Would a starship that was propelled by magnetic monopoles fly faster and longer than ion engines (assuming magnetic monopoles exist) of course.

  • $\begingroup$ So instead of ejecting(force is produced by accelerating mass) ions in an electric field you want to do it with a hypothetical particles in a magnetic field... so how massive and abundance is this particles?😝 $\endgroup$ – user6760 Nov 25 '17 at 4:49


Which is to say, neither yes nor no. The question as asked simply doesn't have an answer. It is ill-posed, because it is trying to compare things in two different categories.

Magnetic monopoles don't really do anything interesting in the way of propulsion directly. What they're good for is power production--you might be able to use them to catalyze baryon decay (i.e., mass-energy conversion), or to catalyze fusion. That's very useful for space travel, but you still need to design the rest of the rocket!

"Ion engine", on the other hand, specifies a particular method of accelerating a particular class of reaction mass to produce thrust, but says nothing about where the power comes from. You can have chemical powered ion engines, solar powered ion engines, nuclear fission powered ion engines... and if we had monopole reactors, you could have monopole-catalysis-powered ion engines.

In which case, a ship propelled by magnetic monopoles could very well be exactly the same ship as a ship propelled by ion engines, and it would fly exactly as fast and exactly as long as itself. And you could easily build monopole-powered rockets that don't use ion engines that are faster and have better endurance than non-monopole-powered rocket ships that do use ion engines, and vice-versa, depending on what other engine technologies are available and what the intended mission profile of each type of ship is.

  • $\begingroup$ Monopole-catalytic power systems, very nifty. Like the idea of baryon decay especially for mass-energy conversion. Depending on the propulsion system that could yield higher velocities than the alternatives. Plus one. $\endgroup$ – a4android Nov 26 '17 at 3:39

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.