poly: abrasive catapult

From: Damien Broderick <damien@ariel.ucs.unimelb.edu.au>
Date: Sun Dec 21 1997 - 07:38:06 PST

At 02:16 PM 12/17/97 -0500, Carl wrote of Bishop's very long
electromagnetic accelerator:

>damage avalanche: if the probe hits a (more
>or less stationary) gas atom while it's whizzing through the accelerator,
>this will knock a lot of atoms off the probe. These atoms will be moving
>very fast relative to the accelerator, so when they hit the walls of the
>accelerator, they will knock off even more atoms, which will hit the probe

I wonder if these pretty sparks might not be conscripted to *aid* the
launch system? I'm thinking of

`PASER: particle acceleration by stimulated emission of radiation,' Lev
Schachter, Physics Letters A, 25 Sept 95 (v. 205, no. 5)

which led Greg Egan, in DIASPORA, to imagine a particle pusher with 14
trillion free paser units, strung out for 140 billion km. You 1) bathe
their substrate in laser light piped from near-solar accumulators, 2) run
a charged particle through a channel in the substrate, so its electric
field kicks the pumped substrate material into firing, pushing the particle
on its way. Is it feasible to redirect Carl's catapult debris in some such
fashion, even if it's restricted to goosing highly redundant AI nano streams?

Damien Broderick
Received on Sun Dec 21 23:32:40 1997

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