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Improbability of wormholes connecting to habitable planets

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Re: Improbability of wormholes connecting to habitable plane
Post by Theemile   » Wed Aug 28, 2019 7:44 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Theemile wrote:From Jayne's RMN

<snip>

Thanks, I knew I had seen the numbers but could not remember where. Searching the entire corpus wasn't something I could do. Out of curiosity, how did you find it?

Anyway, my lower bound estimation for the distance was 424 light-minutes and the upper bound was 18 light-hours (960 light-minutes). Not that I was worried... RFC must have drawn the system and the distances in it a long time ago and unerringly referred to it, even before Jayne's was published.


<snip>

Well, we know there was at least one more terminus, discovered after the publication of this Jayne. It's slightly anachronistic, since the review of the ships talks about the Saganami-C and Rolands, which didn't see much ramp up until the war resumed, but is missing the Lynx terminus, which was the highest point of the High Ridge administration.

It was about 60 years between Basilisk and Lynx. I wonder if there'll be another, and where it'll lead.


I have a PDF copy of both Jayne's intel books on my google drive. both end in 1904/5 and hove no information on ships built past then. Normally I have a copy of House of Steel as well, but the PDF copy on my Google drive is corrupted, and my local copy of Word hangs on the .rtf version. HoS has the info up to ~May 1st 1921 (even though the book was published along side the storyline in 1922), and contains the Roland and Sag-C, though total production numbers are incorrect, due to ~10 additional months of production.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Improbability of wormholes connecting to habitable plane
Post by Peregrinator   » Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:33 am

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At the risk of repeating what's already been posted above (I did read the whole thread, honest -- I just don't remember it well!), perhaps there are many more wormholes throughout the galaxy, even in areas near inhabited space, that simply haven't been discovered because searching for them in the absence of a nearby planet or base is just too expensive.
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Re: Improbability of wormholes connecting to habitable plane
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Wed Aug 28, 2019 11:29 am

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Peregrinator wrote:At the risk of repeating what's already been posted above (I did read the whole thread, honest -- I just don't remember it well!), perhaps there are many more wormholes throughout the galaxy, even in areas near inhabited space, that simply haven't been discovered because searching for them in the absence of a nearby planet or base is just too expensive.


The problem with that is that we about half of the known termini end in systems with inhabitable (and therefore inhabited) planets. That ratio is way too high if they were in random systems. My preferred explanation after this thread is that:
a) wormholes are rare
b) wormholes connect preferentially to G-type main sequence stars
c) inhabitable planets are extremely common around G-type stars

See also the discussion in the thread about rebuilding the economies, about space-based population versus ground-based. That would support (c).

Also to support (c):

The Solarian League is described as a volume of roughly 100 light-years around Sol, so let's round it to 30 pc. That's a volume of 4/3*pi*30³ = 113 thousand cubic parsecs. At 0.14 stars per pc³ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellar_density), that yields 15800 stars. G-type main sequence stars are 7.6% of the stars (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stellar_classification#Harvard_spectral_classification), so there should be 1200 of them inside the nominal Solarian League volume. Given we're told there are about 2000 members in the League, it would seem that anywhere between half and all the G-type stars contain an inhabited planet (the League contains members further away, there are likely inhabited planets around F-type stars, etc.)

From what we're told, I'd estimate that (b) is about half. If you were scouting for WH, you'd search in G-type systems.

What we don't know is just how rare WH are (that is, (a)). Since it's clearly not economically feasible to search too much, it must be a very low rate, less than 0.1%.
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Re: Improbability of wormholes connecting to habitable plane
Post by Galactic Sapper   » Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:44 pm

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Lack of electronic copies are a bit of a hindrance for me. All I have is dead tree versions. Thanks for the chapter reference.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:Here's why I think it shifts from one star to the other. RFC gives us a lot of information when he first introduces the concept of Resonance Zones:
At All Costs, Chapter 62 wrote:But since the Manticore Binary System's secondary component lay outside the resonance zone (and would for the next few hundred years or so), Home Fleet had actually been closer to position covering the Junction—in terms of travel time—to Manticore-B than to Manticore-A

(emphasis mine)


The same chapter also implies the possibility of junctions NOT associated with a star:

Any wormhole terminus associated with a star formed a conical volume in hyper, with the wormhole at the apex and a base centered on the star and twice as wide as its hyper limit, in which hyper-space astrogation became less than reliable.


Emphasis mine.

It also implies that the wormhole terminus having established a resonance zone means the terminus is associated with that star. It's a bit of a stretch, but it's also possible that RFC may have been in disagreement with his own working documents about Manticore B ever moving into the resonance zone. Such things have happened before despite the best efforts of everyone involved.
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Re: Improbability of wormholes connecting to habitable plane
Post by tlb   » Wed Aug 28, 2019 12:57 pm

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Peregrinator wrote:At the risk of repeating what's already been posted above (I did read the whole thread, honest -- I just don't remember it well!), perhaps there are many more wormholes throughout the galaxy, even in areas near inhabited space, that simply haven't been discovered because searching for them in the absence of a nearby planet or base is just too expensive.

ThinksMarkedly wrote:The problem with that is that we about half of the known termini end in systems with inhabitable (and therefore inhabited) planets. That ratio is way too high if they were in random systems. My preferred explanation after this thread is that:
a) wormholes are rare
b) wormholes connect preferentially to G-type main sequence stars
c) inhabitable planets are extremely common around G-type stars.

The discussion has convinced me that wormhole junctions can link to stars. Perhaps a star has to be above a certain size for this to happen.

So suppose that wormholes are initially distributed randomly, then the junctions will wander compared to the neighboring stars and eventually be caught. If the minimum size to catch a wormhole junction is nearly as big as Sol, then the majority will be caught by a Sol-type sun (because they are the most common star of that size). There are much bigger stars that could catch one, but they are much rarer in the galaxy.
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Re: Improbability of wormholes connecting to habitable plane
Post by Peregrinator   » Wed Aug 28, 2019 1:25 pm

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:The problem with that is that we about half of the known termini end in systems with inhabitable (and therefore inhabited) planets. That ratio is way too high if they were in random systems. My preferred explanation after this thread is that:
a) wormholes are rare
b) wormholes connect preferentially to G-type main sequence stars
c) inhabitable planets are extremely common around G-type stars

There is another alternative, which is that wormholes tend to connect similar stars. And another still, which is that the volume of the wormhole terminus in normal space depends in part on the size of the star, so that the larger the spectral body, the larger a wormhole associated with it might be. Perhaps some wormholes are so small that either (a) they can be detected, but no ship is small enough to pass through or (b) they can't even be detected.
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Re: Improbability of wormholes connecting to habitable plane
Post by Theemile   » Wed Aug 28, 2019 3:24 pm

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Peregrinator wrote:
ThinksMarkedly wrote:The problem with that is that we about half of the known termini end in systems with inhabitable (and therefore inhabited) planets. That ratio is way too high if they were in random systems. My preferred explanation after this thread is that:
a) wormholes are rare
b) wormholes connect preferentially to G-type main sequence stars
c) inhabitable planets are extremely common around G-type stars

There is another alternative, which is that wormholes tend to connect similar stars. And another still, which is that the volume of the wormhole terminus in normal space depends in part on the size of the star, so that the larger the spectral body, the larger a wormhole associated with it might be. Perhaps some wormholes are so small that either (a) they can be detected, but no ship is small enough to pass through or (b) they can't even be detected.


And that brings up another possibility - Wormholes are just hard to detect. They exist light hours away from their parent star and thus away from normal traffic. The Wormhole at Idaho was just discovered in the past 20 years - at a populated star ~20 ly from Manticore.

The long and short - maybe the reason so many more have been found around habitable stars, is that is the main place people have been diligently looking.

At the millions of other, uninhabited stars, specialists are looking for "leading indicators" in reams of decades/centuries old data collected by ships looking for something else. Only inhabited systems are diligently surveyed - and surveyed again and again. And any ship investigating a system is most likely going to focus inside the Hyperlimit, or near a clearly visible gas giant or asteroid field less than a light hour out from the Star - not a sphere a light week of radius. Space is big, and if a star doesn't have 300 years of collected nav data, finding a small wormhole maybe difficult.

Reminds me of an analogy one of my Quantum Mechanics professors made - that our tools of quantum mechanics were like a drunk man who while walking home along a dimly lit street drops his wallet. Where does he look - the lighted areas. Not because he dropped the wallet near a lamppost, but because it is the only place he has a chance of actually seeing his wallet. Most of what we know of the quantum mechanical world comes from it's reactions with the macro world (which uses Newtonian physics), not because these are the only reactions in quantum mechanics, but the only ones we can observe. Like the lost wallet, if the signs of a wormhole occur somewhere where no one has traversed with the proper sensors to observe it, we would have no idea it was there.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Improbability of wormholes connecting to habitable plane
Post by ThinksMarkedly   » Wed Aug 28, 2019 10:28 pm

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Peregrinator wrote:There is another alternative, which is that wormholes tend to connect similar stars. And another still, which is that the volume of the wormhole terminus in normal space depends in part on the size of the star, so that the larger the spectral body, the larger a wormhole associated with it might be. Perhaps some wormholes are so small that either (a) they can be detected, but no ship is small enough to pass through or (b) they can't even be detected.


Interesting theory. But we do know they connect to very low mass stars too: both the Lynx terminus and the Twins are in star systems with M8 red dwarfs, which is the second to last step in the classification table. So such termini cannot be too small to transit.

Theemile wrote:And that brings up another possibility - Wormholes are just hard to detect. They exist light hours away from their parent star and thus away from normal traffic. The Wormhole at Idaho was just discovered in the past 20 years - at a populated star ~20 ly from Manticore.


You're probably right but if they were common, I'd expect concerted efforts to finding them, given the economic upside of controlling one. It's only a question of break-even: how much time and money would someone have to invest to find one compared to the probability of striking gold.

Your example of Idaho supports the theory that they really are extremely difficult to detect. Either that or the Idahoans and the Zunkerians and the companies that explored both systems were criminally negligent...
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Re: Improbability of wormholes connecting to habitable plane
Post by Theemile   » Thu Aug 29, 2019 7:36 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:
Your example of Idaho supports the theory that they really are extremely difficult to detect. Either that or the Idahoans and the Zunkerians and the companies that explored both systems were criminally negligent...


Why Criminally negligent? the Manticore junction is 412 Lm from it's primary. The Hyper limit of Manticore A is ~22 lm. As an example, Pluto's orbital radius is between 300 and 480 lm. We're discussing gravity whispers out in the keiper belt, that no one was looking for until ~400 years ago. And if it takes a specially equipped team of ships with a cadre of experts in Hyper Physicists and a pile of cash from one of the richest star nations YEARS to discover a a side wormhole that they could already prove mathematically. Yes, they already found the big one - and we're discussing looking for a side tunnel right next to the big one, so we've already got it localized to just a few million cubic kilometers from the ENTIRE 500 lm radius sphere. So THAT should have been easy, but it wasn't.
******
RFC said "refitting a Beowulfan SD to Manticoran standards would be just as difficult as refitting a standard SLN SD to those standards. In other words, it would be cheaper and faster to build new ships."
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Re: Improbability of wormholes connecting to habitable plane
Post by Peregrinator   » Thu Aug 29, 2019 8:16 am

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ThinksMarkedly wrote:Interesting theory. But we do know they connect to very low mass stars too: both the Lynx terminus and the Twins are in star systems with M8 red dwarfs, which is the second to last step in the classification table. So such termini cannot be too small to transit.

That is why I hedged my words! But in any case, finding a few counterexamples does not prove that such termini don't exist.
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