Re: [gundam] More Turn-A Info in May Newtype

Prabal Nandy (nandy@U.Arizona.EDU)
Sat, 10 Apr 1999 23:26:10 -0700 (MST)

> has been around since the 1800s, so I see no reason to think that it would
> limit anyone's ability to manufacture semiconductor products by too much. It

  Without computers? Yes, it would certainly limit people's abilities to
produced semiconductor chips, unless all you wanted was say one or two
1"-wide squares a week.

> FET like effect using the technology of that era. Besides, Photovoltaic
> technology isn't as difficult to produce as many may think. They're not

  If that was true then everything today would be powered by PVs!
Remember, that the first solar cells were developed in the mid 1950s,
using diffused Si p-n junctions (Chapin, Fuller, and Pearson). These
dopants must be controlled _carefully_.

> expensive to produce these days, and if they're in full manufacture at the
> time of Turn A, they shouldn't be all that expensive to produce there,

  Not expensive... _given_ a high-enough technological power base, which
would have had to have been at least at the US 1960s level to support the
level of vapor-deposition technology and processing needed to produce
reliable cells. There are very good reasons why every poor energy-starved
third-world country in this world have not turned to "cheap, limitless
solar power" to provide their needs (Nor have the massive industrialized
nations), and that is simply because solar cells are too inefficient, and
too difficult to produce to be a useful source of energy on any large
  Now, from what we've heard and seen the society of Turn-A does _not_
have anything near a US 1960's tech base. So where the hell are they
getting their PVs from? Relics? Funky Nanotech factories?

> controlled, with wanted technology maintained while other technology was
> discarded. And, as a finale point, this is anime, not real life. If the

  It would be convenient. But the fact remains that you cannot produce any
one technology without others. Everything is interrelated, for example,
just because the theory to produce holograms was derived way back in the
late 1800's doesn't mean that they could have _made_ the darned things
until now. So there is a fundamental 'disconnect' in the tech-level of
Turn-A. If you have solar cells you need vapor-deposition technologies. If
you need that, you need extreemely well controlled digital computer
technology and extreemely carefully purified chemicals, which in turn
require their _own_ technological base. Work the process back and you'll
soon see that such technology cannot be supported by a 1910-level tech

> Photovoltaic Cells powering peasant homes isn't all that over the top. While
> you seem to only want to nit-pick, I just want to watch the show.

   If the 'background' of the show claims one thing, and then shows
another, I think it's significant, especially if it is _not_ an oversight.
My point in this argument has been that solar cells simply do not make
sense in a culture that's barely at the 1900's level of technology in
other regards, unless there are some sorts of unmanned, automated
factories cranking these things out. (Or that they are all strange relics
that have been working for 2000 years, highly unlikely!) If there _are_
automated factories producing these things for 2000 years then that is a
significant bit of as yet unmentioned background material. If on the other
hand, this future culture somehow magically knows how to make complex
semiconductor technologies yet lacks the ability to produce anything more
complex than a biplane, then there is a problem with the show!

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