I have been mulling over the science behind a desktop role playing game (RPG) called Traveller. It is more of a hard science game, unlike Star Wars or Star Trek. My primary musings have been over gravitic drives. My thoughts begin as below:
Gravity is created by mass. Mass is a property given to matter by the Higgs boson. Bosons are subatomic particles
that impart the principle forces defined in physics. Photons, gluons, W bosons, Z bosons, and Higgs bosons have all been discovered. We are still searching for gravitons, which I am not sure exist. Bosons, being similar to photons, should have a wavelength associate with them.
A Higgs boson would be used in gravity nullification, repulsion, and manipulation as mass is directly related to gravity. I imagine components of the machinery for gavitic drives would include Higgs emulators, boson phase adjusters, attenuators, boson wave guides, and Higgs emitters.
The other things I have contemplated are the nature of the jump drive, which allows interstellar travel. A jump one drive allows a one parsec jump. A jump two drive allows a jump of two parsecs maximum, and so on. A jump takes a week to travel regardless of the distance jumped. There is no explanation as to why. The rule books describe the jump drives as creating a tiny universe the size of the ship's hull. The jump bubble is kept inflated by liquid hydrogen. When the hydrogen boils off or the flight path of the craft takes it within 100 diameters of a large mass, the jump field bubble will collapse and the ship will re-enter normal space. This jump field is provided by a lanthanum grid covering the ship's hull. This is a worrisome problem as damage to the hull would certainly cause issues with jump in that sufficient damage to the hull grid would prevent jumping or worse, a mis-jump.
However, the physics behind a jump sound a bit like supercavitation to me. There are guns that shoot underwater
and 230mph torpedoes
. These weapons make use of a principle called "supercavitation"
. Supercavitation occurs when the object traveling through a medium causes a phase change of the medium that encompasses the object. If traveling through water, there is a pocket of air or water vapor that encompasses the object so that, in essence, it is traveling through air and not water. It is not possible to use supercavitation in air or in vacuum because there is no phase change of the medium. However, this is hard science fiction and we need something scientifically plausible behind the jump drives. I propose that the jump bubble is a subspace
phase change created by subspace supercavitation. The devices involved are the subspace supercavitator generators and the cavitation emitters, which are provided by the lanthanum grid on the hull. Defects in the purity of the hydrogen affect the bubble as would a child with soap bubbles. A bad soap solution makes for a short-lived bubble.