M Paul Lloyd wrote:If the object posses an electromagnetic element, or is electrically polarized then it could be deflected by an electromagnetic field...
Which is along the lines I've been thinking.
I was inspired by an article in Analog magazine from 2007 about superconductor coils to create magnetic shields for vessels; but the shield would have to be either (a) too strong if you want a strong deflection force close to the ship's hull, or (b) weaker but more distant from the ship.
I've drawn up a modification to the SpingShip design (see Reference Section) that places a large hoop out around the ship to create such a deflection at a distance of a few hundred feet.
This only applies to objects which can be magnetised (aluminium cases, boxes, tools might also react this way), and have a modest velocity. The shield is primarily intended on deflection solar radiation, but could apply to some physical objects.
As the technology of superconductors improves so this will increase the strength and efficiency of such hoop fields.
I haven't had a chance to publish my amendment to the SpringShip proposal.
M Paul Lloyd wrote:
Ideally a forcefield would be based upon electromagnetic and gravitational components making it impervious to pretty much anything.
Trouble is we don't have a clue how gravity works, other than it needs a lot of mass to produce it.
As for gravity, I have a suspicion that as we progress with magnetism the increased focus of attention by scientists and engineers around the world will give us more understanding and control of this force, or whatever it it.
Oh, and I suspect it doesn't need a lot of mass to to create it. Look at magnets - do we need planets to create strong magnetic fields or just strong currents running through a wire? Somewhere along the line of research we'll fine the right current in the right wires, coils, whatever, that will give us control of gravitational forces without needing to build a planet, or a black hole for crossing to the stars (wormwell gravity drives, another article...).