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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:03 pm 
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Alright, I think that it's time for us to come up with exactly what Dark Matter is, and how it interacts with the universe.

We've had some awesome contributions from the community right here in the forums, especially Aiyen in this post and vanishing in this post.

What I would like to do is propose a simple solution to how dark matter will work in the game, and then have the physicists on the forum take it apart and put it back together in such a way that works with our current observations (to a point, of course, this is science fiction).

So here is what I propose for the "mechanics" of dark matter in Dark Potential:

1. We will use "dark matter" as the fundamental building block for all of this. I know we've discussed using something else, but "Dark" Potential really is all about using dark matter to manipulate potential energy.

2. Having said that, we will no longer be manipulating potential energy, but will instead be manipulating fundamental forces.

3. So, as it turns out, Dark Matter is the fundamental building block of the entire universe. Whether this turns out to be a type of string according to String Theory, or some elementary particle, it does not matter. I propose that we leave that part of the equation unsolved.

4. Being a fundamental building block, Dark Matter, under the right conditions, can be turned into any other elementary particle. This happened naturally at the Big Bang where field fluctuations and other craziness happened, but now does not happen naturally as those conditions do not naturally occur.

5. Dark Matter interacts very weakly with all the fundamental forces except for gravity, which it actually reacts more strongly to than normal matter. I propose that the reason for this is unknown.

6. Because of #4 and #5, Dark Matter will tend to clump together, but because of its inability to really interact at the nuclear level it doesn't form into atoms and molecules, but is instead some more gaseous or fluidic (kind of like the pictures that "show" dark matter portray, like this one: http://bccp.lbl.gov/Images/darkmattermap.jpg)

7. Using gravitational forces, one with the proper apparatus could "mine" this clumped up dark matter. This is far beyond any human technology, but is something the X'Lanthos can do to some degree, and something that even more technologically superior races can do easily.

8. This one will take some work, but I'd like Dark Matter to have some "almost" fundamental elementary particles (which we will call "dark particles", almost like an intermediate building block to the particles we know today. These ones would behave much differently from the normal Dark Matter, and would even be able to interact with the rest of the fundamental forces, allowing them to even be bound into nuclei and atoms.

9. The particles from #8 can be easily manipulated back and forth between Dark Matter and other particles, making them a good foundation for everything else.

(To answer the question as to why we don't observe these particles with our current science, it is because they do not exist naturally, but can exist artificially)

10. For some reason these dark particles exist in places like our asteroid belt, and even on Mars. The reason for this is a mystery (which I do not care to develop at this point - I do have some ideas though of why it is there). It also exists heavily on some of the colonies, but that is because of the Lanthoformers that brought it there.

11. In the correct energy fields (as mainly described by Aiyen in this topic humans are able to manipulate the dark particles into other elementary particles, and thereby manipulate forces such as gravity and the other fundamental forces, as well as other interesting effects such as modifying the mass of an object (through the creation and destruction of the theoretical Higgs Boson).

Basically #11 works by creating or "destroying" (i.e. turning into a dark particle) the elementary particles involved in any of the forces (or anything else for that matter).

12. Human manipulation of dark particles will be quite limited, mainly to gravity, somewhat to EM, and very little to the strong and weak nuclear forces. X'Lanthos manipulation is far more advanced. They are even able (to a small degree) to harvest the raw Dark Matter that is found all around us.

Whew, that's quite a start. Hopefully it is close to something that makes sense, but by all means, critique away!

I should, however, point out that I am looking for those with a solid understanding of physics to reply here. Anybody else can reply as well, just understand that I might not take your suggestions as seriously as this topic is really about the hard science of Dark Potential.

Once we have this nailed down I will cover all of the "cool" effects and weaponry (I already have quite a bit), including gravity mines, electron massers (picture every electron in your body being removed and then shot at your buddies nearby - how would that feel?), and more.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 3:51 pm 
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<--- is too dumb for this topic but wouldn't changing the gravity of something cause it to collapse in on itself/become molten/become too dense to even mine???


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:24 pm 
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1. I assume this is a given. I am hoping it feels less like how Dark Matter is described in lighter sci-fi, where its this "black stuff that makes spaceships go fast, the end" and much more modern (or perhaps grownup) take on it.

2. So we are now taking "Potential" out of this game's namesake? How will it be represented? Does it now describe a human's dark potential or something? I sure hope the name "Dark Potnetial" is still relevent and not called that because it sounds cool. BUT, I do agree (after reading the related topic by Aiyen) that changing it form potential energy to forces must be so.

3, 4. Fair enough, finding fundamental building blocks of the universe is a task of Inception-like proportions. We just keep finding building-blocks made up of building-blocks.

5. Dark Matter reacts to gravity more strongly than regular matter? Is this a straight up mass to mass comparison? Or you mean it is just more dense than regular matter? I'm guessing the former, which is interesting, but fantastical. The latter is already theorized.

6. I really like this, partially made up stuff that greatly explains stuff proposed by scientists.

8, 9, 11. So this is the heart of Potentia- er- force manipulation, correct? This part gets beyond my education. So particles mentioned in 8 and 9 are the particles used to put into other matter to manipulate?

10. So if this wonderful stuff can be found in the asteroid belt and on Mars, why not Earth? Is this just explained by the science of Plot-ology? I think there needs to be a better reason, or see how the game works with Dark Matter being found on Earth and anywhere else.

I don't hav emuch to say for 7 and 12, as they are just plot, and it works great for me.


Okay, so from what I have gleaned, the name Dark Potential no longer has a place here, until someone can explain it for me. Also, this new fangled power only manipulates the fundamental forces, and not energy directly. It sounds limiting to me. Although I guess "only" is a huge overstatement as fundamental forces are FUNDAMENTAL. So all in all this view of Using Dark Matter to manipulate things is different, but is steeped in even more science. So I must say I approve.

Now when do we actually get to put it into the game?

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:29 pm 
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Black-Napalm. See Aiyen's thread
viewtopic.php?f=115&t=71772

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 4:51 pm 
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Just as I was about to start painting! Oh well baby sleeps, so on with the music!

I guess I will just take make a comment on each of your list entries.

1. I agree that it is a good idea to have some fundamental dark particles in place, I like that idea and should be easy to implement in my silly little theory.
I do however think that you need to have some sort of explanation into "how" you will manipulate potential energy since such a central tech. deserve a bit of work. In my post I came with a crude example of how to use positive and negative energy levels in dark matter particles to access dark energy which is essentially just this "mysterious" potential energy background that is not understood very well!

2. Continuing on, then it is up to you if you do not want any mysteriousness. I just thought it was a cool idea to have dark energy be this mysterious dark (potential) energy that created the universe but nobody really understands, but they can tap into it to a certain degree.

3. The simple solution here is that dark matter particles are just some among many elementary particles, and leave it at that. No problem there regardless of which science model you decide on.

4. Dark matter which gets clumped up inside a crazy lab experiment might be forced to undergo certain reactions, among which could be decay into normal particles. However you might want to leave the door open for it to happen naturally, after all nature can build much larger particle accelerators then anything short of a giant multi-galactic super race. (Think supermassive black holes etc. )

5. For simplicity then you can go for this being in the unknown, but then I believe it will make it rather hard to stick with a hard science policy. I made up the whole rant about gravitons as an example that all you need is some sort of gauge boson and you are pretty much in the clear as far as particle physics is concerned.

6. Since it is affected by gravity it will always clump together. Since you also want it to be specific particles then you must obey the natural law that no two exact same particle can occupy the same space at the same time. So there will need to be some sort of repulsion or structure to the dark matter. Here is where I proposed that it just "sticks" to ordinary matter which will then make up the interstellar gas etc.

7. If you got dark energy then you would essentially be able to create a setup where you use antigravity to filter dark matter confining it in its pure form etc. But this would only be possible by a race that has mastered tapping into dark energy.

8. This could be a "insert name here" boson which would cause the dark matter to "stick" to ordinary matter. It could be that it interacts with the nuclear force ex.

9. Once you know exactly what particle to look for and how to filter for it then manipulation of it would be possible. Also I sort of came with a reason why we do not see them today in our lab experiments. Since the particles we smash together do not have a dark matter particle attached to them, then the intermediary particle would not be present either.

10. I think we are getting a bit confused here. I suppose you want "dark matter" to be present in those places, so that it is possible to mine it in someway. In order to do this then one will require information about the particle which interacts with both normal and dark matter. (The one mentioned in 8.)

11. If you want to build upon my dark energy model, then this would just be a "crude" way of mining dark matter, and one that would not yield the large pure amounts that dark energy filtration would. But it would be a good idea that humanity does it in this "crude" fashion.
Also I guess you could claim that the boson that interacts with dark matter, will have the option to interact with the other bosons to a certain degree. The least with photons of course, and perhaps the most with gravitons.

12. Like I am coming at then there could be a "crude" EM kinda way to harvest dark matter, but the yields will not be very large. At higher energies then you could use use some of the others, but at extremely large ones all the forces kinda meld into one thing... you guessed it dark energy, which would be the most effective way. (This is inspired by grand unified theories that state that at some point on the energy scale all the forces are just a part of something truly fundamental. )


hmmm we should have done this a long time ago! brainstorming like this have given me quite a few new ideas that might be usefull.
I guess I will see what other people post, and then what you post before I touch to much more on the topic!

One thing I think will be immensely helpful is if we could nail down exactly what kind of particle structure you would like.

Example. From what I can gather so far.
You want
--------
Dark matter
--------
Which is made up of

--------
Dark particles
--------
Which interact by means of

--------
Dark bosons
--------
Which have the following properties

--------
Interacts weakly with EM, but strongly with gravity, and to varying degrees with the other forces!
--------

Then depending on which direction you want to go you can make up one or more of each boson and/or particle to suit your needs.

Oh as a finishing touch. About your electron masser... There are two ways you could do what you describe. One you could generate an electric field so powerfull that it rips off the electrons. But that is properly not likely as a hand held weapon.

The other is that you cause every proton to collide with a neutron under the emission of electrons. So basically you could say that you weapon "stopped" the nuclear force for a few seconds while every atom spontaneously decayed into beta radiation... would properly also be more likely in the dark potential setting! :)

However if you have ever done beta radiation experiments then you would also know that they get absorbed by even thin sheets of... well almost any material.
so the targets buddies would properly be safe from its effects... well physically, mentally it might be a pretty disturbing way to see a fella go.

But well that is enough for now. I will read up on this again tomorrow at some point, and see what other people have come with of suggestions!


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 7:46 pm 
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Thanks for the great responses. I'll try to answer some of the questions here:

Black-Napalm wrote:
wouldn't changing the gravity of something cause it to collapse in on itself/become molten/become too dense to even mine???

Only if you increase it too much. All it would do is decrease the amount of mass required to collapse, but it would still take a lot of mass to create a black hole.

Cow wrote:
1. I assume this is a given. I am hoping it feels less like how Dark Matter is described in lighter sci-fi, where its this "black stuff that makes spaceships go fast, the end" and much more modern (or perhaps grownup) take on it.

I agree.

Cow wrote:
2. So we are now taking "Potential" out of this game's namesake? How will it be represented? Does it now describe a human's dark potential or something? I sure hope the name "Dark Potnetial" is still relevent and not called that because it sounds cool. BUT, I do agree (after reading the related topic by Aiyen) that changing it form potential energy to forces must be so.

I think it still fits as you are still messing with potential energy, but just not in the crude way that I had it before, but through the fundamental forces.

I also like the name as it has a double meaning, given the "dark potential" of the human race (or the X'Lanthos, or anything else).

Cow wrote:
3, 4. Fair enough, finding fundamental building blocks of the universe is a task of Inception-like proportions. We just keep finding building-blocks made up of building-blocks.

Yup, I agree, which is why it takes science far beyond what we can achieve.

And heck, it could turn out that dark matter isn't the most elementary of particles, and there is an even lower level that explains multi-dimensional stuff. Who knows?

Cow wrote:
5. Dark Matter reacts to gravity more strongly than regular matter? Is this a straight up mass to mass comparison? Or you mean it is just more dense than regular matter? I'm guessing the former, which is interesting, but fantastical. The latter is already theorized.

I'm not sure. What do you think?

Cow wrote:
8, 9, 11. So this is the heart of Potentia- er- force manipulation, correct? This part gets beyond my education. So particles mentioned in 8 and 9 are the particles used to put into other matter to manipulate?

Correct.

Cow wrote:
10. So if this wonderful stuff can be found in the asteroid belt and on Mars, why not Earth? Is this just explained by the science of Plot-ology? I think there needs to be a better reason, or see how the game works with Dark Matter being found on Earth and anywhere else.

Well I am open to changes (for the next week), but it is based on Plot-ology. Perhaps there can be some on Earth, but the majority will be in the asteroid belt and on Mars, and maybe some in other areas of our Solar System.

It will be the source of much debate for future scientists as to why it exists at all.

Cow wrote:
Also, this new fangled power only manipulates the fundamental forces, and not energy directly. It sounds limiting to me. Although I guess "only" is a huge overstatement as fundamental forces are FUNDAMENTAL.

Yeah, it's pretty huge to manipulate the forces. ;)

Cow wrote:
Now when do we actually get to put it into the game?

The week after next.

Aiyen wrote:
I do however think that you need to have some sort of explanation into "how" you will manipulate potential energy since such a central tech. deserve a bit of work. In my post I came with a crude example of how to use positive and negative energy levels in dark matter particles to access dark energy which is essentially just this "mysterious" potential energy background that is not understood very well!

That works for me.

Aiyen wrote:
3. The simple solution here is that dark matter particles are just some among many elementary particles, and leave it at that. No problem there regardless of which science model you decide on.

Sounds good as well.

Aiyen wrote:
4. Dark matter which gets clumped up inside a crazy lab experiment might be forced to undergo certain reactions, among which could be decay into normal particles. However you might want to leave the door open for it to happen naturally, after all nature can build much larger particle accelerators then anything short of a giant multi-galactic super race. (Think supermassive black holes etc. )

I'm not closed off to that idea, but I need to explain why we haven't observed it yet.

Aiyen wrote:
6. Since it is affected by gravity it will always clump together. Since you also want it to be specific particles then you must obey the natural law that no two exact same particle can occupy the same space at the same time. So there will need to be some sort of repulsion or structure to the dark matter. Here is where I proposed that it just "sticks" to ordinary matter which will then make up the interstellar gas etc.

Well we could use that, I think we're going to shift more to the fact that you use dark particles to do all the manipulations, which are made from dark matter. I like this idea better as it allows the X'Lanthos to then be able to do the high tech thing of pulling dark matter from anywhere (with limits as this is new technology to them) and converting it into usable dark particles.

Aiyen wrote:
10. I think we are getting a bit confused here. I suppose you want "dark matter" to be present in those places, so that it is possible to mine it in someway. In order to do this then one will require information about the particle which interacts with both normal and dark matter. (The one mentioned in 8.)

Again, this is shifting more towards dark particles, which were made from dark matter.

Aiyen wrote:
11. If you want to build upon my dark energy model, then this would just be a "crude" way of mining dark matter, and one that would not yield the large pure amounts that dark energy filtration would. But it would be a good idea that humanity does it in this "crude" fashion.

I think that fits perfectly.

Aiyen wrote:
One thing I think will be immensely helpful is if we could nail down exactly what kind of particle structure you would like.

Example. From what I can gather so far.
You want
--------
Dark matter
--------
Which is made up of

--------
Dark particles
--------
Which interact by means of

--------
Dark bosons
--------
Which have the following properties

--------
Interacts weakly with EM, but strongly with gravity, and to varying degrees with the other forces!
--------

Almost.

Dark Matter can be turned into Dark Particles (by highly advanced civilizations).

What those are I'm not sure. We could definitely have some dark particles and dark bosons like you propose. That would work fine for me.


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 14, 2012 9:42 pm 
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I think that as long as you are willing to flesh out an internally consistent description of dark particle physics as Aiyen has described, then you have some flexibility when it comes to X'lanthos dark-matter manipulation. Because of the fuzziness when it comes to the nature of fermion state-changes, whether such things are possible, and the extent to which certain particles can change into other particles when they interact then I think it should be possible to state that regular matter (force interactions as we observe) can be, depending on just how in-depth you want to go with your explanation, topologically constructed/arranged to "trap" or even attract the Dark Boson. This would, since bosons can occupy the same space at the same time as other bosons and thus create more intense fields of forces, allow for the generation of "dark energy" fields. The obvious effect is of course gravitational distortion but I'm sure we could work out other ways that the accumulation of Dark Bosons and subsequent generation of dark energy fields could be abused for fun and profit also.

The advantage of this is that while Dark Matter is still a 'thing' out there, it does not have to be the Unobtainum which drives the story of Dark Potential. It can remain a theoretical substance, or one which has only scientific, not military application. After all, the generation of dark energy fields would be something worth studying in order to optimize the production of Dark Boson traps made of non Dark Matter arrangements of fermions. However, you do get to avoid the question of obtaining Dark Matter in sufficient quantities for militarization, having the technological base and know-how to work with Dark Matter, and so on.

Also, if I'm understanding you properly, in fact, Dark Matter in Aiyen's example is already Dark Particles - the particles are arranged into shapes, atoms, what have you and those complex building blocks are the foundational components of full scale Dark Matter. Therefore, it would not take extraordinary civilizational development to break Dark Matter down into its component particles and any way you slice it, what seems to be important for your purposes is that the Dark Bosons exist and can be studied, collected/trapped, and interacted with by other forms of matter also?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:35 am 
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I've read through Aiyen and Vanishings lengthy and excellent threads. Two very clever and well-read gentlemen.


*
I think that what Matt is asking for is 2 things:

1) A background metaphysics of all dark matter, within which framework a bunch of dark matter effects can be explained.

2) A series of dark matter effects - not all necessarily directly related, or each working on the same basic forces - which can work within this framework.


*
a) I like Aiyens basic idea of dark energy being infused into normal matter. This makes so that it can be mined from normal matter, which makes so that we can have resource wars and "mining" in an nice an intuitive sense.

b) I also think that it's a good idea if we follow his (sort of) suggestion to create a new family of Bosons, or Boson-like particles, which vector this Dark Energy. Permit me to call them "Murks" for now, based on this thread.
viewtopic.php?f=115&t=71910

If we use this as a starting point for the metaphysics of 1), this family of murks would have interesting effects in their own right when not in the position of enriching normal matter. But let me start with an example of murk-enriched matter, here's one way (out of many) in which a specific effect can be implemented in 2):

  • STEP A) Normal elementary particles, when infused with dark particles, have different properties. I'll use the shorthand dark electrons to describe electrons which have been infused ("enriched" might be the proper term) with dark energy.

    Currents of dark electrons, when dense enough, create antigravity fields, similar to how normal electrons create electromagnetic fields. This is on top of the usual properties of electrons. The reason for this is that they confer upon surrounding matter the same "transparent" absorption of gravitons that the dark particles themselves experience. When a graviton passes through a given mass of matter, there is a certain probability that the graviton will interact with the mass, similar to with a neutrino passing through mass. The field of the dark electron simply reduces the probability of interaction.

    That's the basic mechanic. Graviton transparency.

    Image

  • STEP B) So, you can give an object antigrav by either

    • putting dark current though a "belt" device that goes around them,
    • or by "looping" them with a coil or whip, which you then zap with your own dark current from your own battery,
    • or by fitting a dark battery to their "normal" wiring, and running dark current through them (hostile takeover of "light" current circuits with your dark current)
    • or by slugging them with enormous quantities of dark magnets (magnetized dark iron, fx - enough to make a circumferent "dark" field).

    Basically, any kind of wire will do, if you have enough dark matter to battery it.

    Conversely, you can't just point at someone with your gadget and scream "levitate!". It takes some work, and the effect can be disrupted by cutting the current.


  • STEP C) This use of dark current, discovered early on, becomes a powerful tool for transportation - it's possible to build a dark current coil, or helix, just about anywhere, and use this for antigrav, if your dark matter battery is powerful enough to create a powerful enough field. The shape of the helix, in the public mind, is no longer simply associated with DNA... it's an icon of anti-gravity. To begin with, these Helix Elevators are highly experimental, expensive, and iconic tourist attractions, but they grow increasingly more ubiquitous throughout the early 22nd century.
    Image
    Image

  • STEP D) The most important consequence is, this vastly accelerates the colonization of space - not via faster flight, but because it becomes much easier to build, maintain, and run the first space elevators, at an earlier technological stage than anticipated. 95% of the problem of space exploration is getting mass into orbit; and dark current antigravity makes this much easier... all you need, essentially, is a cylinder of helical wires with a dark current running through them. Everything inside the cylinder is encompassed by the field.

    The wires float... and everything inside the wires floats...

    ...so long as you maintain the current, that is...

    The final hindrance to the first Helix Elevator into space, in the end, is actually not the technological challenge. It is the politics. The idea of putting such titanic quantities of mass up into the air, floating around with no solid structure to support it, wholly dependent on the maintenance of an electrical current... is very difficult for many humans to accept. For the first many years, many predict catastrophe and doomsday of the first Helix Elevator, year after year.

    But, defying all human intuition and doomsayers, the Helix Elevator keeps standing.

    And with the low cost of entry, a competition market emerges. A golden age of space. Over the next century, helix elevators grow ever more numerous, vast, and efficient. Besides being excellent transport into space, they become a competitor to the skyscraper itself, as a new, major model of architecture. The advantages to having a building that does not require full structural support are enormous... and while most people prefer to live on the outside, where there is gravity, some humans spend increasing amounts of time on the inner side of the structure, where gravity itself gradually tapers off into Mars gravity, then Moon gravity, then nothing at all.

    Image


  • STEP E) Of course... humans are not the only species to exploit dark current.

    One of the major components of X'lanthos biomodification is to outfit some of their creations to smell, powerfully desire, consume, and metabolize dark matter. This behavior is displayed in particular by the Hive Dogs of the Bioformers, who ravenously hunt down and gorge themselves upon any dark matter they can find, with their omnivorous digestive systems - an extremely powerful desire, and one of the only situations in which they are known to frequently fight one another. This is a major cause for conflict between the Bioformed and the Salvagers, both of whom desire dark matter for their own puposes.

    Having consumed this dark matter, it is rapidly metabolized and rebuilt in the spine and ribs of the Lanthoformer. At will, the Hive Dog can then run biocurrent through this biotic wiring, and generate a field strong enough to remove most of its own body weight and fly with its primitive wings. Though perhaps the more accurate word would be levitate.

    Sometimes, the Hive Dogs will simply float silently in the sky... until suddenly turning off the biotic dark current that courses through their bones, and swooping down upon their prey. If it has sufficient dark matter, it can also lift burdens many times heavier than itself, if only they can be brought up close to the field generated by the creatures ribcage and spine, by being held by its talons or placed on its back.

  • STEP F) This is a double edged sword, however. Humans, Salvagers, and even X'lanthos have learned of the great value of the bodymass of these creatures, and much effort is spent to hunt down and kill the largest of these alien pack animals, to strip them of their flesh, and to harvest the treasured freaker-bones for the invaluable ores that can be extracted from within.

    Image

    It is too bad for these would-be hunters that the more dark matter the Hive Dog consumes, the larger and more agile they quickly become, and the more dominant they will be in Hive Dog hierarchy. And as they grow in size and status, they grow in brain mass, experience, and cunning, and gain ever more prowess at commanding the Bioformed monstrosities of the Neverlands...


  • STEP G) (WARNING) the technical explanation : the "dark" equivalent of the electron acts like the light electron, except that it does not get captured by light protons, or orbit light atoms. Because dark electrons have increased zero point energy when in conjunction with light protons, they can only orbit atomic nuclei with a similar degree of enrichment. Zero point energy arises from the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, which states that momentum and position cannot simultaneously be known (this is the reason that electrons don't ever touch protons, but merely orbit them in weird probabilistic wave patterns). Dark electrons cannot ever get close enough to a light proton to become captive in an orbital, though they are otherwise affected my EM normally (are repelled from one another, and so on).

    Dark electrons are happy enough to be stored in batteries of dark matter, and to float around light matter, outside of light atomic orbitals, in light copper wires, and such. Though they will tend to return to the only atoms they can orbit around: dark matter nuclei. Light electrons, conversely, are capable of binding very weakly to dark nuclei, but are rapidly replaced by the much more stable and exothermic return of dark electrons when opportunity arises/

    It is possible for a dark battery to become essentially depleted of all of its dark electrons, particularly if it is used to charge a large circuit (which will hold many of them). If this happens, the battery will need to be recharged over a long period of time, as ambient dark electrons find their way back to the dark matter within it, evicting light electrons.


This is just a basic suggestion for what I think Matt would like. My main attraction to it is actually the helical space elevators. ^_^ To say nothing of them having a gradually reducing gravity field, increasing towards their core. I think they could be a very visually distinctive trademark of the Dark Potential universe. I've never seen any science fiction universe use helical elevators before, it's pretty unique and striking.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:44 am 
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On discussing this idea with Matt, Matt mentioned to me his intriguing idea of having a large planet with smaller gravity. It's a pretty innovative and bold concept, I don't think I've seen it in scifi before. Another iconic trademark!

Here’s how the above Dark Matter mechanic could make that happen, in an interesting way.

Suppose the large planet gets bombed with bioformers, whose roots dig deep down over hundreds of years.
Suppose the planet has tectonic activity, and the roots dig to use geothermals as an fuel source, and to mine Dark Matter in the planetary core.
Suppose the bioformer roots merge and mesh deep under the soil, and create a coil band around the planetary core. Freighting DM up to the surface.
Suppose the bioformers run a powerful dark current through this coil band. Geological scale.

Suddenly, the whole planet has a new antigravity field. Like a geomagnet.

Image

And here’s the interesting thing: the antigravity field is gradient.
So, near the equator, gravity is closer to normal for the huge planet.
But, near the poles, gravity is closer to zero.
And everywhere between, it’s a gradual transition...

A landscape of gravity zones, on the same planet. Different rock formations. Different life forms. Different structural architectures. Etc.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:51 am 
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Now we're getting somewhere...

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Ok, Dark Matter can't manipulate mass.

Just to give an example: If your particles suddenly lost all their mass, you could accelerate to the speed of light with an infinitesimal amount of energy. Further, you wouldn't get crushed by the acceleration since nothing in your body has any inertia. You would stop as soon as you stopped pushing off of anything since you'd also have no momentum. Well, now that I think about it, you could glue yourself to a bullet with magnets, have the bullet shot (by something with mass, i.e. not yourself), and then be dragged along by the bullet. It would have to be a big bullet to have enough momentum to overcome the larger air drag caused by your body.

That said, I'm pretty sure you'd be very not alive if you have no mass. For one, I think all the electrons in your atoms will collapse into the nuclei (since by having no mass they would have no energy) causing a weird sort of electron capture where the neutrino emitted has zero energy (and therefore zero momentum) and no photons are emitted, since the atom will contain no energy. Basically, without the inertia to continue circling the atom the electromagnetic attraction will probably pull it in. We can't know for sure what would happen with a "lighter" electron, since all electrons have 1 electron mass and things like Plank's constant depend on that. Needless to say, with all your magnetic particles decaying into neutrons and neutrinos you'd have nothing left that can form atoms.

But even if I'm wrong, and your atoms and magnetic subatomic particles survive, I'm pretty sure the air pressure would crush your body since the molecules of your body fluids would have zero momentum (zero energy to be technical), they can't push away the air.

For purposes of plot, not eliminating mass would preserve a trade-off between size and agility. Without mass, you'd have giant Salvager tanks able to dodge bullets like an Agent in the Matrix. Without mass, there is no advantage to being small; you'd just want to carry more ammunition and energy to power your equipment.

I guess the way I've been envisioning dark matter operating in this universe would be through a sort of meta-gravity that affects gravitons (which are at this point made up particles). You can bind the DM into atomic nuclei through one of the nuclear forces (strong or weak) and then use this matter to drag around gravitons, lowering or strengthening gravity. Spinning DM infused matter around in one direction increases gravity on one side of the rotation and reduces it on the other by either dragging the opposite the motion of the gravitons to slow them down or kinda giving them an assist by spinning in the same direction.

Even though dark matter would be able to reduce gravitation, the inertial properties of mass would remain and your electrons will keep spinning, your body doesn't collapse under air pressure, etc.

Because the dark matter has to be spun so fast, the frictional drag caused even by the most efficient gyros will demand a plot convenient amount of energy (as well as being vulnerable to plot convenient over heating). More dark matter on the gyro will make it more efficient: the spinning of the dark matter is energy neutral since it increases gravity in some areas while reducing it in others and the only energy expended is due to friction loss of the normal matter.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 2:05 am 
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Holy crap - General Disarray, were we by chance having the same thought at the same time, or did you write that long post within a few minutes as a response to my long anti-mass-reduction post?

At any rate, I also feel that dark matter reducing mass creates a lot of peculiar problems. While simply fielding graviton transparency is comparatively sweet and neat.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 3:57 am 
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Now we're getting somewhere...

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I had seen it earlier in the other post you had made. I remember that before I saw it I was hoping that DM wasn't limited to magnifying gravity since most of the interesting martial applications (I was thinking about) would need anti-gravity. One of the earlier things I had been thinking about was the effect on inertia, which I wanted to avoid for the problems I outlined here (giant tanks with bullet dodging agility). I'm pretty sure I was thinking about just a spinning fly-wheel like thing that would be infused with DM before I saw the post. I think the idea that they are in the nuclei of the atoms rather than bound to electrons comes out of something Matt said in a video; I'm not sure, infusion may be your doing.

I don't think I read your post that closely on my first view, I vaguely remembered something about X'lanthos eating the DM and I saw the elevator. I think I was thinking about how the space elevators would be more easily done with anti-grav, making space flight economical.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:12 am 
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Okay a good nights sleep and back into action!

Some nice comments that have come in over the night! And I have also thought about a few clarifying points so to speak. But first I gotta say "damn you" to trooogdooor for making a nicely built up post! :D
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So getting started.

A problem with your idea troogdooor is that electrons are elementary particles, not made up of anything else, hence it will be hard to "enrich" them since in order to do that you would need an underlying structure of the electron!

It will however be possible to say that stuff can be put in to say protons and neutrons, since its not so crazy to claim that DM can be attached though the strong nuclear force ! Since the dark particles would not care about EM then there should be nothing preventing that from happening.

I did think of your idea initially, but discarded it due to this problem sadly. (Actually I was just lazy since I figured it would require too much work to make up a solid foundation where the electron was not an elementary particle!)

In case Matt likes your idea then it could be implemented by saying that a certain form of dark particle will have a sort of dark charge, which is then further linked to dark energy levels etc... I will have to think further on this but that would be the general gist of it.

But onwards!
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I figured I would try to sum up my entire idea and then take it from there! Also this will make it easier to see where adjustments can be made to field the ideas Matt wants/needs to implement. And perhaps allow people to come with suggestions without reading my silly long post!

1. Normal matter is made up of everything we know today etc.

2. The fundamental forces each have a gauge boson to mediate the force. (This is required in order to be able to manipulate these.)

3. Dark matter is broad generalization of several different dark particles. They are dark because they don't interact with the EM force (Some only very weakly!)

4. We will need a Dark boson, which can interact with the strong/weak nuclear force (This was one of the major shortcomings of my previous idea, gravity alone could never explain why dark particles would stick to ordinary matter!) This dark boson is responsible for the ability to infuse normal matter with dark particles!
The basic way to think about this that it essentially just allows us to think of protons and neutrons etc. as a sub atomic dark particle trap!
(The reason this is required because of the whole fermions cannot occupy the same space etc. )

5. Dark particles interact strongly with gravitons, like normal matter interact strongly with photons! Hence dark matter is essential in gravity manipulation! Just like normal matter is essential in EM manipulation!

6. Dark particles each have different positive energy levels which can be altered between by gravitons! These energy levels have the property that they increase the effective rest mass of the dark particle. Space-time distortions affect these energy levels however, and can also cause the dark particles to decay again.

7. Dark particles also have different negative energy levels which are influenced by tachyons. These themselves have the property that they can create warp bubbles allowing FTL travel of anything from individual particles to entire ships! (General relativity shows us that you need something with a negative energy density in order to create FTL properties in space-time)

8. Dark energy is a sort of potential energy background which is responsible for the creation and maintenance of space-time. It has the feature that it always expands and flattens space-time in the process.

9. Now dark energy can be achieved in two ways. The first is to create big bang conditions which is not realistic for practical applications. Or use a quantum effect where if you have equal amounts of positive and negative energy then the universe cannot destroy it but instead converts it into dark energy!

----------------------------------------------------------------------
That is essentially my entire setup cooked down. What we get of features is the following.

It allows for full fundamental force manipulation. The most basic way to do this is gauge boson manipulation where you can influence the power of the force directly! There might also be a dark energy way to do this but I will return to that below.

We also have a scientific reasonable explanation for FTL travel. It does require dark particles to be present in large amounts. Hence we have a highway structure.

And we have two approaches for anti gravity! Graviton manipulation and dark energy use. The difference is that the dark energy would only be used by a far more technologically advanced race.

With dark matter infusion we have a reasonable explanation why humans are able to mine dark matter! With dark energy we have a way why advanced aliens might be able to do it much more effectively, and without the use of infusion first.

----------------------------------------------------------------------
Now to what I would like to hear some input on! (From Matt as well!)

Do you want to be able to have solid dark matter or just dark matter that behaves like a fluid?
In the above setup then pure dark matter would behave much like a fluid, since there is no dark charge or a property like fermions. (No two identical particles can occupy the same space.) However we can do it if you want to be able to have pure dark matter blades and weapons for example etc.

Do you like the whole dark (potential) energy as this type of mysterious fundamental energy background in the universe? The way I envision further development of it is that advanced aliens might be able to use it to control the fundamental forces even further hence doing everything humans can do with gauge boson manipulation, just in a much more refined and pure sense!
I also think that it adds nicely to the name of the game when the most extreme science is the use of universes most basic property to manipulate things around us.
But I would love to hear alternatives to this from others!

Any other comments are of course also welcome!

Until next time, have a great sunday!


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:35 am 
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@The General: Fair enough. Interesting that we appear to be in sync.

@Aiyen: You're a ride to read, Aiyen. ;-) I must correct you though, electrons can indeed be enriched with (known) bosons. To say nothing of unknown bosons and boson-like particles that we make up.

Image

Electrons absorb photons with regularity. This property of electrons (and all other leptons) does not require us to remove from the electron its elementary particle status. Unless we really want to.

If your caveat had not had a straightforward solution, though, dark particles are also apt to be different from known bosons. We can give them exactly the properties we want, this is Science Fiction. 8) F... the police! Luckily, boson absorption and emission by leptons is humdrum standard fare already, has been since Einsteins day (he got his Nobel Prize for work in the photo-electric effect in the 20's).

*
Minus your caveat, I like the rest of your ideas, though! Can you think of an application that could fit the world or game? Like, a game mechanic or something.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 8:37 am 
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@ Aiyen - If I'm understanding you correctly, the dark particle trap "infusion" method will end up being more like dark matter farming than it will mining? I ask because it will have an impact on the militarization of dark matter usage. If it is actually locationally locked in the way a mine shaft would require, then the groups present in Dark Potential's history and present are going to be very concerned with place and the ability to control and defend places. The direct and important result of that is that dark matter is going to be something that militaries will limit the use of because it has to come from a specific location and be moved around by a supply system vulnerable to disruption or sabotage. If, however, it is a process which can be performed in any location so long as you have the proper equipment and chemical compounds (I am assuming that some chemistry is going to come into play here for production of useful amounts) then this is a horse of a different color. In this situation, dark matter could and would be much more widespread since military technologies which are fuelled or powered by dark matter or its interactive properties would not be nearly so vulnerable to being crippled by loosing their supply.

@ trooogdooor, General_Dis, I think your arguments about mass reduction versus gravitron transparency as far as an effective, hard-science setup goes are pretty clear. Assuming a relative similarity between the properties of electromagnetic and antigravity fields, should it not be possible to increase the probability of gravitron interaction with a dark-particle generated field also?

In-game effects of gravitron opacity (assuming you can adjust the probability of interaction both ways) include:

1. increasing movement through rough terrain (agility goes up as muscles have less gravity to fight)

2. Allowing "levitation" instead of having to climb.

3. Field-generating devices like grenades or land mines - 2 varieties here, one which renders the area around it less affected by gravity and one which increases the effect of gravity. The first creates a knockdown effect as the sudden change in gravity's impact on their bodies means that troops' muscle memory is effectively useless and they go crashing into walls, trip and go flying, etc. The second creates a "pinning" effect and limits the troops' ability to fight as they and their weapons are suddenly affected by every gravitron which passes through them, rather than just a percentage.

4. Possible bullet "shields" which operate by projecting a strong field of gravitational opacity in front of the device itself - This will not stop bullets as if they had hit something solid but it would change the trajectory of the round as it passed through the field. A miss is as good as a mile, after all.


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