
    The Imperial remnant First Order appears to have the same problem with its priorities as the Empire of Palpatine... that is, improving lives of its citizens is not a priority. But flashy budget busting superweapons are. Ask a Russian from the Soviet era how realistic that portrayal is.
    Given the Nazi-inspired aesthetics they have, the Nazi obsession with “wonder weapons” is also a relevant comparison and perhaps the inspiration.
    The greatest journey of all time, for all to see
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  29. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by KaiYeves View Post
    Given the Nazi-inspired aesthetics they have, the Nazi obsession with “wonder weapons” is also a relevant comparison and perhaps the inspiration.
    All manner of autocrats, strongmen, and tyrants have similar obsessions. It's a recurring theme in real life history as well as fiction. Power corrupts, and addicts.
    "I'm planning to live forever. So far, that's working perfectly." Steven Wright

  30. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by eburacum45 View Post
    The energies involved are (perhaps) worth considering.
    Dyson sphere Death Stars are as close as one could really get. Some discussion here:
    https://www.trekbbs.com/threads/talk...stions.299450/

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