By Stephen L. Gillett
This booklet is designed to provide technology fiction writers the cast grounding they want in genuine technological know-how to make their fictions learn like truth. international development is a blueprint in phrases, calculations, tables and diagrams to aid writers delivery readers from one global to a different.
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The nebula will be thinner out there. The second is the time available to accrete it. Processes in the outer nebula are very leisurely, because orbital velocities are low, from Kepler's Third Law. The material may not be able to coalesce before the nebula blows away as the star ignites. It's been estimated, for example, that Uranus and Neptune took three-hundred million years to grow, versus maybe a million years for Jupiter. This also is presumably why the Ice Line is the site of the biggest planet.
Without active tectonics, potassium would be a trace element in the crust—and since it's a critical nutrient element for Earth life, that could be awkward. This could be an important plot element in, say, a story in which humans are attempting to colonize a planet with less active tectonics than the Earth's. SOME ELEMENTARY VARIATIONS The vagaries of chemical fractionation within a planet lead to interesting world-building variations. But what about changing the very element mix that makes up the nebula?
An everyday example is pushing a child on a swing. We all know you have to time the pushes just right for the swing to swing. Or, as a physicist might say, the "forcing function" needs to be near the "resonant frequency" of the swing. " Could an Earthlike planet have rings, as in Poul Anderson's world Cleopatra, in A World Called Cleopatra? Possibly tidal perturbations would prevent this. An Earthlike planet is so close to its star, and its gravity, by comparison with Saturn's, is so modest that they wouldn't be stable geologically.