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Thread: What You Could Do With Perfect Mirrors?

  1. #1 What You Could Do With Perfect Mirrors? 
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    We don't have anything to my knowledge like perfect mirrors. All the mirrors we have absorb some of the light that hits them.

    What if you had mirrors that reflected all light 100%?

    Apply it to space travel.

    From what I have read, you have to shoot the beam from a another location to the light sail. Putting the laser emitter on the ship cancels out the momentum, since it's part of the ship anyway. A counter force for everything.

    Anyway, the sci-fi route here would be to have a perfect mirror that also amplifies the radiation pressure by a HUGE amount.

    Which means those light sails aren't so slow at accelerating anymore. Now they are like rockets.

    The only issue is of course, beaming from far away distances, since over distance, the laser will degrade.

    Again the solution would be another sci-fi one. Using a gravity beam focused laser could do the trick, since we all know gravity can effect light.


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  3. #2  
    Forum Professor astromark's Avatar
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    In the world of science FICTION you can have whatever you like. While the reality is that even with your perfect mirror the answer is NO...


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    In the world of science FICTION you can have whatever you like. While the reality is that even with your perfect mirror the answer is NO...
    Very well, I'm gonna go full hog on this then.

    Forget perfect mirrors, normal ones will do just fine.

    Introducing hyperlight: Faster than light light. When it hits a mirror, it turns back into normal light as it's reflected.

    Hyperlight pushes mirrors with the thrust of rockets.

    So now you can lift spaceships into orbit with lasers.

    Parabolic mirrors would be at the base, and lasers would send them into orbit.

    Great for deep space missions too.

    Say you got a hyperlaser that goes 1 LY per hour.

    No it won't let the spaceship go that fast, but it will give the spaceship thrust fast. For cheap, because light is cheap.

    And if a laser is that fast, it won't diffract as quickly over the vast distances. Since your ship won't be going anywhere a light year away anytime soon.

    This is great for sub-light travel.
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    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    Please select the response from the numbered options below that you find most pleasing;

    1. What could you do with perfect mirrors? I'll need to reflect on that.

    2. Nothing travels faster than light, so if you introduce hyperlight in good SF you need a rationale for its existence.

    3. As you already noted you don't need hyperlight to power a craft by remote laser power. See, for example, The Mote in God's Eye.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
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    Since it is a fantasy scenario...

    If you were getting a thrust force from the laser then all the mirror should do is redirect it, sort of like thrust vectoring on a fighter jet.
    Not sure how you could explain a mirror increasing the thrust from the laser beam and it likely would not matter to the fantasy.
    It would be easier to have a stronger laser beam.

    Phlebotinum is always amusing if you stop to think about it.

    Maybe you should consider ion drives instead. They are tried tested and true.

    NASA - Ion Propulsion

    Dawn Mission: Mission > Ion Propulsion
    Last edited by dan hunter; February 15th, 2014 at 12:12 PM.
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    Genius Duck Dywyddyr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    Not sure how you could explain a mirror increasing the thrust from the laser beam and it likely would not matter to the fantasy.
    Add rabbits.
    (Well, we are into seriously non-science fantasy here, so rabbits are the obvious solution).
    "[Dywyddyr] makes a grumpy bastard like me seem like a happy go lucky scamp" - PhDemon
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  8. #7  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dywyddyr View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by dan hunter View Post
    Not sure how you could explain a mirror increasing the thrust from the laser beam and it likely would not matter to the fantasy.
    Add rabbits.
    (Well, we are into seriously non-science fantasy here, so rabbits are the obvious solution).
    Damn!
    It seems so obvious when you explain it that way Dywyddyr.
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  9. #8  
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    [QUOTE=John Galt;526090]Please select the response from the numbered options below that you find most pleasing;

    1. What could you do with perfect mirrors? I'll need to reflect on that.

    2. Nothing travels faster than light, so if you introduce hyperlight in good SF you need a rationale for its existence.

    What would you do with perfect mirrors? If we had them? How could we use them? For space travel? The economy?

    I could think of several uses.

    Computers: Might go a lot faster at processing than what we are used to.

    Laser armor: Lasers would be useless against perfect mirrors, you could also make some really powerful lasers too.
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  10. #9  
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    I digress, this is how one almost has to view REAL science to do anything entertaining with science fiction LOL :
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