Using something besides Lanthanum for Traveller’s Jump Drives?

A facebook discussion reminded me of a concept I had some time ago: using an element other than Lanthanum for Traveller’s Jump Drives.
Working out such a concept would require someone far more familiar with those elements than I (I am, of course, not even close to being a scientist, especially in regards to the elemental tables). I have no idea, personally, which ones could be close to what is needed for Jumps. (Loose electrons, open electron orbits, and the like.)
Then again, this IS a game, so we can try to ignore those ‘little’ details, right? lol
From what the sleepy brain recalls (it is early morning as I type this), using elements other than lanthanum would be limited to one or two others, and would have various potential detrimental effects: reduced efficiency, higher power requirements, reduced reliability (fewer jumps before wearing out or breaking down), increased maintenance costs, and so forth.
I may revisit this idea for my new setting, but nothing may come of it. Time will tell.
What are your thoughts on the subject? Let me know in the comments. ๐Ÿ™‚
Thanks for stopping by, and have yourselves a great day!!

2 thoughts on “Using something besides Lanthanum for Traveller’s Jump Drives?

  1. If the concern were that this other material needed to be of the same chemical family (vertical on the Elemental Period chart), then we would need to look at the similar elements. Lanthanum is #57, atomic weight 238.9+, is the first of the Lanthanide elements buried within the third series. Actinium #89, atomic weight 227, is directly below it, and is the first of the Actinide series of elements. Whether the next higher layer of electron shell would be conducive to creating the jump field would be the question. Perhaps Actinium would be a suitable replacement for Lanthanum, but it may be even more rare than it and therefore even more expensive – or perhaps more difficult to extract and refine into a us
    able form.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Relevant thoughts, of course. ๐Ÿ™‚
      I was considering other Rare Earths. Comparing the relative abundances, and so forth, Cesium was most common of them, with Lanthanum being second. I had initially thought these elements were really rare, but seeing the production levels per year (thousands of tons) tossed that thought out.
      What I will likely do is pick the more common rare earths, and create a chart showing the different game effects of each, with lanthanum being used and preferred because, A) it is the most stable, and B) it has fewer negative effects or consequences.
      There is also the industrial uses of the others. Cesium, for instance, is heavily used for a number of steel compounds.


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