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Jumpspace is a basic concept of Interstellar Travel: that of an alternate space in which Jump occurs. 

  • Jump is defined as the movement of matter from one point in space (called normal space) to another point in normal space by travelling through an alternate space (...called jumpspace).

Description (Specifications)[edit]

The benefit of jump is that the time required is relatively invariant - about one week. If the distance travelled is greater than can be covered in one week in normal space, then a gain has been made. Jumpspace makes possible enormous gains.

  • Entering jump is possible anywhere, but perturbations due to gravity make it safest to begin a jump at least 100 diameters out from a large massive body such as a world or star. Ships are naturally precipitated out of jumpspace before they get too deep into a gravity field.
  • Normal jumps take 168 hours (plus or minus 10 percent) to complete, regardless of the distance travelled.

Jump Space Appearance[edit]

No accurate description of jumpspace exists because it is constantly variable. Each individual sophont seems to perceive it differently.

  • Continuous observation has been known to drive sophonts insane so starship viewports tend to be shuttered while traversing jumpspace.


Sometimes a jump goes wrong. Catastrophic failures (called misjumps) can destroy the ship and its crew. Other failures can destroy a drive or send a ship in the wrong direction. Some misjumps reduce a jump-6 to a mere jump-1, or convert a jump-1 into jump-10, 20, or higher. The fact that misjumps can cause the distance traveled to exceed the normal range is an indication that further research is necessary in the field of jump technologies.

Jump Drive Ratings[edit]

Jump drives are also rated in parsecs; Jump-1, for instance, indicates an ability to Jump one parsec (that is, enter level one jumpspace). The jump drive opens the weave and tumbles the ship into and through a tunnel in the selected jumpspace level. The jumpspace tunnel is mathematically similar to an artificially created wormhole. Due to the unique topology of jumpspace, the "fall" through the tunnel takes about 1 standard week (150 to 185 hours), regardless of the distance travelled in N-space. If the distance travelled is greater than can be covered in one week in normal space, then a gain has been made. This time spent in the jumpspace tunnel is referred to as time "in the hole" by experienced travellers.

Jump Drive Isolation[edit]

  • Ships in jump are untouchable and out of communication. Jumps are usually made at low velocities, because ships leaving jumpspace retain the speed and direction they held prior to jump. Minimum mass for entry into jumpspace is 100 tons.
  • Entering jumpspace is possible anywhere, but gravity perturbations make it safest to begin a jump at least 100 diameters from a star or a world. Jumps made between 10 and 100 diameters are considered hazardous and should be avoided. Jumps from within 10 diameters are often disastrous.
  • Oddly enough, ships cannot materialise in a gravity well. Any craft whose jump vector calls for it to break into N-space within 100 diameters is precipitated violently out of jumpspace. In some cases, this can cause severe damage to the ship or its crew.

Jump Space Levels[edit]

The various jumpspace dimensions are described by modern physicists as the "levels" of jumpspace. Each level has its own character, defined by the physical laws which operate there: these laws are known as the "weave".

  • A level's weave ranges from very "loose" (easy to enter) to very "tight" (difficult to enter).
  • Currently, we can only access 6 jumpspace levels, each of which is associated with an approximate distance travelled in parsecs.
  • For example, a ship making a three-parsec jump is travelling through "level three jumpspace".
  • The higher the level number, the tighter the weave. To date, only misjumps have encountered jumpspace level seven or higher.
Jumpspace & Conventional Space Travel in 1116
Space Level #'s Weave Drive
FTL Travel Duration Travel Distance Remarks
Real Space
0 None Conventional Drives
NAFAL (STL) Conventional Space-Time limitations. Unlimited
(Fuel limitation)
Pre-FTL or NAFAL Technologies.
  • Fairly well understood.
Jump Space
1 to 6 Tight Jump Drives

J-1 to J-6

FTL 168 hours [+/- 10%] 1 to 6 parsecs Drive rating are equal to the maximum travel distance in parsecs of travel.
  • e.g. A J-1 drive can travel one parsec, or about 3.261 light-years or 206,265 Astronomical units.
  • 100 diameter gravity well limitation.
  • Not well understood.
Hop Space
7 to 12 (?) Tighter "Hop" Drives (?)

J-7 to J-12 (?)

FTL Unknown Unknown Beyond TL-15 technology.
  • Conjectured to be accessible in the near future.
  • All attempts to date have incurred misjumps.
  • Not well understood.
Unknown 13 to 18 (?) Tightest Unknown FTL Unknown Unknown Conjectured to be accessible in the far future.
Unknown 19 to 24 (?) Tightest Unknown FTL Unknown Unknown Conjectured to be accessible in the far future.
Unknown 25 to 30 (?) Tightest Unknown FTL Unknown Unknown Conjectured to be accessible in the far future.
Unknown 31 to 36 (?) Tightest Unknown FTL Unknown Unknown Conjectured to be accessible in the far future.
Unknown 37+ (?) Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Unknown Conjectured to not be accessible to FTL drives.

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

Jump is the term used to describe the movement of matter from one point in normal space (N-space) to another point in normal space by travelling through a different plane of existence, called jumpspace (J-space).

J-space vs. N-space[edit]

The dimensionality that we commonly experience in our everyday lives is usually referred to as "Normal Space" or "N-space", and consists of 4 dimensions: 3 of space and 1 of time. The era of modern physics dawned with the realization that there are more dimensions than these; modern cosmology places the number between 46-62 at a minimum, depending upon the particular theory of spacetime employed. Early 26-dimensional models of spacetime which only incorporated the "bosonic" force-carrying particle-fields had later been shown to be reducible to a 10 or 11 dimensional manifold in theoretical models encapsulating all known particles.

In those manifold models using 10-11 dimensions as their basis, the 6 or 7 extra dimensions (in conjunction with the 4 with which we are commonly familiar) typically manifest themselves as the fields associated with the 4 fundamental forces of nature (the gravitational, strong, weak, and electromagnetic fields) and are of dimensional-size comparable to the subatomic scale. An additional 36 have since been discovered that are comparable in scale, and are accessible only by jump drive.

Some modern Imperial theorists have suggested that the current model of jumpspace arising from the base-6 hierarchical model of 36 levels beyond the primary 10 or 11 dimensions of "normal" spacetime may in fact be mathematically equivalent to a base-9 model of cascading higher level jumpspaces, though this is currently still a matter of conjecture based upon theory. It is in fact possible that many other higher level dimensional manifolds may exist (in fact some theoretical models even suggest potentially an infinite number) which are as yet undiscovered by current Imperial science.

Jumpspace Theory[edit]

While originally conceived as an alternate universe, Jumpspace is correctly defined in String Theory as an extension of our universe, where there are more dimensions than are usually perceived.   According to this theory, jumpspaces are alternate spaces, each only dimly understood from the standpoint of our own universe.

Jumpspace is related to normal Einsteinian space (or "N-space") in a non-linear fashion. As such, both velocity and positional information take on imaginary values for objects in jumpspace relative to Normal space, resulting in a transition from point-to-point in N-space with a typical expectation value of approximately 168 (±10%) hours (though the temporal probability curve extends along a steep normal distribution in both directions), the N-space distance of the jump limited only by the "weave" of the particular level of jumpspace with respect to the 4 dimensions of Einsteinian space. While in a particular "level" of jumpspace (or "J-space") the positional and velocity values for objects in the N-space universe have corresponding imaginary values relative to the object. Since t = d/v, the imaginary components of position and velocity cancel each other, yielding a common real-valued time coordinate in both the N-space and J-space environments. Thus, since gravity is uniquely a curvature of both temporal as well as spatial coordinates in Einsteinian-spacetime, the only interaction an object in a jumpspace manifold has with the N-space universe is the the complex-valued jumpspace "shadow" of gravitational sources in N-space that project into jumpspace via a complex non-linear (and not well understood) interaction.

  • Originally jump was limited to jump 1, but It was conceived that this was limited due to the energies involved, and eventually higher quantum levels were found, which allow for jumps of greater distances. Additionally, string theory shows that further distances might be possible travel in jumpspace, or that some alternate types of faster than light travel might exist.

See also[edit]

Please refer to the following AAB library data for further information:

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

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