Physics in Science Fiction

The following is a "slides and notes" version of a talk, written and presented to the Johns Hopkins University Society of Physics Students by Andrew E. Love Jr, a long-standing subscriber, and frequent contributor, to the Larry Niven mail list.

PowerPoint Presentation


Here's a demonstration of the difficulty in taking off from Ringworld. At 8 miles/second a rocket would leave earth easily, but on Ringworld at the same velocity a projectile crashes badly and is moved to the left of the takeoff point (assuming that the ring is rotating rightward). Aiming slightly left or right causes no real change except that the same angle of launch results in slightly different maximum altitudes and displacements on the ground (aiming against the spin improves the height by about 36 miles over aiming with the spin - not very useful).

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