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PostSubject: Minovsky Physics   Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:05 am

The Minovsky Physics Society was formed in 2045 at the space colony Side 3. Their research was devoted to the development of a nuclear fusion reactor. By the year 2047, development of the Minovsky-Ionesco reactor began. This reactor, although designed by Dr. T.Y. Minovsky in his earlier days when he was serving the Earth Federation, was still a piece of black box technology and rendered him a heretic in the classical physics community. This is the main reason for his termination of service in the Earth Federation and taking residence in Side 3.

The Minovsky-Ionesco reactor was named after its inventor. This reactor was "radical" due to the fact that it was the first "clean" nuclear reactor, emitting zero neutron radiation.

The reactant used a rare isotope of helium known as helium-3 (i.e., 2 protons and 1 neutron in the nucleus). A helium-3 atom is fused with a deuterium atom (heavy hydrogen) to form the stable helium-4 and a single proton. Since the proton is positively charged, it can easily be trapped within a magnetic field. The main practical problem with this reaction is that helium-3 is extremely rare; there are few deposits on Earth, mainly found in uranium mines, and these are mostly depleted. The fusion reactors rely on a constant supply of helium-3 imported from the outer solar system planet Jupiter, thus necessitating the beginning of a gas collecting station orbiting the planet Jupiter. Fuel tankers would travel from Earth to Jupiter, which has a high level of helium-3 in its atmosphere, and then come back to Earth with the gas fuel.


The Minovsky Particle
The Minovsky Physics Society, while working on the reactor, encountered a strange electromagnetic wave effect in 2065 within the Minovsky-Ionesco reactor that could not be explained by conventional physics. Within the next few years, they identified the cause: a new elementary particle generated by the helium-3 reaction on the inner wall of the reactor, which was named the Minovsky particle or "M" particle. The Minovsky particle has near-zero rest mass - though, like any particle, its mass increases to reflect its potential or kinetic energy - and can carry either a positive or negative electrical charge. When scattered in open space or in the air, the repulsive forces between charged Minovsky particles cause them to spontaneously align into a regular cubic lattice structure called an I-field. An I-field lattice will slowly expand and scatter into space, however, after dense interference it will take approximately 29 days before the region can support normal electromagnetic communication again.

The main use of the Minovsky particle was in combat and communication. When the Minovsky particle is spread in large numbers in the open air or in open space, the particles disrupt low-frequency electromagnetic radiation, such as microwaves and radio waves. The Minovsky particle also interferes with the operations of electronic circuitry and destroys unprotected circuits due to the particles' high electrical charge which act like a continuous electromagnetic pulse on metal objects. Because of the way Minovsky particles react with other types of radiation, radar systems and long-range wireless communication systems become useless, infra-red signals are defracted and their accuracy decreases, and visible light is fogged. This became known as the "Minovsky Effect".

The disruption of electromagnetic radiation is due to the small lattice of the I-field creating fringes that long wavelengths cannot penetrate, and that diffract wavelengths that have similar distance with the fringes. This diffraction and polarization process disrupts the electromagnetic waves. A second use of the I-field (and Minovsky particles in general) was the repulsion of charged plasma and chargeless mega-particles from an I-field surface, which was of use both in power generation and armament technology. If controlled, the particles can form fringes of different widths and further interfere with electromagnetic waves of shorter wavelengths. This provides the basis for the miniaturizing of fusion reactors installed in mobile suits since a controlled I-field can block the infra-red waves. This reduces the heat from the thermonuclear reaction and reduces the need for coolant and shielding for the fusion reactors. Without such a field, a pilot would be boiled alive in a few nanoseconds and the suit would burst into superheated gases.

The only counter measure to the "M" particle is to install bulky and expensive shielding on all electronic equipment, but only to counteract the effect it had on electronic circuitry. While this could be done for space ships and naval ships, this made it difficult to use some precision guided weapons, such as some guided missiles.
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