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  #1  
Old October 10th, 2012, 09:13 AM
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Default One question about TDX

TDX is defined in JTAS 1, page 14 as (...) explosive which functions perpendicular to the force of gravity (...). Does anyone know what happens if used in zero G?
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Old October 10th, 2012, 09:26 AM
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There will be micro gravity - from the sun, nearby planets, etc. so it will probably align with those. Given these are very weak, the explosion will probably expand in all directions as per normal explosive with slight flattening to align with the micro-gravity fields - which may be in directions that the user is not expecting
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Old October 10th, 2012, 11:09 AM
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I wonder ...

A. if it responds to acceleration the way it responds to gravity,

and

B. if one set up two artificial gravity fields with one perpendicular to the other, would it effectively explode along the "edge" created by those fields?

If both A and B, it has potential as a weapon. Set up a field perpendicular to the axis of thrust, have the missile do a flyby, the explosion hits like a pickaxe.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlobrand View Post
I wonder ...

A. if it responds to acceleration the way it responds to gravity


Seems like it should, gravity being an acceleration force after all.

B. if one set up two artificial gravity fields with one perpendicular to the other, would it effectively explode along the "edge" created by those fields

On this I'm going to go with mtu definition of artificial gravity where only the strongest field applies. No Escher floorplans in mtu thank you very much So, nope, no focused TDX (by gravity*). There are of course regular shaped charges for slicing and dicing and making Juliennefries of MBTs.

* I suppose one might use the usual gravity plane focus of TDX and a conventional focused/shaped effect in concert, come to think on it a second

That goes for in a normal gravity field as well btw, again for mtu. So a ship (or building) with an internal 1G field will have that in effect inside the ship (or building) on a world with a natural gravity of up to 1G. If over 1G then the ship (or building) is subject to the local gravity and may as well not have it's artificial gravity active (or even installed).


If both A and B, it has potential as a weapon. Set up a field perpendicular to the axis of thrust, have the missile do a flyby, the explosion hits like a pickaxe.

It still has excellent weapon potential though, just not quite so fancy. Makes for great Bouncing Betty mines for one. Primarily though I see it as demolition charges and a host of other selected shaped charge applications where you don't need, want, or have the time or luxury of the usual shaped charge forming packaging. As long as the gravity is in concert with the desired effect of course. I seem to recall one of the players in our group years ago (the laser-chainsaw sculptor performance artist I think I've mentioned) engaging in terrain art using TDX ...probably without a permit

...yes, in CT we had Laser-Chainsaws and Artists as player characters, though none of that was in our LBBs, we made it up Good times
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Old October 10th, 2012, 06:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carlobrand View Post
I wonder ...

A. if it responds to acceleration the way it responds to gravity,

and

B. if one set up two artificial gravity fields with one perpendicular to the other, would it effectively explode along the "edge" created by those fields?

If both A and B, it has potential as a weapon. Set up a field perpendicular to the axis of thrust, have the missile do a flyby, the explosion hits like a pickaxe.
I seem to recall that Question B is actually how the charge worked. That two grav fields squish the explosion into a flat disk. Basically, a grav focused Daisy Cutter.

But that just might be me. Though I swear I read a bit about how they worked somewhere....maybe it was here, not sure.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 07:19 PM
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Sounds like you're thinking of one of the ways postulated artificial grav works.

Basically a 'positive' and 'negative' plate set up a flow of gravitons (or some such handwave) between them creating a field of equal gravity between with a down and up.

So in the case of that applying to TDX it wouldn't be magic* explosives, just regular explosives sandwiched between very tightly spaced grav plates, perhaps powered by the explosive itself, or a primer charge. Batteries wouldn't likely be enough.

However I seem to recall that TDX is of itself not such, and mainly is meant to work in natural gravity without any added tech. Maybe employing something like specially graviton polarized molecules (or some such handwavium)

* 'magic' of the "sufficiently advanced technology indistinguishable from" sort
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Old October 10th, 2012, 07:25 PM
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TDX was lifted from Blish's Cities in Flight, no? I seem to recall he had some focused gravitics in the weapon.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 08:47 PM
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Right you are, at least on its origins...

From JTAS:
Quote:
Gravitationally polarized explosive appears in Cities in Flight, or Okie, Series, including Year 2018, Earthman Come Home, and The Triumph of Time, by James Blish.
No mention of it being focused by grav plates in the article, and probably where I got the idea of it being an effect on the material (the gravitationally polarized above and lack of mention of any special materials).

I haven't read the stories (that I can recall anyway) so I can't say if they have a more explicit description, only that the Traveller version doesn't seem to. Maybe someone with the books could check for specifics?
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Old October 10th, 2012, 09:21 PM
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Going out on a limb here...

I've always consider TDX explosions to occur when a gravtronic engine has a critical manfunction.

This might open a can a worms for some people since Grav vehicles are everywhere in Traveller but I've always maintained that High Tech Levels have implemented safeguards to stop this from happening. It only at the lower TL where this can happen. Tech 13 is were I usually say that it won't happen if the grav engine suffers a critical hit.
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Old October 10th, 2012, 09:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by far-trader View Post
Right you are, at least on its origins...

From JTAS:
No mention of it being focused by grav plates in the article, and probably where I got the idea of it being an effect on the material (the gravitationally polarized above and lack of mention of any special materials).

I haven't read the stories (that I can recall anyway) so I can't say if they have a more explicit description, only that the Traveller version doesn't seem to. Maybe someone with the books could check for specifics?
Read them a few times, the chief of police is killed by a TDX, Blish chalks it all up to anti-grav tech, same as how the cities fly.
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