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Switch to Forum Live View Full Warp Speed Ahead... Beam Me Up, Scotty!
2 years ago  ::  Sep 18, 2012 - 4:38PM #1
Paravani
Posts: 797

Hi, All!

Hey, guess what?!!

It looks like a Star-Trek type of "warp drive" might be possible after all, allowing us to effectively travel at greater-than-light speeds!

Yeah, no kidding!

See, while the speed of light is an absolute limit for velocity, there's this HUGE loophole in the mathematics.  So, while objects (spaceships, people, etc.) cannot travel faster than light, massless things like space itself can.

NASA has begun working on a "warp-bubble" generator that will create a bubble where space is "warped".  In theory, if we can create a "warp-bubble" around a space ship, space will be compressed in front of the ship and expanded behind the ship.  The ship itself won't be accelerating, so there won't be any relativistic effects (like time compression), and there won't be any "tidal" forces or inertial effects (like being slammed against a bulkhead on takeoff).

Weird concept, huh?

How fast will we be able to go?  Well, currently they're estimating 10 times the speed of light, which would allow us to travel to Gliese 581 -- a solar system about 20 light years away that has an earth-type planet -- in about two years.

Ten times the speed of light is the current estimate for the technology when it's first developed...  but bear in mind that there is NO theoretical limit.  Space could be infinitely compressible...  which would ultimately mean that it could be possible not only to explore our own galaxy to its ends, but also to explore the other galaxies, as well.

Coolio, huh?!!!

To learn more, please follow these links:

GIZMODO -- NASA Starts Work on Real Life Star Trek Warp Drive
by Jesus Diaz, September 17, 2012

Harold White Warp Field Mechanics Update


Daydreaming Beyond the Solar System with Warp Field Mechanics


Love,

Claudia

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2 years ago  ::  Sep 18, 2012 - 4:58PM #2
mytmouse57
Posts: 9,782

Cool. 


"Engage."

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2 years ago  ::  Sep 18, 2012 - 5:13PM #3
Ebon
Posts: 10,101

So very, very cool.


And I would like to volunteer to be your bearded, chain-smoking Deanna Troi.

He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. ~ Proverbs 14:31

Fiat justitia, ruat caelum

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2 years ago  ::  Sep 18, 2012 - 6:09PM #4
Erey
Posts: 18,369

another good reason to keep NASA around

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2 years ago  ::  Sep 18, 2012 - 6:54PM #5
solfeggio
Posts: 8,897

Yeah, well, that's nice, but the Alcubierre warp drive is still very much in the theoretical realm, and it's an idea that is nowhere near implementation - if, indeed, it ever will be.  


For example, relativity states that you can't violate causality.  And an FTL drive would do just that.  The Alcubierre drive is not feasible as an FTL.  For one thing, nobody knows how to create an inflation field.  But, even if physicists could do this, it would not help to create an FTL drive.


Then, you have the fact that scientists cannot even warp space time in the lab, so how could they create an outer ring of exotic matter that would be able to bend space time?


The exotic matter (negative density matter) that is referred to is something like dark matter that is only known by mathematical physical models only and has no known real world examples.  The creation of negative energy densities is unknown technology and probably impossible to achieve. 


In any case, even if everybody's dreams came to pass and people were able to travel out into space, they'd need VERY, VERY expensive space ships to do it.  And those space craft would be paid for by taxpayer dollars, of course.  Only the very rich could afford to go on a trip.


Oh, and if you think that that would mean that everybody could just pack up and leave Earth and start anew somewhere else, think again.  Nobody yet has found any other planet that would support life as we know it.


 


 


 

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2 years ago  ::  Sep 18, 2012 - 6:57PM #6
mecdukebec
Posts: 14,434

I would love to see Sarah Palin's homeworld.  If "warp" drive enables that, let's do it.  Zefrem Cochrane, per the timeline, is already born. 

*******

"Wesley told the early Methodists to gain all they could and save all they could so that they could give all they could. It means that I consider my money to belong to God and I see myself as one of the hungry people who needs to get fed with God’s money. If I really have put all my trust in Jesus Christ as savior and Lord, then nothing I have is really my own anymore."
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2 years ago  ::  Sep 18, 2012 - 8:41PM #7
TemplarS
Posts: 6,562

Well, Solf, it is true that it is theoretical and beyond the range of current or foreseeable technology.  But a lot of stuff we now take for granted was also, at one time.  


Never say never, based on current knowledge; we don't even understand what makes up 90% of the universe (dark energy and dark matter).  We think we're pretty smart, but the magnitude of what we don't know is staggering.


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2 years ago  ::  Sep 18, 2012 - 9:37PM #8
mountain_man
Posts: 38,733

Sep 18, 2012 -- 6:54PM, solfeggio wrote:

Yeah, well, that's nice, but the Alcubierre warp drive is still very much in the theoretical realm, and it's an idea that is nowhere near implementation - if, indeed, it ever will be....


That seems to be a big problem these days.  It's effecting lives in negative ways. It's slowing down the progress of humanity. Many people these days just don't have any dreams, any goals. They just complain about this or that and have no dreams for the future. A person with no dreams has no where to go. One can dream about flying about our Universe and still have their feet on the ground.

Dave - Just a Man in the Mountains.

I am a Humanist. I believe in a rational philosophy of life, informed by science, inspired by art, and motivated by a desire to do good for its own sake and not by an expectation of a reward or fear of punishment in an afterlife.
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2 years ago  ::  Sep 19, 2012 - 12:44AM #9
Paravani
Posts: 797

Hi, All!


Solf, it's obvious from your comments below that you didn't bother to read the articles:


Sep 18, 2012 -- 6:54PM, solfeggio wrote:

Yeah, well, that's nice, but the Alcubierre warp drive is still very much in the theoretical realm, and it's an idea that is nowhere near implementation - if, indeed, it ever will be.  


For example, relativity states that you can't violate causality.  And an FTL drive would do just that.  The Alcubierre drive is not feasible as an FTL.  For one thing, nobody knows how to create an inflation field.  But, even if physicists could do this, it would not help to create an FTL drive.



Yes, an FTL drive would violate causality.  That's why they're not talking about an FTL drive. 


What are they talking about?  (Hint:  read the articles!)


Sep 18, 2012 -- 6:54PM, solfeggio wrote:

Then, you have the fact that scientists cannot even warp space time in the lab, so how could they create an outer ring of exotic matter that would be able to bend space time?



Actually, they're pretty sure that they CAN create very small warp bubbles in the lab.  If you had read the articles, you'd know that.


Sep 18, 2012 -- 6:54PM, solfeggio wrote:

The exotic matter (negative density matter) that is referred to is something like dark matter that is only known by mathematical physical models only and has no known real world examples.  The creation of negative energy densities is unknown technology and probably impossible to achieve.



Actually, not at all impossible.  Scientists have had a five-year head start on solving this challenge since creating molecules of positronium in 2007:


Exotic matter-antimatter molecule created   September 13, 2007

U.S. physicists have met a 60-year challenge to create molecules of positronium, a short-lived atom that comprises matter and antimatter.


The achievement may help the development of fusion power as well as directed-energy weapons such as gamma-ray lasers. Experts also hope that it will also spur explanations for a long-standing enigma about the universe.



Next objection?


Sep 18, 2012 -- 6:54PM, solfeggio wrote:

In any case, even if everybody's dreams came to pass and people were able to travel out into space, they'd need VERY, VERY expensive space ships to do it.  And those space craft would be paid for by taxpayer dollars, of course.  Only the very rich could afford to go on a trip.



They've found ways to cut the expense of warp drive, too.  Again, if you had read the articles, you'd know that.


In the past, the literature has quoted Jupiter amounts of exotic matter/negative pressure necessary to implement a “useful” warp bubble, making the idea mostly of academic interest at best. However, sensitivity analysis started by White in 2011 and completed this year has shown that the energy requirements can be greatly reduced by first optimizing the warp bubble thickness, and further by oscillating the bubble intensity to reduce the stiffness of space time.



Sep 18, 2012 -- 6:54PM, solfeggio wrote:

Oh, and if you think that that would mean that everybody could just pack up and leave Earth and start anew somewhere else, think again.  Nobody yet has found any other planet that would support life as we know it.



You mean, nobody who has decided that they already know everything and don't need to learn more has found any other planet that would support life as we know it.  But then, those kinds of people never do find much of anything, do they?


Love,


Claudia


 




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2 years ago  ::  Sep 19, 2012 - 1:13AM #10
teilhard
Posts: 49,890

If they need a Science-Literate Staff "Chaplain-Counselor," I'll go ...

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