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New to the Forum, and I've got a question.
(02-27-2019, 12:39 PM)New Motive Power Wrote: Hello Everyone! I first would like to state that I'm new to the OA forums. I've been reading OA's Encyclopedia Galactica for about a year now, but I've finally felt the desire to get involved with discussions. I first stumbled upon OA by complete accident while googling something I don't even remember. After my initial exposure, I knew I uncovered something awesome. I quickly and compulsively began to devour all the info on the site that I could! I can assuredly say that this website has rekindled my interest in sci-fi! All that being said, I'm still far from being an adept of OA's material (very far), so please be patient with me if I say something foolish or ask an obvious question. 

With that out of the way, I also want to say thank you for having me!

Hi There - Welcome to OA! Glad to hear we could rekindle your interest in sci-fi and no worries about not being an expert on the setting. It's normal for folks to need time to get fully up to speed on OA and we like answering questions - both on general principles and because in doing so we occasionally get inspired to either update or expand some aspect of the setting. Or conversely we find something that needs correcting/updatingTongue Either way the setting gets better as a result.

Feel free to ask any questions that come to mind and no worries. Smile

(02-27-2019, 12:39 PM)New Motive Power Wrote: Now, I do have a question about OA. I'm not sure if this is the right place to ask it, but I had a question about something that appears to have been deleted from OA years ago. I've noticed that on some pages (usually pages talking about 5th level toposophic technologies) there appears to be reference to some kind of weapon/tool called a "star hammer." I assume these were deleted some time ago as they didn't meet OA's world-building criteria, but I'm still immensely curious about them. I've done a little digging, but I can't find much surviving info on what they were. What were they? How did they supposedly "work" exactly? From what I can tell, they were alternatively known as "god hammers" and they were some kind of directed-energy weapon utilizing neutron stars, pulsars, and wormholes. Is this correct? Could someone elaborate? 

Thanks in advance, I'm really curious!

Ah - The starhammer - I remember that one.

Actually, that was an idea that got discussed back in 2005 (on the old Yahoo group we used before the current forum), but I never got around to formally writing it up as an EG entry and adding it to the setting. I'd actually forgotten about it.

After reading your question I was actually able to go back into the old Yahoo group and (miracle of miracles) find the posts about this. I'm not sure if this idea would work in the current incarnation of the setting, but here they are laying out two versions of the device:

Starhammer Version 1.0:

This is in an early form as yet. I just thought up the basic kernal
last night and spent part of today fleshing it out.

Back when I wrote up the Black Angel idea I mentioned that BAs are the
archai equivalent to a can of Raid rather then a serious weapon (by
archai standards). Depending on how this works out, this may just
qualify as a serious weapon.

Ok, enough build up: The basic idea:

Take Adam's Grazer idea. Put the 'big' end in some high energy
location. Fly the small end to where you want to commit mayhem.
Funnel a very large amount of nastiness thru the big end and it comes
out the small end, perhaps light-years away.

The details:

Take the big end and put it in orbit around a pulsar and surround it
with devices similar to the halo tech used by BAs in order to move it.
Be sure to put it far enough away that asymptotic flatness is not an
issue. Now manuver the big end so that it passes into the plane of
the pulsar beam. Use some godtech level devices (more on that in a
minute) made of ultradense matter to direct the energy flux such that
it can either radiate out of the small end in all directions or exit
as a continuation of the pulsar beam. Pulsars radate anywhere from
20,000 to 100,000 times the energy of the sun. So being close to this
thing (or even pretty far away) would be a bad idea. The beam mode
could perhaps reach from flat space all the way into a system and
cause major death and destruction.

Now lets kick it up a notch:

Add to the setting that OA godtech can synthesize cosmic string. IIRC
Adam has implied that monopole tech or related techs might be able to
do this.

Use this tech combined with archai level complexity management to
create 'knots' of cosmic string (Stephen Baxter has the Xeelee doing
this on a *much* bigger scale). Each knot is actually a single loop
of string thousands or millions of km long that is 'woven' into a
compact mass of cycling loops moving at extremely high speed. Care is
taken not to let the loops touch or else they will cut each other
apart. Use a variant of BA halo tech to influence the structure of
the knots in various ways.

By manipulating and 'tuning' the string knots they are made to emit
large bursts of focused gravity waves. Essentially they are gravity
wave lasers. They can also be 'tuned' to emit larges bursts of EM.
And of course they pass thru normal matter like its not even there.
These would likely be large fixed installations since they will be
*very* massive.

They would also make dandy defensive platforms around solar systems or
other large areas that the archai want well protected.

Combine this with the previous idea:

Put several of these 'knots' in orbit around the pulsar (they'd
probably be made in the vicinity of the pulsar anyway, we already use
them for the largest class of weylforge and likely bulk production of
various other useful stuff). Add energy to them by passing them thru
the pulsar beam. When needed they configure to fire bursts of focused
gravity waves thru the big end of the grazer. The bursts fire out the
other end and proceed to rip apart anything in their path.

Manuver a knot into the pulsar beam plane and configure it to direct
some of the plasma flow into the WH. Massive energy burst from the
other end of the hole, or a huge burning beam. If you really want to
ramp it up you again manuver the hole into the beam plane.

Note that again, the hole is kept far enough from the pulsar and the
knots to avoid flat space issues. Im betting that the output of the
pulsar (especially in the beam) is so huge that even from a 'safe'
distance the flux (as either gravity waves or energy output) will be
massively destructive.

The upshot of all this is a weapon that comes in small and hard to
spot (the small wormhole mouth) and then starts putting out huge
bursts or beams of gravity waves or energy. Conventional weapons are
almost useless against it because most of the device consists of
warped spacetime (the wormhole and the cosmic string loops) and energy
released near the 'small' end mostly radiates away into space with
only a fraction passing thru the mouth and over to the large end. At
which point its likely dispersed across a much larger surface area
(would this be correct?) anyway.

Smaller, limited versions of this gadget are also possible. Take a
large WH and put several DWIZs around it. The hole is configured to
outmass all the zones which normally mass about as much as large
asteroid/moon. Inject matter around the holes to enegize it and then
direct the plasma stream and energy flux thru the WH. Again, you have
an attacking point of otherwise empty space that starts genrating huge
bursts and bolts of high energy flux at its targets.

And of course if all else fails you shift the grazer such that the
small end becomes the big end, and let gravity take its course.

As I said, this is still rough. The final version (if workable) will
be written up to be much 'smoother'.

Starhammer Version 2.0:

Ok, based on feedback and some more thought, lets tweak this a bit:

Firstly, lets take the pulsar and make it a Neuron Star. Many/most
pulsars in Terragens space may have had this done to them since they
could be made into handy computational nodes and still be useful power
supplies. In the case of a starhammer the computational abilities
could be used to control the cosmic knots so that they send either
beams or bursts thru the WH.

Second, instead of multiple knots orbits the star, lets put a big knot
enclosing the star. Adam mentioned that the ends of cosmic string
would be moving at c. I'm visualizing a single circular loop of
string (so no ends to move around) that is then 'cats cradled' archai
style into a continuously moving and shifting 'knot' of itself with
only the 'cusps' moving at c. Depending on how the knot is tweaked it
can either produce a beam of gravity waves or particles or EM. Or
maybe all of the above at once. Stephen Baxter describes this sort of
thing in his book Ring in the Xeelee universe.

As the string expends energy on this sort of thing it will shrink.
Although the energies bound up in it are so huge it will likely take a
while for it to shrink significantly. And, by placing it around the
neutron star it can be used to tap not only the radiative flux of the
star, but also its rotational energy via the stars magnetic field.

Finally, we place the wormhole(s) in orbit around the pulsar at a
distance sufficient to allow for asymptotic flatness (we might also
put it rather closer and postulate a larger version of the tech that
allows comm guage wormholes to operate in at least somewhat curved
spacetime, but Im not sure we need this). We make the wormhole(s)
very massive, brown dwarf or stellar levels. We then surround each
hole with multiple smaller string knots orbiting at multiple
inclinations. Each of *these* knots is much less massive then the
grazer WH itself as is their combined mass.

The Starhammer operates by the 'main' string knot around the pulsar
charging up via the pulsar and then beaming energy out to the smaller
string knots as gravity waves. The smaller string knots pick up and
store this energy until it is needed (ie the starhammer needs to
fire). At this point one or more of the knots discharges into the
wormhole with the predictable result on the other end. Multiple knots
are used to allow firing in multiple directions with minimal wait time
for a knot to move into position.

Hope this helps,


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RE: New to the Forum, and I've got a question. - by Drashner1 - 02-27-2019, 02:43 PM

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