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Spaceships and Science fiction

  1. Feb 3, 2012 #1
    Moderation note: This thread has been split from another so as not to derail the former thread

    I have a hard time enjoying Star Wars anymore because of how those spaceships fly around :(
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 8, 2012
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  3. Feb 3, 2012 #2

    Ryan_m_b

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    Re: Acceleration of spaceships with different masses?

    Not to mention the "pro-democracy" rebels lead by a Princess :uhh:
     
  4. Feb 3, 2012 #3
    Re: Acceleration of spaceships with different masses?

    oh, wow, I never even thought about that. That is pretty weird.
     
  5. Feb 3, 2012 #4
    Re: Acceleration of spaceships with different masses?

    Very very OFFtopic, but princess was a formal title, like the Queen of England, otherwise she was a senator, later Mon Montha became the leader.

    Otherwise yes, it is irritating how Hollywood filmmakers unaware about basic things.
     
  6. Feb 3, 2012 #5

    Ryan_m_b

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    Re: Acceleration of spaceships with different masses?

    Very, very, very offtopic but the Queen is still the Queen. She is the head of state, head of the armed forces, can open and close parliament and has to ratify any decision made by parliament before it can become law. Admittedly she is the Queen with the least amount of power in the history of England but she isn't totally figurehead.

    Lastly IIRC from the latest batch of Star Wars films George Lucas made a bizzare government for (I forget the name of the planet where the first one is based) wherein they have an elected Queen who sits out two terms maximum and abides by a constitution...
     
  7. Feb 3, 2012 #6
    Re: Acceleration of spaceships with different masses?

    I dont think we can criticise movie makers here, it would be a bit of a problem if they could only make movies which adhered to known laws of physics, if its sci fi and it knows its sci fi and has no pretence of being anything else then i really dont mind.
     
  8. Feb 3, 2012 #7

    DaveC426913

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    Re: Acceleration of spaceships with different masses?

    Except that Star Wars is not sci-fi. Never claimed to be. It's space fantasy.

    (Anyone who thinks that's splitting hairs obviously doesn't care about the lack of science in fantasy stories).
     
  9. Feb 4, 2012 #8
    Re: Acceleration of spaceships with different masses?

    Well, anyway, I was glad to see that Space Battleship Yamato didnt lack entirely the world sci.
    The dogfight in space was just a fly-by with some shooting. :)
    The small craft's primary purpose was to determine the exact coordinates of the enemy ship, when they got close, so the battleship could hit it. Well, you cant really hide in space, but i guess it is not that easy to hit a far-away target that you can see well under one arcsecond.
     
  10. Feb 4, 2012 #9

    DaveC426913

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    Re: Acceleration of spaceships with different masses?

    Upon rereading this, I realize this might have come across derisively. It was not intended to be. It was a knee-jerk reaction to arguments I've had elsewhere.
     
  11. Feb 6, 2012 #10
    Re: Acceleration of spaceships with different masses?

    Yes you are totally right. I am a big fan of fantasy and sci fi and space fantasy (of which there is a LOT in more recent years)

    Sci fi in films and books is in decline as we increasingly realise how unlikely anything along them is.
     
  12. Feb 6, 2012 #11
    Re: Acceleration of spaceships with different masses?

    I am working through my first novel at the moment - about 9 months in, I wrote a number of short novellas and was happy with them. The problem I am having is how not to fly in the face of modern understanding while not limiting the scope of my story.

    I am allowing the ability of FTL (using an avoidance mechanism) and one of my major plot points is causality which is a recurring theme throughout the novel.

    Anyways I am not plugging/advertising just noting what Ryan says as important and very difficult for authors - sometimes scientific validity has to be thrown out of the window!
     
  13. Feb 6, 2012 #12

    Ryan_m_b

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    Re: Acceleration of spaceships with different masses?

    Best of luck with it :smile: I've always thought that in good SF it's not about what science and technology you allow but how well you deal with the ramifications (as well as good plot, characters etc). It's a real toe stub on my suspension of disbelief when I come across something akin to what was described in the link.

    Overall I would say I prefer a score of 3-5 on the Mohs Scale :wink:
     
  14. Feb 6, 2012 #13
    Re: Acceleration of spaceships with different masses?

    If we talk about books, yes it is kinda hard to write epic storys with nukes, orbital bombardment, robotic armies... :(

    Although I think, because of space fantasys, atomic rockets are maybe a little bit biased against fighters.
    Maybe in deep space, humans arent needed, okay it is hard to argue, they arent meant for space, but on orbit, where valuable infrastructure and civilans can be found, decision making is needed, and you cant trust entirely remote control.

    Also, in Yamato, the battle in the caverns of the enemy planet was beyond the ability of robots and drones i think.

    If they can evolve to match human abilities, then with a rebellion scenario, a writer can rule them out.
     
  15. Feb 6, 2012 #14

    Ryan_m_b

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    Re: Acceleration of spaceships with different masses?

    That's only if you equate human capability in a specific area with human consciousness, emotion, sense of self/identity, sense of personal liberty, social interaction etc. I'm firmly in the camp of we don't design planes to fly like birds nor cars to travel like quadrupeds and neither do we design intelligent software with the rest of the attributes that the most intelligent thing (us so says us) possesses.

    However one could write them off out a story through some relatively simple plot devices such as strongly intelligent software being non-trivial to program, a history of drones being hacked, a history of drones making the odd mistake: "Drone Air Strikes School Bus Thinking It's A Tank!" would be more of a show-stopping headline for drones than it would be for human pilots.
     
  16. Feb 6, 2012 #15
    Re: Acceleration of spaceships with different masses?

    Yes.
    (I wondered about a situation, where a drone bombs down Washington, because it believes the fireworks is an enemy attack.)

    In the new trilogy of SW, the neimods rebelled against the Republic with their drone armies, after such things, there are quite good reasons to enforce Asimov's laws of robotics.
     
  17. Feb 6, 2012 #16

    Ryan_m_b

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    Re: Acceleration of spaceships with different masses?


    Au contraire
    , Asimov's writings exploring his three (or four if you count the zeroth) laws expressly highlight how and why they don't work. For example in The Naked Sun:
    Robots with the three laws are put into spaceships (filled to the brim with weapons) and told that all spaceships are crewed by robots. The plan (which is foiled by the protagonist) is to have millions of robots manufacture fleets of warships, stock them with uneducated bots and send them out to attack others. As far as they know they are obeying the second law to obey any command without breaking the first of harming humans because they don't realise that they are.
    Another good example is in Foundation and Earth:
    The protagonists are harmed and captured by robots who refuse to recognise them as human as they have been educated to believe that only their masters are human.
    Btw I don't mean to be argumentative, just interested in the discussion :smile:
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  18. Feb 6, 2012 #17
    Re: Acceleration of spaceships with different masses?

    About the first one :
    the enemy will sooner or later recognise that they use robotic armies against them, and expose it.
    Then, it wont be a matter between two planets anymore, it will be a galactic matter, people will be overwhelmed by fear, that the robots can actually kill them, and they will demand immediate action against Solaria. They cant manufacture enough robots to handle every enemy.
     
  19. Feb 6, 2012 #18

    Ryan_m_b

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    Re: Acceleration of spaceships with different masses?

    True but the advantage Solaria has is ~20,000 robots per person. Their industrial capacity is massive and IIRC:
    the plan was to launch a devastating surprise attack with huge fleets of ships assembled in secret by millions of robots working in secret. Solaria could easily accomplish it's goals by sending a ship stocked with factory supplies and robots to a unpopulated systems. The bots build a factory and then use it to build another, those two factories build another two, those four another four...until they have millions of factories each capable of building thousands of ships.
     
  20. Feb 6, 2012 #19

    Integral

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    Re: Acceleration of spaceships with different masses?

    I have an old war game called Battlefleet Mars. It has as a strategic map a scaled model of the solar system, earth to Jupiter, with the planets orbits marked off in a manner such that each turn you move each planet to the next mark, so the planets move in a realistic manner, put that is not of interest here. The tactical map consisted of 2 grid sheets one representing the x-y plane, the other the x-z plane. After your fleets arrived at a planet you moved the ships to the tactical map where they then engaged in combat on the 3d grid system, yes, you had to maintain markers on each of the 2 sheets. The point of this post is to comment on just how hard it was to actually engage the opposing fleet. If each player put their fleet in motion towards the enemy they would pass by each other quickly, attempts to slow down and reverse your direction would result in expending all of your fuel (in other words there was a limitation on how much fuel each ship could carry. They had different sized ships which accelerated at a rate determined by the mass of the ship. The fuel limitations make any amount of maneuver nearly impossible.
     
  21. Feb 7, 2012 #20
    Re: Acceleration of spaceships with different masses?

    Than the enemy will swarm them with nuclear missiles, if we playing dirty...

    But yes, thats why people rather want to read about pilots and space marines who live by the old samurai codex, not robotic armies and nuclear missiles and politicans who order bombings from their nuke-proof bunkers...
    Also, a captain who control drone battleships from behind (and mostly he accepts the strategist computer's plans) isnt such a good character.
    Theoretically, you can robotize the battleships also.
     
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