Rippling is the standard means of faster-than-light (FTL) travel for space ships in the Continuation prior to the Jana Era. The name "rippling" is a metaphor for the process of moving across small distortions in space. A physics and engineering theory for rippling has been developed by Aaron Williams.
"A ripple drive allows for faster-than-light travel by means a rhythmic expansion and contraction of space, which allows an equipped vessel's momentum to carry it over an artificially exaggerated distance in space as compared to its actual speed." -Aaron Williams.
A ripple drive typically consists of
- 12 globe emitters
- 12 field control coil sets
- 12 projected globe fields
- 1 housing
The drive can be in the shape of a V (most common) or 2 parallel lines of globes.
Ripple drives have a negative economy of scale: the more massive the ship, the greater percentage of its area must be taken up by the ripple drive.
Rippling ships can achieve a maximum perceived "speed" of about 2 light years per hour. This appears a theoretical maximum as many millennia of development failed to improve on it. At this "speed," it would take approximately 25-30 Standard days to cross the Continuation from end to end. The great attraction of jae as an alternate means of space travel is that it could make the same trip almost instantly.