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Let's say we know how to enter hyperspace. Someone decides it's a good idea to open a "portal" into hyperspace on the planet surface. (I'm assuming this would take a fair amount of energy?)

Question: What would be the effects on land of the opening? Would the portal itself release energy? How would it react with a human-compatible atmosphere?

EDIT: I should have stated - sure, hyperspace isn't real - I get it. I thought there might be some ideas behind what it might take to make it happen and how such things might behave.

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    $\begingroup$ What is the "hyperspace"? $\endgroup$
    – Alexander
    Aug 21, 2020 at 17:37
  • $\begingroup$ As commented on my question, post-edit: as far as science is concerned, one cannot "make hyperspace happen". Any FTL travel violates causality, and although it (obviously) has not been demonstrated now, there are strongly supported conjectures that imply that any attempt to build an FTL drive must necessarily fail. $\endgroup$
    – jdunlop
    Aug 21, 2020 at 18:19
  • $\begingroup$ @jdunlop, violations of causality are not necessarily impossible. Apparent paradoxes can and have been resolved (at which point they are no longer considered to have ever been paradoxes). $\endgroup$
    – cowlinator
    Aug 21, 2020 at 18:24
  • $\begingroup$ @cowlinator - I'm not aware of any actualized paradox that has been resolved; spooky action at a distance is made irrelevant by making it impossible to convey information via that channel, and even general relativity doesn't allow effects to leave the light-cone of their cause. If you know of a counterexample, I'd definitely be interested. $\endgroup$
    – jdunlop
    Aug 21, 2020 at 18:33
  • $\begingroup$ Since we still don't know what Hyperspace is, nor it's conditions, the effects seem a matter of opinion. My opinion is that hyperspace contains an infinite number of near-light-speed lollipops, and the near-light-speed of their emergence will cause a relativistic shock wave that devastates a county or two. The rest of the Earth is killed by sugar poisoning as the endless stream of plasma-lollipops dissolves into the oceans. Oh, well, we had a good run. $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Aug 21, 2020 at 18:40

3 Answers 3

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However You Want

As far as we're aware, hyperspace isn't a real thing. It's a handy evasion of the cosmic speed limit for narrative purposes.

So its properties are whatever the author (in this case, you) want them to be. Do you want it to destroy the planet? Go for it, though that gives anyone who knows how to make a hyperspace engine a weapon of mass destruction. It could just as easily be completely harmless, unless you're looking directly at the hyperspace portal when it opens, in which case you instantly go mad.

Any further speculation would just be opinion-based, so I'll leave you to come up with what your hyperspace does.


In light of comment, I'll clarify: hyperspace is also not a theoretical thing. It is purely fictional, so asking questions about it requires that its parameters (what its portals do, how one travels through it, and how much energy is required to reach it) be defined.

As an example, hyperspace in Star Wars is an alternate dimension accessible by "breaking the speed of light", while hyperspace in Star Control II is an alternate dimension reachable by hyperspace field generators and can be reached while stationary. The properties of the dimension are different, with the only real commonality being that they are coterminous with "realspace".

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  • $\begingroup$ I should have noted I know HS isn't real (YET!). :) I was just wondering if there was any theoretical idea about how it might interact with energy. $\endgroup$
    – MajorTom
    Aug 21, 2020 at 18:01
  • $\begingroup$ @MajorTom - Hyperspace isn't even a theoretical thing, so there's no way there's any theory about how it might interact with energy. It is entirely fictional, so how it interacts with anything is entirely up to you. $\endgroup$
    – jdunlop
    Aug 21, 2020 at 18:14
  • $\begingroup$ :-) Are you fishing for rep? This is a non-answer that admits there isn't an answer. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Aug 21, 2020 at 20:18
  • $\begingroup$ @JBH - I feel that explaining why there is no answer is a valid answer, and is potentially useful to anyone else who is operating from the a priori assumption that hyperspace is a real concept, but I will also enthusiastically delete it if the other answers are more valid. $\endgroup$
    – jdunlop
    Aug 21, 2020 at 20:54
  • $\begingroup$ Yeaaaaah.... I've given into the temptation once or twice myself.... $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Aug 21, 2020 at 22:52
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It's Stargate, Maybe

As far as "energy release" or "reaction with atmosphere", that's all on you. It could be anything from Stargate's harmless "bubble" over the entrance to 40k-esque "the entire planet is instantaneously sucked into literal hell."

If you'll permit me, the question you should be asking is "why are we doing this at all?" Because imo nobody in their right mind is going to open an FTL portal on a planet without being VERY certain of what it does, and how it'll interact. Far safer to build it out away from said planet as a test. If your portals are safe enough to be opened on a planet, you have a whole different pile of questions that only you can answer before anybody here can really help you flesh it out. Are the portals one-use only? Can they be opened for extended periods of time? Are they tied to specific areas/times/'gates'? Is it dangerous to use/keep open? If so, why? etc and soforth.

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  • $\begingroup$ Those follow up questions are good ones to think about, and are helpful. $\endgroup$
    – MajorTom
    Aug 21, 2020 at 18:01
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Maybe it starts sucking in the atmosphere (and any nearby objects) for the duration that it's open. That would seem to be the minimum likely effect. Although one could technobabble their way to an explanation where the portal repels normal matter in some way unless it's enhanced in some way by some property that the hyperdrive imparts on just its ship.

Maybe opening a portal is accompanied by some emission of energy, which could be anything from mildly heating the surrounding air to the equivalent of a nuclear blast (or more).

Maybe it disintegrates or causes some weird effect on matter that happens to touch the edge of the portal instead of going through the middle because of whatever reason you want.

Maybe it causes some crazy effect such that the entire planet is transitioned into hyperspace or "phased" into some other dimension (whatever that means).

Maybe it irritates alien lifeforms living in hyperspace who then crawl out of the portal and start causing problems planet in question.

It really does depend heavily on what physical properties or plot effects you do or don't want to say that the portal has.

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