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Inertial Compensation

Ionize a Human's Entire Bloodstream--a Human Magnet
  [vote for,

There are many cases in which inertial compensation is necessary for a given task. An inertial compensation field is a device that compensates the effects of inertia on something that is moving at a very high speed, effectively removing the negative effects of extra G's.

Right now we have yet to figure out how to create a device that can accelerate someone to escape velocity without using an enormously expensive and terrible polluting amount of fuel. Ion engines need a great deal of onboard power and are so far incapable of accelerating the projectile quickly enough to successfully reach escape velocity before leaving the atmosphere. I ahve considered, as have others on this site, the possibility of making a Railgun--that is a gun that uses same-polarity magnets instead of explosives--that would launch not a bullet but a space vessel. However, it is apparent to me that no human pilot could withstand the intense acceleration that would be involved in reaching escape velocity almost instantaneously. What we need to make the Railgun-ship work is an inertial compensator for the pilot. Why not use a harmless substance that could be ionized and injected into the bloodstream? That would make the pilot a human magnet. From there, a magnet of the same or the opposite polarity could be used to manipulate the human's body, pulling it or moving it against the direction of the extra G's. Of course, this might tear the person's blood vessels out of their body, but I imagine tere would be a way to make it spread over the course of a week or so throughout the entire body, evenly. They could, when the effect was no longer in their best interest, take a counter-active dru that would cause the substance to leave the bloodstream. We'd better test it on rats first though. Someone tell me if this would make their entire body disintegrate or something. If an ionized substance would be problematic, perhaps just a substance that would react to a magnet. An all-plastic room could be arranged or something. Please tell me what you think.

eupoth, May 22 2005

Abyss-mal http://www.answers....pic/fluid-breathing
[2 fries shy of a happy meal, May 23 2005]

Fluid Breathing http://en.wikipedia...iki/Fluid_breathing
from the wikipedia. [st3f, May 23 2005]


       We'd need a lot of embryonic stem cells to create test tissues. The presence of enough free radicals would liquify anyone not born into this.   

       Alternately, we could test the theory by launching a working MRI machine into low earth orbit.
reensure, May 22 2005

       Ionisation is not the same thing as magnetisation.

       I think it sounds like nonsense.   

       Then again, frogs have been levitated using strong magnetic fields so why not have a little nonsense.
st3f, May 22 2005

       Of course this ionization idea is magic. But here’s a real solution: If you were suspended in water, you wouldn’t feel the Gs. You couldn't breath during the acceleration, but no big deal. It's only a few seconds.
ldischler, May 22 2005

       [ldischler] //here’s a real solution: If you were suspended in water, you wouldn’t feel the Gs// You'd also experience much the same effect as suddenly being deposited at the bottom of a deep ocean trench - massive water pressure. Not really a real solution.

The 'whole body magnetisation' is probably not doable - you'd have to get this mysterious "substance" distributed uniformly in every body fluid (and solid) or there'd be nightmarish consequences. But in principle is not quite as whacko as I thought when I saw the title.
Basepair, May 22 2005

       //You'd also experience much the same effect as suddenly being deposited at the bottom of a deep ocean trench //
Let's say you're horizontal to the G force and you're in no more than a foot of water. At 100 Gs, that's going to produce a maximum pressure of one hundred feet of water--50 psi. No so bad.
ldischler, May 22 2005

       Hmmmm. It is not beyond the bounds of possibility that I owe you an apology, [ld].

What you say makes sense, but I can't quite get my head around it. Suppose I were a completely cubical (or cuboid) person and I lay down in a perfectly-fitting box, this would be the equivalent of a normal- shaped me lying in my water tank, no? So would I then be OK with a 100G takeoff?

I suspect that one problem would be that your lungs aren't normally filled with fluid. So, however you work it, your breastbone is going to be pressed down towards your spine, which must sting a bit.

Also, wouldn't differences in the density of your body parts cause problems, even in a water tank? If you hit your head with a 100G impact, your brain bounces around inside your skull because it is slightly denser than the surrounding fluid (regardless of any damage to your skull itself). So, a 100G liftoff, even if you're submerged, would still rattle your brain around, no?
Basepair, May 22 2005

       That’s a good question, since the SG of bone is about 1.9. I’m not sure of the answer without trying this on some fish. Anyway, it’ll take about 8 seconds to reach orbital velocity. Try not to breathe, folks.
ldischler, May 22 2005

       The magnetic field created by injecting ions into the blood stream wouldn't be nearly strong enough, and the health risks are too great (free radicals of wrong type or in wrong place --> probably cancer). The water thing is just... wrong. Acceleration and deceleration temporarily create pressure conditions (i.e. a pressure gradient) across the entire object similar to a standing (acoustic) wave. So why not artificially induce another wave of the same frequency, but 180 degrees out of phase? That might not work, and I've not deeply considered it yet, but who knows. Or maybe an enclosed room with an air stream accelerating backward to compensate for the forward acceleration (probably not practical or good idea).   

       [st3f], you're right, but moving charges create magnetic fields.
squogglewonker, May 22 2005

       Firstly: Ions would be useless. Sure, moving charges would create magnetic fields, but those fields aren't very useful in the context of applying some macroscopic force.   

       But magnetic nanoparticles can be made biocompatible and dispersable in water (or water-like substances). Sort of. They have many potential biomedical uses, such as magnetically targeted drug delivery, magnetically tagged cell separation, MRI contrast enhancement and retinal detachment therapy.   

       However, they're also useless in the context of applying a macroscopic force. Firstly, their moment is far too small. Secondly, you'd really want something ferromagnetic, but magnetic nanoparticles are superparamagnetic at body temperatures ie. they don't appear to hold a moment. Even if they weren't, they'd rotate in the solution (blood) and appear so.   

       Lastly, even disregarding all this, it might be a great idea for separating someone's blood from the rest of them through their pores.
Detly, May 23 2005

       If the isue is magnetizing people, bear in mind that people ARE magnetic, given a strong enough field. I would have thought everybody'd seen those "levitating frog" pictures by now. Granted we're nowhere near capable of generating a field strong enough to maintain suspension through 100 Gs, but it's theoretically possible.
5th Earth, May 23 2005

       St3f, I think, is on to the right thing: the levitating frog.   

       Water is diamagnetic, which means it repels a magnetic field. If the magnetic field is strong enough (and I mean *really* strong), then the human body would be repelled. This could be arranged to be in the direction that you want to go (i.e. up). Hence the levitating frog.
Ling, May 23 2005

       There's a similar problem with diamagnetic levitation: anything para- or ferromagnetic will go in the opposite direction to the diamagnetic material - but faster. Useful, perhaps, for rapid removal of prostheses...
Detly, May 23 2005

       Hmmm... do you think we've just stumbled on a way of countering the effects of high- G acceleration on a human body? (albeit one with the fillings removed).
st3f, May 23 2005

       Well, I'm really happy I generated such a surge of interesting ideas by posting this thought. I'm fifteen so I must apologize to you science whizzes for annoying you with my pesky ignorance. Perhaps someone would like to help me with my chemistry homework. Anyway, about the water-suspension system, why is it that you folks seem to be ruling out the possiblity of a breathing system during the acceleration process? Couldn't the person's lungs be sealed off except for an air supply? That way, the lungs could be inflated and thus protected against the water pressure bearing down on their chest. Maybe that would be benificial or, of course, maybe not. Please enlighten me with your boundless wisdom.   

       I must implore upon you that you consider the fact that I took this mystical substance into consideration with the understanding that when we tried this it would be in the future when such technology was available. Perhaps a nano-droid system could be used to infiltrate toherwise inaccessible organs, without damaging any surrounding tissue. I know it seems implausible, but remeber that twenty years ago people were drooling over having 128 megs of HDD space in their personal computers. And nano-technology is a reasonable possibility considering the tremendous advances we are making in robotics. We can already control cybernetic arms with brain implants--well, monkeys can, anyway. This would involve not only the blood vessels but the bones and the organs, etc. It would be possibile to make these biocompatible, most likely. They could be made out of compatible organic materials. Perhaps they could be made out of protein. Thanks for the feedback though--all my friends gave me were blank looks.
eupoth, May 23 2005

       Folks remember that we would need to have an extremely powerful electromagnetic field just to launch this thing. Why not have the electromagnetic field generator onboard the vessel; then we wouldn't have to rely onspace stations and so forth to launch the ship. We could launch from private tubes without having to have generators at every launch tube.   

       This would also facilitate the use of the onboard electromagnet as part of the inertial compensation system too.
eupoth, May 23 2005

       eupoth, it would be dangerous to breathe because of the differential pressure across the lungs. Best to have the lungs completely deflated (or filled with saline). In any case, so what, if it only takes a few seconds of acceleration? You can hold your breath for eight seconds, can’t you? As for the previous objection that this acceleration would bounce your brain around. No, it wouldn’t. The problem isn’t acceleration per se, it’s how fast you accelerate—the first derivative of acceleration (jerk).
ldischler, May 23 2005

       Does the fluid have to be water? In the movie "The Abyss", they filled one of the character's dive suits with this fluid with suspended oxygen which was breathable. This would fill the lungs, and not require breath-holding, even. I don't know if the technology represented in the movie is real, though.
Soterios, May 23 2005

       Any biocompatible fluid with a SG of close to one will do. Which rules out perfluorinated compounds.
ldischler, May 23 2005

       I have a vague memory of NASA trying out the oxygenated fluid in the lungs thing to increase the g forces that pilots could take in turns. If I remember correctly, they got onto mammalian testing and found that, although they could get oxygen across the lung membrane, they couldn't subsequently remove the liquid.   

       Hmmm. This is starting to sound a little unlikely. I'll see if I can find a source to back up or refute the NASA claim. It would have been 15-20 years ago.
st3f, May 23 2005

       Liquid breathing. [Link]   

       You beat me to it 2fries. Looks like fluid breathing research has been undertaken since the 1960s, but no mention of NASA, little mention of high-G forces and none of difficulty removing the fluid.   

       "Perhaps someone would like to help me with my chemistry homework." -- not me, my chemistry's awful.
st3f, May 23 2005

       From the link, Perflubron is twice as heavy as water, so filling your lungs with it is just as bad (or worse) than filling them with air.
ldischler, May 23 2005

       Why isn't blood ferromagnetic already? It contains loads of ferro after all.
wagster, May 23 2005

       Oxygenated hemoglobin is not magnetic, while non-oxygenated is slightly magnetic. So the two can be differentiated with fMRI.
ldischler, May 23 2005

       I, in fact, know of a way to stop, or dampen inertia.   

       If you tried to fill your lungs with say liquid oxygen, and you tried to hod your breath, you would die within a heart beat. When you hold your breath you are just closing off the lungs from letting air in or out. It still uses the air that is still in your lungs. So, by nature, if you try to breathe what isn't there, you die.   

       I saw a CSI type show a night ago, where a guy drowned a person from the inside out. The killer stuck a hose down the person's throat and pumped water through it.
EvilPickels, May 23 2005

       //If you tried to fill your lungs with say liquid oxygen,//   

boiling point at atmospheric pressure : -138 degrees C
Also known as somewhat reactive.

       //and you tried to hod your breath, you would die within a heart beat.//   

       Well yes I think you would, but not from asphyxiation.   

       You first, anyway.
Loris, May 23 2005

       //a guy drowned a person from the inside out. The killer stuck a hose down the person's throat and pumped water through it// That sounds like the normal mode of drowning to me - why do you say "inside out"?
TolpuddleSartre, May 23 2005

       Couldn't you just make a longer and slower accellerating "railgun"? Distribute the maximum desired accelleration power across a track long enough to reach escape velocity?
trekbody, May 23 2005

       EP said: ///I, in fact, know of a way to stop, or dampen inertia.///, then went on to discuss drowning.   

       EP, if you have a moment, could you please elaborate on your first statement? In particular, could you provide particulars? Thanks.
Soterios, May 23 2005

       I think drowning someone from the inside out both increases AND dampens inertia - at least, it would be pretty damp inside the lung cavity.   

       They think some pretty scarey things happen to the lungs when no-limits freedivers go to record depths. Leave me out.
normzone, May 23 2005

       Like ruptured alveoli. That’s an interesting concept [ldischler], but (mostly) emptying the lungs, then compressing would be fatal. If the lungs could be pressurized with an air mix at the same time the water pressure goes up, then only the eardrums would implode.
Shz, May 23 2005

       Fifty psi? Goodbye nose!
ldischler, May 23 2005

       Blood infected with Plasmodium (malaria) is apparently magnetic. I think this might be because of iron coming out of haem when the plasmodia digest it. What i don't know is how magnetic it would be. I think there would still be problems with all the non-magnetic (i know that's not the right word) parts of the body staying where they are and the blood not. Also, you'd have malaria, though you probably wouldn't care since by then you'd be in several different places. I think the best bet is to do the levitating frog thing.
nineteenthly, May 23 2005

       I thought that was so cool when I read that Malaria could be cured if the patient was placed in a strong enough magnetic field. To think that for all those centuries, all they needed was a big enough lode-stone cavern.   

       Yes, Star Trek dealt with it by using special effects.
bristolz, May 24 2005

       Only fleetingly, UB. There were occasional dialogue references to 'losing power to the inertial dampeners' which theoretically is as bad as losing warp power, because going to warp without science-fictional strength inertial dampening would leave the crew plastered onto the back bulkheads like a thin layer of strawberry jam. In the tech manuals, there are rooms on some decks labeled 'inertial dampening control,' and so forth.   

       I think there is some relationship between 'shields' and 'inertial dampening,' different kind of (fictional) field manipulations.   

       Yes, I have all the damned manuals.
Soterios, May 24 2005

       Graphite is more diamagnetic than water (by about a factor of 20).   

       This means that if you have any lead in your pencil, it will levitate more strongly than the rest of your body.   

       This effect is called diaviagra.
Ling, May 24 2005

       That's pretty damned funny, ling.
Soterios, May 24 2005

eupoth, May 24 2005

       Well I originally thought of the levitating frog thing when I came up with this idea of inertial compensation. I figured that we wouldn't be able to create an intense enough magnetic field for the person to levitate under 100G's of force. Maybe I'm wrong.   

       It also occurs to me that the crushing sensation would still be a problem, if not quite as much of a problem. Since the magnetic field levitating the mammal in the ship would affect the closer regions of the mammal's body more strongly than the farther regions, wouldn't it be sort of like being on a bed of air? You would still be resting on a bed, but instead of a memory foam bed it would be a magnetic field. The crushing situation would still be present.   

       Perhaps we could engineer a protein-based virus that would do what plasmodium does without causing any harm to the body, we could make the body more ferromagnetic. Pharmaceutical technology is getting more and more advanced; they could probably figure something out.
eupoth, May 24 2005

       If you could actually levitate a person against 100 Gs, then you don’t need a ship at all, you could just accelerate the (soon to be charcoal) person. Aieeeeeeee!
ldischler, May 24 2005

       [inherent design flaws in soft tissue, when placed under extreme compressive loads.]   

       Yeah. I'm always curious about the obvious constraints the design team worked under. As a forensic engineer and a Quality Anthropologist, it's interesting to speculate as the the makeup of the design team.
normzone, May 24 2005

       I discussed this with a few academics in the Nanomagnetics and Spin Dynamics research group at UWA. Diamagnetic levitation seems to be a better idea than using magnetic nanoparticles. A few interesting points:   

       1. Frogs don't have red blood - theirs is copper based, like the cuttlefish. Hence, there is no issue of ferritin in haemoglobin moving in the opposite direction in the frog.   

       2. It took about 12T to levitate the frog. About as strong as an MRI field.   

       3. One of the PhD students had sat down with someone else and calculated what field (gradient) would be required to lift a "person." They based their calculations on some appropriate weight and geometry of water.   

       4. The mobility and small moment of the ferritin in blood may render any effects negligible in humans anyway. It essentially comes down to the relative difference in moment between the ferritin and the diamagnetic components providing the force. I'll work out the numbers when I have more work to avoid.
Detly, Jun 05 2005

       The idea itself is crap. I was contributing to the discussion.   

       [Rant directed at Pa`ve deleted.]
Detly, Jun 05 2005

       I don't think the water thing will work. Inertia is the same no matter what medium it happens in. If you put a body in a solid block, it will still react to all the forces that hit it. making a body a magnet to add a controllable force to compensate is a good idea, but not very practicle. I heard of stories where human are geneticlly engineered to handle the envorments of different worlds and space, maybe adding magatisum to that list.
the great unknown, Jan 09 2007


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