Friday, 29 April 2011

Putting up with tree huggers...We have work to do

Now, I've got nothing bad to say about tree huggers in general, but when they interfere with things they don't understand, there are bound to be unintended consequences. I mean, there are tree huggers, then there are TREE HUGGERS. Yes, operating the Door does cause some interference with some electronic things, like tellys and radios, but really, can't you just twiddle your antennae. Better yet, just go with a digital signal as most interference only affects analog signals.

I guess what I want to say is that hanging around in front of our office, waving signs and stopping traffic doesn't get a lot accomplished. Yes, you do have the right to say what you want, but do you need to exercise it here? What are we doing that annoys you to the point where you have to get in the way of our techies coming and going?

I don't mean to be rude, but we have work to do, and it gets done better if we don't have to keep looking over our shoulders to watch for things being thrown at us. At least the only animals involved in testing are voluntary, mostly just Tom, so after I get done ranting, I'll get back to helping Frank get this thing fully functional. Any volunteers to help? I'm certain we can find something for you to do.

Now, back to work.

Friday, 22 April 2011

More physics about wormholes

All right, so Frank wants to talk more about wormholes. Apparently, it's a still unclear theory. The first kind discovered was a Schwarzschild wormhole, but that kind can't stay open long enough for anyone (or anything, for that matter) to pass through. It's basically an 'eternal black hole' not the kind of thing you'd want to even try to use. They say that the only kind of wormhole that you can actually go through would 'only be possible if exotic matter with negative energy density could be used to stablise them'. Of course that could only be happen in nature if the Casimir effect pans out, so we won't expect any to occur naturally (except very small ones that might appear through the use of quantum foam).

Now that that's been said, let me tell you that I don't have any idea what I'm talking about. I just get to be the middle man, relaying info from Frank. Hopefully somewhere out there are some physicists who will understand some of what I just said.

Well, I'm keeping it short this time, due to all the mumbo jumbo Frank keeps dishing out.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Magnetic monopoles and flux tubes, Frank explains about wormholes

Frank has done some more research into just how the Door works. He says that it appears to be related to flux tubes. Let's see if I can explain what Frank told me. Flux tubes are made by connecting two magnetic monopoles. Now, we all 'know' that monopoles can't exist by themselves (so Frank says), but by agreeing that the two ends of such a tube combined are just a single magnetic dipole, and noting that they move independently, then they can be treated for many purposes as independent quasiparticles.

Anyway, these monopoles only exist in pairs, but, Frank says, if you did manage to separate them, then you'd get this tube thing, and that's what he thinks we have here. It's just that with this equipment he's gotten a hold of, he's managed to create a tube big enough to walk through. In effect he's got himself a wormhole. We don't know how it works or even why, but at least it doesn't terminate in the middle of a sun or the vacuum of space (though we did have that big issue back at the beginning of January before he got it re-aimed).

Well, it turns out that we are very lucky to have hit anything at all. Think of throwing darts at a huge the side of a barn. What are the odds of hitting a fly sitting there looking at you? Even if you were to aim really carefully, the fly might move, so our hitting anything, much less a planet, much lesser a planet we can survive on, is extremely unexpected, yet here we are.

We'll tell more as soon as Frank gets done drawing all the pictures.

Friday, 8 April 2011

What is the Gaussian Count?

All the tweaking Frank has been doing is finally paying off. One of the big things that Frank had noticed was that there were unexplained power drains when certain folks went out but not others, and he hadn't been able to figure out why there was a difference. The drain has gotten so bad a couple times that the voltage on the capacitors dropped below some magic threshold, and the Door slammed shut. And let me tell you, that's not a pretty sight, especially if someone were to be in transit. Fortunately we haven't had any accidents, and all I can say is that we've been extremely lucky.

Well, he's now made the connection. It turns out that when some types of materials pass through the Door, they cause significant changes to the power that the Door draws, and that's what has been causing the capacitors to drain. To find out just which things are the root of the problem, Frank's been opening the Door just a little bit and tossing various things through whilst monitoring the current drawn. The key seems to be metals, especially ferrous substances. Because the Door is created with magnetic fields, it makes sense that anyone carrying any kind of magnet with them would drain the power more, Frank says. (Obvious to him!)

Of couse as soon as he figured it out, Frank had to put a name to it: Gaussian Count. (Named after Gauss who did a bunch of work with magnetics.) That's supposed to be some kind of indicator of how much the item will drain the power. The higher the Gaussian Count, the harder it is to keep the Door open long enough to be of any use. His task now is to test a bunch of different sizes and shapes of different things to see how to predict the drain. He says that if he knows how much drain to expect, we will be able to keep the Door open long enough that no one has to worry about being left half on this side and half on the other side.

I'll see if I can get him to give me a list of the verboten items, and we'll have Tom check over any equipment brought through to avoid accidents.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Back to 'normal' (what ever that may mean)

Welcome to April Fool's day. Can you really believe any posts made today?? Hopefully you can.

Around here, Frank is back to normal and has gone back to tweaking the Door again, but it doesn't seem to be running any least not as far as I can see. Tom says so, too. Either way, Frank is still at work making changes. He claims to be improving the overall safety of the system, and for that Tom is certainly happy, but he's keeping busy, and that makes all of us happy.

Once Frank is happy with the latest changes, we'll be sending Tom back out for another trip, but until then we're trying to keep up with all the documentation for the modifications Frank is making. We won't have anything available in print for a while yet, but at least we'll be able to recreate any useful updates he manages to stumble across.

Keep busy, and we'll see you next week.