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Sabbad
07-08-2008, 09:58
The Imperium uses Astropathic Choirs to communicate with other planets lightyears away. How do the Septs of the Tau Empire remain in contact with one another?

Also, are Tau Septs just another word for systems? So the Viorla Sept is just a planetary system with the inhabited planet of Viorla and maybe a few other habitable orbital bodies?

GodofWarTx
07-08-2008, 10:11
They use messenger relay boeys and messenger drones, AFAIK.

Bregalad
07-08-2008, 10:12
Septs are the Tau community originating from one planet. Until they decide that links to the original sept are too weak and it is time to form their own sept. So roughly one planet system one sept.

Communication: Short range via radio, long range via messengers IIRC, not really sure about it.

Sabbad
07-08-2008, 11:25
They use messenger relay boeys and messenger drones, AFAIK.

Can't those take a really, really long time to arrive anywhere useful?

Voleron
07-08-2008, 12:12
Can't those take a really, really long time to arrive anywhere useful?
On the scale the Imperium operates, sure. The Tau Empire is tiny by comparison - they haven't really run into the distance issues with their message boats just yet. Crossing the entire Tau Empire is a pretty short hop in Imperial terms, really. So no, not that long.

Bregalad
07-08-2008, 13:18
That is one reason why the Tau Empire is made up of essentially autonomous planets ruled by the inhabitants. Fleets are often from one sept where communication is no problem. And the Imperium needs genetic freaks to travel and communicate through the "realm of chaos".

Minister
07-08-2008, 15:45
The Imperium needs warp users to travel quickly through the Warp. If they were willing to accept the same transit times as the Tau the Imperium could dispense with the Navigators and Astropaths.

Note that Tau interplanetary messengers are warp capable, not just sublight.

Xisor
07-08-2008, 16:11
Indeed, and there's probably tons of them forming a very well advanced 'postal service' for the Tau Empire (but delivering entire warhouses of super-computers' worth of data). The Imperium, on the otherhand, is able to shout very loudly and quite clearly over very long distances...but it's quite weather dependent.

Also, Tau messenger boats are surely amongst their fastest ships. It'd make little sense to have anything else doign that...

(On the otherhand, the Imperium uses messenger boats too. The novel Grey Knights features a very cool two-crew ordo malleus dartship [pilot + navigator])

Goruax
07-08-2008, 23:43
It's not the transit times, it's more the accuracy that the Imperials worry about.
Ditch the Navi's and you'll land inside a sun 472 million years* in the past whilst a hungry star god sucks on you and the hot new pal you've just been introduced to.



*Gross overexaggeration, before I get jumped on and ganked.

Brother Siccarius
08-08-2008, 06:19
It's not the transit times, it's more the accuracy that the Imperials worry about.
Ditch the Navi's and you'll land inside a sun 472 million years* in the past whilst a hungry star god sucks on you and the hot new pal you've just been introduced to.



*Gross overexaggeration, before I get jumped on and ganked.

That's not technically true. The Navigators allow the Imperium to travel swiftly without having to pitch out of the warp every so often to double check their headings, like the tau do. With the Navigators they can stay in longer and the navigators do what their name implies.

However, the chances of traveling through time or ending up in a sun while traveling the tau way is slim to nill. You make a calculated warp jump that only skims to Warp/realspace rift and shoots you back out at a fairly constant rate. Something similar to an eldar ship's method of travel in the warp, however they go just a little bit further (The "shallows" of the warp where it's safer for them), when not traveling through the webway that is. It's entirely possible to plan out a journey and not vere more than a, relatively, small amount in any one direction, and humanity was known to do it themselves several times in the beginning of it's expansion.

Dyrnwyn
08-08-2008, 07:09
That's not technically true. The Navigators allow the Imperium to travel swiftly without having to pitch out of the warp every so often to double check their headings, like the tau do. With the Navigators they can stay in longer and the navigators do what their name implies.
That's not entirely accurate either. Tau don't need to 'pop out of the warp to check their bearings' because they don't actually travel in the warp. They utilize the warp to generate FTL speeds in realspace, so all navigation is done in realspace.

Forbiddenknowledge
08-08-2008, 09:10
Not quite. They force their way into the space between the warp and realspace, then get pushed back out again. They're not technically in realspace.

AdeptusOverton
08-08-2008, 13:23
Tau are not warp capable never likely to be either.

Keichi246
08-08-2008, 14:20
Tau are not warp capable never likely to be either.

That's not quite true.

They've had Warp drives since their early days of space travel. They found a wrecked/abandoned spacecraft on one of their moons, if I remember correctly.

The problem is - they can't use those drives. Every experiment trying to use copies of that drive ended in failure. That's what led to their current FTL drive system - which just bounces off the interface between warp and realspace - in a variation on the old "Stutterjump" drive system.

What I suspect is that the the wrecked ship may have been an old imperial design - and the crash (and/or the events that got it out there to begin with) destroyed the Gellar field system. Gellar fields are remarkably fragile to begin with, and seem to collapse quite easily if ANYTHING goes out of whack. (Much Imperial fluff points at this). They are also all but required to make a survivable Warp jump...

If the Tau attempted warp travel without one? Well -that explains why all those early warp attempts ended in failure. Lacking the Gellar field and psychic navigators - that would handily explain why the Tau don't have working warp drives...

As far whether or not they are ever likely to be? Well - Warp research is currently banned by the Ethereals - but that doesn't mean they will never re-open the research line if a better opportunity presents itself. Tau are generally pragmatic - they'll do whatever the Greater Good requires.

~~~
Yeah - the current Tau communication system is basically a "Pony Express" style system; not dissimilar to the mode of communication used in the old Traveller sci-fi RPG.

The small Messenger class starships have massively powerful drives, powerful computers, and massive amounts of data storage - and basically bounce from Waystation to Waystation - delivering the mail to each. Each Waystation may have a handful of Messengers - who each route to other Waystations. This interlocking network of constantly moving Messengers means that the messages can effectively be transmitted across the Empire in a manner not unlike Mail (or Email for that matter).

Is it slower than Imperial communication? Almost certainly - except for the fact that Imperial Astropaths are often dealing with Warp oddities, "bad weather", positive and negative temporal shifts, etc. The astropaths ALSO have to relay messages to each other to cross large distances - they just don't need the ships...

chaos0xomega
08-08-2008, 19:54
Note that the Tau fluff (in the codex etc.) suggests that they are capable of real-time communication across vast distances(okay... vast distances for the Tau whose Empire is only 300 ly across). This is contrary to the already established fluff of messenger drones being used to bring information from one end of the Empire to the other. Might just be a mistake on GW's part, but it's worth mentioning.

a helpless goat
08-08-2008, 21:38
AFAIK they cannot communicate in the warp/superfast mode/FTL they use a small fast messenger. However outside this they can use real (or very close) time commumications. At the same time the worlds are largly independent.

Slaaneshi Slave
08-08-2008, 23:35
With real physics (so without utilising the warp) it is impossible to have real time communication over vast distances. We can't even have real time communication with some of our stuff we have in space today.

MrBigMr
09-08-2008, 00:29
With real physics (so without utilising the warp) it is impossible to have real time communication over vast distances. We can't even have real time communication with some of our stuff we have in space today.
Instead of "real physics" we should say "modern day physics", since who know what impossible things they come up in the future.

Khaine's Messenger
09-08-2008, 01:08
Note that the Tau fluff (in the codex etc.) suggests that they are capable of real-time communication across vast distances(okay... vast distances for the Tau whose Empire is only 300 ly across).

The only instance I can think of this is the description of O'Shaserra slagging O'Shovah's statue on his former homeworld, although that may have been a matter of interpretation. Although I may have missed a few? The Tau Empire codex turned a lot of heads when it came out, yes...unless you mean the older 'dex?


This is contrary to the already established fluff of messenger drones being used to bring information from one end of the Empire to the other. Might just be a mistake on GW's part, but it's worth mentioning.

Personally I don't find it unlikely that they could make some sort of special "carrier wave" technology that allows them to transmit things faster--as long as there are some practical infrastructural limit to it (power requirements, propagation limits, expense, areas of space that are off-limits due to being pure superluminal data slipstreams, an explanation for why they can't make their ships move as fast as their "signals," etc.). The whole "messenger drone" thing is one of the constructs meant to reinforce the notion that the Tau would be under insane infrastructural strain if it were bigger. The relative scale thing. As long as they stick with that "theme," it should be okay.

As long as it doesn't lead to the same strangeness that let some Tau fanboys claim that they had drones giving live feeds to the events of the Eye of Terror campaign on the other side of the galaxy.

Slaaneshi Slave
09-08-2008, 01:19
Instead of "real physics" we should say "modern day physics", since who know what impossible things they come up in the future.

Physics are Physics. Nothing in the 40k universe can travel faster than the speed of light without leaving out dimension in some way. Most races use the Warp, the Necrons use Phase Space or whatever it's called.


As long as it doesn't lead to the same strangeness that let some Tau fanboys claim that they had drones giving live feeds to the events of the Eye of Terror campaign on the other side of the galaxy.

Don't tell me Bregalad was there? :D

chaos0xomega
09-08-2008, 02:34
With real physics (so without utilising the warp) it is impossible to have real time communication over vast distances. We can't even have real time communication with some of our stuff we have in space today.

Like I've said in so many other threads before this one :cough:Corrupted C'tan:cough:, 40k is a work of science fiction. Things should not be assumed to work using the same principles that apply to the real world...


Personally I don't find it unlikely that they could make some sort of special "carrier wave" technology that allows them to transmit things faster--as long as there are some practical infrastructural limit to it (power requirements, propagation limits, expense, areas of space that are off-limits due to being pure superluminal data slipstreams, an explanation for why they can't make their ships move as fast as their "signals," etc.). The whole "messenger drone" thing is one of the constructs meant to reinforce the notion that the Tau would be under insane infrastructural strain if it were bigger. The relative scale thing. As long as they stick with that "theme," it should be okay.


Tau could have mastered the use of Star Trek tachyon-technology. IIRC, they were a sort of wave/particle (or maybe they were more of a photon) that was capable of superluminal speed, perfect for encoding messages with etc. but not all that practical for travel.



As long as it doesn't lead to the same strangeness that let some Tau fanboys claim that they had drones giving live feeds to the events of the Eye of Terror campaign on the other side of the galaxy.

Bwah!?


Physics are Physics. Nothing in the 40K universe can travel faster than the speed of light without leaving out dimension in some way. Most races use the Warp, the Necrons use Phase Space or whatever it's called.

Where did the idea that Necrons leave the "real" dimension and enter this "Phase Space" come from? The only thing close to that that I could find mention of in the fluff was the Necron Phase Drive or Inertialess Drive (http://www.specialist-games.com/battlefleetgothic/assets/lrb/D_BFGNecrons&Nids.pdf), which it has always been my understanding that it occurs entirely within our realm (I.E. it's not another dimension), but still allows for superluminal speed.In fact, it's suggested as much when it states "without the need for entering the warp." While it's not a clear statement that they DON'T enter an alternate dimension, to me the sentence seems to written as a surprising statement that the Necrons are capable of bending physics to their will.

Khaine's Messenger
09-08-2008, 03:05
Bwah!?

Oh, I'm sure the person who fed me that line oh those many years ago was just trying to get a rise out of me. That was back in my hard-core fluff nazi days. ;)


Where did the idea that Necrons leave the "real" dimension and enter this "Phase Space" come from?

I think it's mentioned in Xenology (iirc, the person who hypothesized it called it "aethyrspace") and substantiated in one of the Apocalypse books when it talks about Necron Grand Strategy and where the Necrons get some of their reserves from. One might put it down to the Imperium being Stupid again (like Anzion's various theories about Orks), but there you are. Mind you, this "phase space" may simply be a funny way to poke at the idea of what "spaces" and dimensions are in 40k. IE, is it useful to think of such concepts as the luminiferous aethyr or the "no medium" idea? Once you pick an interpretation, it can color your understanding of the subject. If the Necrons literally are nowhere, or phased, or whatever, isn't it somewhat comfortable to say that they're in a place that can be described as...a place? Same goes for their energy. Seems impossibly efficient and like it comes from nowhere. Just invent the place it comes from and move on. The same goes for the warp, really. Part of the whole "trying to make the ineffable effable" thing.

icegreentea
09-08-2008, 03:41
Physics are Physics. Nothing in the 40k universe can travel faster than the speed of light without leaving out dimension in some way. Most races use the Warp, the Necrons use Phase Space or whatever it's called.


Not quite. Necron ships have the 'inertialess drive' to allow them to FTL without the warp. From the name, it basically makes all their ships mass-less, allowing them to accelerate indefinitely. Presumably this keeps them in 'normal' space.

chaos0xomega
09-08-2008, 06:07
There is another problem with superluminal travel. The bonds keeping the atoms and molecules that make up your body (and indeed a spacecraft) are made up of electromagnetic waves(which themselves travel faster than a speed of light). Due to relativity, travelling at a superluminal speed would mean that you would quite literally disintegrate. This problem is solved if you can find a way to keep the bonds together at this speed.

One of the things I never really understood about superluminal speeds. If you're in an aircraft at the speed of sound and fire a bullet, the speed of the bullet is the velocity of the aircraft + the velocity given to the bullet via the firing process. If you're in an aircraft travelling the speed of light and you fire a projectile at the speed of light, that projectile will also be travelling at the speed of light as opposed to 2x speed of light.

Brother Siccarius
09-08-2008, 06:12
With real physics (so without utilising the warp) it is impossible to have real time communication over vast distances. We can't even have real time communication with some of our stuff we have in space today.

Considering how little funding is put into any country's space programs now-a-days, it's really not surprising.

Slaaneshi Slave
09-08-2008, 10:27
There is another problem with superluminal travel. The bonds keeping the atoms and molecules that make up your body (and indeed a spacecraft) are made up of electromagnetic waves(which themselves travel faster than a speed of light). Due to relativity, travelling at a superluminal speed would mean that you would quite literally disintegrate. This problem is solved if you can find a way to keep the bonds together at this speed.

One of the things I never really understood about superluminal speeds. If you're in an aircraft at the speed of sound and fire a bullet, the speed of the bullet is the velocity of the aircraft + the velocity given to the bullet via the firing process. If you're in an aircraft travelling the speed of light and you fire a projectile at the speed of light, that projectile will also be travelling at the speed of light as opposed to 2x speed of light.

The whole "can't go faster than the speed of light" is a hard and fast rule. As you approach the speed of light you gain infinite mass, meaning you need infinite energy to go faster. Which begs the question of how fast would you ened to travel before your ship crushed itself?


Considering how little funding is put into any country's space programs now-a-days, it's really not surprising.

Funding helps break the laws of physics?

totgeboren
09-08-2008, 12:57
One of the things I never really understood about superluminal speeds. If you're in an aircraft at the speed of sound and fire a bullet, the speed of the bullet is the velocity of the aircraft + the velocity given to the bullet via the firing process. If you're in an aircraft travelling the speed of light and you fire a projectile at the speed of light, that projectile will also be travelling at the speed of light as opposed to 2x speed of light.

Well, this is the essence of what the theory of relativity says.

The reason for this is that the only way to be able to travel at the speed of light is to have no mass. So really, in reality, if you were traveling at almost the speed of light (since I assume you have mass), and you fired a bullet at almost the speed of light (since I assume the bullet has mass too), the bullet would travel faster than you. It would be almost unnoticeable, but it would travel faster.

It would require an infinite (as in the scientific term infinite, i.e. never-ending) amount of energy to accelerate something with mass to the speed of light, therefor it cant be done, since you would always need just a little bit more energy.

hmmmm, maybe i went just a weee bit off-topic there?

Anyway, on-topic, since the Tau use the Warp (only skimming the edge of whatever), they would have no big trouble holding their Empire together using messageboats.

I mean, think about our world before phones and radio. The brittish empire was huge, spread all over the world, and still it managed not only to survive, but to thrive. If an order was given to do something on the other side of the world, a letter would be sent, often taking many many months to get there, and then that order would be acted upon.

Really, the Imperium is so huge, and the worlds so far between, I don't think communication the the Imperium is faster. Not by a huge degree atleast.

Slaaneshi Slave
09-08-2008, 13:02
The Tau empire is tiny. It is around 0.0001% the size of the Imperial. So even if Imperial communication were 100 times faster, they would still have greater responce time to the edges of their empire.

MrBigMr
09-08-2008, 13:38
Physics are Physics.
Newtonian physics? Einsteinian physics? Quantum physics? Who knows what physics we'll be following tomorrow. The problem is that while there certainly are some sort of governing laws of action and reaction in the world, before someone comes up with a theory of everything that'll explain it all, we have no idea about the limits of the world.

The modern laws of physics are simply made via observing things in labs. And as long as they are true 99% of the time (or even less), it's good enough for the eggheads to call it a law. Even now there are satellites speeding out of our solar system that are acting differently than predicted and no one knows why. There's theories from about dark matter and all affecting them, but no one knows for sure. So where is your science now? The moment something happens that wasn't suppose to and no one knows why, the brainiacs are all "WTF, dude?" and end up battling about the theories for years to come.


One of the things I never really understood about superluminal speeds. If you're in an aircraft at the speed of sound and fire a bullet, the speed of the bullet is the velocity of the aircraft + the velocity given to the bullet via the firing process. If you're in an aircraft travelling the speed of light and you fire a projectile at the speed of light, that projectile will also be travelling at the speed of light as opposed to 2x speed of light.
Speed of light is only workable in vacuum. For one, we have the Cherenkov radiation (the blue glow in nuclear reactors), which is the result of particles moving faster than light in a medium (water). I also remember hearing about an experiment where scientists shot a laser beam through some gas and it actually came out of the gas before it even entered it.

Burnthem
09-08-2008, 14:08
hmm, whilst i freely admit that i know little to nothing about high-end physics, i will only believe that it is impossible to travel faster than light when somebody actually physically tries to do it. Humans once believed it was impossible to beat the sound barrier, hell, we once thought if you drove a car over 30mph your heart would give up :rolleyes:

So whilst i have the greatest respect for physicists that know all about these things, i think it is foolhardy of us to even begin to think that we comprehend what is possible and what is not :)

icegreentea
09-08-2008, 14:59
Newtonian physics? Einsteinian physics? Quantum physics? Who knows what physics we'll be following tomorrow. The problem is that while there certainly are some sort of governing laws of action and reaction in the world, before someone comes up with a theory of everything that'll explain it all, we have no idea about the limits of the world.

The modern laws of physics are simply made via observing things in labs. And as long as they are true 99% of the time (or even less), it's good enough for the eggheads to call it a law. Even now there are satellites speeding out of our solar system that are acting differently than predicted and no one knows why. There's theories from about dark matter and all affecting them, but no one knows for sure. So where is your science now? The moment something happens that wasn't suppose to and no one knows why, the brainiacs are all "WTF, dude?" and end up battling about the theories for years to come.


Speed of light is only workable in vacuum. For one, we have the Cherenkov radiation (the blue glow in nuclear reactors), which is the result of particles moving faster than light in a medium (water). I also remember hearing about an experiment where scientists shot a laser beam through some gas and it actually came out of the gas before it even entered it.

There are 'two' speeds of light. Because light is a wave (and particle), it has a phase velocity and a group velocity. Without going into too too much detail. Phase velocity is the velocity at which a single wavelength of light travels. Group velocity is the rate at which a modulated signal travels. When in an absorptive environment (like the gas), group velocity can exceed c. However, because information depends the product of group velocity and front velocity, no matter how you mess with group velocity, your front velocity will change such that information will always propagate at c.

As for current laws of physics. Physicists try to get it as close to perfect all the time. The errors in tracking Voyager can be the result of two things. A) The equations we use to describe stellar motion is just wrong and B) there is another force that we have not observed, but can be easily put into our current equation. Science is not about being able to answer everything right away. It is about being able to explain everything at some point. Give them time, the scientific method never said anything about being fast. The Theory of Relativity btw, has significant real life usage. GPS signals are corrected for time dilation. If they didn't their accuracy would degree by several magnitudes.

Tarota
09-08-2008, 15:07
Funding helps break the laws of physics?
You realize the transistors you use to read these messages don't work under Newtonian physics, right? They are a simple quantum mechanical device, developed in a lab. Funded by a telephone monopoly, as I recall.

So, yes, funding can break the laws of physics :p . Not all of them, no doubt. But hopefully just enough... ;)

Duckdude
09-08-2008, 15:39
hmm, whilst i freely admit that i know little to nothing about high-end physics, i will only believe that it is impossible to travel faster than light when somebody actually physically tries to do it. Humans once believed it was impossible to beat the sound barrier, hell, we once thought if you drove a car over 30mph your heart would give up :rolleyes:

So whilst i have the greatest respect for physicists that know all about these things, i think it is foolhardy of us to even begin to think that we comprehend what is possible and what is not :)

Dont forget we once thought it was impossible to walk on the moon ;) And that the earth was flat :D

Slaaneshi Slave
09-08-2008, 15:41
The Earth is flat! Look! (http://www.solarnavigator.net/geography/geography_images/salt_flats_bonneville_utah_usa.jpg)

chaos0xomega
09-08-2008, 20:48
Newtonian physics? Einsteinian physics? Quantum physics? Who knows what physics we'll be following tomorrow. The problem is that while there certainly are some sort of governing laws of action and reaction in the world, before someone comes up with a theory of everything that'll explain it all, we have no idea about the limits of the world.

The modern laws of physics are simply made via observing things in labs. And as long as they are true 99% of the time (or even less), it's good enough for the eggheads to call it a law. Even now there are satellites speeding out of our solar system that are acting differently than predicted and no one knows why. There's theories from about dark matter and all affecting them, but no one knows for sure. So where is your science now? The moment something happens that wasn't suppose to and no one knows why, the brainiacs are all "WTF, dude?" and end up battling about the theories for years to come.


Speed of light is only workable in vacuum. For one, we have the Cherenkov radiation (the blue glow in nuclear reactors), which is the result of particles moving faster than light in a medium (water). I also remember hearing about an experiment where scientists shot a laser beam through some gas and it actually came out of the gas before it even entered it.

I already know all about general relativity, special relativity, the requirements of accelerating something to the speed of light, cherenkov radiation, other speed of light related tests (I hadn't heard about the gas thing, but there was one interesting one where researchers fired pulses through a long steel cable, the pulses arrived at the other end much faster than they should have been had they been travelling at the speed of light through that medium), etc. I'm pretty well versed in it. And for the record, I don't believe in relativity (it's a lifestyle choice, like homosexuality and eating cereal for breakfast).

Also, I feel much of physics is "made up." Physics (regardless of the "brand name" given to it), fails to accurately explain so many phenomena, such as why the universe expansion continues accelerating. When a commonly accepted equation fails to explain something, all to often, a researcher goes: "Well, this equation must be right, perhaps there is another variable we didn't consdier.... I know, lets call it Dark Matter! or Dark Energy! or Aether! etc." Do they ever consider that the equation/"law" is actually wrong and that they're just making up voodoo science to fill in the holes?

The Earth is flat! Look!

Errr.... I don't get it?

Slaaneshi Slave
09-08-2008, 21:06
Most modern scientists freely admit we know very little about the workings of the universe, and that our current theories will more than likely be scrapped in the next few decades. Read Lee Smolins "The Trouble with Physics", it's a laymans terms book on... Well the title tells it all.

MrBigMr
09-08-2008, 21:14
And for the record, I don't believe in relativity (it's a lifestyle choice, like homosexuality and eating cereal for breakfast).
Please tell me more. Please. Pretty please with a cherry on top.

Burnthem
09-08-2008, 21:15
Exactly, thats the difference between scientists and preists, a scientist is more than happy to be proved wrong if it increases his understanding :)

But lets not continue that thought, it strays dangerously close to P+R ;)

Drasanil
10-08-2008, 04:37
Exactly, thats the difference between scientists and preists, a scientist is more than happy to be proved wrong if it increases his understanding :)

You sure about that? Some of them have pretty big egos, and would rather be proven right than learn anything new.

chaos0xomega
10-08-2008, 05:14
Please tell me more. Please. Pretty please with a cherry on top.

http://www.anti-relativity.com/

Just googling "disproving relativity" will bring up a wealth of information, and not derail this thread further.

MrBigMr
10-08-2008, 08:18
I was far more interested on the latter bits of that comment.

Koryphaus
10-08-2008, 10:28
Don't the Tau use warp portals? I'm thinking of the portal system encountered by Schaeffer & Co in "Kill Team"

chaos0xomega
11-08-2008, 04:46
I was far more interested on the latter bits of that comment.

Oh, I was paraphrasing an episode of George Lopez that I happened to be watching at that exact moment.

Tarota
11-08-2008, 17:21
Also, I feel much of physics is "made up." Physics (regardless of the "brand name" given to it), fails to accurately explain so many phenomena, such as why the universe expansion continues accelerating. When a commonly accepted equation fails to explain something, all to often, a researcher goes: "Well, this equation must be right, perhaps there is another variable we didn't consdier.... I know, lets call it Dark Matter! or Dark Energy! or Aether! etc." Do they ever consider that the equation/"law" is actually wrong and that they're just making up voodoo science to fill in the holes?
The point of science is not to "explain everything", it is to "explain more". So, if you've got something better, feel free to publish. There are plenty of examples of people who have done so.

And yes, people do consider that Dark Matter might be a mathematical artifact. That's why they don't just intone "Let there be Dark Matter", and let it rest there. They continue to observe, collect data, and figure out how it seems to behave. That data will either let them figure out what Dark Matter is, show them where earlier observations were wrong, or overthrow the paradigm entirely. None of that will suddenly make internal combustion engines fail, or computers stop working, though.

Goq Gar
11-08-2008, 18:08
Erm, methinks that, since the tau worlds are what we like to call "really really close together", compared to the imperium, where some worlds are comparitively "really really far apart", even basic radio signals would suffice.

But, Tau being Tau, we can assume they use massive "compensating for something" lasers. In fact, I bet they just fire massive space cannons and burn a message onto the surface of the planet they want to communicate with. They're not using those deserts for anything anyway.

Burnthem
11-08-2008, 21:04
Erm, methinks that, since the tau worlds are what we like to call "really really close together", compared to the imperium, where some worlds are comparitively "really really far apart", even basic radio signals would suffice.

But, Tau being Tau, we can assume they use massive "compensating for something" lasers. In fact, I bet they just fire massive space cannons and burn a message onto the surface of the planet they want to communicate with. They're not using those deserts for anything anyway.

Both Radio Waves and Lasers travel at/close to the speed of light, and would therefore take decades to cross Tau space. Even 'close together' planets are still dozens of light years apart.

Slaaneshi Slave
11-08-2008, 21:22
Alpha Centauri is Earths closest neighbough, and is over 20 light years away. That means it would take over 20 years to communicate via radio or laser.

Goq Gar
11-08-2008, 22:02
I claim no knowledge of your science magik... I still say the space cannon/pen would work!

Koryphaus
12-08-2008, 02:05
The triple-sun Alpha Centauri system is 4.3 light years away (http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap960526.html).

Shas'O Darklighter
12-08-2008, 12:32
The Tau had lots of trouble with FTL messaging so to compensate they just increased the speed of light :D

Koryphaus
12-08-2008, 14:11
Now they can send real quick msgs without comitting any universal no-no's :D. But I guess they still have trouble with FTL communication :p