Post by Wim Lewis
I suppose there are plenty of stories where cross-time travel is
discovered by accident (say, _Twistor_), but that's not quite the
John Cramer's _Twistor_ isn't about cross-time travel. It's not like
their destination was a world in which, say, Napoleon won at Waterloo.
Its premise is that the hypothetical supersymmetric particles are
exact counterparts of familiar particles such as quarks, electrons,
and photons, and interact among each other. When the protagonists'
quarks and electrons all get turned into squarks and selectrons, they
find themselves on an earthlike planet, but not one that ever shared
any history with our planet.
Since all these particles do interact via gravitation, the sun's,
earth's and moon's gravity wells attracted supersymmetric particles,
which is why that planet is right where earth is, and its sun is right
where our sun is, etc. Or, equivalently, that planet is the cause of
earth being where it is. The one thing that's clear is that earth's
density must only be about half what it's claimed to be, since about
half of its gravity is due to this other planet. Similarly with the
sun's density, the moon's, etc.
Not only was the book a fine adventure story, with memorable scenes,
but the physics is right on the edge between bogus and mundane. It's
the kind of story that gets me to really *think*. Could the world
really be that way? Why or why not? How can we falsify it? Would
our gravity maps have detected mountain ranges on this planet? Would
the two colocated planets even be rotating in synch? Why or why not?
There was yet a third kind of particle, but there didn't happen to be
any of them where earth belongs. What would that be useful for? How
about rapid transit to the opposite side of the world? Turn yourself
into those particles, and just fall through, and turn yourself back at
the other side of the world. Or build a probe to explore the earth's
core by falling to the center, and then snagging pieces of the earth
for analysis. It's also a great help to space travel if you can do a
slingshot maneuver *really* deep in a gravity well, e.g. the center of
the earth, of Jupiter, or of the sun.
Post by Wim Lewis
(By the way, didn't you mean to write "Former Yugoslav Republic of Hungary"?)
It's actually called the European Empire, but if I'd called it that,
it wouldn't be as clear that it was descended from a victorious
Keith F. Lynch - http://keithlynch.net/
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