Roland Thigpen (jenius@unspacy.org)
8 Jul 2000 17:51:50 -0000


On Sat, 08 Jul 2000 10:31:44 PDT Henry Bigone <slickwillie1998@hotmail.com> wrote:
>Could you please tell me using BOTH real world and Gundam phisics what would
>be worse? And could I have EVERYBODIES opinion on the matter!
>

Using Gundam Physics, I'd have to say that the Zentreadi bombardment was slightly worse for the human race (they really only targeted major cities for the most part, thus easily killing off most of the human race), while colony drops would be worse overall for the effects on the environment, and taking out those outside of the cities.

In real world physics, I believe that the mass colony drops of X would be far worse. In the Zentreadi bombardment, most of the damage would be caused by the mass disintegration of matter in and around the cities, and its transformation into energy in the form of heat and light. Therefore, little residual mass is left to enter the atmosphere. Although this would still happen to some extent.

In a colony drop however, you do not have disintegration of matter so much as its displacement. Sure, some will be disintegrated at the impact site, but much of the resulting damage would be from the displacement of the soil, rock and other sedentary particles which comprise most of the Earth's surface. This debris enters the atmosphere, completely blocking off sunlight from the world for a period of years, meaning that little plant life survives (as they need sunlight to produce chlorophyll to survive). The death of plant life would kill off much of the plant eating animals that exist today, and their deaths in turn would result in the death of the meat eaters.

This is similar to what scientists think happened to the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. At that time, it is believed an asteroid 6 miles or so (I can't remember the exact size, might have been said to be 25 miles wide) impacted just off the coast of Central America. This impact resulted in the expulsion of so much dirt into the atmosphere that the sun was cut off world wide and temperatures dropped to below freezing for years afterwards. Only the most hardy or wily (meaning the early mammals here) survived this event.

More recently, in the mid to late 1800s, a volcano known as Krakatoa exploded, destroying the upper half of itself above the surface. This explosion was heard thousands of miles away, and released so much dust and dirt that in snowed in July and August of that year in the Southern United States and other areas like that in other parts of the world. Crops failed repeatedly, and people were forced to rely mostly on stored supplies to survive. And that was just from one volcano. And one asteroid in the case of the Dinosaurs.

Now, imagine the results of the impact of several dozen (at least) colonies, as seen in Gundam X. Although hollow for the most part, these cylinders are probably almost as dense and of equivalent or greater as many planet-killer asteroids, meaning that they would displace as much debris as these asteroids. Little of the Earth's surface would be left, and the sun would be blocked out for years.

Which would be worse? Overall, I'd have to say it is almost a toss up, with the Colony drop being slightly more devastating if simply for the fact that it is not over in a mere instant, but that the people would see them coming and know that they are doomed, and the fact that if anyone actually does survive, they would be forced to struggle for years to find something to eat and defend themselves against other survivors.

Then again, I'm not a physicist, so I might be a little off in my thinking here. But I believe what I said is mostly right. It has been about 5 or 6 years since my last, elementary physics course though.

Roland

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