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Fiction 
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Joined: Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:59 pm
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Post Fiction
Assuming you can give an object with the same shape and mechanics of the human body any value of strength, durability, and weight,
Is it possible for said frame to break the sound barrier while running on earth. If so, what might that look like.

I assume its possible considering we have no limitations on the force we can make it output, but I think it might be hindered by aerodynamics, and more importantly by the strength of the ground beneath it. I'm imagining that the ground beneath it would constantly collapse, turning its run into more of a series of jumps.

Although spending a good amount of time in the air would allow a lot of time for losing speed.

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Sat Dec 05, 2015 12:25 am
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Post Re: Fiction
I suspect that it's possible, but I'm having a hard time imagining a scenario in which a supersonic humanoid is a significant advantage that would justify the rather severe cost of development.

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Sat Dec 05, 2015 2:07 am
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Post Re: Fiction
Conceivably, if there are no bounds on how fast or durable the thing in question is, I think you could probably do it. But you wouldn't be using traction anymore, you'd be breaking loose chunks of ground and kicking them behind you as reaction mass in a foot-based rocket. The damage you'd do to your path would be pretty catastrophic.

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Sat Dec 05, 2015 12:58 pm
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Post Re: Fiction
hi hi

Considering that people have only just barely broken the sound barrier on the ground using massive jet engines, there are some significant technical challenges involved.


Sat Dec 05, 2015 2:49 pm
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Post Re: Fiction
Quote:
but I'm having a hard time imagining a scenario in which a supersonic humanoid is a significant advantage that would justify the rather severe cost of development.


Oh don't take anything I post here seriously, I just like to talk about hypotheticals. In this case I was imagining how the flash might work.

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Sat Dec 05, 2015 4:26 pm
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Post Re: Fiction
Quote:
But you wouldn't be using traction anymore, you'd be breaking loose chunks of ground and kicking them behind you as reaction mass in a foot-based rocket.


I had a similar idea, but the comparison with a rocket never struck me, I'm now wondering weather the same effect could be used to run on air? (I actually think the vacuum you'd create as you ran might make "flight" at super sonic speeds even more challenging)

Quote:
The damage you'd do to your path would be pretty catastrophic.


You're saying that like it's not a feature.

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Sat Dec 05, 2015 4:33 pm
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Post Re: Fiction
Game Theory wrote:
Quote:
but I'm having a hard time imagining a scenario in which a supersonic humanoid is a significant advantage that would justify the rather severe cost of development.


Oh don't take anything I post here seriously, I just like to talk about hypotheticals. In this case I was imagining how the flash might work.
Flash the superhero? He was so impractical that DC invented a "speed force" to hand-wave the problem away.

Game Theory wrote:
Quote:
But you wouldn't be using traction anymore, you'd be breaking loose chunks of ground and kicking them behind you as reaction mass in a foot-based rocket.


I had a similar idea, but the comparison with a rocket never struck me, I'm now wondering weather the same effect could be used to run on air? (I actually think the vacuum you'd create as you ran might make "flight" at super sonic speeds even more challenging)
You wouldn't run, you'd have to swim (hint: running only works because the ground resists more).


Sun Dec 06, 2015 1:06 am
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Post Re: Fiction
Absalom wrote:
Game Theory wrote:
Quote:
but I'm having a hard time imagining a scenario in which a supersonic humanoid is a significant advantage that would justify the rather severe cost of development.


Oh don't take anything I post here seriously, I just like to talk about hypotheticals. In this case I was imagining how the flash might work.
Flash the superhero? He was so impractical that DC invented a "speed force" to hand-wave the problem away.


Absalom etc all are largely correct, as far as I know. Running to achieve Mach speeds is almost impossible, because once you get to a certain speed you're effectively flying. Your acceleration would pretty much top out at that point because you would have to slow down to take another step (assuming your step didn't then break your leg, obliterate whatever you hit, or just trip you up). That's not even getting into biomechanical problems like G forces, etc.

Your best bet to make a 'realistic' speedster is to look into the LHC and some properties of particles that aren't as limited as traditional matter might be. Of course making a 'person' out of mesons or something would have its own problems and you're still are closer to flying than running, but it's that or Speed Force-esc techno-babble fields.

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Mon Dec 07, 2015 11:25 am
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Post Re: Fiction
If by running you mean the method of movement humans use to run with legs pushing them forward, then there are some real restrictions. For instance, your creature would be better off to have its knees bend the opposite way. This is because the faster you want to run, the closer your body has to get to the ground, as running is the process of falling over but your legs move forward to prevent that. Even if a human could move his legs at infinite speed, he would run into restrictions on his speed because if he leans too far forward his knees would touch the ground. But even with knees that bend the other way (or to the side), you're still limited by your height and the force of gravity. To reach the speed of sound with 2 legs running like humans do you'd have to significantly taller than a human - I'm not sure how tall though.
Perhaps you could do what racecars do and have fins/spoilers which pass through the air and create a force that sticks you to the racetrack and your legs push against this force instead of gravity. Just don't expect to be able to start or stop quickly.

On the other hand, if your legs/forelimbs/tentacles are reaching out in front of you, grabbing the dirt, and then pulling you forward, then you're not limited by your height or the force of gravity, just the strength of the dirt or whatever surface you're using. Rotational limbs (wheels) probably work better, but the fastest wheeled vehicles meet every year on the Bonneville salt flats and they barely make it past 1/2 that - the limitations are less the motor and more the tires and the length of flat raceway (only 12 miles).

Swimming through the air (propellers) still has limitations. We've never invented a propeller-driven aircraft that can go the speed of sound - they start to break up because of shock wave formation. Basically rocket/jets are the only machines we have that exceed the speed of sound on the level. And they work by breaking of chunks of yourself and throwing them behind you.

Could a creature be more efficient than a machine? Yes, it happens, but usually specialization to that degree results in an inability to preform other basic tasks that your competitors can preform with ease. The Cheetah is the fastest animal on earth, but it can't afford to fight like other great cats because if it gets injured it's going to starve before it heals, and as a result the cheetah looses about half of it's meals because Lions, Hyenas, or some other punk comes along and steals the kill. If a creature has evolved to be basically a jet engine, will they still be able to paint a painting, row a boat, go mountain climbing, or play on the wii?


Mon Dec 07, 2015 4:44 pm
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