Friday, 2 September 2011

Tom's data untrustworthy? Electronics still don't work; Halbach Spheres?

Well, Tom collected quite a bit of data for Frank to analyse, but at first glance, Frank doesn't trust some of the numbers. Tom suggested that Frank go collect his own data, but Frank says that he's not going through the Door until someone he trusts is at the controls to make certain he can get back. Of course, Frank doesn't trust anyone, so he's likely only going to see the part of the other planet visible through the Door as it's opened. (Sometimes dealing with these two is like herding cats, I swear!)

Anyway, the initial guess that the planet is larger than Earth makes sense (even though we haven't actually measured it), but it must be far less dense (as Frank claimed), which explains why the gravity is still so close to 'normal'. So, what we've got is a larger planet that spins slower, doesn't have an iron core, and no magnetic field to speak of. All that still doesn't explain why electronic things don't work. We really need to get Frank working on that.

Instead, Frank is still trying to figure out how the Door itself works. He's made a supposition that the way it works is probably similar to a Halbach sphere. The only difference is that a typical Halbach sphere is made of permanent magnets, whereas the Door is basically a huge electromagnet, just with a twist to it. (Twist, get it? Frank opens the Door by spinning the magnetic field.)

Frank may have more for us soon, but Tom certainly will. He's been really excited about taking some folks out for an adventure, a 'walkabout' he calls it. We'll see what he has to say next week.

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