The Tyranny of Distance

The tyranny of distance is something i have blogged about before in the context of travel within Australia. There is another tyranny of distance which is more on my mind and that is the void between us and the other moons and planets which could one day sustain human life.

In order to cross this void we need either velocity or teleportation. The latter being of no particular interest to me i focus on the attainment of velocity in open space as a problem worth solving. A famous woman once said, ‘A problem worthy of attack, proves its worth by fighting back.’ The miriad of attempted solutions to this problem have yet to yield any potential functionality, so far as i know, so it is left to us to explore the possibilities that have not yet been completely extinguished by investigation.

After many years of investigating complex rotors as a means of extracting thrust i have finally convinced myself that there is probably nothing to be gained from continuing. This is not a defeat but a completion of one avenue of investigation. Now i must look for another way and the only one that i am as yet aware of, which has not already been exhaustively tested, is the detail of the behavior of superfluids.

A superfluid is simply a gas such as helium which has been cooled to such a low temperature that it passes partly through its base phase transition. That is to say the electrons of its atoms are of such a low energy that its behavior changes from that which we normally experience. For an explanation of superfluid behavior simply search under superfluid and if you persist you are sure to find some comprehensible explanations. The relevant aspect if this behavior is an apparent lack of viscosity.

For a material to lack viscosity (resistance to movement) it must either have no mass, which is imposable, or it must have no momentum which is equally impossible. The point being that there is something going on here which is as yet not adequately explained to the likes of myself. I would be the first to admit that there are gaps in my knowledge of physics but you don’t need to be a genius to notice that something is not quite the way it should be if our principal assumptions are correct. Put more simply this means that our principal assumptions are incorrect.

My problem now is that low temperature laboratories where such things can be investigated are enormously expensive and difficult to staff. There is no hope in me that i would ever be able to investigate this avenue at home. There is little hope in me that i could ever reach the level of technical expertise that would be required for me to be persuasive in encouraging scientists to take on the task. I have no desire to spend a decade researching a proposal which would be unlikely to receive any funding at any stage. What then remains.

Consideration of any other clues comes next but the clues are not yet apparent to me. Time spent trawling through past experience of material behavior is unproductive but not altogether a waste because there always exists the remote possibility that in searching the clues may be stumbled upon. This i remind myself daily as the morning cup of tea rinses away the disappointment of waking alone. My focus is one that is properly considered in an empty space.

There is no doubt in my mind that my task is a worthy one because it may take a million minds to devote themselves to the task before the clue is found. So this is a background for any regular readers that combined with my ongoing training as a volunteer ambulance officer completes a picture of how and why this failed poet has the time to blog. My life is a positive and happy one. My freedom to indulge this life is given to me by the generous australian social security system. The passion with which i live my life may remain a mystery simply because i lack the words with which to describe it.

The task is a fascinating one. To attempt to reach into the future and create new methods of transportation is to me ultimately glamorous. To be included in the everyday of my community at the same time is a gift beyond measure and a validation of my efforts (even if not intended as such). The future is not for sale, we may give to it or diminish it but we can not take from it. Time marches over us just as it will march over those that come after us and the petty politics and personal greed that arise in the mean have little relevance outside of the detail.

Join me if you can, be inspired by the butterfly effect of creating the possibility of a hurricane of change. Do it in your own way, do not be discouraged by the restrictions of your personal circumstance, creating the future by deliberate action has a depth of consequence far deeper than the potential for disruption in your own life. If you have any technical expertise to bring to the discussion all well and good but such expertise is not necessary, much can be achieved by other means. Much can be achieved by simply recognising humanities desire to cross the void as living breathing beings because in so doing the desire to protect our survival will be best served.

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