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Comments on Are Black Hole Starships Possible?
Fascinating paper makes fascinating reading, particularly as an adjunct to the early fictional work done by Arthur C. Clarke. (Read the complete story)

"Their method for construction seems rather similar to EE 'Doc' Smith's "Negasphere" (from the Lensman novels): An initial massive energy pulse to create it, then feed it waste mass to grow it. The Negasphere had more in common with antimatter (and negative-energy matter) than a blackhole though. Gunbuster (1988) alsojhad a drive system utilising two spinning black holes. It's name (the Tannhauser Gate) was referenced in Blade Runner."
( 12/5/2009 8:34:39 AM)
"Leave Hal in charge and you can feed it the crew."
(Peter Jacobs 12/6/2009 2:57:19 PM)
"One minor correction. In Joe Hadelman's "Forever War" the humans and Taurans did not use black-hole/singularity powered ships, but Hadelman postulated the galaxy was full of black-holes or "collapsars" black holes with no accretion disk or easily visible signs, with comet or Pluto-like boies orbiting them. A spacecraft hitting one collapsar would instantly appear at another collapsar in the direction it was traveling. (Better hit the first one in exactly the right direction!) "
(AJ Dual 12/6/2009 7:53:24 PM)
"AJ - on second thought, I think you're right. That novel referred to a 'tachyon drive' without too much explanation, along with collapsars used as gateways."
(Bill Christensen 12/7/2009 9:14:14 AM)
"Was it me or did you completely forget the movie Event Horizon. I was pretty sure the ship there was powered by a black hole."
(Brandon 12/9/2009 8:46:58 AM)
"Brandon, I completely forgot. I think you're right though, although I don't remember the exact details of how the black hole is used."
(Bill Christensen 12/9/2009 3:18:36 PM)
"Peter - great idea for a space horror flick! Sorry it took me so long to comment. Also, that scenario kind of reminds me of a Robert Heinlein story in which there is a hole in a space craft (or moon habitat) and grizzled space veterans take turns sealing the hole - by sitting on it. I guess you could take turns feeding the black hole, too. I think the story was 'Gentlemen, Be Seated'."
(Bill Christensen 12/9/2009 3:29:24 PM)
"Unfortunately Clarke's black-hole drive suffers from serious issues. Firstly, a 1000 ton black hole would probably detonate in less than a second. Second, black-hole accretion - what powers the A-drive - is Eddington limited to a mere 6.38 W/kg specific power. Hardly spectacular even if it releases ~5.7% of the infalling mass-energy."
(Adam Crowl 5/5/2010 2:30:18 AM)

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