I've written "0900" on my hand again. It's possible it will actually come to something this time and if it does, maybe I'll tell you about it.
Most recently, I've been trying to explain about starships and it's been slow going. Several things came together at once: the realization that the field-emission array could be stacked and would work like a gain antenna: effectively trading field shape for power. The navigation/piloting problem, though -- that wasn't so easily dealt with. There's no way to "pilot" a 'drive vehicle in the sense of looking out the window (or even reading instruments) and directly manipulating controls, especially at those times when one needs it most: landing or moving about close to the ground. Worse yet, since how one modulates the 'drive field can control the vehicle's orientation (and vector, if any!) when the field is shut down, pilot disorientation issues are severe. (The inherent navigational uncertainly also made the 'drive a lousy weapon: you can't aim worth a darn)
The solution? Easy! But not neat: you can leave the Earth; you just can't get back. And with nuclear Armageddon looking more and more likely, a minority of the research team were ready to try just that.
But -- would you look at the time? Plenty of prep to get done before 0900, so I'll have to take this up later.
2 weeks ago