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‘Antigravity’ propulsion and relativistic hyperdrive (WWW.OLOSCIENCE.COM)

‘Antigravity’ propulsion and relativistic hyperdrive (WWW.OLOSCIENCE.COM)

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Published by Fausto Intilla
Exact payload trajectories in the strong gravitational fields of compact masses moving with constant
relativistic velocities are calculated. The strong field of a suitable driver mass at relativistic speeds can
quickly propel a heavy payload from rest to a speed significantly faster than the driver, a condition
called hyperdrive. Hyperdrive thresholds and maxima are calculated as functions of driver mass and
velocity.
Exact payload trajectories in the strong gravitational fields of compact masses moving with constant
relativistic velocities are calculated. The strong field of a suitable driver mass at relativistic speeds can
quickly propel a heavy payload from rest to a speed significantly faster than the driver, a condition
called hyperdrive. Hyperdrive thresholds and maxima are calculated as functions of driver mass and
velocity.

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Published by: Fausto Intilla on May 18, 2009
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1
‘Antigravity’ propulsion and relativistic hyperdrive
Franklin S.Felber 
a)
 Physics Division, Starmark, Inc., P. O. Box 270710, San Diego, California92198
Exact payload trajectories in the strong gravitational fields of compact masses moving with constantrelativistic velocities are calculated. The strong field of a suitable driver mass at relativistic speeds canquickly propel a heavy payload from rest to a speed significantly faster than the driver, a conditioncalled hyperdrive. Hyperdrive thresholds and maxima are calculated as functions of driver mass andvelocity.PACS Numbers: 04.20.Jb, 04.25.–g, 04.25.–gThis paper analyzes the exact unbounded orbits of a pay-load in the gravitational field of the much greater mass of asource moving at constant velocity. The gravitational field of a suitable compact source can accelerate a payload from restto relativistic speeds faster than that of the source.A recent paper [1] showed that at relativistic speeds, a suit-able driver mass can quickly propel a heavy payload from restnearly to the speed of light with negligible stresses on the payload. That paper analyzed the payload motion only for drivers and payloads approaching each other directly, that is,with zero impact parameter and zero angular momentum inthe system. This paper analyzes the exact strong-field orbitaldynamics of a payload in the potentially more useful case of aclose encounter, but not a collision, of a relativistic driver with an initially stationary payload.In this paper, as in [1], the difficulties of calculating the ex-act strong gravitational field of a relativistic mass are by- passed completely. Instead, the propulsion of a payload iscalculated directly by a two-step procedure, without calculat-ing the field that produced the motion. The first step is tocalculate the well-known exact trajectory of a payload in thestatic Schwarzschild field of a stationary, spherically symmet-ric mass. The second step is to perform a simple Lorentztransformation from the rest frame of the driver mass to theinitial rest frame of the payload when the payload is far fromthe driver.This two-step procedure for calculating the propulsion of a payload from rest allows no possibility for confusion or am- biguity of coordinates, because it focuses on the observed physical payload trajectory, rather than the field that producedit. The Schwarzschild solution is a unique spherically sym-metric solution of Einstein’s equation for which the metric becomes asymptotically flat as the distance from the sourceincreases to infinity. The spacetime coordinates of theSchwarzschild solution, ,
 
,
 
, and , are the coordinatesused by a
distant inertial observer 
to observe and measure thetrajectory of a payload in a Schwarzschild field. A
distant inertial observer 
is defined as an unaccelerated observer inflat spacetime far beyond any gravitational influence.
Every pair of distant inertial observers of a payload trajectory must agree on the position vs. time of the payload, differing in their accounts only by a simple Lorentz transformation.
In particu-lar, the payload trajectory observed by a
distant inertial ob- server 
in the rest frame of the driver mass must differ only bya simple Lorentz transformation from the same trajectoryobserved by a
distant inertial observer 
in the initial rest frameof the payload (in which the payload is still beyond the gravi-tational influence of the driver).Although this paper does not calculate the strong field of arelativistic mass, a recent calculation [2] of the exact
weak 
 __________________________ 
a)
Electronic mail: starmark@san.rr.com
field of a mass in arbitrary relativistic motion suggested thismeans of accelerating massive payloads close to the speed of light. This new ‘antigravity’ solution [2] of Einstein’s gravi-tational-field equation was the first to calculate the changinggravitational field of masses moving near the speed of light,
c
.The solution showed that any mass faster than
1/ 2
3
, nomatter how light or how distant, will be seen by a
distant inertial observer 
to repel other masses lying within a narrow‘antigravity beam.The closer a mass gets to the speed of light, the stronger its ‘antigravity beam’ becomes.This new means of ‘antigravity’ propulsion addresses themajor engineering challenges for near-light-speed space travelof providing enormous propulsion energy quickly withoutundue stresses on a spacecraft. By conventional propulsion,acceleration of a 1-ton payload to 0.9
c
requires imparting akinetic energy equivalent to about 30 billion tons of TNT. Inthe ‘antigravity beam’ of a speeding star or compact object,however, a payload would draw its energy for propulsionfrom the repulsive force of the much more massive driver.Moreover, since it would be moving along a geodesic, a pay-load would ‘float weightlessly’ in the ‘antigravity beam’ evenas it was accelerated close to the speed of light.As seen by a
distant inertial observer 
, the gravitationalfield of a driver mass, moving faster than
1/ 2
3
c
, repels other masses lying within a narrow cone angle. This thresholdvelocity for an ‘antigravity’ field was one outcome of the firstsolution of Einstein’s gravitational-field equation for a time-dependent relativistic source [2]. Liénard-Wiechert retarded- potential methods in the weak-field approximation were usedto calculate the gravitational field at a stationary point inspacetime of a mass in arbitrary relativistic motion. In thisapproximation, the field at a stationary spacetime point is thesame as the field on a payload moving freely along a geo-desic, as long as the payload starts from rest. That is, the‘gravitomagnetic’ terms in the geodesic equation are of thesame order as terms that are neglected in the weak-field ap- proximation.Earlier solutions of Einstein’s equation for the gravitationalfield of moving sources applied either to relativistic or time-dependent sources, but not both. For example, the Kerr solu-tion [3–7] applies to a relativistic rotating axisymmetricsource, but the Kerr field is stationary. Earlier calculations of the gravitational fields of arbitrarily moving masses weredone only to first order in the ratio of source velocity to thespeed of light [5,7–10]. Even in a weak static field, theseearlier calculations have only solved the geodesic equation for a
nonrelativistic
test particle in the
slow-velocity
limit of source motion. In this slow-velocity limit, the field at a mov-ing test particle has terms that look like the Lorentz field of electromagnetism, called the ‘gravimagnetic’ or ‘gravitomag-netic’ field [7,9,10]. Harris [9] derived the
nonrelativistic
 
2
equations of motion of a moving test particle in a dynamicfield, but only the dynamic field of a
slow-velocity
source.Only when Einstein’s equation is solved for relativistic, time-dependent sources, as in [1] and [2], can even weak gravita-tional fields be shown to be repulsive.The threshold velocity of 
1/ 2
3
for an ‘antigravity’ fieldcan be derived in a number of ways, including the following:(1)
Equation of motion in Schwarzschild field 
. Thespacetime interval for the spherically symmetric Schwarz-schild field of a mass
is
2 2 1 2 2 2
 s dt dr r
 
2 2 2
sin
r
 
, where) 1 /
 s
r
 
is the
00
component of the Schwarzschild metric, and 2 /
 s
GM c
is the Schwarz-schild radius. From this interval, the equations of motion of a payload in coordinate time
are found to be [1,7]
2 2 2 2 2 3 2
1 / /
L c
 
, (1)
0
/
 L c
 
 
, (2)where /
c
 
and
c
 
 
are the radial and azimuthalcomponents of the normalized payload velocity ( )
meas-ured by a
distant inertial observer 
; an overdot indicates aderivative with respect to
;
20
 
is the conserved total spe-cific energy of the payload; and
L
is its conserved specificangular momentum. If the payload has a speed far fromthe mass
, where 1
 
and
, then from Eq. (1) wefind
2 20 0
1/(1 )
 
. In this same weak-field limit of large
,a virtual radial displacement
 
results in a change of 
2
 byan amount
2 2 20
3 1)( / )
r s
r r
 
, (3)indicating a gravitational repulsion when
1/ 20
 
, whether the payload is displaced towards or away from the source
.The right-hand-side of Eq. (1) is a normalized conservative potential, from which is derived the exact equation of motionin the Schwarzschild field [1],
2 2 22 2 2 30 0
3 322
M L r r
   
 
. (4)For purely radial motion of a payload (
 L
), the gravita-tional force is repulsive when
20
1 2/3
 
. From thisinequality, we see that even a weak Schwarzschild field isalways seen by a
distant inertial observer 
to repel a payloadmoving radially whenever 
1/ 20
3
 
, and a strong field isseen to repel a payload whenever it is within3of a station-ary compact object, even at slow velocities. The repulsiveforce measured by a
distant inertial observer 
is the samewhether the payload moves radially inwards or outwards, because the acceleration in Eq. (4) depends only on the squareof 
0
, and not on its sign.(2)
Liénard-Wiechert retarded field 
. In the weak-fieldapproximation, a general expression was derived in 3-vector notation for the retarded gravitational field, )
r
of a sourcein arbitrary relativistic motion [2]. From this expression, theretarded field of a source moving with constant velocity
is given in the forward (upper sign) and backward (lower sign) directions by
5 2 2 20 0 ret
, ) (1 ) (1 3 ) /{ }
 g t GM R
 
r
, (5)where
et
{ }
 R
is the separation of the source and the observa-tion point , ) at the retarded time
ret
{ } /
 R c
. Althoughthe retarded field is greater in the forward direction than the backward direction by a factor 
4 40
(1 )
 
, the field is repul-sive in both directions when
1/ 20
 
.(3)
Geodesic equation with dynamic metric
. The weak-field dynamic (time-dependent) metric on the
x
axis of asource moving with constant velocity
c
along the
x
axiswas derived from Einstein’s equation in the harmonic gauge[1]. The spacetime interval on the
x
axis in Cartesian coordi-nates is [1]
2 2 2 2 20 02 2 20 0
[1 2(1 ) ] [1 2(1 ) ]8 [1 2(1 ) ]( )
 s dt dxdxdt dy d
  
   
, (6)where the dimensionless potential,
20 0
/( )
GM x ct c
 
,satisfies the harmonic gauge condition,
0
/ /
t c x
 
. In the weak-field approximation, in which terms of order 
2
are neglected, the geodesic equation gives the ac-celeration of a payload as [1]
2 2 2 20 0 0
(1 3 ) /( )
 x dt GM x c
 
, (7)which is repulsive in both directions,
x
and
x
, fo
1/ 20
 
. Since the retarded-time separation of driver and payload is
ret 0 0
{ } ( )/(1 )
 R x c
, Eq. (7) is identical toEq. (5). The equivalence of Eqs. (5) and (7) demonstrates thecorrespondence of the Liénard-Wiechert weak-field solutionfor sources in arbitrary motion in [1] with the direct solutionof Einstein’s equation and the geodesic equation for sourcesin uniform motion in [2].(4)
Lorentz transformation of trajectory in Schwarz- schild field 
. Animated solutions accompanying [1] graphi-cally illustrate the ‘antigravitythreshold for purely radialmotion at
1/ 20
 
, even in weak fields, found by the two-step approach presented in [1].Figure 1 illustrates the two-step approach of this paper andof [1] to calculating the exact unbounded orbital motion of a payload mass
m
in the field of a driver mass
with constantvelocity
. First, the unique trajectory in the staticSchwarzschild field of a stationary mass
is found for whichthe perigee, the distance of closest approach, of the payload is
b
and the asymptotic velocity far from the stationary mass is
. In the static field of 
, the trajectory is time-reversible. Second, the trajectory is Lorentz-transformed to areference frame moving with constant velocity
c
, inwhich the mass
has a constant velocity
c
, and the pay-load far from the driver is
initially
at rest. The Lorentz trans-
FIG. 1. Two-step exact solution of ‘antigravity’ propulsion of pay-load mass
m
by relativistic driver mass
: (a) Schwarzschild solutionin static field of 
. (b) Solution Lorentz-transformed to initial restframe of payload far from
. Primes denote Lorentz-transformedquantities.
(a)(b)
 
3
formation occurs between two
distant inertial observers
far from the interaction, in asymptotically flat spacetime.In the dimensionless coordinate,
  
, the orbital equa-tion of the payload in the Schwarzschild field is [1,6,7]
222020
11 ) (1 )1
    
, (8)where
 s
b
 
, ranging from 0 to 1, is a measure of the fieldstrength at perigee.Integrating Eq. (8) gives the exact payload trajectoriesshown in Fig. 2(a). The Cartesian coordinates,
x
and
y
, in Fig.2(a) are normalized to . In Fig. 2(a), the three payloadtrajectories were taken to begin far to the right of the figure(at 10
 x
) with the same velocities,
0
0.9
 
in the
x
direction, but with different impact parameters that resulted intotal deflections of 0
, 0 , and 180
.Figure 2(b) shows the same three trajectories after a Lor-entz transformation by 0.9
c
to the initial rest frame of the payloads, in which the driver mass has constant velocity
0
.9
 
in the
x
direction. The animated versions of Figs.2(a) and 2(b), available at [11], clock the payload speedsalong each trajectory seen by
distant inertial observers
in both reference frames. In the animations, all payloads startfrom 10
 x
at
and from 10/
 x
 
at
.Since trajectories are time reversible in a Schwarzschildfield, the final payload speed equals the initial speed, . Atotal deflection of 180 results in a complete U-turn and final payload velocity of 
0
in the
x
direction. When Lorentz-transformed, as in Fig. 2(b), this U-turn trajectory results inthe maximum final hyperdrive velocity,
2max 0 0
2 /(1 )
 
,in the
x
direction. As shown in Fig. 3, this maximum hy- perdrive velocity imparted to the payload corresponds to arelativistic factor,
2 2max 0 0
1 )
 
, much greater than therelativistic factor of the driver mass,
 
, if the driver speed isclose to the speed of light.
FIG. 2. Unbounded ballistic trajectories: (a) In strong Schwarzschildfield with initial velocities
0
.9
 
in
direction and total deflec-tions 30 (dotted), 0 (dashed), and 180 (solid). Scale normal-ized to
. (b) After Lorentz transformation of same trajectories toinitial rest frame of payloads. Both (a) and (b) are animated in [11].
The threshold field strength for hyperdrive is taken to bethe value of 
 
that results in propulsion of a payload fromrest to the same speed,
 
, as the driver mass. Figure 4shows the field-strength parameter 
 
needed to impart to aninitially stationary payload the threshold hyperdrive speed,
 
, and the maximum hyperdrive speed,
max
 
20 0
2 /(1 )
 
, as a function of .Integrating Eq. (8) in the nonrelativistic Newtonian limit, inwhich
20
1
 
and 1
 
, gives the total deflection,
 
, of an unbounded payload orbit in a Schwarzschild field as
2 10
sin( /2) (1 2 / )
 
. In this limit, the final speed thatis imparted to an initially stationary payload by a movingdriver is
20 0
2 /(1 2 / )
 
. In this nonrelativistic New-tonian limit, therefore, the maximum final speed that can beimparted in the initial rest frame of the payload is
max 0
 
,which occurs for 
0
/2
 
and 60
 
.Integrating Eq. (8) in the limit
2
 
, which allows rela-tivistic velocities, gives the total deflection of an unbounded payload orbit in a weak Schwarzschild field as
20
(1 1/ )
 
, which corresponds to the deflection of a photon for 
0
1
 
. In the limit of highly relativistic driver speeds (
0
1
 
), even a weak field can accelerate a payloadfrom rest to the same speed as the driver. In this limit, thethreshold field strength needed for hyperdrive is
/ 20
2 )
 
. As shown in Fig. 4, however, a strong field of .5681
 
is needed for a highly relativistic driver to accel-erate a payload from rest to the maximum hyperdrive speed.In conclusion, a simple Lorentz transformation of the well-known unbounded orbit of a payload in a Schwarzschild fieldgives the exact payload trajectory in the strong field of a rela-tivistic driver with constant velocity, as seen by a
distant iner-
FIG. 3. Payload specific energy
max
 
after maximum hyperdrive(solid) and driver specific energy
0
 
(dashed) vs. driver speed
 
.FIG.4. Field-strength parameter 
 
required to accelerate payloadfrom rest to maximum hyperdrive speed (solid) and to hyperdrivethreshold (dashed) vs. driver speed .
 x'  y'  x y
 
MAXIMUMHYPERDRIVEHYPERDRIVE
(b)(a)
0
 

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