(urth) not quite Father Inire's mirrors . . .

Gerry Quinn gerryq at indigo.ie
Wed Jun 8 08:32:04 PDT 2011

From: "David Stockhoff" <dstockhoff at verizon.net>

> Nicely put:
> "Quantum theory predicts that a vacuum is actually a writhing foam of 
> particles flitting in and out of existence."
> The most apparent limitation of the sails of the Ship is that (you would 
> think) they shouldn't generate as much "lift" away from a star, when they 
> would want to go very fast, as they do very near one, when they would want 
> to go very slow.
> If they can actually generate a little more pressure from space itself, 
> that's less of a problem.

The mirror experiment described won't help in propulsion (it causes 
accelerated mirrors to emit radiation, which would slow them down).  In any 
case the emissions were a function of acceleration rather than velocity.

Howeer, Severian writes in _Claw_:

"How foolish to call them mirrors. They are to mirrors as the enveloping 
firmament is to a child's balloon. They reflect light indeed; but that, I 
think, is no part of their true function. They reflect reality, the 
metaphysical substance that underlies the material world."

Perhaps reflected reality generates more pressure than reflected light!  (Of 
course, Inire's mirrors may not be identical to Tzadkiel's sails, even if 
they share some properties.)

- Gerry Quinn

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