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In this science fiction universe, that has somewhat tough science in it, paragravity is an established technology that is used to its fullest potential. Which lies the problem where warfare is concerned.

You see, if you have paragravity, then you have access to ridiculously efficient weapons of war. Kinetic weapons that can be accelerate to a high percentage of speed of light (c) with ease, ultra efficient gamma lasers that use paragravity fields to blue-shift red lasers, missiles that are boosted by the mother ship with repulsive beams of anti gravity, particle accelerators that could bring any particle to 99.9% c. Not to mention the possibilities of inertial dampeners and other such ground breaking innovations in manufacturing and what not.

The issue is that such paragravity fields that make this possible are the also the ones to shield against. Create a bubble of shifting gravitic eddies to slap aside kinetics, particles and missiles; and deal with gamma lasers be red-shifting them into a harmless wavelength.

Now, while such paragravity drives produce respectable amounts of heat (the first few prototypes blew up due to how inefficient they were), any admiral or captain worth their salt would make sure any radiators are protected which can lead to battles that would last for days on end.

That, of course, is boring. So I'm wondering if there is a flaw in my thinking. And if there is a way to defeat paragravity shielding.

Some specifications on paragravity and paragravity shielding:

  • While paragravity forms into a spherical shape, it can be molded into nearly any desired geometry and into beams that can both repulse and attract are relatively short ranged (50 km to 100 km, depending on the power input).

  • Paragravity can both repel and attract.

  • Paragravity generators require constant energy to function and produce heat as well.

  • Shielding consists of a grid of generators that produce a field of paragravity eddies that redirect the momentum of incoming weapon fire to the side while lasers are dealt with by increasing localized sections of the shielding to red-shift the incoming lasers.

  • Due to the nature of the shielding, it can only be brought down if a sufficient number of generators are taken off line. Which is easier said than done.

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  • $\begingroup$ Would gravitic shields work at all? Gravitational waves pass right through one another, like dropping two stones in a pond, the concentric waves don't interfere. By distorting space into a shield, you're changing how matter and energy move through it, but any gravitic influence will also have a say in how that distortion manifests itself. $\endgroup$
    – BMF
    Jun 12 at 22:26
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    $\begingroup$ How do the energy requirements work? Is the amount of energy used based on solely on shield generated per unit time, or also on the work done on any incoming projectile? $\endgroup$
    – Jack
    Jun 13 at 10:07
  • $\begingroup$ Your defences might be able to deploy a handwaved paragravifty shield that can accelerate a missile or laser away past you (which has its own problems). But how can you target something that you don't know is arriving until a few nanoseconds before impact, and power it up? And,if it's powered up as a field enough to deflect in nanoseconds, everywhere, then its going to be a huge problem for you, and huge energy issues. But if not, its useless, I can get to you before you know I fired. Can you comment on this in the question, because time to deploy would seem fatal to this as a defence. $\endgroup$
    – Stilez
    Jun 13 at 12:29
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    $\begingroup$ Are you violating conservation of energy? Momentum? If not, those operations all consume momentum and energy. Where is the energy coming from? Getting something to 95% of light speed via paragravity isn't much easier than doing it a dozen other ways; it is the energy that is the problem. And civilizations with energy budgets where you can casually make things go 95% of light speed start looking a lot different. You appear to be describing WW1 naval battles with gravity shields, which is the wrong ballpark to start. $\endgroup$
    – Yakk
    Jun 14 at 19:36
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    $\begingroup$ And if you are violating conservation of energy and momentum, things are even crazier than if you are just talking about K3 civilization technology levels. $\endgroup$
    – Yakk
    Jun 14 at 19:39

16 Answers 16

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Slapping aside a inbound projectile usually takes more energy than it took to accelerate it

If you try to slap aside a projectile once it gets too close to your ship, it means you need to slap it aside at relativistic speeds to make it miss. So if you have a 100m ship and you try to slap aside a projectile that is 100m away, you have to push it just as hard sideways as it is already coming in to make it miss, and you have to do that over the entire 100m path of approach.

So just make the field bigger and it takes less energy right? Well this absolutely will not work. Let's say you make a giant 400m field that accelerates a sizable attack at 0.25C, you will be protected, but it's energy requirements will be HUGE! This is because the weapon will only traverse a very small part of the field. Your field will occupy over 2 million m^3 but if the slug or beam is only 1cm wide, then only 0.04 m^3 of that field is doing any work. That is a LOT of wasted power

This means the only viable countermeasure is to see where the projectile is coming from and to project a countermeasure that is just big enough to intercept it, but if the thing is moving at .95C, that is MUCH easier said than done because it is already 95% of the way to hitting you before the light from it even reaches your sensors. So lets say your computer and shield systems are able to react really fast, like in 1/20th of a second, that means your shields will only be effective at ranges of > 1 light second... and this is assuming the ships themselves aren't zipping around dodging at relativistic speeds way more effectively than any shield could ever protect you. Either way, this means that space battles will be a challenge of trying to get close enough to spoof the enemy's countermeasures but staying far enough away for your own countermeasures to have time to react.

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    $\begingroup$ Good point! Didn't think of it that way. It also means that dodging like a gundam is a thing! Even if it is at extreme range. $\endgroup$
    – Seraphim
    Jun 13 at 1:09
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    $\begingroup$ "but if the thing is moving at .95C, that is MUCH easier said than done because it is already 95% of the way to hitting you before the light from it even reaches your sensors." Presumably the projectile took some time to accelerate from 0 to .95C, and was only going at .95C on, say, the second half of its trajectory. So you could detect it with your sensors before it reaches its top speed. $\endgroup$
    – Stef
    Jun 14 at 9:34
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    $\begingroup$ @Stef That assumes an active propulsion system like a missile. I believe the OP was going for weapons that are accelerated to near C within the weapon and then launched out. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Jun 14 at 13:11
  • $\begingroup$ @Nosajimiki The OP mentioned "paragravity field". I assume the field has a certain size, and the projectile accelerates while it is in the field. Perhaps it can already be detected $\endgroup$
    – Stef
    Jun 14 at 13:13
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    $\begingroup$ This is why point defense beats energy shields. $\endgroup$ Jun 14 at 13:22
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Energy budgets

Paragravity is scifi but you can easily calculate energy budgets. Let us say a 5 kg bowling ball is incoming at 0.95 c. It has 225 petajoules of energy. To bring it to a halt, your deflectors need to expend that much energy and that is regardless of how they work. You have specified that the paragravity deflectors require energy.

In your world paragravity deflectors can deflect anything if they are supplied with enough energy. Attacks need to overpower them. To do that the attack needs to put in more energy than the generators can provide to oppose them.

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    $\begingroup$ Doesn't necessarily need to bring the projectile to a halt, just divert its course away from the ship. The energy required could be much smaller, especially if the vessel has a small forward cross-section. $\endgroup$
    – BMF
    Jun 12 at 23:08
  • $\begingroup$ Yep. That's the idea! $\endgroup$
    – Seraphim
    Jun 13 at 1:06
  • $\begingroup$ Uh, the idea of thousands to millions of deflected projectiles wandering the galaxy at 95% the speed of terrifying. According to projectrho.com/public_html/rocket/…, you're talking projectiles in the range of the energy in a 9.5 magnitude earthquake or an asteroid collision, and multiple times the Earth's current nuclear arsenal. I wonder if these objects wandering around becomes an issue at some point. Shielding and deflecting may be trivial if you're watching and expecting, but what if you're not? $\endgroup$
    – SqlRyan
    Jun 14 at 16:11
  • $\begingroup$ @SqlRyan space is big $\endgroup$
    – Yakk
    Jun 14 at 19:33
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    $\begingroup$ @mark about 15 billion years ago a "pulse" of 3000 K photons where emitted by the last scattering surface. 91% of those photons have never hit anything, and they are currently only at 2.7 K, having lost almost all of its energy to the expansion of the universe. Space is a lot more sparse today than it was when those photons where emitted. If you fire a random projectile in a random direction with enough velocity to escape the local galactic cluster, it almost certainly never interacts with anything denser than what we'd call hard vacuum in the next 15 billion years. $\endgroup$
    – Yakk
    Jun 14 at 22:13
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Fire a paragravity generator

The problem is that there are many gravity wells that attract and repel, allowing things that are going at respectable speeds of C to be knocked out of the way. Space it big, so likely the objects fired will not hit, even if the change in direction is small. It's like hitting a single straw with a magnetic needle over a kilometer distance, but with attracting and repelling supermagnets all over the place. It's really difficult to hit anything.

So you'll just counteract the gravity generators. Fire an object like a huge rocket towards the target. A gravity generator on board can either propell it or just be idle until paragravity is found. It'll directly counteract them, like a noise cancelling headphone does with sound. It'll allow safe passage, hopefully. When close enough it'll detonate it's payload/accelerate to devastating speeds/create paragravity in the opponents ship/overheat on purpose/something else damaging. The paragravity generator can be counteracted and possibly destroyed, but in the meantime you have an area of less paragravity activity where you can fire and possibly get through.

Fire once, fire twice

The paragravity wells are likely not to shift too quickly. That means firing in quick succession can lead to knowing how the paragravity is positioned and how strong, allowing to calculate a trajectory to hit the enemy ship.

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The really good ship defense against those weapons would be really fast really random moving. But that isn't even an issue, as there wouldn't be any ship battles using this technology, or there wouldn't be any civilizations.

This is M.A.D. scenario.

When someone's flotilla defeat is assured, they'll scatter and accelerate several dozen moons at their leisure at .99C to your homeplanet. As @Nosajimiki correctly notes, your home planet wouldn't be able to defend iself.

The only way the paragravity might survive is if it required really huge machinery (I'm talking hundreds of square kilometers at least) and/or incredible amounts of energy (like quarter of the full sun output), so it can only ever be used planetwide (and that only with decades of building dyson spheres in advance).

Otherwise, first mad dictator will simply annihilate rest of civilizations in a universe in less then a month, simply not to feel threatened.

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    $\begingroup$ And why can't the planet defend itself? If you can fling moons around at .99C why can't you move the planet at .001C? That would be enough to dodge. $\endgroup$ Jun 14 at 3:04
  • $\begingroup$ Because if we accept the premise that attackers can (cheaply) change gravity, they can simply adjust course at their leisure and hit it still. Conversely, you can't detect them and avoid as you have too little warning. Even easier, they can just increase speed so much that the relativistic mass of moon becomes much higher that the heaviest supermassive blackholes - even if they miss by a lot, it's going to shred your homeplanet. You might defend by slinging your whole star system at relativistic speeds in random directions all the time, but that has its own set of problems. $\endgroup$ Jun 14 at 18:17
  • $\begingroup$ Accelerating anything at relativistic speeds in a short amount of time would tear it apart if it's bigger than a ping pong ball because of the strain you put on the object, so you'd effectively be shooting a bunch of tiny asteroids at the speed of light and not moons (though the damage would be an order of magnitude smaller, it would still wipe the surface of the planet) $\endgroup$
    – Tofandel
    Jun 15 at 7:15
  • $\begingroup$ @Tofandel I would think if you are able to manipulate mass/gravity, then you could reduce its mass/inertia to zero, thus eliminating any strain / tearing effects when changing its velocity/direction (due to mostly the same premise as being able to accelerate it to such speeds) $\endgroup$ Jun 16 at 11:28
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You can't see out when it's active.

David Weber's Honor Harrington series touched on this a bit with grav wedges: if you tried to look through a grav wedge, it was basically impossible to get any kind of targeting information because any sensor readings were so distorted they were useless. It was handwaved that the defender could see through it via knowing the frequency technobabble.

But supposed they couldn't. The distortions provided by the shielding are so effective that energy attacks coming in are dissipated and physical objects torn to shreds and rendered harmless, but sensor readings are likewise blocked. A shielded ship is essentially immune to attack (until the heat gets too high and/or energy too low), but it can't see through it, or shoot out, or communicate, either. So full-globe shielding might make you invulnerable but you're blind, deaf, and have no idea what is going on. Logically, therefore, you can't protect the entire ship at once, not if you want to be situationally aware, or even shoot back, or even know what the rest of your fleet is doing.

If the shield has to be down somewhere in order to carry out the basic functions of seeing, shooting, and talking, then a saturation or multi-vector attack can find those gaps before the shield can be adjusted to plug them. Or perhaps you force the defender to make a choice: do they adjust the shields to deal with the main guns of the major enemy units, thus allowing smaller, more agile (but weaker) units to get in behind and rely on point defense or covering allies to deal with them, or do they take the risk they can deal with the smaller ships before the incoming fire from the big guns? Or split the shield, hoping that the gaps they do allow doesn't allow someone or something to slip through?

This also allows for fleet actions. You have units with strong shields forming a wall, with other, unshielded, units behind them. At predetermined times gaps open in the wall to allow the covered units to fire through before closing up again. Small scouts act as eyes around the wall, basically unshielded as they have to see. The goal of fleet actions will be to try and blind the enemy (probably doing the same thing) so you can move your firing units behind the shielding ships and fire from different positions, or to launch flanking attacks to force the ships of the wall to try and protect from different directions and force the fire-support units to raise their own shields, reducing their ability to fight, and thus breaking the shield wall.

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This was originally a comment but I now think it may also provide an answer, so here it is...

The only way I can see how to blueshift a laser by a point-source gravity field is by shooting the laser, and then accelerating the point-source in front of the laser beam along its journey. The laser constantly "falls" into the gravity well and blueshifts, until the point-source is turned off. If you shoot a laser through a stationary point source, the laser light will blueshift on its way in and redshift on its way out, with zero net frequency shift afterwards.

Anyway, if you can position these things at near- or faster-than- light speeds, I see no way your enemy can predict them. Fire superluminal gravitic influences into your enemy and disrupt their systems cataclysmically.

Your gravitic eddies comprising the gravitic shielding would have to bend space to ridiculous magnitudes to avoid high-c influences, which may be too taxing to run at all times.

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  • $\begingroup$ The way I envision a gravity drive blue-shifting a laser is by using a gravity lens that blue-shift's the beam to gamma ray frequencies. $\endgroup$
    – Seraphim
    Jun 13 at 1:06
  • $\begingroup$ @Seraphim what is a "gravity lens"? What is it's configuration? If there were a way to manipulate ordinary gravity to blueshift light for free, that would throw a lot of physics out the window. $\endgroup$
    – BMF
    Jun 13 at 1:19
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    $\begingroup$ Even with "negative gravity" you'd run into the same issue. If you can create a massively spinning body you could do it. Shoot the laser close to the rotating mass where frame-dragging is significant and allow the light to borrow the angular momentum of the mass and blueshift. It would have to be a seriously massive object, and your shooting very precise. Oh, and the mass would need to rotate at ludicrous speed. And be made of whatever neutron stars are made of. $\endgroup$
    – BMF
    Jun 13 at 1:25
  • $\begingroup$ Aren't neutron stars made of neutrons? $\endgroup$
    – Phil Frost
    Jun 14 at 21:40
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    $\begingroup$ @PhilFrost No, I believe they're made of pasta. $\endgroup$
    – BMF
    Jun 15 at 1:51
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The way to defeat point defenses is to throw more at them than they can handle. Against shields, the attacker is in the advantage. A shield has only a very short distance in which to change an incoming objects trajectory, while the attacker can accellerate its missiles for a long time.

To red shift lasers, you need just as much energy as the laser looses. So - just fire more lasers, preferably simultaneously. Brute force saves the day. (or ruins it, depending on POV)

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  • $\begingroup$ I very much doubt the defending fields can be focused as accurately as the laser (as the laser can be moved, you have to cover more area.) Thus a given power budget will be more effective on offense than defense. $\endgroup$ Jun 14 at 3:02
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Para-Gravitic Jamming/disruption

It turns out that if you overlap paragravitic fields without 'aligning' them first, strange things can happen and, worst case, a destructive gravitic resonance can build up.

The more paragravitic projectors you have, the more complex the potential field interplay is and the more computational power you need to keep the complex mesh of fields working together and redundant (so generators can fail without taking down the whole thing). This means that a large battleship with dozens or hundreds of field generators has a powerful computational core which manages the field and adjusts it constantly.

Unfortunately, this field-interplay has some knock-on effects. If, for example, a shuttle craft with only one or two paragravitic generators wants to dock with the main ship without the main ship powering down all their shields, 'inertial compensators', artificial gravity, weapons, etc, the fields first need to be 'aligned' so that the shuttle's artificial gravity doesn't mess up the complex computational balance that the bigger ship has set up. Best case, there would be some shuddering and people aboard would feel nauseous, worst case a self-escalating gravitic resonance builds up and destroys everything in its vicinity.

Because of this, paragravitic-tipped missiles or drones have become a staple of military doctrine. They are designed to get within range of the enemy ship, and then using their own paragravitic generator, attempt to set up a field scenario that the enemy's main computer can't solve for and thus force it to shut down or scale back paragravitic shields in an attempt to avoid resonance. During this time of course, the enemy ship is vulnerable to more traditional kinetic or energy weapons. Even if the gravitic drone isn't as successful, it might still open up a temporary hole in the enemy's defenses.

Similarly, to the drones, paragravitic-pulse rounds have also been invented. Similar to flak-rounds and capable of being fired from an accelerator, they are designed to detonate near an enemy ship and convert all their stored energy into a single, localized, chaotic, paragravitic pulse. This, similarly to the drones, makes calculating a stable "solve" for all the paragravitic generators on the ship difficult, and could result in momentary loss of shielding.

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I really like the way this subject is treated in Jack Campbell "The Lost Fleet" series,

So to make it short, you do have force fields and missiles you can accelerate to relativistivistic speed (+ separate wormhole technology for changing star system), but essentially your ships are cruising at around .1 c and engage in fractions of a second since engagement envelopes are in thousands of kilometer at best.

So you can see the enemy fleet from far enough away, goal becomes to have an angle of attack where more of your ships focus fire on a smaller segment of the enemy (to overload "paragravitic" shields), and to coordinate your troops through time and space (despite distance and speed creating measurable time differentials + time to bounce orders to more distant units).

This makes strategy and story telling dominate over the grisly details, some weapons are kinetic, some are light based lasers, (paragravitic ?) force fields affect those, but they can overload as suggested in many answers.

Problem is to aim at the opponent when we are all moving at decent fractions of speed of light (but not .95c, those are missiles) is that given the target distance you don't really know where the other precisely is. When engaging everyone is randomly shifting motors/acceeleration slightly to make it harder to predict where to fire. This is a really nice concept that comes to dominate the weapons technology.

i.e. OK you shoot your missile at .95c, but what angle/how to target ? it won't be able to correct course at that velocity, so if the target is not fixed (e.g. sitting duck military base on a planet or moon) you wont hit it unless you throw a very large amount of crap to fill the volume/cone of space you expect me to be in.

So, I'm suggesting essentially these paragravity generators are large, and adapted to space warfare, where we have the size of a ship (a few km) related to .1 c (30k klicks/second !) + average distance to target (in millions of km ?) so that targeting is the major issue. Anyone on a planet is dead however, just drop a rock it does not really even need a paragrav generator to make insane damage and targetting is easy.

So we only can afford true shields on planets, maybe drawing from the magma core of the planet itself as energy source, they consume insane amounts of energy, but can stop incoming paragravitic weapons coming from space ships. In normal space warfare between ships, paragravity is enough to build smaller "force fields" that can be overloaded, with a clear attackers advantage.

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Every action has an equal and opposite reaction

Assuming access to massive amounts of energy - the gravity shield might be very effective but how good are those station-keeping thrusters?

The force applied by a gravity generator still needs to be dissipated somehow. A ship accelerating a projectile will experience recoil via the gravity generator. A ship with a gravity shield stopping an inbound projectile of 1 kg travelling at 1m/s will receive 1 joule of kinetic energy from the projectile.

In order to stop a projectile of 1kg travelling at 0.5c the ship will need to dissipate 10^17 joules of kinetic energy. Deflecting a projectile at an oblique angle will transfer less energy but will impart more rotation. Deflecting multiple dozens of incoming projectiles may make the ship uncontrollable. If the ship has no ability to station-keep then it will be lost - how much rotation can the hull withstand with no way to dissipate the energy? Just one 1kg projectile at 0.5c could cause the ship to spin itself apart.

Another implication of this is that the gravity generator itself needs to be mounted in such a way that it can withstand the forces it will need to impart to various objects, but this could be hand-waved away with magical meta-materials.

Here's how I imagine station-keeping could work in this universe:

Object anchors

A ship could use the gravity generator to stabilise the ship against a nearby object if one is available, but this might mean that a ship can only effectively maintain it's position under fire whilst within range of a massive object such as a planet.

If a planet isn't available then the ship could stabilise itself against something which I will call a "kinetic gravity node" - a special kind of ship whose only job is to transmit kinetic energy, via it's gravity generator, to another node - and another, and another - until it reaches an "anchor node" which would be a node within range of a massive object.

This would mean that for effective station-keeping in battle a chain of nodes would be required and these nodes would be a critical weakness in any fleet's ability to fight. An enemy would seek to disable the node chain and disabling it would grant a massive advantage.

Or hey maybe you just cart a supermassive black hole around with you wherever you go. Just slip it in the glovebox.

Gravity thrusters

In addition to the nodes, ships could use gravity thrusters as a backup and carry a quantity of reaction mass which will allow them to station keep by expelling a stream of matter at ridiculously high speeds. In this case there is still the issue of how much they can carry and what happens when it runs out - however much fuel they could carry it will still have less available kinetic dissipation potential than the nodes, which have theoretically infinite dissipation potential.

Shield defeating weapons

Black holes

I thought about whether or not a black hole fired directly at the shield would be able to penetrate it and I think the answer is probably not - from the shield's perspective it is just deflecting mass and as long as it can provide the energy necessary to deflect the mass then it doesn't matter what form the mass takes.

Gravity grapples / ship catapults

If you can't penetrate the grav shield then how about trying to accelerate the enemy ship into a nearby sun? This would only work if you can overcome the enemy station-keeping mechanism, which brings about a ridiculous concept: the gravity node tug-of-war.

If you were able to lock onto an enemy ship and apply force via a gravity generator then the force could be transmitted all the way back to the anchor node. If the enemy node chain terminated at a planet and your node chain terminated at a much more massive object like a sun then you could move the enemy anchor object. Now the ship itself might not move because it's still transmitting the energy back through the chain and the anchor object is experiencing all of the effect, but half way across the sector the anchor planet might already be headed into a nearby gas giant. Unless you know what the enemy anchor object is you're effectively working blind - you have no way of knowing that your grapple is having any effect at all - you would only find out if the enemy grav chain stops working, and the targeted ship could just switch to thrusters and try to outmanoeuvre you anyway.

Nonetheless it tickles me a bit thinking about throwing a random unseen planet around.

Critical mass / singularity detonation

There is a universal limit to the amount of energy which can be in one place at one time, beyond this limit you will get a black hole. This isn't the same as throwing a black hole at the enemy ship, what you would need to do is cause the enemy gravity generator, or one of their gravity generators, to exceed the energy limit for a schwarzschild radius matching the size of the gravity generator. If this happens then it doesn't matter how much energy is available to power the generator, it will immediately collapse into a subcritical black hole which will then immediately detonate, destroying whatever it is attached to.

This assumes a ludicrously massive amount of available energy, but as some answers are already talking about accelerating large objects to sizeable fractions of c I figured I'd throw it in. You could single out an enemy ship with several grapples and then pump a short but massive burst of energy into it's shield - it would either detonate the ship or one of the enemy fleet's kinetic nodes, whichever one has the physically smallest grav generator. Either way it's a win. (Assuming some kind of safety mechanism which shuts down the generator before this happens this will still disable the enemy shield)

Saturation

All of the above assumes access to virtually unlimited power generation. If such massive amounts of energy are not in play then a simple saturation attack will defeat any shield. This is the same principle as real-world missile defence saturation. All you need to know is the maximum energy output of the enemy shield and to pump more than this amount of energy into the shield. With a gravity shield this just means throwing enough objects at the ship to overwhelm the shield - this can't be an arbitrarily large number (for arbitrarily large amounts of energy the above singularity detonation scenario is where I ended up).

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As Nosajimki says it is incredibly wasteful to project a bubble like shield around an object as a defense. Point defense also doesn't work if your opponent is firing lasers or missiles at relativistic speed because you won't have time to detect the incoming attack and launch counter measures. With that in mind I think a plausible defense could be something like a shield or small projected area of para-gravity.

So the easiest way to get past the para-gravity shield may be to go around it.

I think the energy required to create artificial gravity would probably be equivalent to the mass required to generate a similar gravity field, so absolutely enormous. That gives another avenue for a would be attacker, tire them out. Or stealth using para-gravity to bend the light around you in just the right way to be invisible.

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There is one way to defeat gravity. You can use anti-gravity. This is produced by exotic matter. It creates a negative curvature instead of a positive curvature given bu=y normal matter. Exotic matter (energy) is involved in the Casimir effect. but there the effect is electromagnetic in Nature. It has a negative curvature effect also though if you apply it in large amounts (like in the interior of a wormhole, to keep it open).

Of course, the problem is how to get these amounts of dark energy-matter. How to make spacetime curve negatively? You have to create a vacuum with negative energy only (so without the effect of positive curvature caused by normal matter). This is very difficult but in principle possible. It's already happening with the universe at large. Because of this negative curvature (dark energy), the galaxies are accelerating away from each other (instead of accelerating towards each other. Thus in reality gravity (positive curvature) is already overcome.

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If you really think about it, this shielding follows the same core principles of any sci-fi shield system. You just need to play with numbers a bit, but overall, you have multiple shield generators spread around the ship, each protecting certain sections. The fact that you use the same technology for attacking those shields simplifies things.

In a situation where a Paragravitic system needs energy and staying cool to operate, and assuming the energy requirement is satisfied, we end up with thermals. As others already pointed out, depending on the details you go for, you would need to expend a similar amount of energy to deflect as you would need to launch the actual attack, and you can only output so much energy. Even if there was a drastic difference, let's say you only need 1/10 of the energy to protect yourself, your defenses can still be overwhelmed by (in our case) over 10x of that capacity. Problem is, your systems have to defend a whole ship, from every angle, while you can attack anywhere you want. So at this point, you have the capacity of a whole ship trying to overcome a single point. Think of an offensive version of shield rotations, where you'd rotate to bring up a more shielded area, while allowing the other shield batteries to recharge, but in your case, you'd rotate offensive generators, allowing them to cool down while applying constant pressure on the enemy generators.

Even better, never fight fair odds. Devise tactics to coordinate fire, concentrate on the same area of the same ship from many of yours, until the generators fail. At that point, the ship will likely burn from within, or at least suffer even more internal damage, making it even more vulnerable.

You can play with this some more, and perhaps coordinate defenses, so that one ship can help deflect projectiles from another. You would put the outcome of the battle in the hands of the party who fights smarter, and lessen the impact of the technology (instead of a stalemate, shift it into a situation of mutual negation).

Perhaps try to develop stealth technology, you can't deflect what you don't know is coming. Or one last idea, use your generators to create anomalies, intense paragravitic fields that mess with the enemy's sensors, bend the light to mask the incoming projectile, so that the enemy tries to deflect something that isn't even there.

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You can't "project" gravity far

TL;DR if you can only generate gravity inside a machine, but not outside, you still get offensive capabilities, but defense is much harder.

Make para-gravity a dipole like magnetism is. Magnetic fields lose strength in a distance-cubed manner once you are outside of the generator. If you can't cause a significant gravitational field to extend around some sort of coil, then you will have a difficult time slowing down incoming fire. However, you can still use it to attack because your "para-gravity" coil would be contained inside the barrel of your weapon.

Also, every para-gravitic field would have at least 2 weak points in it at the poles, which would make for good targets.

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1)With Paragravity used to it's fullest potential, you could have weapons, say missiles, equipped with onboard generators that can counteract the affecting field with it's own opposite effecting field. These would necessarily be large, but maneuverable at less than relativistic speeds.

2)You could implement superdense (neutron star core)kinetic rounds, with so much mass per cubic centimeter that the Paragravitic shielding would begin to struggle with more than one/a few projectiles. Conversely, the weaponization of extremely large objects, asteroids or small moons could overwhelm the shield.

3)Following the thinking of an earlier suggestion, you could equip inbound weapons with a small "mass neutralizer" that temporarily negates the mass, making it effectively zero, therefore gravity would have little or no effect.

4)A dimensional phase shifter or "skip field generator" , that could essentially make the weapon exist outside of our spacetime , arriving too late for the field to act/ inside it's null zone/ inside the target ship.

5)A particle beam weapon that consists of particles unaffected/ barely affected by gravity, such as a super concentrated neutrino beam. Neutrinos are so small that it barely interacts with real matter. Super-Concentrating the beam would ensure that more and more of the particles DO collide with matter causing various effects such as cooking organic matter, electrical power faults, hull deterioration, damaging sensitive AI components, heat accumulation overpowering shunts, sinks, or sumps, other possible mental, physical or psychological issues with the crew(rapid aging, radiation sickness, immune disorders, elevated body temperatures above high fever causing hallucinations and so many other factors possible here, just think entropy on fast forward.

6)Some lower tech methods possible:

a)Wide array solar concentrators heating up space Around the target, making heat dissipation impossible as the "outside space" temperature exceeds that of the ships' sinks, sumps and pumps.

b)Many conventional nukes going off at once or at regular intervals also preventing heat dissipation.

c)Smaller, faster ships, conducting constant random harrying attacks, effectively "laying siege" to the vessel preventing resupply, materials/energy gathering, starving the ship/crew over long periods of time.

d)The old standbys, weak link exploitation: crew manipulation/extortion by the enemy who capture their loved ones and will kill them , unless they betray the ship by shutting down the shields, or the defecting/ sleeper agent crewmember who sabotages the shields.

e)Or the field generators fail for some mundane reason, blown power coupler/faulty relay/shut down for some period of time due to diagnostics trigger by ship damage, or normal system operation/ accident/ equipment failure.

Disclaimer: "I am a senile old man and these are the ideas that ocurred to me while waiting at the pharmacy, therefore I am not responsible for any unintended plagiarism or other mistake in any way, being entirely educated by the system, the internet and so on, any similarity between my thoughts and reality actual or virtual cannot be avoided as we all get our information from similar sources. That being said, I read the other comments here and attempted to apply as much of my own personal innovation and originality as I could. I make no claims as to being completely original as that is completely impossible. In other words:"I did the best I could." I hope this was helpful to someone. I do not require any thanks, nor comment, constructive or critical. Cheers all.

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Three “silver bullets” that would effectively deter paragravity weapons and compromise such shields.

  1. Spacetime wave echoes,
  2. Using blackholes as land mines, and
  3. Gravity wave interference.


1) Thanks to the recent LIGO experiments, we’re fairly sure that the “force of gravity” travels via waves (and possibly particles). These waves would act like a submarine’s sonar echoes - giving away its location before any shields or weapons were even ready to deploy.

A paragravity weapon would have to distort spacetime first and then the object or missiles would follow that spacetime curve as a cause and effect.

This sequence of events gives everyone in the vicinity a “spacetime warning”; like putting your ears to the railroad. The time delay between spacetime warping and objects moving would at the very least cause the famous “long power up” weakness whether used for shields or weapons. A clever enemy could use this warning time to escape, speed up towards their target, fire, or do anything within that time (understanding that it may be less than a second but still somewhat useful). Also stealth becomes super tough.

2) Kurzgesagt taught me that blackholes can be moved like chairs in your living room, given enough energy. Also, it’s possible that there are all sizes of blackholes from marble-sized to, well, gargantuan. Seeing as these things are the ULTIMATE gravity warper in the universe: I assume they could effectively be used against a shield that depends on gravity.

For example, it would be like using a medieval metal shield in an MRI room. The magnets from the MRI would just rip that shield from you like it was grade school lunch money. So I assume with that kind of power nearby, or even moving around like some super advanced battering ram thing, a black hole on a leash could effectively nullify those defences. Depending on how sensitive the paragravity tools are to distortions it might even fry them permanently.

It could also absorb attacks since nothing, not even light, can escape a black hole.

3) Gravity wave interference. Basically what dragongeek eloquently stated above. Annihilate incoming waves be they gravity or sound. A clever opponent could even use #2 above to create a Sydney Opera House-type defence around their fleet or home world to eliminate all resonance and gravity waves that they don’t specifically want. Much like an opera house can be designed to specifically control sound waves.

You can annihilate gravity waves using the same principle as noise cancelling headphones.

That’s all, me thinks.

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