The Amber Nebula - Science and Technology

There is only one piece of science/technology which violates known 20th century physics: The hyperdrive. This allows material objects to travel at effective speeds greater than that of light. This violates special relativity, and no relativistic effects are caused by using hyperdrive. In defiance of relativity, there exists an absolute time, which is synchronised across all known realspace and hyperspace. So if you leave Earth and travel through hyperspace for two weeks, spend two weeks at your destination, then make a two-week return trip, you will arrive home six weeks after you left. Relativistic effects do occur for objects traveling in realspace at close to the speed of light, but these are unimportant for the usual means of space travel within the campaign.

All other unphysical science/technology does not exist. This means there is no FTL radio communication, no artificial gravity or other forms of gravity control, no reactionless thrust engines, no force fields (including tractor and pressor beams), and no time travel. There are also no psionic powers, or magical or supernatural forces in the campaign.

Available space drives include the ion drive and antimatter thermal rocket. An ion drive generates thrust by accelerating charged particles to extremely high exhaust velocities. Ion drives are powered by normal starship power plants, most often nuclear fusion plants. Antimatter power plants are available, but antimatter fuel is expensive. More efficient is the antimatter thermal drive, which operates by mixing small amounts of antimatter directly with the reaction mass to generate a hot exhaust. Almost anything can be used as reaction mass. The denser the material, the less space it requires, but often the more it costs. Antimatter pion rocket engines do not exist. Antimatter costs about $5000 per gram.

Nanotechnology is currently under development. Experimental nanomachines of TL9 are in use by military forces, but there is no widespread commercial application yet.

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