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Old Sep 11 2006, 11:19 AM   #1
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Default Re: Science of Pern

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Minerals
SOP: Aluminium?
I'm pretty sure there are references to Bauxite (i.e. aluminium) in DDawn, as well as the rest of the rather limited mineral wealth of Pern.

As far as HNO3 goes, flamethrowers were developed in DDawn, but I'm not sure if they describe what chemicals were used in those ones or not. Although isn't that the first place we here HNO3 slurred into agenothree?
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Old Sep 14 2006, 07:46 AM   #2
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I'm pretty sure there are references to Bauxite (i.e. aluminium) in DDawn, as well as the rest of the rather limited mineral wealth of Pern.
There's a reference in SOP (I think it might even've been Toric about "box-something or other" which is then described as light-weight and malleable.
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Old Sep 15 2006, 04:17 AM   #3
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Yes, just read that passage this morning.

It IS Toric, and he's undoubtedly referring to Bauxite/Aluminium. The bits in -Dawn, are mostly passages centering on Sallah's POV while various prospecting is being done, or the results are being shared.
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Old Sep 15 2006, 04:45 AM   #4
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oooh...
I forgot about those...
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Old Oct 1 2006, 06:56 AM   #5
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Old Oct 2 2006, 06:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: Minerals

In that case Pern must have a reasonable supply of boron.

Off this topic (but link to elsewhere): boron can be used as an igniter for explosive reactions, so might be what dragons use.

It's also supposed to be useful in control/treatment of arthritis and, according to webelements.com, I contain about 1/20th gram of the stuff.
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Old Oct 3 2006, 01:53 AM   #7
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Dragons don't need anything to ignite their flame, that's the point of using phosphine in the first place, since it can spontaneously combust in contact with oxygen at normal atmospheric pressures.
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Old May 31 2016, 11:28 PM   #8
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Just a thought that occurred as I was rereading the series in chronological order. The dragon riders are all set to become asteroid miners. They have space suits. They have dragons to alter the orbits of bodies approaching pern. Why not put them in orbit and mine them for all that metal. Even a small body could have many tons of metal.
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Old Jun 8 2016, 09:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by alanspik View Post
Just a thought that occurred as I was rereading the series in chronological order. The dragon riders are all set to become asteroid miners. They have space suits. They have dragons to alter the orbits of bodies approaching pern. Why not put them in orbit and mine them for all that metal. Even a small body could have many tons of metal.
More like asteroid watcher in The Skies of Pern. Yes they might do that later, if they keep the technology up, which was their plan.
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Old Mar 7 2017, 04:31 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanspik View Post
Just a thought that occurred as I was rereading the series in chronological order. The dragon riders are all set to become asteroid miners. They have space suits. They have dragons to alter the orbits of bodies approaching pern. Why not put them in orbit and mine them for all that metal. Even a small body could have many tons of metal.
I'm not sure, the populace seems to have a mind that things in space need to stay there.

Know there is iron on planet (can't do steel without it), and copper (distance writer). of course box something or other got a chuckle. All the Weyrs had AIVAS discussing possible alloys, and not possible, with Fandarel. So there is the probability that there are other metals, and elements available, though they had not been incorporated into the smithing, or had fallen into disuse by the time of Present Pass.

I think what Pern was lacking specifically was radioactive ores. most of the commonly used metals can be found on most rocky planets. Iron, nickel, copper, Aluminum. Boron and silicon has to be in abundance, since the indigenous life had it incorporated in their genetic structures. Which is why it was left for agrarian colonization. I recall no mention of glowing rocks that killed people who stayed close by for too long.
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Old Mar 9 2017, 08:47 AM   #11
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You also need the technology to mine and smelt it. The means of making extremely high temperatures, for example. Iron and copper are relatively easy, I've met people who smelted that at home for making medieval armour, though I don't know what they started with. Ironsand? Our west coast is famous for its black ironsand beaches, and we used to use it as a toy, with the top of a shoebox and a magnet or two.
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