Does the explanation of this matter sound plausible?

A type of exotic matter that allows for generating virtual particles with an energy of 432,541 Mj = 1 uL. The matter is not being converted to energy, but rather it is allowing for the virtual particles to be pulled from another dimension into ours. As the amount of energy is pulled through and used the liquid is destroyed. The energy in the matter used up to pull the energy over.

This is what the Fuel energy referenced here is described as.

Further, this "fuel" is used in thrusters for sub-light ships... The mechanics of this is is that the fuel is triggered and then through a type of "jet" nozzle the particles are used to generate thrust. Would it be as simple as limiting the amount of space the particles have to come into to create thrust or do I need to rethink this concept?

  • $\begingroup$ just to confirm, 1uL is 1/1'000'000 of a liter, correct? The scale of this is a bit difficult to grasp, that seems to be a few levels of magnitude greater than anti-matter reactions are. And it's strangely exact for such a great amount, like listing earths mass to the third decimal. $\endgroup$ – Twelfth Aug 24 '16 at 0:12
  • $\begingroup$ Just to check, you're not asking whether this is plausible according to real-world physics, are you? (Spoiler alert: it's not, and if that's what you're really asking I suppose I can turn this into an answer) $\endgroup$ – David Z Aug 24 '16 at 0:16
  • $\begingroup$ @Twelfth I am terrible with these prefixes... 432,540,909,020.0724 Mj in 1 Liter | 432,541 Mj = 1 uL. It's based on a few things. to come to that number. I state here in uL because I know it's an obsurd amount of energy and such I tried to make it the smallest amount hat we'd likely work with while being accurate to the larger number. $\endgroup$ – Durakken Aug 24 '16 at 0:17
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidZ I'm pretty sure it's impossible in real-world physics. I am asking if it is plausible sounding as in doesn't sound like something deepak chopra would say but rather something an expert might say but you're too dumb to know it's right or wrong if you get what I mean? It's hard to describe. I think it's fairly easy to know Chopra is wrong, but when an expert speaks they might be wrong a pleb doesn't know enough to make such a judgement, understand? $\endgroup$ – Durakken Aug 24 '16 at 0:23
  • $\begingroup$ The part I'm having the hardest time believing here is the 'jet' nozzle used....with this sort of energy there has to be better ways of moving. $\endgroup$ – Twelfth Aug 24 '16 at 0:53

Your propulsion system is creating reaction mass with a mass of 4.8 x 10^9 kgms or 4.8 million tons. This is from a micro-litre of liquid matter. This is extremely ultradense stuff. Probably, a black hole too.

If a starship had 4.8 million tons of propellant available for acceleration to relativistic velocities, then provided a modest component of the mass energy created was used to "hurl" the reaction mass astern (not all at once, that would be silly and the resulting acceleration would the starship flat).

This looks like it's a black hole drive. A starship shooting out a stream of black holes to get underway. This could be a major hazard to navigation.

Very tempting to recommend this form of matter and its resultant propulsion system should be scaled down to something slightly potentially catastrophic. Most especially if it uses a 5 cubic metre sphere to create large amounts of this exotic matter.

This is the sort of technology that would reconfigure galaxies and, given enough time, the observable universe itself.

  • $\begingroup$ How do you get 4.8 million tons from the OP? $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Aug 24 '16 at 9:34
  • $\begingroup$ I used a calculator for mass-energy conversions. The given amount of energy was equal to 4.8 million tons. The calculator can be found here. endmemo.com/physics/einsteinlaw.php Anyone can do the same and check my figures as I could be wrong. $\endgroup$ – a4android Aug 24 '16 at 10:27
  • $\begingroup$ Using that same page, I get 432541 MJ as 0.005 grams of mass. Eyeballing it, 1e11 J to 1e9 kg is just not enough orders of magnitude difference when c squared is 1e17. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Aug 24 '16 at 11:54
  • $\begingroup$ Well let's consider 4,110,260 Kg mass that it has to push as a max for a standard small ship. It should be able to reach speeds of 0.05c. It also has to power the ship's systems. And it's supposed to be able to do this for about a year. Would this be enough to reach those speeds near instantly and run continuously for a year? $\endgroup$ – Durakken Aug 24 '16 at 13:07
  • $\begingroup$ @JDługosz That's a relief! Never try unfamiliar systems at the end of a long day. The numbers came up so surprising that scepticism was sideswiped. $\endgroup$ – a4android Aug 24 '16 at 13:21

I think it makes sense from a literary point of view. It's not real physics, but as an extension can it be accepted by SF readers at some particular hard-ness? I would think so.

You have mass/energy coming from a parallel universe that’s filled with energy rather than vacuum. The thing doing this isn’t a macroscopic device but a mysterious substance: that's harder to deal with. Having it be a resource that’s used up can further the plot.

It doesn’t make sense that the stuff is particles of some kind because once in our universe it should behave like our kind of stuff. But what about very tiny (from our point of view) machines or constructs of some kind: they could be the size of large molecules or even cells, and still be “a liquid”. They could be gateway pinpricks between universes, showing substance in the part that’s projected into our universe, but they are actually structures straddling the boundary between universes. Once fully activated, one will allow flow of energy from the other universe until it destroys itself, so each one produces a limited flow.

  • $\begingroup$ I cam up with this years ago, so I'm remember parts as I go. The "Exotic matter" part can be interpreted as "strange substance" rather than what we would call "exotic matter" and I have no idea where it comes from just yet. It's one of those things I made to fit a purpose rather than the idea being invented and then using it so I'm sorta back engineering it and never got to that point. The "Virtual Particles" part is that the mass that it pulls in "technically" doesn't exist it pops into existance, does it's thing and pops out in this form, in energy form it stays around due to conversion... $\endgroup$ – Durakken Aug 24 '16 at 13:15
  • $\begingroup$ conversion of the particle into "real" electricity, rather than staying as a particle that really doesn't exist. I think the idea that they're not just "pure" matter is a good idea, but your suggestions as to what they could be just don't feel right to me. I'll have to think more on it. $\endgroup$ – Durakken Aug 24 '16 at 13:18
  • $\begingroup$ You’re misusing “virtual particles”. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Aug 24 '16 at 14:10
  • $\begingroup$ According to wikipedia "virtual particle is a transient fluctuation that exhibits many of the characteristics of an ordinary particle, but that exists for a limited time." Sounds about right to me. Or am i misunderstanding somewhere? $\endgroup$ – Durakken Aug 24 '16 at 14:14
  • $\begingroup$ Transient…limited time. That should give you the right idea. Think of the difference between a lightbulb (gushes photons) and a magnet (uses virtual photons to produce force between magnets). The virtual particles don’t leave anything behind and don’t cause mass/energy to appear. You are importing actual energy by interacting with the other universe. Saying that the stuff that flows out is virtual particles is not right. If you are describing a force like magnetism than bringing the virtual particles in to the discussion is a detail … $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Aug 24 '16 at 22:17

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