It is now nearly a year since we all first met and I let you know that Kathryn and her ship had vanished. I have to thank you all for the unceasing work you have carried out instead of the studies that had been planned. In some ways though I think both you and I have learned more about hyperspace than we ever would have done with you listening to me lecture.
I have met with all the work group leaders from time to time and have made sure that you all were kept up to date with the results of each others research. Today I have called you all together to hear what I think is the most important news since our search started.
We know why Kathryn and her ship vanished.
To help explain I'm going to use the same artwork by Leonie that I have shown you in both the previous lectures to explain the hyperspace drive. You will, of course, recall the basic idea. Big squeeze moving from the right to the centre, physical forces from top to centre, electromagnetic forces from bottom to centre. All meeting at the central sqeeze point and shooting the drive into the seemingly random left hand side where it 'lands' at some other point in space.
In both the art work and in the actual science we missed something. Something fundamental, something that was so obvious we overlooked it. I have to thank Duan Yi Xin of Singapore and Mari Haatainen of Finland for not being afraid to challenge the accepted wisdom. Like in the story of the Emperor's New Clothes they were not afraid to let people know that there something missing. That missing factor was Time.
It has become clear that not only the magnitude and direction of the forces applied to create the jump are important but also how quickly those forces are applied. The time element affects how long the jump takes to external observers. For those jumping the travel time is always zero, not for the observers. The artwork is a captured moment in time, if we animated it we would see that particles moving faster as they neared the squeeze point would take longer to settle down to a location on the right, almost like a ball in a pinball machine.
What does this mean in relation to the dissapearence of Kathryn's ship? Looking through the specifications it is clear that the hydraulic ram used to push the sacrificial mass into the squeeze point was capable of slightly faster movement than those that had been fitted to all the other drives that had succesfully returned. That small difference was enough to significantly change the time it takes for a jump to complete.
We have spent the last few days experimenting and measuring this new effect, which we are naming the Xin-Haatainen effect. Our results indicated that today at this time was a good one to call everyone together. I am now activating our live video link to our space station at Earth/Sun Langrange point 2. If our calculations are correct we should see ......
Yes there it is, the 24 hour report drone from Kathryn's ship. She will be home soon!