-Z- (Z@Gundam.Com)
Thu, 11 May 2000 20:07:06 -0700


At 09:16 5/11/2000, you wrote:
>I can try and comment on 1 and 2 but I'm not sure about 3
>1. I assume that trees would grow straight up since there is no wind
>inside a colony. The atmosphere would be moving in the same direction and
>speed as the inside of the colony so anyone or thing would feel that there
>is no wind.

That would be true if we were talking about a space station or the smaller
volume of a Bernal sphere or a compartmentalized Stanford torus. But an
O'Neill cylinder [a] has a significant surface area to absorb sunlight on
one side and radiate heat on another, [b] doesn't rotate in a way that
distributes heat but rather in a way that concentrates it at one end, [c]
an vast volume of fluid (atmosphere) and [d] rotates that mass of fluid at
right angles to the heat vector along the axis.

As the fluid heats, it expands and moves toward the opposite end, where it
cools. The resulting circulation will stabilize into prevailing winds.

Ever see a "tornado lamp"? They were quite the rage a few years back, the
90s answer to the lava lamp of the 60s, which has since displaced
it. That's a good approximation of the prevailing wind pattern in an
O'Neill cylinder. The incidental heating from the mirrors, which I
discounted in my earlier analyses, will also contribute some directional
vectors, but as yet I haven't been able to determine what the net result
will be.

-Z-

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