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Old 04-05-2009, 12:06 PM   #31
pdurrant
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Possibly "Think Like A Dinosaur" by James Patrick Kelly

http://www.fictionwise.com/eBooks/eBook57.htm

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I remember some years ago either reading a short story, or seeing a short film - I forget which it was - about the "ethics" of transporter technology, the whole point of which was that it inevitably involves the "death" of the person being "transported", and the ethical implications of that.
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:52 PM   #32
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I would like a single outpatient injection of nanobots that would repair my eyes permanently, also fix everything nice and young and thin and keep it that way. Immortality?
There was an SF short story I once read about a scientist that developed an immortality drug. One dose and you could not die. As the story progressed, a rat got into the drug and became immortal. The scientist had a "rat killing", caught the rat and beat it to a bloody pulp. Of course the rat couldn't die. He just lay there forever, in pain watching the scientist.


Another SF short story, a genie grants innumerable wishes to someone. They, of course, eventually get around to wishing for immortality, at which point the genie enslaves them and has an immortal slave.

IMO immortality would get to be too boring.
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Old 04-05-2009, 12:54 PM   #33
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I like the conundrum associated with time travel; what if you went back in time, found your father and killed him?

I expect you'd spend the rest of eternity wandering mindlessly around the MobileRead Forums, no wait...
Maybe you would find out that your "father of record" was not really your father but that your mother had been getting a lot of UPS deliveries about the right time.

What can Brown do for you today?
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Old 04-05-2009, 01:58 PM   #34
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There was an SF short story I once read about a scientist that developed an immortality drug. One dose and you could not die. As the story progressed, a rat got into the drug and became immortal. The scientist had a "rat killing", caught the rat and beat it to a bloody pulp. Of course the rat couldn't die. He just lay there forever, in pain watching the scientist.
Nothing is new. There was a story in Greek mythology about a goddess who asked Zeus to make her mortal lover immortal. He did so, but because she had neglected to ask for him to be ageless, he just got older, and older, and older, but could never die.
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Old 04-05-2009, 11:58 PM   #35
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Ponce de Leon couldn't find it.

Count St. Germaine was purported to have found it. Yeah right!!

Being immortal would be just too much of a 'deja vu, again and again'.

Cheers
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Old 04-06-2009, 01:23 AM   #36
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FTL may be impossible, given our current knowledge. However, if someone discovers a way to get from point A to point B without travelling through the intervening space, you aren't really travelling FTL. Of course, I'm talking about subspace, hyperspace, warp drive, jump drive, skip drive, etc. as used in many SF stories over the decades. I don't think we'll every see it, but I don't discount the possibility that some future generation will.
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Old 04-06-2009, 02:12 AM   #37
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IMO immortality would get to be too boring.
Only if you kept all your memories and as some SF authors propose that wouldn't be a good idea wrt to properly functional brains. So a storage of memories and wipe of them from the brain would be a good idea. Then you could get a lot of new experiences.

Though personally I'd just go for an extended lifetime of say 500 years...
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Old 04-06-2009, 09:29 AM   #38
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FTL may be impossible, given our current knowledge. However, if someone discovers a way to get from point A to point B without travelling through the intervening space, you aren't really travelling FTL. Of course, I'm talking about subspace, hyperspace, warp drive, jump drive, skip drive, etc. as used in many SF stories over the decades. I don't think we'll every see it, but I don't discount the possibility that some future generation will.

Let's get our definitions straight. Speed of light is usually defined as the speed of light in a vacuum. There is a loophole in Maxwell's equation's boundary conditions that describes that.

Maxwell's equations have two boundary conditions. 1. the electromagnetic wave needed to have a right hand twist, and 2. c, the speed of light had to follow the following equation, c = 1/square root of (permeability of medium and permittivity of medium). Until 1999, permeability and permittivity were considered constants, requiring the speed of light to be a constant.

In 1999, a team at Cal San Diego found a way to create a resonance (at microwave length) that allows both permeability and permittivity to be changed and made negative. Experiments with this resonance (nicknamed left-handed materials), have shown a complete inversion of the Laws of Optics, such as Snell's Law. In addition, the first boundary condition of Maxwell's Equation, the right hand twist, became a left-hand twist, with the appearance the while the beam was moving towards the target, the propagation form seemed to be moving backward.

The second boundary condition implies that as the permeability and permittivity approach zero, the speed of light should approach infinity. For some reason, this boundary condition has not been tested. One test was done in 2003, by using mis-aligned surfaces over a short distance (45 nanometers) to mimick the field condition, which shown no change in c. Unfortunately, surface effects are not field effects. The question remains open...

If you can speed up light in a field with low permeability and permittivity, that would break the classic [I]c[/]. This would not violate both Relativities, merely expand the defintion of c in them into a variable rather that a constant. If you can't, then you've busted Maxwell's Equations. Either way, an interesting experiment.

Of course, making it apply across all wavelengths with be an interesting piece of engineering....

Last edited by Ralph Sir Edward; 04-06-2009 at 09:33 AM.
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Old 04-06-2009, 11:39 AM   #39
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Do you have a reference for that, Ralph? I am an avid reader of "New Scientist", but I don't recall reading about that. It sounds very interesting.
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Old 04-06-2009, 12:13 PM   #40
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Do you have a reference for that, Ralph? I am an avid reader of "New Scientist", but I don't recall reading about that. It sounds very interesting.

I don't have a copy of the 2003 paper, the nearby university changed it stacks to online in the early 2000's and they don't allow offprints (copyright violation). I chained to it researching the question from a paper out of a recent survey book on left-handed material from 2006. (I just hunted for the survey book, and can't find it. It's probably packed in the storeroom. Too many p-book and not enough space. I could look up the book on Amazon, where I purchased it. $118 dollars, I believe.) I'll look elsewhere later, if I find it, I'll post it.

Anyway, to even discuss that c is not the ultimate constant in the universe is nye kultoorni in professional physics. Not suprising not has ever been mentioned in The New Scientist. The second boundary condition can be found in most introductory books on relativity, as Maxwell's equations are the first unified field theory produced (electricity and magnetism) and underlie relativity. I connected the dots and then researched the book which led to the paper. Truly sorry I don't have all the ducks lined up for the forum.
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Old 04-06-2009, 12:19 PM   #41
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Not a problem. I'd be interested to have it if you do happen to come across a reference in the future. I have access to all the usual online journal abstracts - JSTOR, etc.
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Old 04-06-2009, 01:31 PM   #42
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Old 04-06-2009, 01:40 PM   #43
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Not a problem. I'd be interested to have it if you do happen to come across a reference in the future. I have access to all the usual online journal abstracts - JSTOR, etc.

I'll make a real effort to find it tommorrow. I'm awfully booked up today.


Here's a link to the book. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0471601462

I remember the relevant chapter was chapter 10.4.4, also 10.2

Last edited by Ralph Sir Edward; 04-06-2009 at 01:52 PM.
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Old 04-06-2009, 05:30 PM   #44
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a bit on the topic of what Ralph Sir Edward(if I follow right. bit beyond my knowage of the subject at hand.) was talking about I saw I think on nova about them slowing down light to the speed of a bike. using a supercooled gas that made into a Bose–Einstein condensate

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bose%E2...ein_condensate

think that nova is on hulu right now. it the one on the speed of light or the one on cold can remeber.

also I have seen some papers have not look how that is passable yet faster then c (while I was looking up the ref to slowing light so dont know if that right dont have the time now to look agin)

think im restating things but im to illinform to tell if that is the case.
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Old 04-07-2009, 02:53 AM   #45
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I'll make a real effort to find it tommorrow. I'm awfully booked up today.


Here's a link to the book. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0471601462

I remember the relevant chapter was chapter 10.4.4, also 10.2
Thanks Ralph - appreciate it!
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