Friday, December 10, 2004

Three Down, Two To Go

Well, my second and third exams are now complete. That leaves Physics on Tuesday, and Calculus on Thursday. Wait, why am I writing this? Does anyone care? Perhaps I should do my introspection elsewhere; somewhere where the entire planet cannot access it. In any case, it's irrelevant. I suppose the reason I am writing this is simply sheer boredom. I leave for home in a week, and I doubt if I will be able to update until I return (January 3rd).

Ah yes, I remembered something that might be of interest. Last night I went to a bar for the first time in my life. I didn't drink anything though, which I suppose makes it something of a non-event.

Man, my computer is dusty. A couple of weeks ago, when I bought my new graphics card, I had to open it up for the installation. And I nearly suffocated due to the dust that billowed out of the case. It's almost come time for a complete cleaning, perhaps before I go home I can do this.

With all apologies to any of you that actually read this, I am wracking my brain for ideas to write here. Maybe I should post my theories for the workings of a real-life stargate (as they were not too well accepted over at halfbakery.com). Alright, here goes:

Okay, we've all seen the show "Stargate SG-1" at least once (and if not, go watch it. Now.), and therefore we've all thought to ourselves: "Wouldn't it be cool if the stargate was real?"

Of course it would.

Basically, what you need to create a stargate is a wormhole. Creating that is easier than it looks. Since our universe is embedded in higher-dimensional space, there's no reason that forces like gravity and magnetism wouldn't penetrate into the fourth (or higher) dimension. So what we need are magnets that are so powerful that they pull each other together through the fourth dimension but not the third. Think of a two-dimensional analogue: a piece of paper that represent the universe, with two magnets glued on it. If these magnets are strong enough, they will attract through the third dimension and fold up the paper! Of course this doesn't solve the problem of actually creating the wormhole, but it gets the regions of space REALLY CLOSE to one another. Then you need something to actually rip the two "sides" and join them together. Presumably a large concentration of energy could do it (perhaps by launching a black hole at the middle of the ring?).

But it gets better. This proposed method can only work between two gates, because with more gates it would pick whichever one is closest. So obviously we need a method of "dialing" which gate we want to attach to. So instead of the gate being one giant magnet, have it be composed of several electromagnets, so that if you were looking at the gate from the front, it would look like

http://tinypic.com/olrhj

where the "O's" represent electromagnets. Now, by switching the polarity of these magnets to match the polarity of another gate, you can choose which gate to attach to! (Mathematical note: On the show, the stargate uses a seven-symbol combination drawn from a bank of 39 symbols. This is equal to 39^7 or 137231006979 possible combinations. Turns out that this is very close to 2^37, so 37 electromagnets would be needed for every possible combination.)

There are, admittedly, some flaws in this plan:

1. It would take an extraordinary amount of energy to run a system like this. 2. It assumes that the stargates are already present on other planets. 3. I have no idea how magnetic fields propogate through four-dimensional space.

But other than that, you gotta admit it would be pretty cool.

5 Comments:

Blogger SweetestSiren said...

that's a really cool idea. and for some reason it reminds me of madaline l'engle's 'a wrinkle in time.' if you haven't read it, you would most likely enjoy it.

~Mery

12:52 PM  
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