Before I disappeared for a bit, pauljam left a comment on Connect pointing out an inconsistency in my pages on the science of the warp. I looked into it, and it snowballed into a far bigger issue, like pulling on the thread of your favourite woolly jumper and ending up with half a jumper. Other things came up in real life, and I never got around to sorting it out, or posting a reply, until now;
In your ‘warp drive’ article you say that “The Phase-Field Emitters distort the Materium up to 99% phase…. This point of unlimited power (99.99%) consumption is called the Great Barrier”, but in your ‘physics’ article you say that “The Great Barrier is defined as 49.99r% ‘phase’ “
Thanks Paul! Sorry for the late reply. Your question really did mess with my design, and it’s been bugging me all this time! :D I love it when someone spots a fundamental error as now that I have some time I can correct it. This will result in a bit of an edit once done, and the introduction of some new terms. What follows is a draft concept, which I’ll use to rewrite Unified Physics Theory and Warp Drive.
Originally, I thought that 100% phase means you enter the Void on the Immaterium sized of things, and you disappear. It made describing it easy, as you do not have two sets of 100% phase, one on each side. Instead, it was one value, so 80% phase meant you were in the Ethyrium (60% Ethyrium phase). I rationalised this as the difference between Imperium terminology and Ad-Mec terminology: the IG would say a phased object which is artificially lighter is 80% phase, while the Ad-Mec would say it is 40% total phase, because the Ad-Mec are aware f the warp, while the IG is pretty ignorant. So the Ad-Mec would see IG 80% phase as on the Aethyr side. I like this setup, but it does make things a little awkward when describing the details of the Great Barrier, as it introduces confusion (which is fine ‘in-game’ but not from the god’s eye view). Also, it seems counter-intuitive to have a null space in the middle of the phase range at 50% – if it’s supposed to be one continuous spectrum?
However, this does not explain why two pages about the Ad-Mec both use the Imperial and Ad-Mec ‘standard’. So it does not get me off the hook. When pulling them apart, I noticed some issues.
aPhase and ePhase
To deal with these issues, we’ll go with the two sets of phase, aPhase (Aethyr side phase) and ePhase (Ethyrium side phase). With this, we can say the Great Barrier is at 100% aPhase, and simultaneously 0% ePhase. 0% aPhase is the Materium, and 100% ePhase is the Void.
Technically you cannot go to 100% aPhase as it requires infinite energy, which is impossible, and if you did manage it: then (theoretically) the result would be absolute nullification. You’ll cease to be. In a similar vein, you cannot have 0% ePhase as that is the same as 100% aPhase. They overlap, and that is part of the issue; the null space is the combination of the two realms cancelling each other out. While getting to 100%, ePhase gets easier and easier.
100% ePhase (Void) is the opposite of 0% aPhase (Materium).
Technically: 0% ePhase is the phased version of the warp, so really it should be 100% ePhase at the Great Barrier, but that gets confusing later when talking about warp jumps and how they function.
However, this creates a few issues as it’s not a simple typo that I forgot to update. This means that a single phase engine (1-99% aPhase) is nullifying the effects of forces, reducing the effects of gravity (lighter), visibility (the phased object may become translucent, or transparent), structure (pass through other objects), or inertia (easier to start moving or stop).
Example: metal can be aPhased to reduce weight, the amount of aPhase in correlated to the weight loss. 60% aPhase would result in 60% weight reduction. Nice and simple.
This messes with the whole idea of anti-grav is a massive way. However to reverse the effects of a given force we have to dip into the Immaterium side of things, as that is where everything gets reversed!
Example: True anti-grav requires interaction with the Ethyrium, as over on the Ethyrium side we find that gravity is reversed, where the shadow of the world creates a repulsion force pushing into the warp (mild defence against daemons?). To create an anti-grav engine we need a double distortion engine – like a warp drive! We then have to link the Ethyrium side to the Aethyr spanning the Great Barrier (precedent: space hulks drifting between the Materium and Immaterium).
This means the aPhase engine is creating a field in ePhase, much as a warp engine, but unlike a warp engine which would disappear (along with the ship) into the Ethyrium, this anti-grav engine remains in the Materium. There is a bridge (this also has implications for teleporter technologies)
We’ll have to phase out the reverse centrifugal force. So at a guess, a p-field emitter array, with 100 tons of phased matter injected into it, creates an 80% aPhase material to build the anti-grav engine. The resulting engine will be no more than 80% ePhase, as that is the limit created by the 80% aPhase…
Notes: a warp drive cannot get into the void as it would require a 100% aPhase engine to create a 100% ePhase ‘Gellar Field’. Further, in the background, the ‘Gellar Field’ is seen as purely protective in the warp. There is an implication that the warp engine creates some kind of warp-field, but this is not specifically stated in the background (only that a warp-drive drops you into the warp). Whereas I think the ‘warp field’ (or whatever that is) and the Gellar Field are one and the same: the Gellar Field is a correctly functioning warp field that maintains it’s integrity in the warp. An incorrectly formatted Gellar Field will get you into the warp, but it will not maintain integrity.
Notes: Tau Ether Drive, or Aethyr Drive ;) would have to the same thing as an anti-grav engine. A double-distortion engine that links to the Ethyrium but remains in the Aethyr. This allows navigation from the Materium side, but it would need very powerful shields to protect it, as going faster than light while in the Aethyr still means massive impacts if it collides with anything physical, though it will be semi-solid, almost a ‘ghost’.
… will have an anti-grav life effect of 80 tones, but phasing out the centrifugal force from the spin of the engine’s warp shadow with take that down to around 70 tons. The p-field emitters and frame, and loading surface are still in the Materium, probably weigh about 10 tons as it has to support the ‘injected matter’, which initially weighed 100 tons but at 80% phase brings it down to 20 tons (80% phase), so the total lift weight of a 110 ton anti-grav would be around 40 tons. On the plus side, being fully loaded will not slow it down, as dropping a stone accelerates just as fast as a 100 ton rock. So even is a gram under max lift weight this thing is going to shoot up into space like crazy, but naturally slowing as it gets into orbit.
Lower Phase (both aPhase and the resulting ePhase) engines may not be viable. The same platform with 50% Phase, where 50% aPhase reduces the weight of the injected material to 50 tons, the anti-grav effect is 50 tons, with cancel each other out, it is ‘weightless’. But, the ePhase to offset the centrifugal force take that down to 40 odd tons, and add in the p-field emitters and frame of 10 tons, and this platform is going nowhere (even if the whole lot only weighs 20 tons rather than 110 tons, it is still 20 tons!). You could add some rocket engines to assist?
This raises an issue as I have the main motive force of warp travel being based on that same anti-grav repulsion force. Which, as written, seems to have become a lot weaker. This means a switch to the latent psionics of humans as the main driving force might be prudent, which links into older fluff, and the gravity effect is more a minor secondary consideration. In other words: most of the warp flow is not from mass shadows but psionic, and populated worlds create a lot of flow and turbulence – which makes sense (sort of).
Warp Energy Accumulation
The warp is a mix of energy and potential. In diving into the warp you gain energy, and the more energy your gain, the deeper you go. It’s very easy to enter the warp in the shallows as ePhase 20% and then plummet like a stone into the deeps of the warp, all the way down to the ‘void’ at 100% ePhase and disappear forever. Part of the engine has to some form of ‘brakes’.
To get to the Great Barrier requires infinite energy, but also has an infinite effect. The effect is limited to a single phenomena, as a spectrum of effects from phenomena a to phenomena b. This means a material can be messed about with on the Ayther side to reduce the effect of gravity on that material to near ‘zero’, but that effect cannot be reversed within the Ayther. This means that if you could input infinite energy you’d get: Infinite lightness, which is weightless, but you cannot create anti-gravity as Infinite lightness is not anti-gravity. However, inputting infinite energy is impossible for Imperial technology. A piece of material can be phased up to a maximum limit of a plasma reactor’s output which is usually around 80%, and that is pushing it for cost/ benefit. To create a new effect (phenomena c), you have to cross into another space. The spectrum of phenomena with a single space is called ‘inline phase’.
Expanding the Universe
You may have noticed that all this talk of aPhase and ePhase I have not specified these p-fields as increasing strength. P-fields can only nullify within the Aethyr, and later reverse forces with a double distortion engine, but they cannot reinforce them. The reason being, logically, is if we increase strength by 99% and we then get past the Great Barrier: what is the reverse effect of strength? You may have some ideas pop into your head, like ‘weakness’ but remember it has to be consistent with the idea of ‘null space’. Zero weight is a ‘null’, zero inertia is a ‘null’, non-existent, and cross over we see the reverse effect starting from nothing. However, infinite strength does not sound like a ‘null’, and crossing over you are starting from a something rather than a nothing. To get around this we’ll have to introduce a new space;
This is another ‘border-space’ but on the opposite side of reality. It introduces ‘Static’ (and ‘Point’) space. We can use these to enhance forces and stability. Manipulating Static space uses ‘s-fields’, we can phase materials to increase strength, weight, durability. S-fields are anti-psionic and can be used to dampen psionic effects. The pariah gene links to Static space. An s-field can be used to make a material impossibly hard as it does not go to a null space but point space, which is more like a singularity (whatever that means :P )
100% s-phase would result in infinite gravity, infinite strength, so you can imagine that is a very powerful effect. However, Static space consumes energy, entropy increases greatly, and therefore most s-fields have trouble getting to 5% phase, though that is more than enough to increase a Titan’s superstructure skeleton strength by over 1000%.
Note: Maraging steel has grades with a tensile strength up to 3.5 GPa (510,000 psi), and by using a 5% s-Phase, we can increase that to a ridiculous 35 GPa, or 5,100,000 psi. Graphene monolayer is 130 GPa, which is significantly more, but the same tech can be used on that to increase it to 1,300 GPa. That is a good material for;
If would probably be easier to build a space elevator with an orbital wire out of s-phased materials than to create an anti-gravity engine. The s-phased materials can be combined with p-phase to massively increase in strength and reduce the weight of the line. This line supplies power to the lifting engine (so it does not have to carry its own fuel). This type of wire would be more effective than a mass driver using a laser to power the craft but in principle a similar technology.
Side note: the line could also supply power to a real anti-grav lift, to reduce the weight of the lifting platform. I forgot about the plasma engines, though it could be included in the frame!
A Titan superstructure can be s-phased for strength and p-phased for lightness, with all kinds of s-field and p-field emitters built in, but no anti-gravity technology as such. However, larger Titans are probably big enough to have an anti-gravity engine, but it would be massive just like an anti-grav lift or warp engine.
Point space is the compression of everything, and in Warhammer Fantasy it is the universe of the Law Ghods – eternal and unchanging. Point space devours the Materium, or more specifically it consumes the energy leaked into the Materium during the big bang, and warp rifts. It is entropy, and it is the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way [Point space may be related to the C’Tan’s powers?]
Note: The Adeptus Mechanicus do not understand Point Space, and are not fully aware of it. To them, an s-field is a different type of p-field.
Hearing feedback is very important to me in developing my ideas. Much of my designs are inspired, and crafted, by chatting to fans on forums before snowballing into a full concept you'll find here. I would like to thank all those who have contributed critiques and participated in discussions over the years, and I would especially like to thank all those who commented on this specific topic. If you would like join in, you are most welcome!
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