This week, I present to you two discussions that help explain how quantum & sub-quantum physics work in this setting and how it ties together the technology of the setting.
Quantum vs. Sub-Quantum Ether
To some, it may seem confusing just what the difference is between quantum ether and sub-quantum ether. Explained simply, Quantum Ether can affect gravity and tends to work large scale. Sub-Quantum Ether affects molecular acceleration (heat and light generation) and energy waves, primarily the frequencies used for communication and radar (radio-waves and microwaves).
Quantum Ether allows defensive shields, the impulse drives, and concussion guns to work.
Sub-Quantum Ether allows power to be generated, the mobile communicators and most of the other ray guns.
When ether crystals are used to tap into the Quantum Ether, the strain they are placed under causes them to degrade very slowly; about three to four years for synthetic crystals and so far, no limit to the natural Venusium crystals.
When used to tap the harder to reach Sub-Quantum Ether, they are exposed to much greater strain; about 6-8 months for synthetic crystals and about 2-3 years for the natural Venusium crystals.
These are only guidelines though, and depending on the use of the crystal this can be longer or shorter. A crystal used to create a defensive shield around a large starship who is in the heat of battle can have the crystal burn out after only a few weeks if the shield is exposed to enough concentrated firepower.
Alternatively, the crystals used in the mobile communicators need to generate so little power, the synthetic ones can last up to two years.
Aether vs Ether
Another confusing subject is the difference between aether and ether. Where ether is the name given to the Quantum and Sub-Quantum forces that manipulate gravity and energy wavelengths, Aether is an almost entirely different natural force. It exists between the Quantum and Sub-Quantum fields of ether.
Aether is manipulated by mind force rather than energy and gravity that manipulate the ether. Since it was easier for anyone to not only see, but duplicate the effects of the ether, this discovery was more quickly expanded upon and developed.
Aether was discovered in 1882, ether was not discovered until 1902, yet most of the technology used is ether based rather than aether based. This is primarily because the most direct way of manipulating the aether is by using someone who is psychic; and only one in about a thousand people are psychic and only one in twenty psychics actively seek to develop their abilities. Even aether machines, known as cybernetics can only be manipulated by about half the population, the other half are simply not sensitive enough to use them; this includes limb replacement and other attached cybernetics.
Ether on the other hand can be manipulated by anyone. It was easier to understand thus easier to develop.
As a bonus, here is how I see technology working in practical means for my setting.
Planes: The vast majority of the planes are propeller driven. There are a few jet propulsion planes, though they are very rare. There are a few flying aircraft carrier sized airships that use a series of large vertical turbo-props to keep it afloat.
Space: One can enter space in two ways. You can ride a rocket up into space. This is good for very large and heavy payloads. Or, you can take a specially designed plane into space. The plane uses very powerful turbo-prop engines in atmosphere and a sophisticated chemical thruster once the pane is as high as the propellers can take it. These thrusters are unstable in air, so they are relegated to space use only. This option is perfect for smaller cargos and intrepid bands of heroes.
Space Stations: There are a few space stations orbiting earth; one at each of the three LaGrange zones around earth (The Lagrange zone on the back side of the moon is the headquarters of The Iron Cross and very well defended). There is also a single space station around Venus & Mars. One is scheduled for construction around Io in the near future.
Space Travel: The specialized chemical thrusters allow travel to the moon in an hour. Travel to Venus and Mars to take roughly 36 – 48 hours, depending on the planets current positions. Travel to the Jovian worlds of Io & Europa typically takes about a week. The various outposts and secret bases in the asteroid belt between Jupiter and the inner planets can take anywhere from 3 days to a week.
Note: Quantum Ether Crystal Impulse Drives can travel 25% faster than the chemical thrusters. All spacefaring vessels are equipped with Quantum Ether Crystal power matrixes, even if they do not poses an impulse drive. The quantum crystals generate artificial gravity fields, reduce the effective mass of the craft (thus allowing it to accelerate and decelerate faster) and power all energy weapons and defensive shields.
Weapon Tech: most weapons are still old-fashioned bullet slinging guns. There are, however, a few energy guns that can melt through items, stun people, or shatter objects with concussive force; all depending on what kind of energy the gun produces.
Next time, I introduce the factions of my setting.
Let me know how you liked my little discussions!
Note: The cover image is from the film “Iron Sky”.