Having completed a well-rounded education that included accreditation in computer science in the form of a degree minor, I found it perplexing (if not disappointing) that I couldn’t attain full-time employment commensurate with my education. Only odd jobs and government programs would appear on my radar. I was prepared for the world but it seemed the world was not prepared for me.
Fortunately, though being unable to afford the trappings of life (e.g. vacations, new cars, real estate, and so on) or to start a family, I was always able to support myself visa vie the basic needs of food, shelter and clothing. It’s not a word of a lie to tell you that the greatest disadvantage to this lifestyle is the copious free-time you have on your hands. Indeed, it was reassuring to draw understanding, inspiration and comradeship from a section of “Palm Sunday”; a semi-autobiographical novel by the famous American author Kurt Vonnegut. Here, Vonnegut addresses a group of fresh university graduates and tells them that, from now on, their biggest concern will be what to do with all of their free-time.
Miraculously, just a few years ago, all this free-time suddenly came in handy. I was lying in bed with the radio on and heard the news regarding the passing of Neil Armstrong. To my recollection, the report stated that he died several days after undergoing a heart surgery from which he never fully recovered. While such a sequence of events is by no means exclusive to failed value surgery, it did strike me as ironic that a man (whose entire storied career depended greatly on his engineering mastery of the value) might have succumbed to the very thing that was so instrumental in taking him so far.
And there were two full moons that month of August. I felt charged. “I’ve got all the free-time in the world”, I told myself. “Why not spend it looking into the possibilities of space-travel?” So off I went. I had already been spending a great deal of time at the public library playing online chess and googling whatever tickled my fancy. Fortuitously, the library had just recently re-arranged their public access computers to a less busy space and the internet was working better and faster than any I had previously encountered. And concurrently as well, the public broadcaster had cut their transmission facilities. Left without nightly news and hockey games to watch, I found myself turning in directly after supper. My brain became a research-machine and I was ready to use it!
I quickly discovered that the greatest impediment to space travel is the vast distance to be traversed. And to add to this dilemma, it is widely disseminated that nothing travels faster than the constant speed of light. I looked into the research regarding the “bending of space” but found the formulations seemed to be grounded in conjecture. But I couldn’t be sure without more detailed research. So, for a few weeks, I continued to get nowhere; splitting my time on the internet between theoretical-physics research and playing chess. Then, and I kid you not, I had a eureka moment whilst bathing. I detailed this idea and posted it on NASA’s JPL Facebook page. It was here I connected with whom would be the co-author (Sarvraj Singh) of the peer-reviewed paper that we published in the following months.
There are two criteria which qualify you to be a scientist. Either, you hold a PhD in a scientific field or you have work published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. With the publication of “Interstellar Transmitter Concept (King David’s Sling)” in the American Journal of Modern Physics, I no longer refer to myself as unemployed. I call myself a physicist.
For those of you who want to know more about the The Interstellar Transmitter Concept, here is a brief explanation of the concept:
The Interstellar Transmitter Concept (ITC) is a way to reduce or even eliminate the time delay in sending messages to places outside the Earth-Moon system. Mars, for example, requires 3-21 minutes to get a transmission from Earth. And a round-trip communication would take double that; 6-42 minutes. So if you were to say “Hello” to an astronaut or colonist on Mars, it could take up to 42 minutes before you would hear their response. A refined ITC could make Earth to Mars communications practically instantaneous; allowing even such things as the Internet to work on Mars.
– Glen Monahan, Age 48
If you enjoyed Glen’s Story, check out his published paper Interstellar transmitter Concept (King David’s Sling).