Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Mon, 13 Nov 2000 17:02:02 -0800


Lim Jyue writes,

> So, where does the energy comes from? From the ... uhm, what's that
>technical term? .. movement of the electrons in the particles when moving
>from a more excited to less excited state?

  Inside a nuclear reactor, electrons are quickly stripped off the atomic
nuclei. (This state, where atoms are ionized into positive nuclei and
free-floating electrons, is commonly referred to as plasma.) The energy
released in the helium 3-deuterium reaction comes from a change in the
mass of the two nuclei - the final helium and hydrogen nuclei weigh
slightly less than the initial reactants, and the difference is converted
into energy.

> So as we compact the Minovsky particles in an I-field, they get
>heavier?

  Absolutely. As the essays in Gundam The Movies point out, this same
principle is expoited in the muon-catalyzed fusion investigated by real-
world scientists.

>Assuming a fixed particle size, that means each Minovsky particle
>is becoming denser.. which could explain why an I-field barrier could
>deflect mega-particles, by deflection via gravitronics! =)

  Uh, dunno about that. We're not talking black hole density here. :-)

> 1. This means that Minovsky particles can be detected via magnetism.

  Sure, but you can also detect them by seeing whether your radar works.
It's easy to detect their presence, but hard to tell what they're being
used to conceal.

> 3. It's really bad for MS to fight too near Earth's atmosphere --
>was it called the Van Allen's Belt? -- since the area is high in magnetism.
>Same goes for the Auroras (sp?), I think.

  Huh! Maybe so. :-)

> One thing though -- won't Earth's magnetism screw with any I-field?

  It'll distort it, sure, but I guess you can overcome that by generating
your own, more powerful, magnetic field. (Otherwise cathode ray tubes
wouldn't work, eh?)

> But you do start a car from a battery. The starter motor runs off
>your car battery, right? =)

  Exactly. So this is a valid principle.

> One thing though -- the density of an I-field within a
>Minovsky-Ionesco reactor has to be kept purposely low, because it may be
>possible that a rogue plasma particle could collide into the field and
>trigger a mega-particle release if the density is too high.

  Yep. And since the particles inside E-caps are compressed just short of
mega-particle fusion, these devices are presumably _extremely_ volatile -
you'll notice the huge blast whenever anyone slices into a beam rifle or
E-pack.

> Yes, but to store the Minovsky particles and plasma for both beam
>sabers and beam shields (where previously the main concern was only the
>sabers) meant that older reactors might be inefficient for it.

  Yeah, probably so. Incidentally, I note that this energy shortage seems
to end up _discouraging_ the use of beam shields in the G-Saviour era;
the technical info on the Bugu (deployed circa UC 0221) says that its
designers decided to eliminate almost all beam weapons to reduce the
drain on its energy supply, and as a result it has three times the combat
operating time of its predecessors. Lo and behold, it carries a physical
shield rather than a beam shield.

  Moving a little further ahead (okay, a _lot_ further ahead!), you'll
note the absence of beam shields in Gundam X (perhaps a followup to the
UC saga) and Turn A Gundam. In fact, the Turn A itself carries a physical
shield that also generates a powerful I-field barrier. This two-in-one
protective device thus provides the physical defenses of a beam shield,
wwith much higher resistance to beam weapons. Weapons of the Turn A's
generation, with their self-repairing nanoskin and body-enveloping I-
field envelopes, may well have evolved beyond the point where energy-
guzzling beam shields would be of much benefit...

-- Mark

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Mark Simmons / scorpio@best.com / http://www.gundamproject.com/
"If you can kill it, it's not a god, just a good old-fashioned monster."

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