Monday, April 4, 2011




The blog and its supplements are all concerned with human interstellar spaceflight. Such spaceflight is needed in order to preserve humanity by escape from an impending terrestrial cataclysmic war. Establishment of human self-sustaining settlements on planets other than Earth is believed to be imperative. A concept was outlined, in which a flotilla of spaceships would carry humans, at speeds faster than light, to a habitable extrasolar planet. The concept outlined in the blog contains many unproven hypotheses. The concept uses antimatter. But, it was posted in an attempt to start people thinking about how to escape from Earth. It is not known if antimatter will do all that the blog ascribed to it; if something else will do a better job, we should adopt it. IT IS MY HOPE THESE DOCUMENTS WILL HELP STIMULATE DISCUSSION ABOUT HOW HUMANITY CAN REACH ANOTHER PLANET AND LIVE THERE.

Interstellar distances are huge. Travel from Earth to a star other than the Sun at speeds significantly slower than the speed of light would require so much time as to be valueless for re - supply against unanticipated needs.

To reach any other habitable planet in a reasonable amount of time for those left behind on Earth will likely require speed greater than the speed of light. The speed of light is still far, far greater than any speed we have yet achieved. But, given the reality of the oncoming disaster (see CRITICISMS below), this means it is not too early to begin exploration of any possible ways of surpassing the speed of light, which has hitherto been regarded as an upper limit to speed. Conflict with relativity is avoided in the blog by increasing the speed of light in and around the spaceship. This increase in the speed of light would result from immersing the spaceship and surrounding space – time in an anti - gravitational field.


Objections have been raised to the idea of faster-than – light travel. Some of these objections are based on the fact that the theory of relativity forbids travel at superluminal speed. Indeed, it does forbid such travel. Relativity is known to be correct. But this prohibition assumes that the speed of light is a universal constant. This latter assumption is based on many measurements and observations. But all of these measurements and observations were conducted from well within the gravitational field of the Sun. Conflict with relativity is avoided here by locally increasing the speed of light.

Another objection questions the reality of the alleged upcoming disaster. In AUTHORS NOTE, I said that increasing weapons proliferation and human overpopulation will bring on a war that would at least destroy civilization, if not destroy all life itself. The objectors to this say that both problems can be solved, at much lower costs than would the space missions cost. I agree that both of the problems can be solved. Their solution would indeed
be enormously cheaper than the space flotilla. Unfortunately, more than two years have now passed since the original blog was posted, and I have not yet seen a single sign of either solution being undertaken. In fact, the problems appear to actually be worsening.


Most interstellar space is regarded as empty space.“ Empty” space
is filled with (actually, it consists of) gravitational fields.

{A brief digression here: Space – time and gravity are seen to be two different aspects of the same fundamental quantity; you can’t have one without the other. The existence of gravity means that space - time also exists. But we know there is yet another relevant quantity, light/matter, that also exists. All three are different facets of the same quantity; the existence of one (e.g., gravity) means that all three exist. Those fields generate and distort the curvature of space - time.

An hypothesis advanced in the blog is that gravity - induced tightening of curvature may significantly slow light down from the speed it has at locations far from any stars.

Another of the hypotheses advanced in the blog is that antigravity fields exist. It is believed they are fields that cause space – time to curve, just as gravity fields do, but to curve in the opposite sense from gravity. If gravity fields slow light down, antigravity fields may actually increase the speed of light. Relativity was developed before antimatter was detected by particle physicists using accelerators. Positrons, which have been long known as a radioactivity emission, are another form of antimatter.

The present concept makes use of antimatter, not only to power hypothetical gamma-ray rockets, but also to provide sources of a antigravity field. Antigravity is also hypothetical. Although it has not yet been shown to actually exist, antigravity is believed to exist as a curve the continuum of space- time points oppositely to the sense of the curvature caused by gravity. Therefore, it may act so as to increase the speed of any light passing through a region. IF THE SPEED OF LIGHT IS INCREASED in a given region, SUPERLUMINAL TRAVEL THROUGH SUCH A REGION MAY BE POSSIBLE. In other words, the prohibition is avoided, by increasing the speed of light, in the immediate environment of the spaceship.

To reach any other habitable planet in a reasonable amount of time for those left behind on Earth will likely require speed greater than the speed of light. Although the speed of light is still far, far greater than any speed we have yet achieved, the oncoming disaster means it is not too early to begin exploration of any possible ways of surpassing it.

For a “reasonable amount of time” we have adopted a duration of one human generation. The first wave of settlers will of necessity be few in number, and will have a human gene pool small compared with that we now have on Earth. If any Earth dwellers are still alive and desire to join the settlers, much of a generation will be needed to construct their spaceships and train their personnel. More settlers will probably be wanted, This assumes that the first settlers have sent back a message, likely asking for resupply against unanticipated needs, as well as for help. Such messages will require faster than light speed, possibly carried by robots.

Fundamental to the development of the concept is the idea that the medium controls the speed of light passing through it. In the present situation, the medium is interstellar space. The curvature of this space is given by the vector sum of the gravity fields due to all the distant masses, such as stars. This means that the speed of light may NOT be a universal constant; it only has the currently measured value everywhere in the neighborhood of the solar system. However, it may have other values elsewhere. The reason that the speed of light has the numerical value we measure, is largely that the Sun has the numerical amount of mass that it has.

IT IS THE NET FIELD OF GRAVITY VECTORS AT A GIVEN POINT THAT EXERTS CONTROL OVER THE SPEED OF LIGHT AT THAT POINT. The more intense the gravitational field, the slower the speed of such light. A corollary of this would be that the more intense the antigravity field, the faster the speed of such light. Although we have never knowingly observed it, antigravity is believed to be commonplace. Just as mass gives rise to gravity, antimatter gives rise to antigravity. Antigravity is expected to be a repulsive, inverse – square curvature of the continuum. Such continuum curvature is what seems to us to be a “repulsive force.”

For the concept, the faster the speed of light in its environment, the faster a spaceships may move.


Time dilation amounts to travel into the future. Option B describes a possible way to avoid what could be called the “relativity barrier.’ The relativity barrier occurs at speeds that approach the speed of light. The relativity barrier causes profound changes in moving masses, including among other things, increase in mass and a slowing of the passage of time. Gravity and speeds close to luminar are the only known circumstances affecting the passage of time

Aside from Earth, there is no human-habitable planet orbiting about our star, which we call the Sun. However, many extrasolar planets are now known to exist. More are being added to the list all the time. Some of them may possibly be human - habitable. The blog and its supplements describe a concept for travel to a hypothetical habitable extrasolar planet, within a time of one human generation. This concept is called Option B in the following discussion.


Superluminal spaceships may use the rocket principle for propulsion. In this principle, exhaust gas is vented out through a port in the rear of the spaceship and the spaceship recoils in the opposite or forward direction . The maximum speed of the spaceship is limited to the speed of the exhaust gas. We here suggest that the exhaust “gas” be light itself. We suggest that the gamma radiation wavelength band be the kind of light used. The mutual annihilation of matter and antimatter gives rise to unique gamma ray wavelengths. These gammas come out isotropically, with most of these gamma quanta causing the spaceship to recoil, in reponse to the other gammas, which come out the port in the back of the spaceship. Such exhaust will move at the local speed of light.


Both options discussed below use the same principle to propel the spaceship. The principle is that of a radiation rocket. A propellant is ejected from the rear of the spaceship and the spaceship recoils in the opposite direction. The recoil speed is limited to the speed of the propellant. The propellant speed, in this interstellar situation, is the speed of light in the space environment. In the interstellar situation the propellant is electromagnetic radiation. The propellant radiation is annihilation gamma radiation. Annihilation is known to be the most efficient process for energy generation and release. The mutual annihilation of matter and antimatter is the energy source. In our spaceship, the annihilation takes place in a reaction chamber, where a large flux of gamma rays is formed when streams of ionized, magnetically guided and focused matter and antimatter fuel collide with each other and disappear. To the maximum feasible extent, propellant gas of gamma ray quanta is ejected. The ejection speed is at the local speed of light, because gamma radiation is high energy light.. This means the spaceship will travel at that same speed, but in the opposite direction

The walls of the reaction chamber will become heated, thereby reducing the efficiency from 100%. This heat will be useful, however; It may be used to power the various subsystems on the spaceship, such as life support.

Steering of the spaceship may be accomplished by notion of the ejection port in the reaction chamber walls.. The reaction chamber’s walls may be modular, in order to facilitate the steering function.


There are at least two optional ways for humanity to escape the coming global disaster on Earth. In Option A, the interstellar flight takes place at a speed slower than light, but close to it. Relativistic time dilation occurs for this spaceship. The travelers do not age seriously; in effect, they emerge at their selected destination in the future of distant Earth. In Option B, they may move faster than light speed, but have ages comparable with those left behind on Earth. They may explore several possible destination planets during their lifetimes.


The first such way is easily the best known of the two options. Travel to a hopefully habitable extrasolar planet at speeds less than, but close to, the speed of light. If the planet is not habitable as hoped, the escapees could choose to return to Earth. If sufficient time on Earth may have elapsed for radioactive fallout from the stratosphere to have become negligible , Earth may have become habitable once more. Civilization could start to be rebuilt by the returnees.


As noted in the original AUTHOR NOTE, this second option is unstudied and relies upon antimatter, which is a barely known substance. It also speculates that antigravity fields exist outside the solar system. It also speculates that its sources are particles of antimatter, and that the speed of light is greater in antigravity fields. Because their spaceship would travel faster than the speed of light, they could achieve greater distances, for a given amount of rocket fuel. The Option B escapees would have therefore available a greater number of possible destinations than available under Option A, but will likely not have sufficient fuel be able to return to Earth.


It is speculated that antimatter causes antigravity fields around itself. If antigravity actually does exist, it is repulsive in character, but otherwise similar to gravity. It is expected to resemble gravity, which has an inverse-square dependence on distance. Its repulsive nature make it unlikely to permit the formation of extended objects, such as antistars, antiplanets, or antigalaxies. Therefore, we should not expect to detect such objects, save by the annihilation gamma radiation emitted wherever they touch matter atoms.

One way was outlined in the previous documents. It is reviewed briefly below. The other way is to take advantage of the dilation that relativity theory has shown us exists as one approaches the speed of light.

We previously noted that gravity curvature slows down the passage of time. It may be said to dilate duration of units of time. Conversely, a particle of antimatter may be said to contract the passage of time. That is, the duration of time units is decreased; time is “speeded up.” Space travelers in a field of antigravity can expect their lifetimes to be shortened, relative to people left behind on Earth. The travelers, however, would not notice any changes among themselves.


It is suggested that, to avoid the relativity barrier, the travelers should locally increase the speed of light. Such an increase would permit them to travel faster than the barrier would normally allow.
This results from the fact that it is known that light is deflected as it passes nearby large cosmic objects. The deflection may be explained as a retardation of that portion of the light closest to the object, while the more distant light continues onwards at its normal speed. The retardation is caused by the attraction of the light toward the mass. The light is slowed down as it passes closely by the mass. The attraction is the result of the curvature of the local space-time towards the mass. Space-time is the medium for light. In other words, the deflection is caused by gravity. It therefore seems not unreasonable to expect that antigravity, the inverse of gravity, may cause light to accelerate its speed. It is, of course, completely unknown what effect antigravity fields have on human bodies, save for the contraction of time noted above..

In the concept, the spaceship exposes a quantity of antimatter produced in, and carried on board the spaceship. It is speculated that antimatter is a source of (repulsive) antigravity, and that antigravity accelerates light, while gravity decelerates light.


The continuum of points in interstellar space-time is generally smooth. The exceptions to smoothness are at locations in space or time that are found at the presence of matter, antimatter, or, equivalently, by light. Around such locations, the continuum is bent or “warped.” The sense of the curvature may be toward the particle or ray. Alternatively, it may be repulsive. This means that an antibody traveling nearby will be repelled away from the force center (i.e., the center of curvature) Where it is attractive, the curvature is commonly called gravity. Curvature in the opposite sense is herein referred to as antigravity.

It is known that mass deflects the direction of light. It is speculated that the deflection is done by pulling back on the passing light, decelerating it, relative to the remainder of the light, the part of the light exposed to the most intense part of the gravity field. The most notable feature of gravity is its sign: it seems to exist only as an attractive force everywhere.

Antigravity, which we have never encountered, is believed to arise from antimatter. It curves the continuum in the opposite sense from gravity. It is repulsive between anti-masses. On the other hand, antigravity is expected to accelerate light exposed to intense antigravity, thereby increasing its speed. It will therefore oppositely deflect any light passing nearby a hypothetical anti-mass. Such bodies are unlikely to exist, because of the repulsive nature of the curvature or center of “force.” This is because they are not formed as stars are formed, by an attractive force (i.e., gravity), but instead their individual particles remain free. It is unclear as to the relationship, if any, between such antimatter particles and dark matter.