How does Wave Motion technology work, anyway?

Forum for discussing the classic Space Battleship Yamato/Star Blazers continuity, including the TV series, the movies through Final Yamato, as well as Yamato Resurrection.

  • Hardy Shinohara wrote:I'm too lazy to quote more, but "Magna flame" was only used in Star Blazers. ... The unfortunate thing about "Magna-flame" is that they used it for the SB name of the Medaluza's gun, instead of the more descriptive Japanese name (something like the "electromagnetic transport cannon").

    And here we again encounter the shear forces in using one forum to discuss the Japanese original and the English adaptation. Vacillating between two sets of names is awkward enough; it's worse when the dialogue necessitates alternative interpretation of events (in the broad sense of personalities, technologies, etc.).

    Hardy Shinohara wrote:
    DanGeorge wrote:For the last part, I don't know where you came up with that idea. There has never been any suggestion in the Yamato universe that the Wave Motion Engine of one ship can warp other ships in any way shape or form.

    I thought Phillip was making a joke. It can "move" other ships by blasting them into little pieces.


    Joke, no. Tiny little pieces with randomized velocity vectors, yes. :) My original statement was perhaps too telegraphic; permit me to unpack my thinking:
    * The WMG's specific mechanism is never explained.
    * The visual effect is of a giant flamethrower.
    * How is that possibly related to an FTL jump, also enabled by WM energy?

    OTOH, the blast does carry momentum, since by disengaging the anti-recoil device they pop themselves free of a trap in in Yamato II, ep 12. That implies the engine and WMG are much the same thing, but the former is a slow, contained exhaust, and the latter a concentrated belch. So ... um ... a bunch of tachyons, some of them causing Cherenkov radiation (as opposed to the lack of a visible exhaust tail ... well, until SBY2199 invented an eggbeater visual effect for warp). Wait! The Cherenkov radiation itself could be intense enough to cause intense localized heating. But since the WMG's area of effect is sharply contained, more so than an inverse-square fall-off, perhaps it's more a matter of short-lived tachyon decay particles.

    (See also: Larry Niven's so-called "human lesson": "a directed-energy device is a weapon in direct proportion to its efficiency as an engine." And: "tachyon" was originally coined by physicists simply to describe "particles obliged to move faster than light," as opposed to "luxons" or "tardyons." Cherenkov radiation is the "bow shock" of photons emitted by any particle moving faster than the local speed of light, be they energetic neutrons in water, or tachyons in vacuum.)
    PhillipThorne
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  • Well, again, it's important, at least in my view, to keep Classic Yamato as distinct and separate from Yamato 2199.

    The Wave Motion Engine, in some matter, used Tachyons to generate usable energy, it may be some variation of 'zero point' or other 'tapping the aether' concept. It does not actually propel the ship.

    Warping seems to involve some melding of time/space and velocity. That's the 'easy' warp. It may well be that throwing enough energy in the right 'direction' can force a warp but you may well end up somewhere unexpected. (this was called a 'free warp' in some places in Yamato and was considered quite dangerous)

    Most written SF seems to work on the idea that one cannot warp within some specific distance of a star or other planet-sized gravity well. Yamato generally doesn't have this limitation.

    There seems to be some form of reactionless drive in use as the main 'normal space' drive. Generally speaking we don't see any exhaust trail unless there's a need for a significant rate change in the velocity, usually coupled with a direction change. I make the assumption that SUDDEN, or dramatic changes require some type of chemical fueled reaction thruster. In atmosphere wings and fins do that duty.

    How does the WME generate/use WMn? I've had the crazy idea that using good old E=MC^2 the WME somehow grabs Tachyons and stops or slows them down, thus converting that mass moving at supra-light speed into ordinary photons and slamming all the energy thus generated into some kind of super ultra condenser/collector/accumulator. I REALLY don't have the math but it seems to me if you take a particle moving at 1000x the speed of light and just slow it to, oh, 50x the speed of light, you're liberating just an insane amount of energy.

    but how does it work? Magic. :)
    Steve H
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  • PhillipThorne wrote:OTOH, the blast does carry momentum, since by disengaging the anti-recoil device they pop themselves free of a trap in in Yamato II, ep 12. That implies the engine and WMG are much the same thing, but the former is a slow, contained exhaust, and the latter a concentrated belch. So ... um ... a bunch of tachyons, some of them causing Cherenkov radiation (as opposed to the lack of a visible exhaust tail ... well, until SBY2199 invented an eggbeater visual effect for warp). Wait! The Cherenkov radiation itself could be intense enough to cause intense localized heating. But since the WMG's area of effect is sharply contained, more so than an inverse-square fall-off, perhaps it's more a matter of short-lived tachyon decay particles.


    If you care to delve into the madness that is Yamato III, in Episode 11 they are in danger of being pulled into "the black hole of Cygnus", so they reverse thrust. In this case though, the thrust emanates from the Wave-Motion Gun gate itself! It appears as a flickering blue-white flare from the mouth of the gun. A short time later, they escape the black hole by firing the Wave Gun at a passing asteroid, and the concussion somehow creates enough force to knock them to safety. Surprisingly, there is no mention of them disengaging the anti-recoil device. Their escape would make much more sense if they did, IMO. Read the insanity for yourself: http://ourstarblazers.com/vault/91/ (about 3/4 of the way down).

    The anti-recoil (aka "gravity anchor" in Yamato) not only keeps the ship from propelling backwards, but it must allow it to retain its forward momentum. Otherwise, shooting the prominence at Betelgeuse (S1,E12) wouldn't have allowed them to drift through, would it?

    HS

    PS Thanks for the little glossary in your post. I needed that.
    Hardy Shinohara
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