Mark Simmons (
Thu, 30 Nov 2000 09:42:02 -0800

Lim Jyue writes,

> Okay, I think I understand what you are saying now. You mean that a
>Minovsky Craft will extend a pillar of Minovsky particles down towards the
>surface in order to support itself?

  That's the idea. The Minovsky craft system doesn't displace air beneath
the vessel - since air isn't very conductive, it can pass through the I-
field lattice beneath the ship. However, during re-entry, the friction
heat ionizes the air (cutting off radio communications) and the I-field
_does_ repel it, which is why the Minovsky craft system doubles as a heat

>when I originally wrote it, I was wondering how much air I have to displace
>in order to float a Pegasus. But the pedestral idea doesn't work out for me
>either, since it requires a projection of Minovsky particles over a distance
>I personally think is not workable (see below).
> The "conductive material" business is really screwing things up,
>IMO. Air is conductive at a certain point, and moisture in the air aids
>this. So is a Minovsky craft floating off the air too? I don't know. But I
>do know that the Albion clearly flew over water on its final approach to the
>base in 0083.

  Both correct. The Minovsky craft system is supposed to be effective
only at low altitudes - it can't be used for stratospheric flight. And
yes, its effectiveness should be less when the air is more conductive, so
the cruising altitude over water would probably be even lower.

> Second. In both cases, as the I-field is unlikely to be sustainable
>over a certain distance, won't this means that a ship re-entering Earth will
>drop like a stone in the initial phase, and then bounce up when the I-field
>encounters a conductive material? Even with retros and such, warships like
>the Pegasus isn't what I consider aerodynamic. Isn't this dangerous?

  Yep, I wouldn't recommend it. Basically the Minovsky craft system would
protect you during re-entry, then you're free-falling, then it kicks in
again as you approach the ground. Fortunately for the White Base, it has
regular jet/rocket engines to cover the middle stretch, but I dunno how
the thruster-less Apsaras is supposed to manage...

> I am wondering though... When an MS passes through an I-field, will
>it destroy the I-field lattice in the area?

  I don't think it's that fragile - presumably the same forces that lead
free Minovsky particles to form the lattice will cause the remaining
particles to reorganize themselves to fill the gap. (That's how it works
in the reactor, at any rate - as particles pop out of the grid to join
with reactant nuclei, their vacant spots are immediately filled by fresh
ones, rather than collapsing the entire structure.) Unfortunately, my
physics education didn't cover scenarios with imaginary particles of
opposite charge and equal mass, so I'll have to take this on faith... :-)

-- Mark

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Mark Simmons / /
"If you can kill it, it's not a god, just a good old-fashioned monster."

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