07-06-01, 01:49 PM
I've been reading Isaac Asimov's "Fantastic Voyages: Destination Brain", and I found the concept of miniaturization intriguing, and confusing. For instance, wouldn't time speed up, because once you're small, you can do things much more quickly, if you are equally proportioned. But if you fall down, it would take much longer for a miniaturized person to hit the ground than it would for a normal-sized person from the same height, so time might slow down. Another thing, would it hurt less to fall, because the distance is shorter from you to the ground, and your weight has been decreased? Or would the impact be the same? Or if someone threw a mini person against the wall, would they be splattered all over the place, because of the force of the throw and less air resistance? Or might they just bounce off, because of the reduction in mass and therefore in inertia? :eek:
Reply freely :)
My big question is a matter of density: Does miniaturization remove mass from an object? I tend to think that miniaturization of living things, if at all possible, will come through a reduction of empty space and the resultant necessity of maintaining the electrical relationship of the body's atoms and molecules. But if the empty space is all that's gone, then we see the mass and electrical potential remaining the same: I tend to think the miniaturized You would put a hole in the wall, and leave the edges smoking.
But I have no real idea ....
Most matter is empty space. I canít remember the actual distances in this example but Iím sure youíll get the picture.
If the nucleus of a hydrogen atom were the size of a golf ball, then an orbiting electron would be the size of a pinhead and its orbit would be about a mile away from the nucleus. Actually I think the relative size of the nucleus would be much larger.
Compressed matter is well known. I think a white dwarf (a collapsed star) has a density such that one teaspoon full of such matter would weigh a ton.
So if miniaturization were possible then it would occur in several stages Ė
1. Compression of empty space. I assume here that the rules of quantum mechanics could be maintained and even though the distances between energy levels would be shorter the proportions of the mechanism would be maintained Ė a big Ďifí here I think. Iím not sure how it occurs in a white dwarf.
2. At some point the atomic particles themselves would have to become compressed. I guess that must be possible since all matter seems to have arisen from a singular point known as the big bang, but those initial conditions were very different to current space. I suspect the energy needed to achieve this status might be something like the forces close to the start of the big bang. I donít know how much empty space is present within subatomic particles such as quarks etc. If there is any, probably is, then compression of atomic matter might be possible.
So now imagine if we were to shrink a human to the size needed in Asimovís story. Letís assume that only space is compressed. I suspect that to maintain such a small size a continuing compressing force would need to be applied. The humans would probably be very dead at this point, but letís continue dreaming.
Having reached a microscopic size there would be the problem of mass, it would still be the same, i.e. if one of the humans weighed 200Lbs before the process, then he will still weighs 200lbs after the process. Remember we have not removed anything so the mass is maintained. In the story a syringe is used to inject the humans and their submarine into the patient. That would have to be one very powerful syringe. Remember the submarine will also weigh the same as a full size version.
At this point the scenario becomes more than foolish. How will the relatively weak fluid system in the blood stream be able to provide buoyancy for a submarine of probably a ton or more in weight and mass? The internals of the patient would be instantly crushed.
Just a few half-remembered college level science opinions of course.
09-16-01, 07:46 PM
thanx for ur replies...u guys have opened up a whole new door for me! :D (sorry this took so long)