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RIP, Bob Bussard



 
 
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  #21  
Old October 24th 07, 01:06 PM posted to sci.space.history,sci.space.policy
Al
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Posts: 81
Default RIP, Bob Bussard

On Oct 20, 1:47 am, Pat Flannery wrote:
Scott Hedrick wrote:


Asimov came up with Chaos Theory decades before it was described when
Arkady Darell went blundering through the universe and unintentionally
(at least as far as she knew) conquered The Mule, and saved humanity.



Pat


When you say 'Chaos Theory' , you mean classical Chaos Theory as
discovered by
Henri Poincaré at the end of the 19th century?
(Mathematicians working on non linear problems knew of Chaos Theory
ever since Poincaré, its just that it did not get popularized until
the last 25 or 30 years.)
I am sure Asimov was aware of Poincaré.



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  #22  
Old October 24th 07, 01:43 PM posted to sci.space.history,sci.space.policy
Michael Turner
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Posts: 240
Default RIP, Bob Bussard

On Oct 18, 12:03 am, Al wrote:
On Oct 17, 9:32 am, Pat Flannery wrote:

Al wrote:
Can't let this thread pass without mention that Bussard was, at one
time, one of the world's most important experts in nuclear rocketry
during the 1950's and 1960's(*,**). An important figure in the
development and implementation of the USA's only nuclear rocket motors
at Los Alamos.


We still aren't using them you'll note, which may say something...coming
up on fifty years afterwards.
NERVA was heavy; Dumbo was iffy, and both were dirty for surface liftoff.
Even the far later Timberwind project went nowhere fast.
A lot of the isp advantage disappeared in shielding weight and the
weight of the reactor itself.


Pat


Right, but those were problems to be solved, and little research was
done in the USA after the demise of NERVA.
Another example of were the basic physics was sound but the
technological realization is very very hard.


Hm, sorta reminds me of the assessment that paper design reactors tend
to be light, and real ones heavy. Or for that matter, of the software
project I really should be working on rather than posting here.

-michael turner

  #23  
Old October 24th 07, 05:36 PM posted to sci.space.history,sci.space.policy
Pat Flannery
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Posts: 18,466
Default RIP, Bob Bussard



Al wrote:
When you say 'Chaos Theory' , you mean classical Chaos Theory as
discovered by
Henri Poincaré at the end of the 19th century?
(Mathematicians working on non linear problems knew of Chaos Theory
ever since Poincaré, its just that it did not get popularized until
the last 25 or 30 years.)
I am sure Asimov was aware of Poincaré.

I didn't realize it went that far back, and just remember what a splash
it made when they started realizing weather worked like that.
I dug up the Wikipedia article on it, and they pointed out that the
theory moved rapidly forward once electronic computers were built, as
now it was possible to run multiple calculations with just one small
variable at the beginning, and see what the results were as time progressed.
Asimov would have certainly have known about this (heck, he may have
read a book about it) as he kept his ear very close to the ground in
regards to what was going on in science.
In fact...the Foundation trilogy might be seen as an allegory of what
happens when chaos theory hit mathematics big time.
In that case, the psychohistorians are working along quantum lines (with
enough planets inhabited and people scattered thought the galaxy in
their trillions, each individual's actions appear random, but taken as a
whole their actions are predictable) and The Mule being the small
variable that hasn't been predicted that enters the mix and throws
everything off-kilter, like the butterfly flapping its wings in Africa
leading to a hurricane. Then Arkady Darrell comes along as a
countervailing random force that puts everything back the way it was
supposed to be.
The choice of the name "Arkady" is amusing, as this ties into the whole
"Holy Blood, Holy Grail" aspect of things and the "Et In Arcadia Ego"
paintings by Nicholas Poussin:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Et_in_Arcadia_ego
So instead of a secret world order running humanity's history on Earth,
we have a secret galactic order running humanity's history out in the
cosmos.
It's now of course time to trace Asimov's genealogy back to see what his
family was doing around the time of the crucifixion.

Ah-ha! The plot thickens:
http://www.cephas-library.com/bible_...bible_1 .html

"He links certain individuals with the Priory of Sion, VIcter Hugo who
was a Grand Master, Jon Contau who was also a Grand Master of the Priory
de Sion. He also links J.R. Tolkien and CS Lewis with the Priory of
Sion. This is a Rosicrucian writer. He also links Isaac Asimov, Jules
Vern, George Mc Donald and Umberto Echo with the Priory of Sion. He then
states, "Sir Walter Raleigh, who was long thought to be involved in an
esoteric body known as the school of the night may have also been part
of the Order of Sion. That would be the Learned Elders of the 33rd
Degree of Sion over there in France."

This explains "Asimov's Guide To The Bible" doesn't it? He was just
looking through some old family scrapbooks of his ancestors, the Christ
Family.
If we put his books through a computer looking for a hidden code, who
knows what we will find!
Those limericks alone could be a treasure-trove akin to Nostradamus!

Then there's this: http://www.ansible.co.uk/writing/positron.html

"We can now state the problem. How was the technology of intelligent
"positronic robots" so completely lost before the time of the Galactic
Empire, and never rediscovered in centuries if not millennia of
scientific advance? Here Asimov could only offer a somewhat
discreditable theory of galaxy-wide conspiracy and mind control,
scarcely more convincing than blaming it all on the Rosicrucians, the
Templars or the World SF Society."

As if those three weren't yet other arms of the Illuminati octopus! ;-)

Pat
  #24  
Old October 25th 07, 05:18 PM posted to sci.space.history,sci.space.policy
Al
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Posts: 81
Default RIP, Bob Bussard

On Oct 24, 11:36 am, Pat Flannery wrote:
Al wrote:
When you say 'Chaos Theory' , you mean classical Chaos Theory as
discovered by
Henri Poincaré at the end of the 19th century?
(Mathematicians working on non linear problems knew of Chaos Theory
ever since Poincaré, its just that it did not get popularized until
the last 25 or 30 years.)
I am sure Asimov was aware of Poincaré.


I didn't realize it went that far back, and just remember what a splash
it made when they started realizing weather worked like that.

"

Pat


Actually Chaos theory did not have that name until recently, I am
pretty sure.
Even tho Jacques Hadamard kind of discovered it in 1898, it was really
Poincaré who
nailed it in winning the prize for the the study of the three body
problem. In fact he was a bit surprised by what is called
'deterministic chaos' now, that he kind of recoiled from it.
But he did write about it in popular essays:
Poincaré, H. (1913) Mathematics and Science: Last Essays, Dover 1963
(translated from Dernières Pensées posthumously published by Ernest
Flammarion, 1913)
I would bet that a young Asimov read this.

As for PsychoHistory would also bet he bounced this off John W
Campbell who primed the pump on many of his writers all this days as
editor of Astounding/Analog,but especially in the late 30's....
throughout the 40's. Campbell was Asimov's mentor in those days and I
can just see the two bouncing ideas about Foundation off one another.
(Asimov broke with Campbell over ol wack-o L Ron Hubbard, among other
things.)
Foundation is still a ripping yarn, mainly because it has all the
trapping of a mystery story, which Asimov so loved.... in later
years.. alas when he returned to the series,well just didn't work, at
least for me.
He should have left it alone.








 




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