The science behing Big Rigs

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Burlan
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The science behing Big Rigs

Postby Burlan » Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:49 pm UTC

As many of you may or may not know, Big Rigs: Over the Road Racing is widely considered to be one of the worst games of all time. Out of its many flaws, however, there is one glitch that confounds. Going in reverse, the truck seemingly has no speed limit; instead, it accelerates at an exponential rate, eventually leaving the world. It will continue until it reaches 12.3 undecillion miles per hour (19.8 undecillion kph), at which point all checkpoints light up and the game is won. I have found this attempt at explaining how this would work in real life

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That's 1036 MPH, or 18.3 Octillion times the speed of light.
At a certain point, the distance traveled as noted by the odometer changes to 1.$ and upon reaching 12.3 Undecillion MPH, the speed also changes to 1.$ and all checkpoints turn green, instantly winning the race.
Assuming the observable universe as a sphere with diameter of 92 billion lightyears, that means that this truck travelling at maximum speed could traverse the diameter of the observable universe in under 160 picoseconds. At that point, the kinetic energy contained within the truck would be equivalent to the energy released by a quasar if compressed over one hundred Nonillion years (1032 years) of uniform production. That means that if you were hit by this truck, it would be like every atom in your body being shot with an individual supermassive black hole cannon fourteen thousand times over (fuzzy calculations there due to probable failure to transmit 100% of the energy to your body, but I have an unknown number of orders in leeway due to calculating energy by the fucking year).
I think I have a new favorite godkiller scenario. Hell, at this point I think that this truck is my new favorite superhero. Think about it: in the canon of Big Rigs, the truck (who I will from now on refer to as an anthropomorphous vehicle-themed superhero named Big Rig) has feats rivaling top-tier superheroes:
phasing through literally any obstacle, no matter the density or size. Nothing physical can harm him.
extreme kinetic manipulation, retaining speed no matter how quickly he alters direction, which is instantly.
able to travel so fast that he ascends to godhood and becomes the entire universe, being everywhere and nowhere at the same time.
able to easily withstand the forces of travel at speeds many -illions of times the speed of light and the accretion of the mass of many -illions of times the mass of supermassive black holes
if he were to hit something, he would likely explode the entire universe out of existence


My question is, what would the theoretical effects of a truck going at such a speed be, assuming such a thing was possible?

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Zohar
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Re: The science behing Big Rigs

Postby Zohar » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:10 pm UTC

Not possible, since you can't accelerate beyond the speed of light. For a good study of how macroscopic objects behave at relativistic speeds, just read the first What-If.
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Re: The science behing Big Rigs

Postby Neil_Boekend » Fri Aug 19, 2016 1:36 pm UTC

1. If you assume Special Relativity is true in your fiction:
First thing is that your estimation of the kinetic energy is low. An object with mass moving at light speed has infinite kinetic energy. As Zohar said, accelerating from below the speed of light to above it costs more energy than infinite, which is all kinds of impossible.
However, there is a theoretical particle called a tachyon. It is going faster than the speed of light because it has always gone faster than the speed of light.
Removing kinetic energy from a tachyon increases it's speed, where a normal particle decreases speed if you do that.
You probably don't need to hit an object to evaporate it with a truck moving at that speed. The amount of Cerenkov radiation is staggering. Since that Cerenkov radiation energy comes from the kinetic energy, bleeding said energy and thus increasing the speed of the truck, increasing the Cerenkov radiation, increasing the rate of acceleration etc.
I'm not sure how much it would be, but well, I have the vague feeling it is well above planet vaporizing amounts of energy.

2. If we assume Special Relativity is not true then your calculations for the kinetic energy may very well be correct. I don't feel like checking. But yeah, god killing and galaxy destroying are the kind of superlatives that come to mind.

Either way I don't think I would want to be in the same general galactic area as that superhero.
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Re: The science behing Big Rigs

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Aug 19, 2016 7:24 pm UTC

We can assume it's momentum that increases exponentially instead of velocity and then preserve Relativity.

Miles per hour is silly for doing physics, so first we note that 12.3e36 mph is 5.5e36 m/s. So instead of calling that the velocity, let's call that the specific momentum. Relativistic momentum is m*v*gamma (where gamma=1/sqrt(1-v^2/c^2)), so v*gamma is 5.5e36m/s. That means gamma is about 1.8e28. Or for order of magnitude estimates, 1e28, and there are 56 nines in the expression 'v=0.9...9*c'.

This also means that the kinetic energy of the truck is equal to the energy of 10^28 trucks worth of antimatter.
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Re: The science behing Big Rigs

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:05 am UTC

So roughly the energy released by colliding an ordinary hypergiant star with an otherwise identical hypergiant made of antimatter? Or the best possible answer to this question?

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Re: The science behing Big Rigs

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:02 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:Or the best possible answer to this question?

If it is a natural ice-sun, obsidian (and possibly a lot of cave-ins, until things settle down). If it is a constructed ice-sun then nothing will happen, of interest, at least to that sun. Exactly the same as if it were made of ash, soap, wooden, charcoal, cinnabar or pitchblende bars/blocks.

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Re: The science behing Big Rigs

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:19 am UTC

Some of that grammar seems doesn't

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Soupspoon
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Re: The science behing Big Rigs

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:56 am UTC

"What would happen if they crashed into each other?"

"Obsidian". (.. would happen, for given parameters, and further possible chaos.)

And the rest is hints that I wasn't in the universe with Cobblestone as an option... ;)

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Re: The science behing Big Rigs

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:49 am UTC

...

Yeah, going to admit that "cobblestone and obsidian" really is the only right answer there.
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Re: The science behing Big Rigs

Postby Neil_Boekend » Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:19 am UTC

If we assume H2O cold enough to be solid in a vacuum, I'm not sure. Now, I'm no astrophysicist. I'm mainly guessing and while I check some details I'm terribly lazy, but AFAIK the ice sun is probably going to change to thermal H-O plasma at the core due to pressure heating, separating into a core mainly made of oxygen and a layer around it made of hydrogen plasma (mostly protons), around that will be a gaseous hydrogen layer and next an ice shell. Then some things may happen:

  1. If the heat and pressure are not high enough for fusion the layers will persist. The object will very slowly cool to CMB temperature (±3K) because space insulates very well.
  2. If the pressure and temperature are high enough there will be fusion in the hydrogen shell. This will increase temperature and pressure, melting the ice and probably breaking it up. Convection will bring the rest of the ice into the gaseous layer and melt it. The hydrogen and oxygen separates due to density and the fusion is fueled. If the pressure and temperature aren't high enough to fuse the oxygen this will be the state for a long time.
  3. If the pressure and temperature are in the core are even higher the result will be oxygen fueled fusion, more fuel, more power and more luminous

Due to the mass of the object (±2×1030 kg) my best guess is 1. Boring, I know, but I don't think the sun is heavy enough to fuse hydrogen when the core is so heavily polluted with oxygen and I don't think the temperature and pressure in the hydrogen layer are high enough to start fusion there. But maybe one of the resident actual astrophysicists can correct me on that?

The lava-sun is made of
The first google search result with some applicable looking data wrote:

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Element (Symbol)   Weight percent
Oxygen       (O)    46.6
Silicon      (Si)   27.7
Aluminum     (Al)   8.1
Iron         (Fe)   5.0
Calcium      (Ca)   3.6
Sodium       (Na)   2.8
Potassium    (K)    2.6
Magnesium    (Mg)   2.1

So mostly oxygen and silicon. Not much of a fusion fuel at these pressures and temperatures so the lava-sun will heat a bit due to contraction, the core forming a plasma that will eventually separate in layers due to density. Around that will be a shell of solid basalt due to cooling (partly evaporate cooling because most lava contains lots of compounds that are gaseous in vacuum).

Now we collide the objects.
The forces involved are massive. Simply the potential energies involved are epic. Two solar mass objects colliding. That's a lot of heat. Probably enough to melt the two objects fully. The impact site is going to launch shards of sublimating water and shards of sublimating lava from the outer shells. It'll be far too hot for liquids. There will be a circular pattern of destruction perpendicular to the impact direction with gas clouds leaving at escape velocity.
The two objects will merge. The heat of the merger will still not be enough to ignite oxygen fueled fusion. The new object will settle. The pressure and temperature may be high enough for hydrogen fusion at the hydrogen layer but because the combined object is mainly more heavy non-fusing elements I'm not sure.
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Re: The science behing Big Rigs

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:28 am UTC

Neil_Boekend wrote:There will be a circular pattern of destruction perpendicular to the impact direction with gas clouds leaving at escape velocity.
A circular explosion in space, did you say?
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Re: The science behing Big Rigs

Postby Neil_Boekend » Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:52 am UTC

Something like that, yes.
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Re: The science behing Big Rigs

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:22 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:"What would happen if they crashed into each other?"

"Obsidian". (.. would happen, for given parameters, and further possible chaos.)

And the rest is hints that I wasn't in the universe with Cobblestone as an option... ;)

I assume this is a Minecraft joke?

Neil_Boekend wrote:If we assume H2O cold enough to be solid in a vacuum, I'm not sure. Now, I'm no astrophysicist. I'm mainly guessing and while I check some details I'm terribly lazy, but AFAIK the ice sun is probably going to change to thermal H-O plasma at the core due to pressure heating, separating into a core mainly made of oxygen and a layer around it made of hydrogen plasma (mostly protons), around that will be a gaseous hydrogen layer and next an ice shell.

If the pressure is sufficient to sublimate and ionize enough ice and produce a sizable oxygen core, which for a solar-mass object I expect it would, then the core should contract to form a white dwarf, blowing away most of the hydrogen along with other surface chemicals like water. I don't think there's really any way the water can stick around in a solar-mass star, though the planetary nebula will take a long time to disperse.

Then again, I don't know how long this process would take, so maybe we just need to make the ice and lava suns real quick and smash them together instead of waiting around for millennia to let them reach equilibrium.

When the stars collide, is there a chance the cores could merge fast enough to exceed the Chandresakhar limit and collapse into some bizarre Type 1c supernova, forming a neutron star? If so, the end result is a bit uninteresting, since it would be a neutron star similar to other neutron stars out there. Otherwise, we should get a very strange white dwarf indeed, full of heavy elements.


Either way, I didn't bring this up to find an answer so much as to reinterpret the classic joke question as a metaphor, with the "ice sun" being an antimatter sun and the "lava sun" being an ordinary sun.

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Re: The science behing Big Rigs

Postby Soupspoon » Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:02 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:"What would happen if they crashed into each other?"

"Obsidian". (.. would happen, for given parameters, and further possible chaos.)

And the rest is hints that I wasn't in the universe with Cobblestone as an option... ;)

I assume this is a Minecraft joke?
That one would involve Cobblestone (and not cave-ins, unless physics has changed since I last messed about in it).

(The actual joke reference was to "Slaves to Armok: God of Blood Chapter II: Dwarf Fortress".)


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