# The Naked Scientists Forum

### Author Topic: Hypothetical research questions.  (Read 5550 times)

#### Phoenix_Rising

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##### Hypothetical research questions.
« on: 26/02/2005 07:47:06 »
Folks, I am working on a screenplay currently, and need to ask a few questions on some of the physics that make up the storyline. I am not necessarily looking for exactitudes; reasonable guesses will be great.

Anyway, I have a few questions.

1) I need to have a Systemic catastrophe, stemming from man fooling around with wormhole technology. For the sake of this, I am assuming that when a stable wormhole is formed by artificial means, transmission of matter can happen in both directions simultaneously, and that travel is instantaneous. Now, my question stems around a wormhole being opened from our solar system to our closest neighbour, Proxima Centauri, and opening in the core of the star. Assumedly the pressures there are in the order of several hundred billion standard earth atmospheres, and the pressure on the other side of the hole would be vacuum. How much matter would it be reasonable to assume would spew out in a given time, say a quarter few seconds or so?  Assuming that the Wormhole aperture is roughly 100M in diameter
2) This super pressurised, super energetic material would then explode out (Simply moving from a high pressure area to a low pressure one). What sort of rate would it move across the system? (Less than the speed of light, but what would the plasma cloud expand out at. Would it be dramatically less than C?)

3) This depends on the answer to 1, above, but how much volume would the transported material take when it stabilised? ie would it form a new nebula

4) This Nebula, assuming there is one formed, would be what temperature, and how fast would it cool to close to the normal background temp?

5) would enough matter be stripped from the core of Proxima Centauri in that short space of time to cause the star to become unstable and go Nova?  Roughly how much matter would have to be stripped from the core to allow that instability?  2%, 20%?  P-Cent is a Red-Orange Dwarf Star, so is presumably getting on in life anyway.

The premise is that the hole opens, the gate is destroyed, but enough material has come through the hole that the resulting plasma wavefront and hard radiation of it's dispersal destroys earth, mars and most of the colonies in the System that were not far out and in the shadow of a larger body, such as Neptune, etc. The Story will only work if I can have a calamity that destroys 99% of humanity, but allows the 1% to survive. If the Nebula is still 15000 Kelvin when it reaches Pluto Orbit, then it all falls over and I will have to think of another way to present the calamity (The story is such that it will likely have folk demanding to know the physics behind the assumptions I have made)

Anyway, feel free to have a laugh at my lunacy, but if you have any feedback, please contribute.

Cheers,

Andrew Campbell
Writer - 'Phoenix Rising'.

#### chimera

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• Posts: 475
##### Re: Hypothetical research questions.
« Reply #1 on: 26/02/2005 10:47:16 »
OK, that's 1076.39104 square feet times 98425196.9 feet per second (assuming an exit velocity of 30,000 km/s for the jet) gives 1.05944 × (10^11) (cubic feet) which comes down to a neat 3 cubic kilometers per second. At an assumed exit speed of 60,000 kms that would become 6 cubic kilometers.

Now 3 cubic kilometers at say 100 billion atmospheres pressure would expand to 3.0 × 10^20 m3 or roughly 300 000 000 000 cubic kilometers max, I think, which not get you stretching all the way out to Pluto. For that you would need a whopping 8.94160494 × 10^29 cubic kilometers of gas.

Nice plot, tho. You'd have to find a way to keep it open a bit longer, tho, or play with the size a bit.

#### chimera

• Sr. Member
• Posts: 475
##### Re: Hypothetical research questions.
« Reply #2 on: 26/02/2005 20:53:00 »
Slight correction: I calculated 100 square meters, that should be 100 m diameter, making it 78.53 times too small, so that would make it 235.59 cubic kilometers per second if that stuff comes pouring out at 1/10th of c after one second, which I think is a decent ballpark figure - very much faster seems OTT, since it's hardly moving, initially.

Congrats. That would definitely make Proxima go nova, I think. Also, my original gascloud would still have 1 atmosphere pressure, which is way too high. So your cloud would be quite a bit bigger than that, too.

Seriously, I don't think you'd want to do this in near-Earth orbit.
That's one big torch of incredibly highly pressurised fusion-hot stellar core, even if it's one long plume when it comes out, and fortunately not an expanding sphere. Please point it at something nasty, not me.
« Last Edit: 27/02/2005 11:29:31 by chimera »

#### Phoenix_Rising

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• Posts: 2
##### Re: Hypothetical research questions.
« Reply #3 on: 27/02/2005 02:46:39 »
I was thinking of placing the gate at one of the Earth/Sol Lagrange points.  I don't think that the wormhole remaining stable for a few seconds then reducing down to a zero point and winking out over a few more seconds after the Gate Mechanism is consumed by the plume is too over the top,at least for the purposes of the story (This is going to be a Space-Opera type, not necessarily Hard Science, although the ability of man to control his surrounds won't have changed massively, ie Gravity Toruses, no Anti-Grav, no Inertial dampers, etc)

Now, when the cloud has expanded out to an atmosphere level of pressure, what do you think its ambient temperature would likely be? A slower moving cloud at 1500K is still enough to seriously screw up your day.  I'm still assuming that the main depopulation will still be done by the hard radiation that the Plume produces

On a side note, for the CGI Hamsters that will be modelling this for the pre-pilot sales pitch, what colour will the cloud be?  Red-Purple?

Thanks for the feedback

Andrew Campbell

#### chimera

• Sr. Member
• Posts: 475
##### Re: Hypothetical research questions.
« Reply #4 on: 27/02/2005 12:11:02 »
Here's a page with a few stats on our sun:

http://fusedweb.pppl.gov/CPEP/Chart_Pages/5.Plasmas/SunLayers.html

I'll do the calculations on the temperature and color, that'll take a bit, but I think you should not overlook the radiation effects (which will be tremendous initially), you watch this MF go off and you can kiss your eyesight goodbye, and the lingering effects on electronic equipment etc. and later on it would probably blot out quite a bit of sunlight to make things even more complicated... I'll see if I can get you some ballpark figures on gamma, photon and neutrino output, too.

And a few years after this a nextdoor nova. I suggest you make it one sturdy society...

On the artwork: I'm doing some conversions of background artwork for the Freespace 2 platform, for which the code has been released (like Quake II), simply because I thought the old artwork was pretty crappy, and I could come up with a Pshop impression of The Plume that would not only look cool, but you could actually take your ship around in its various stages. Narf.

(In fact, if you drop it at their forum and they like it, you could even have someone design a few playable levels or a whole mission dedicated to your novel.)

http://scp.indiegames.us/news.php

http://dynamic4.gamespy.com/~freespace/forums
(click the Source Code Project forum)

and a little impression of a Pshopped sun close-up by yours truly:
http://www.aibots.myhost24.com/darksun.jpg
something similar used in the game:
http://www.aibots.myhost24.com/6.jpg

just to get an idea.
« Last Edit: 01/03/2005 09:18:10 by chimera »

#### tweener

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##### Re: Hypothetical research questions.
« Reply #5 on: 02/03/2005 05:40:40 »
That sounds like a very good story idea!  I wish you well with it!

----
John - The Eternal Pessimist.

#### DoctorBeaver

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• A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
##### Re: Hypothetical research questions.
« Reply #6 on: 11/04/2005 13:28:01 »
I haven't got a clue of the maths etc involved but I like the idea. It would make 1 hell of a weapon too!

Good luck with it.

#### The Naked Scientists Forum

##### Re: Hypothetical research questions.
« Reply #6 on: 11/04/2005 13:28:01 »