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Short story physics

  1. Mar 23, 2007 #1

    DaveC426913

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    Gold Member

    Idea for a short story.

    Say you had a colony ship that had its atmo contained by acceleration alone. It had an atmo that was comparable in depth to a planet. (Don't worry about it escaping, just help me with the radiation aspect.)

    Think of Niven's Ringworld.

    How much radiation would you experience in interstellar space - say, a few light years from any stars? (discounting radiation from RW's sun.) While the RW's structure shields its denizens from radiation below, it doesn't help from above.

    Would you be able to shield the surface from radiation with a powerful magnetic field? Or an ozone layer?

    Would low relativistic velocities (.1%-1% c) blue-shift the radiation to any significant degree in terms of radiation exposure?

    Thx.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 23, 2007 #2

    Astronuc

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    See the proton energy spectrum in this presention.

    http://hesperia.gsfc.nasa.gov/sspvse/oral/Ken_McCracken/wintergreen1.pdf

    Protons have energy around 0.1 - 10 GeV and their rest mass is ~0.93827 GeV. Most are non-relativisitc, but 100's of MeV is still a lot of energy.

    The most effective shielding is other protons, i.e. hydrogenous materials. Light metals like Al should be avoided because of the secondary radiation from spallation reactions. LiH is a possible shilding material, but it would need to be surrounded by a structual material.
     
  4. Mar 24, 2007 #3

    DaveC426913

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    I guess once you introduce an atmo to the equation, you're basically comparing it to a planet rather than a spaceship. I guess that sort of answers my own question.
     
  5. Mar 24, 2007 #4

    Danger

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    Dave, I used to just love you for your body... but you're a fellow Niven fan? :!!)
    :redface:
     
  6. Mar 25, 2007 #5

    DaveC426913

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    I've read and have a copy of everything he's published. He is my #1 fave. Currently reading 'Building Harlequins' Moon' in hardcover because, as usual, I'm too impatient to wait for the paperback to come out.
     
  7. Mar 25, 2007 #6

    Danger

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    I wish that I had your money. Strictly pb for me. :frown:
     
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