I do watch some mad things on YouTube, in the sense of beyond my comprehension, not necessarily beyond rational thought. Below. A gem yesterday.
Anton Petrov does really good astro things. This one caught me because I’m a little fascinated by chaos. The solar system (gods forgive me if I get this wrong) is a massive object with lots of smaller objects spinning around. Held together by gravitational forces (yes I know, but for this approximation), Copernican model, late 16th century, with a bit of Newton (arrogant twat I believe, more cred to Leibniz & Hooke).
Within this model, you have some weird shit.
There are stable places around the objects called Lagrange points. Like, the Earth could have a sister the other side of the sun, orbit perfectly in opposition, perhaps we wouldn’t know (without having sent probes into space).
But this is a very 2D version of how things interact. Things whizz around. 3D, you very quickly can get into chaotic systems. The systems in which you can’t really predict what’s going to happen, mathematically proven. Comparable to matey’s logical paradox, or the other guy’s uncertainty.
But you do have some kind of a handle. Some mathematical analysis will produce useful measures – there’s a load of things named for Lyapunov, in a weird way, you can tell how chaotic a thing is, able to pull it back down a (conceptual) dimension. I think, you can tell if it’s chaotic or not this way.
I think it’s about a year I’ve been working, on and off, for and analog computer for myself. So wonderful, indirectly found useable circuits.
But anyway. Space travel.
So you have Jupiter, Neptune, massive things doing a spinny thing around the sun. Newtonian, you’ve got all these gravitational forces. Send a probe off yay direction, use that to send over yonder.
But you’ve got shit-loads of non-linearity in these systems. React with each other, turbulence. You are in a space ship, whooop, big pull here, and then, the kicker, might have something comparable to falling through air, need sod all gravity, fall to your destination rapidly.
I wonder if – well it must – apply at galactic scales. Ping yourself between black holes.
Anton talks of manifolds. It’s just another word for stuff, surfaces.
If this makes sense, it might be possible to cover light years in, easily, hmm, millions of years.