atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#7215: Perhaps I should have a gander

Just before dawn a comet should be visible in the eastern sky. I might have to take a little drive to a place where there are no obstructions, but that shouldn't be impossible.

It's just about to pass the sun in the sky; on the 12th it'll be visible before sunrise in the northeast, and on the 13th it'll be visible just after sunset in the northwest.

Last comet I saw was Hale-Bopp, but that was with binoculars. NEOWISE is supposed to be naked-eye visible.

* * *

Incidentally, right below that bit? "Record cold in the mesophere". That's the upper atmosphere. What happened to the global warming? Last I heard, the mesosphere was warming, and the heat was magically teleporting to the deep ocean.

Guess maybe it's not warming after all. Hmm?

* * *

The man is a dumbass, and that's not President Trump's fault. Okay, if you want to invest in the stock market, the last thing you should do is to borrow money to do it.

The guy borrowed $75,000 to play the stock market. At one point he had assets worth close to a million dollars. Of course, then the Democrats crashed the economy over COVID-19 and his stocks are now barely worth $7,000.

The rules for investing in the markets is pretty simple: never risk money you cannot afford to lose. It's the same rule that goes for gambling. If you borrow money to invest, you are doing something egregiously stupid.

* * *

What the hell is this shit? Half of Oklahoma is indian reservation?

A decision today by the Supremee Court, "...holds the United States to an 1866 treaty that the Muscogee (Creek) Nation signed with the United States after the Civil War over land which was home to the 'Five Civilized Tribes'; the Creek, Cherokee Nation, the Seminole, the Chickasaw Nation, and the Choctaw Nation,..."

Oh well.

* * *

Seven years ago commie creep Don Lemon told black people:
Black people, if you really want to fix the problem, here’s just five things that you should think about doing.
5) Pull up your pants.
4) [Stop using the N-word.]
3) Respect where you live.
2) finish school.
1) just because you can have a baby, it doesn't mean you should. Especially without planning for one or getting married first.
Of course, this eminently good advice is considered racist.

* * *

Today I was screwing around with the Lorentz-Fitzgerald contraction equations, the bits and pieces that make travel near lightspeed so entertaining. I was waiting for a user's data to copy to Google Drive, so I had the time.

The funny thing about those equations is, if you assume that the square root of negative one doesn't mean the equation breaks, it makes for an interesting curve past lightspeed. It actually has to flip into a complex number space (and the graphing application can't handle complex numbers) but I get past this by just pulling i out of the radical, and compute the thing by taking the absolute value of 1-v^2/c^2 before we do the square root. So the actual result is F(V)=i*sqrt (1-(V^2/c^2)). Call this F(V) as I did there.

The rest is just finagling where to use that contraction equation. Then, your relativistic mass equals your rest mass divided by F(V), where i is (of course) the square root of -1 and V>C. Time is time span at rest divided by F(V).

For length, it's your length at rest times F(V).

Interestingly enough, the result of F(V) equals -1 somewhere near 425,000 kilometers a second rather than 600,000 km/s. So I started playing around; for my graph I just assumed my mass was 1. But if I made the mass larger, the curve moved down and to the right. At 2 mass, around 671,000 km/s. At 3 mass, 949,000. And so forth. These speeds were where the relativistic mass was exactly -1 times the rest mass.

...and that fit.

"What the hell could it fit?" You demand.

Well--the way starships work in my universe, that's what. The basic rule is that rest mass is speed in hyperspace. Because mass is inverted (as is everything else past lightspeed in normal space) you can only go as fast, in hyperspace, as satisfies the equations to make your relativistic mass -1 times your ship's mass in normal space. If you go faster than that--even to -0.999..9--you start running the risk of inversion, which would trap you in hyperspace approximately forever. And hyperspace is (for several reasons) a timelike space in that the minimum speed in hyperspace is lightspeed. But you need to accelerate a lot to have enough relativistic energy to get close to that slow.

...when I found this, this afternoon, I was delighted: the equations actually fit the story. I should not have been; I should have expected it (given that many characteristics of hyperspace were drawn from these equations).

Hyperspace has weird rules in my SF universe. But I tried to give them at least some grounding in reality...apparently, with some success.

The graph!

And if that doesn't work, here is the link to the graph.

Some explanation: the asymptote that goes to plus infinity is relativistic mass, also duration; same for the one that comes from negative infinity.

The other curve is relativistic length.

All curves higher than X=300,000 are complex numbers but I've adjusted for that by pretending really hard that it doesn't matter.

* * *

By the way--in some story or another, Heinlein talks about how a certain kind of ship can go faster than light and "gave a little lurch as we skipped over lightspeed" but as you can see from those two asymptotic curves, you can't just "skip" past lightspeed. Just before lightspeed your relativistic mass is arbitrarily positive. Just past lightspeed, your relativistic mass is arbitrarily negative.

Actually it's your rest mass M times i times the contraction, of course. But that's why you need to go to an alternate space to exceed lightspeed.

* * *

Anyway, it's bedtime.

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