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Question about a number of Physics ideas

  1. Jan 11, 2007 #1
    Hi,

    I'm sorry if this question is in the wrong topic, but I am currently writing sci-fi story which contains a lot of scientific explainations. I would like, if possible to run some of the ideas past some people who know something on the subject. Can somone please tell me where i can ask these questions and if it's ok to ask these questions in this forum?

    Thanks a lot
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 11, 2007 #2
    u can do it here make it as a topic and we all can discuss this ideas
     
  4. Jan 11, 2007 #3

    cristo

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    I thought the whole point of sci-fi was that the concepts *weren't* physically possible?
     
  5. Jan 11, 2007 #4
    Thanks :)

    Background: There is an Alien race who have lived and evolved for about 60 million years. They have been in a technological advancement for the majority of that time. They have had insterstellar travel for about 50 million years.

    The way they move around the galaxy is as follows:

    Manipulation of a supermassive blackhole (SMBH). My theory is that they create a massive magnetic field close to the SMBH, as the magnetic field grows, part of it is drawen into the black hole, and the other part magnetic field is sent out into space to a point which we could call A (i don't know how yet) when the magnetic field expanding, the SMBH begins pulling the magnetic fied into it, thus pulling point A closer to the SMBH, now my idea is that anything that passes point A is pulled towards the SMBH.

    My question is could a magnetic field be manipulated in this way? Can it be use to 'grip' on to space as a medium.

    Or is this question just stupid :(

    I will have more later :)
     
  6. Jan 11, 2007 #5
    cristo is right .... that is so logic to me too ... there was a sci-fiction writer who wrote about robots and computers and mobiles few decades later ...and he said it is in the 2000 that it will be done ... and it is real we are living what he said so ... everything seems impossible is a great beginning to reality
     
  7. Jan 11, 2007 #6

    cristo

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    You're not in the right place to discuss this. Did you read the guidelines when you signed up? This a place to talk about coherent scientific theories, not sci-fi speculation!
     
  8. Jan 11, 2007 #7

    berkeman

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    I moved it to the PF Lounge General Discussion forum for now.
     
  9. Jan 11, 2007 #8

    cristo

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    In retrospect, reading back over my post, it did sound a bit harsh.

    @Darth Bandon: Sorry, my post was very blunt! However, your suggestion isn't physically possible, although you're writing sci-fi, as I mentioned above, it doesn't really need to be. But, suppose your "alien civilisation" had managed to manipulate magnetic fields in such a way, surely, in using such a method to travel through space, one would simply be drawn into the black hole?!
     
  10. Jan 11, 2007 #9
    No worries :)

    I will try and do a diagram of what i mean and post it here.
     
  11. Jan 11, 2007 #10
    Another Question :)

    Is it possible to send sub-atomic particles through atoms?

    What I mean is, is it possible to shoot sub-atomic particles through atoms like a bullet is shot through a target?

    If so, would this sub-atomic particles show signs of contact with the atoms, e.g. damage, pieces of the atoms they made contact with?
     
  12. Jan 11, 2007 #11
    See Rutherford's Scattering experiment. Or did you mean through the nucleus of an atom?
     
  13. Jan 11, 2007 #12

    berkeman

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    It's done all the time. Particle accelerators are used for many kinds of particle-particle collision experiments:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Particle_accelerator
     
  14. Jan 11, 2007 #13
    My idea is that particles are fired through matter, and the particles record the following:
    The position of the atom
    The element of the atom

    This of course is done on a large scale. e.g. firing particles through the earth to determine the above data
     
  15. Jan 11, 2007 #14

    berkeman

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    Weeelllll, it depends. You can do that sort of thing on a limited basis. The more general way to identify the components of a substance is with a mass spectrometer (you can wiki or google that if you want more info). Also look up Scanning Tunneling Microscope (not sure of the spelling) for more info on "seeing" the position of atoms.

    As for shooting stuff though the Earth, that's more in the realm of existing sci-fi, like in Buckaroo Banzai.
     
  16. Jan 11, 2007 #15

    Gokul43201

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    Yes, these things are routinely done in physics labs.

    Atomic positions (aka crystal structure) are determined by diffraction measurements (electron, neutron or x-ray diffraction) or by electron microscopy (look up TEM, STM). All of these methods involve shooting particles (electrons, neutrons or x-ray photons) at the sample of interest, and recording the effect of the sample on the emerging particles.

    Elemental analysis is also possible with a standard XRD (x-ray diffraction) or TEM (tunneling/transmission electron microscopy) set-up. A simple diffractogram itself tells you what material you are analysing, but it's not great for telling you about components that make up less than 2% of the sample mass. Specifically for elemental analysis, these instruments are additionally outfitted with an EDS (for energy dispersive spectroscopy, sometime called EDAX - energy dispersive analysis of x-rays) or XPS (x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy) detector that tell you how much of different elements is present in the sample.

    <Google the keywords above for more info>

    The problem with applying these methods to the earth is that...well it won't work. The earth is not a crystalline solid (it's atoms do not have fixed, periodic positions), and it's too big - it'll absorb all the particles shot at it, and any sencdary emissions from its interior. Moreover, much of the earth is liquid, semisolid or otherwise in continuous relative motion, and the atoms don't stay fixed in place. So, finding the atomic positions for the earth is completely meaningless.

    However, finding the elemental/chemical composition of the earth is not meaningless, but only impossible. This of course, doesn't mean you can't concoct a scheme for a scifi story. You can either come up with some ultra-high energy photon or maybe some kind of neutrino-based analysis method that you don't go into the details of.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2007
  17. Jan 11, 2007 #16

    Ouabache

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    how about neutrinos? ref
    "The sun emits vast numbers of neutrinos which can pass through the earth with little or no interaction."
     
  18. Jan 11, 2007 #17

    berkeman

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    Yeah, I thought about mentioning them, but they don't interact with matter enough to matter :biggrin:
     
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