Difference between revisions of "Ygsium"
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=== Ansible ===
=== Ansible ===
=== FTL Drive ===
=== FTL Drive ===
Revision as of 11:25, 23 May 2020
Ygsium is an exotic material essential for the functioning of much of the faster-than-light technology in the galaxy. When charged and discharged like a capacitor, two identical pieces of solid ygsium will instantly teleport surrounding matter from the vicinity of one piece to the vicinity of the other. Ygsium is not produced naturally and no present civilisation is capable of generating it by artificial means, all existing deposits being left over from the Omni civilisation. Atomic ygsium is comprised of a single ygson orbited by a single electron; as a solid it is a metallic reflective room-temperature superconductor; liquid ygsium is black and ygsium gas is colourless. The material is far denser than any conventional substance, but far less dense than other high-density exotic materials such as neutronium.
The most important properties of ygsium concern its exceptional ability to instantaneously teleport nearby objects from one location to another. This can only occur under specific circumstances. The process requires two identical pieces of solid ygsium of exceptionally high purity; they must be the same shape and size, and ideally the same temperature. One must be charged with a negative electric charge, while the other is charged positively at exactly the same rate. When the charges reach a certain threshold (which differs depending on the size of the piece of ygsium, and the distance between the two pieces), the two pieces discharge into one another, despite no current passing through the intervening space. In the process, a certain amount of surrounding mass is teleported from the vicinity of the negatively charged piece (ygsium-) to the vicinity of the positively charged piece (ygsium+); the larger the mass of ygsium used, the more mass is teleported.
Though the science behind the properties of ygsium is not fully understood, millennia of experimentation has established the basic rules of the teleportation process. Mass is always teleported from the vicinity of the ygsium-, and this is always the closest mass available. The mass reappears after zero time in exactly the same configuration relative to the original location of the ygsium+ as it was around the ygsium-. For the process to succeed, the vicinity of the ygsium+ must be a vacuum or near-vacuum; if there is an obstruction, the corresponding chunk of teleported mass will simply remain in its original location, even if this means separating it from anything which teleports successfully. It has been determined that ygsium- always tries to teleport itself along with the mass around it, but is never able to because its destination is obstructed by the identically-shaped ygsium+. An object does not appear to be an obstruction if it itself is teleported away in the same process, so objects will successfully teleport over small distances even if the original and teleported object intersect.
The cheapest application of ygsium is in faster-than-light communication. This relies on three properties of ygsium:
- The larger the distance, the more electric charge is required to trigger a teleportation.
- The less mass is being teleported, the less ygsium is required to teleport it.
- Smaller amounts of ygsium require less electric charge to trigger a teleportation.
While the amount of charge required to trigger a teleportation rises dramatically with distance, ansibles counter this by teleporting something with insignificant mass - a signal. Ansibles use a miniscule amount of ygsium shaped into a hollow cavity, usually encased in some form of electrical component. Millions of times every second, a signal packet is sent into the cavity and teleported to a corresponding cavity somewhere else in the universe. Because of the equivalence of energy and matter, signals technically have a tiny mass, so the signal strength is made as weak as possible to minimise any issues this causes. Due to the small size of the cavity, ansibles tend to use short-wavelength signals such as microwaves. A modern ansible can transmit anywhere in the galaxy and beyond with zero delay; older or low-grade models may have range issues over extremely long distances.
Thanks to standardisation by the Galactic Senate, there are trillions of identical ansible cavities across the galaxy, all with the potential to link with each other. As with any other system involving ygsium teleportation, ansible cavities must be charged in perfect synchronicity in order for them to link. To ensure that two given cavities link with each other and not something else (by malicious intent or otherwise), ansible cavities are charged in a complex fluctuating pattern defined by a pre-agreed 'key'. Any break from this pattern on either side will result in a link being severed. The protocols used to set these keys are the backbone of galactic mass communication.
Main article: FTL Drive
The FTL drive is perhaps the most well-known use of ygsium in the galaxy. FTL drives work thanks to three important properties of ygsium teleportation:
- The ygsium- always tries to teleport itself, but is obstructed by the ygsium+.
- Teleportation is successful if potential obstructions are teleported away in the same process.
- The destination is defined by the original location of the ygsium+, even if the ygsium+ moves during teleportation.
As a result of these two properties, if the two pieces of ygsium are placed close enough together that the ygsium+ is within the range of the ygsium-, the ygsium+ will teleport in line with everything else, allowing the ygsium- to teleport unobstructed into the original location of the ygsium+. In effect, the whole configuration, including the ygsium, jumps forward in zero time. As the ygsium- takes the place of the ygsium+, the distance they both move forward is exactly the same as the distance between the two. A single such teleportation is not very useful for faster-than-light travel.
FTL drives work by performing billions of such short-range teleportations every second. Since each of these teleportations takes no time, the rate at which an FTL drive can move is not limited by the speed of light, nor does it involve any feelings of acceleration. Such a rapid succession of teleportations is usually achieved by wiring a two pieces of ygsium (referred to as 'ygsium cores') to a powerful waveform generator. The speed of an FTL drive is given by the frequency of the waveform generator multiplied by the distance between the two ygsium cores. For example, a ship with a drive displacement of 30 feet running its FTL drive at 1 billion Hertz would travel at a speed of 30 billion feet per second, or 30 times lightspeed.
Main article: Jump Gate
- The original pitch for ygsium can be found here in pdf form. The pitch contains old information which may not be consistent with current lore.