Heighliner Speed

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SadisticCynic
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Heighliner Speed

Postby SadisticCynic » 15 Sep 2009 08:19

It's usually said that foldspace travel is instantaneous and that any delay is due to loading/unloading etc. I thought about this when reading Chapter 45 of Dune where Paul mentions that the space above Arrakis is filled with Guildships, and goes on to discuss the inability of the "finest Navigators" on the "fastest Heighliners". Now I know this speed issue is often attributed to an incomplete development of the Guild by Frank, but I want to try and justify it anyway. :)

So, degree of ability (presumably prescient) of Navigators is implicit in "finest Navigators". Therefore it is possible (likely, I think) that different Navigators, having differing strengths of prescient sight, may take shorter or longer times to foresee the safe path through the void. So this is another possible delay.

But more importantly, I was thinking that perhaps Holtzmann engines can differ in power as well, thus foldspace travel would not be totally instantaneous, and would require the mechanical working of the engine; thus a bigger engine would perform the actual folding of space faster. So, I mean the traveling takes no time because you don't actually move, but the process of folding space might take up time.

Anyway, any thoughts?

[Also, as an aside, I don't think of this as trying to justify any errors in the newer books.]
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Re: Heighliner Speed

Postby Freakzilla » 15 Sep 2009 09:27

Do you think it would be safe to fold space into a solar system?

How long do you think it would take from beyond Pluto to get to Earth?

(It takes Voyager I 14 hours to send a signal back to the JPL at the speed of light.)
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Re: Heighliner Speed

Postby SandChigger » 15 Sep 2009 09:58

No offense, SC, but I really don't see the point of this sort of rationalization. It's obvious from both deleted chapters (non-canon!) and actual passages in the published books that FH's conception of foldspace and Guildship travel changed over the course of the series. Trying to conform everything into a rational whole is little more than an intellectual diversion.

The idea that some Navigators (the "finest") would be able to see further or more clearly than others makes sense. That would allow them to make larger foldspace "jumps" and travel given distances more quickly. But is that really how their prescience works? Is it limited by physical distance? ;)

Is there any textual justification for assuming difference strengths of the engines?

(Freak, I'm not sure I see what you're getting at at all. Anything from the books to warrant speculation as to limits on shortest possible folds?)

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Re: Heighliner Speed

Postby Freakzilla » 15 Sep 2009 10:14

SandChigger wrote:(Freak, I'm not sure I see what you're getting at at all. Anything from the books to warrant speculation as to limits on shortest possible folds?)


Not that I recall, just my speculation.

Navigators use linear (not in the sense of a path but as a sequence of events) prescience to find the safe "path", and we know some navigators are more talented than others.

I think the "fastest" heighliners would be ones piloted by the best navigators who could get their Heighliner (or Transport! :wink: ) closest to the final destination. Then proceed into orbit through normal space. Maybe some were good enough to fold from one planet's orbit to anothers, I don't know.

As far as I understand the Einstein-Rossen Bridge theory, the only actual distance that would be traveled durring the actual fold would be to pass through the wormhole. That could be as short as the length of the ship.

(BTW... isn't the whole "traveling without moving" thing a quote from the movie?)
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Re: Heighliner Speed

Postby SadisticCynic » 15 Sep 2009 10:17

I had always assumed that they did foldspace into solar systems. I thought of it as cosmic origami, so if you fold right you could get quite accurate. I also assumed a large degree of accuracy due to the need for a safe path i.e. if they can't be accurate then why such measures for a safe path. But maybe you have a point:

According to Wikipedia Pluto orbits at 30-49 AU.

1 AU = Distance from Earth to Sun

So, Pluto at it's greatest distance from Earth is around 48 AU.

It takes about 8 mins for one AU at light-speed, so 384 mins (just over 6 hours) at light speed to Pluto.

And after doing all that I just realised you typed Voyager One 14 hours, not Voyager 114 hours. :doh:

Presumably we haven't got light speed in Dune, so the question becomes what max speed can we generate?

SC (does this mean I'm talking to myself? :D ) I was thinking more along the lines of finding the actual path quicker due to a stronger prescient ability, i.e. if the vision is clearer the path can found without say, the kind of muddling Alia had to struggle through (although that was due to a different cause).

(And a little intellectual diverion can't hurt right? :wink: I don't mean justify as in: :Adolf: )

P.S you guys keep posting everytime I try and review so I'm just gonna post this as it is and review after. :)


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Re: Heighliner Speed

Postby Freakzilla » 15 Sep 2009 10:29

I think the technology (Holzman engines/generators) will allow them to fold to anywhere they want, but I think the distance may make it more difficult for the Navigator to predict whether or not they will be struck by a comet or a piece of space junk the moment they come out of the fold.

The amount of particles/debris/asteroids in a system may make an acurate prediction more difficult (think uncertainty principle... velocity or location, pick one). Therefore, a really good Navigator could make an acurate prediction into a complicated system.

:?
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Re: Heighliner Speed

Postby SandChigger » 16 Sep 2009 10:11

We know from Teg's musings in Heretics that by that time, at least, the Holtzman engines could carry a ship from one galaxy to another. Since the only improvement I can recall being mentioned have to do with size reduction (specifically, miniaturization of Holtzman generators; whether that applied to ship engines as well ... ???), rather than distance range, I suppose we can assume little improvement in that aspect.

We know that the Guild emphasizes "pure mathematics" in the training of Navigators (not connected with their prescient abilities?). I believe we agree that a Navigator plots a course, inputs it into whatever control system guides the ship and then looks ahead to see whether the ship arrives safely (and remains safe for some time after arrival—that is, long enough for the ship's threat detection/defense mechanisms to kick in?) or whether it gets destroyed by folding inside a planet, moon, asteroid or other ship (or gets gobsmacked by same soon after arrival). If the latter, presumably the Navigator tweaks the destination coordinates and/or departure=arrival times until a safe alternative is found. I don't see how the nature of the destination (e.g., crowded/busy/debris-filled systems) would affect the process except in the initial calculation of arrival coordinates (and minimally in the "tweaking stage"?).

FH never mentions wormholes in connection with foldspace. Assuming that is what is involved seems unwarranted and an unnecessary limitation to me. (Sure, it's an idea/explanation that makes sense to us now, but is it exactly what FH had in mind?)

And yeah, "traveling without moving" is completely Lynch movie. I suppose there is a possibility of it originating with FH (maybe some extra material he prepared for the movie, like that Leto-Jessica meeting scene the hacks used in House H?), but is there any evidence either way?

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Re: Heighliner Speed

Postby Freakzilla » 16 Sep 2009 11:06

SandChigger wrote:We know from Teg's musings in Heretics that by that time, at least, the Holtzman engines could carry a ship from one galaxy to another. Since the only improvement I can recall being mentioned have to do with size reduction (specifically, miniaturization of Holtzman generators; whether that applied to ship engines as well ... ???), rather than distance range, I suppose we can assume little improvement in that aspect.

We know that the Guild emphasizes "pure mathematics" in the training of Navigators (not connected with their prescient abilities?). I believe we agree that a Navigator plots a course, inputs it into whatever control system guides the ship and then looks ahead to see whether the ship arrives safely (and remains safe for some time after arrival—that is, long enough for the ship's threat detection/defense mechanisms to kick in?) or whether it gets destroyed by folding inside a planet, moon, asteroid or other ship (or gets gobsmacked by same soon after arrival). If the latter, presumably the Navigator tweaks the destination coordinates and/or departure=arrival times until a safe alternative is found. I don't see how the nature of the destination (e.g., crowded/busy/debris-filled systems) would affect the process except in the initial calculation of arrival coordinates (and minimally in the "tweaking stage"?).


IT has to do with the way I see prescience. The oracle only sees possible outcomes, not "THE FUTURE". The Navigator can only see that there is a very high probability that they will survive. For prescience to be 100% you would have to know the location AND velocity of every particle in the universe. However, uncertainty principle dictates that the more we measure one, the more dificicult it is to define the other. Thus, the less complicated the system being folded to, the more confident the Navigator would be in his prediction. TO be safer, he would possibly replot a course a little further away from the final destination, outside lunar orbit as opposed to inside it, for example... or wait a few moments at the same destination...

FH never mentions wormholes in connection with foldspace. Assuming that is what is involved seems unwarranted and an unnecessary limitation to me. (Sure, it's an idea/explanation that makes sense to us now, but is it exactly what FH had in mind?)


No, but he mentions folding space, IIRC, and a wormhole IS part of that process. The wormhole is your connection between the two locations in space that have been folded to gether.

And yeah, "traveling without moving" is completely Lynch movie. I suppose there is a possibility of it originating with FH (maybe some extra material he prepared for the movie, like that Leto-Jessica meeting scene the hacks used in House H?), but is there any evidence either way?


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Re: Heighliner Speed

Postby SandChigger » 16 Sep 2009 15:28

Freakzilla wrote:IT has to do with the way I see prescience. The oracle only sees possible outcomes, not "THE FUTURE".

Right. And acts or doesn't act on the basis of what has been foreseen, as a result of which only one of those possibilities becomes the REAL PRESENT. (The whole world can't be Shrödinger's Cat, it has to be one thing or some other, unless you assume multiple worlds in which EVERY outcome plays out.)

The Navigator can only see that there is a very high probability that they will survive. For prescience to be 100% you would have to know the location AND velocity of every particle in the universe.

Only true if you conclude that prescience is NOTHING MORE than some advanced calculation based on available data. But if that's all it is, then every Mentat should be a prescient, no?

A Mentat supplies PROJECTIONS, with associated probabilities, based on available data. A prescient SEES alternate futures which stem from the current moment. That's how I conceive it, at any rate.

No, but he mentions folding space, IIRC, and a wormhole IS part of that process. The wormhole is your connection between the two locations in space that have been folded to gether.

That's ONE interpretation/representation/visualization of folding space. Are you positive the two concepts have ALWAYS been connected? What if you assume instead that within the sphere of influence of the engines, the origin and destination space-times overlap, become indistinguishable during the duration of the fold?

That really would constitute traveling without moving. ;)

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Re: Heighliner Speed

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 16 Sep 2009 15:35

Then a wormhole would just be whatever the mechanism is that allows your ship to stay on the "other" side when the spaces un-overlap. :wink:
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Re: Heighliner Speed

Postby SandChigger » 16 Sep 2009 15:59

I guess I just think the term "wormhole" has acquired a lot of baggage of its own that may not apply.

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Re: Heighliner Speed

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 16 Sep 2009 16:05

Probably. I think that it's one of those things that is impossible to draw a picture of or visualize, and "hole" is pretty missleading. I'm not 100% versed on the mechanics of how one works anyways.
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Re: Heighliner Speed

Postby SandChigger » 16 Sep 2009 16:08

Who is? ;)

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Re: Heighliner Speed

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 16 Sep 2009 16:12

Good point. :D
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Re: Heighliner Speed

Postby Freakzilla » 16 Sep 2009 18:06

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wormhole

Lorentzian wormholes known as Schwarzschild wormholes or Einstein-Rosen bridges are bridges between areas of space that can be modeled as vacuum solutions to the Einstein field equations by combining models of a black hole and a white hole. This solution was discovered by Albert Einstein and his colleague Nathan Rosen, who first published the result in 1935. However, in 1962 John A. Wheeler and Robert W. Fuller published a paper showing that this type of wormhole is unstable, and that it will pinch off instantly as soon as it forms, preventing even light from making it through.

Before the stability problems of Schwarzschild wormholes were apparent, it was proposed that quasars were white holes forming the ends of wormholes of this type.

While Schwarzschild wormholes are not traversable, their existence inspired Kip Thorne to imagine traversable wormholes created by holding the 'throat' of a Schwarzschild wormhole open with exotic matter (material that has negative mass/energy).
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Re: Heighliner Speed

Postby Slugger » 16 Sep 2009 22:02

Wormhole travel, to me, implies some type of motion: you may fold space but you still have to propel your vehicle across the event horizon. IIRC FH just describes Heighliners as folding space -- here one instant, hundreds of parsecs distant the next.

Then again, we're trying to rationalize over 20,000 years of scientific discovery with 21st century science.

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Re: Heighliner Speed

Postby SandChigger » 17 Sep 2009 00:00

:lol: Good point.

I was going to say, what do I care about Einstein's field equations when we're talking about Holtzman's?! :lol:

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Re: Heighliner Speed

Postby Freakzilla » 17 Sep 2009 07:16

It's MAJIK! :P
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Re: Heighliner Speed

Postby SandChigger » 17 Sep 2009 08:25

Nah, just a technology sufficiently advanced to appear as such. ;)

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Re: Heighliner Speed

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 17 Sep 2009 12:34

Slugger wrote:Wormhole travel, to me, implies some type of motion: you may fold space but you still have to propel your vehicle across the event horizon. IIRC FH just describes Heighliners as folding space -- here one instant, hundreds of parsecs distant the next.

Then again, we're trying to rationalize over 20,000 years of scientific discovery with 21st century science.


Not if you just move the space/event horizon rather than moving the ship. :wink:
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Re: Heighliner Speed

Postby SadisticCynic » 17 Sep 2009 19:30

I conceptualised it by imagining a blob of ink on a piece of paper. Fold and then unfold the paper (read: space) and the dot of ink is moved to a new postion.

(Then, to complete the analogy, Tippex [Americans: white-out?] the first dot...)
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Re: Heighliner Speed

Postby SandRider » 17 Sep 2009 22:28

for some ungodly reason, I watched "Deja Vu" with Denzel Washington and a fat Val Kilmer
last name - there's two hours I'll never get back.

anyway, they had the worm-hole thing, and at one point while trying to explain it,
took a piece of paper and did the "fold-space" thing - might have even said "traveling
without moving", I don't know ...

bad movie tho. felt prescient watching it, I knew what was coming about 3 minutes before it happened.
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Re: Heighliner Speed

Postby SandChigger » 18 Sep 2009 06:06

:lol:

Ahp, that one WAS a stinker.

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Re: Heighliner Speed

Postby A Thing of Eternity » 18 Sep 2009 12:30

SadisticCynic wrote:I conceptualised it by imagining a blob of ink on a piece of paper. Fold and then unfold the paper (read: space) and the dot of ink is moved to a new postion.

(Then, to complete the analogy, Tippex [Americans: white-out?] the first dot...)


In that example, the stickyness of the blob would be the wormhole. :wink:
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Re: Heighliner Speed

Postby SadisticCynic » 18 Sep 2009 12:38

Indeed; there would be no need for the Heighliner to move through the wormhole though.
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