View Full Version : Niven's Puppeteers and Klemperer rosettes

2005-Nov-28, 05:31 PM
The old thread on Klemperer rosettes seems to have vanished (or at least I can't find it searching BAUT...), so I'll start a new one for the sole purpose of passing around an amusing and trivial thought. I'll bet the Puppeteers had already engineered their home system into a Klemperer rosette around its star before they set sail on learning of the Core explosion. Why do I think that would be in character? Because their paranoia is such a basic survival trait, and Klemperer rosettes have no signature on their star's motion either for Doppler or astrometric planet searches. Better yet, if an interferometry setup happened to image one, that asterisk pattern looks just a little too much like common imaging artifacts with few-element arrays to be believed.
(Not that this would be the only reason for such engineering, but it makes such excellent Puppetter sense...)

I've heard of retroactive continuity, but is there a word for felicitously accidental retroactive continuity?

Nowhere Man
2005-Nov-28, 06:30 PM
Interesting to note that Niven mispelled the name -- he wrote Kemplerer, the name is actually Klemperer (as you said).

A quick Google on Kemplerer indirectly led to this page of Java applet simulations of rosettes. (http://burtleburtle.net/bob/physics/kempler.html) The last one is a 5-world rosette. Click on it and watch what happens.

I guess the puppeteers do some station keeping.

Edit to add: George RR Martin's novel The Dying of the Light (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0553383086/104-4415988-9824707?v=glance&n=283155&v=glance) took place on a rogue planet that was passing by a giant star that had six smaller stars in an obvious rosette.


2005-Nov-28, 09:11 PM
Perhaps we should be looking for Puppeteer colonies (or their equivalent) around stars which apparently have no planets.

On the other hand, just how would a safety-obsessed species go about plucking a Klemperer's Rosette out of orbit anyway?
That is seriously big space-time engineering.