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Thread: Faster-than-Light Warp Drive

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    Senior Member atmjjc's Avatar
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    Faster-than-Light Warp Drive

    NASA Actually Working on Faster-than-Light Warp Drive
    By Matt Peckham

    nasa-warp-drive_zps9823c353.jpg

    You know that scene in the film Contact where the “Machine” is spooling up, its three spinning rings kicking out crazy light and an electromagnetic field powerful enough to pitch nearby Navy battleships sideways, as Ellie (Jodie Foster) waits, terrified, in her tiny spherical craft above the space-time bedlam, to plummet into the vortex?

    Yeah, that’s not exactly how NASA’s envisioning faster-than-light space travel, but…wait, NASA’s working on faster-than-light travel? Isn’t that impossible?


    Of course it is. Nothing can travel faster than light, right? To do so would violate the special theory of relativity, which stipulates that you’d need an infinite amount of energy to accelerate a particle with mass to light speed. We’ve all heard this pretty much since we were kids. Has someone finally proven special relativity wrong?

    Not at all, but with respect to travel between the stars, someone did come up with a radical-sounding hypothetical workaround 18 years ago.

    In a paper titled “The Warp Drive: Hyper-fast travel within general relativity” published in science journal Classical and Quantum Gravity in May 1994, physicist Miguel Alcubierre suggested a mechanism for getting an object from one point to another at faster-than-light speeds without running afoul of Einsteinian relativity.

    Alcubierre’s idea: bending space-time in front of and behind a vessel rather than attempting to propel the vessel itself at light-speeds.

    According to Alcubierre, in the paper abstract …

    … [it] is shown how, within the framework of general relativity and without the introduction of wormholes, it is possible to modify a spacetime in a way that allows a spaceship to travel with an arbitrarily large speed. By a purely local expansion of spacetime behind the spaceship and an opposite contraction in front of it, motion faster than the speed of light as seen by observers outside the disturbed region is possible. The resulting distortion is reminiscent of the ‘warp drive’ of science fiction.


    Harold WhiteBy placing a spheroid object between two regions of space-time — one expanding, the other contracting — Alcubierre theorized you could create a “warp bubble” that moves space-time around the object, effectively re-positioning it. In essence, you’d have the end result of faster-than-light travel without the object itself having to move (with respect to its local frame of reference) at light-speed or faster.

    The only catch: Alcubierre says that, “just as happens with wormholes,” you’d need “exotic matter” (matter with “strange properties”) to distort space-time. And the amount of energy necessary to power that would be on par with — wait for it — the mass-energy of the planet Jupiter.

    So we’re back to “fuhgeddaboudit,” right?

    Maybe not. According to NASA physicist Harold White, the energy problem may actually be surmountable by simply tweaking the warp drive’s geometry.

    White, who just shared his latest ideas at the 100 Year Starship 2012 Public Symposium, says that if you adjust the shape of the ring surrounding the object, from something that looks like a flat halo into something thicker and curvier, you could power Alcubierre’s warp drive with a mass roughly the size of NASA’s Voyager 1 probe.

    In other words: reduction in energy requirements from a planet with a mass equivalent to over 300 Earths, down to an object that weighs just under 1,600 pounds.

    What’s more, if you oscillate the space warp, White claims you could reduce the energy load even further.

    “The findings I presented today change [Alcubierre's warp drive] from impractical to plausible and worth further investigation,” White told SPACE.com. “The additional energy reduction realized by oscillating the bubble intensity is an interesting conjecture that we will enjoy looking at in the lab.”

    That’s right, an actual lab experiment, whereby White says he plans to simulate the tweaked Alcubierre drive in miniature, using lasers “to perturb space-time by one part in 10 million.”

    And if it works? Don’t expect to go Alpha Centauri-hopping any time soon, but the idea well down the road, according to a presentation delivered by White on the subject last year, would involve a spacecraft leaving Earth, traveling a given distance using conventional propulsion, stopping (relative to the Earth), enabling its “warp field,” then traveling to a point near its interstellar destination, where it would then disable the field and continue on its way using conventional propulsion methods once more.

    Star Trek meets Contact, in other words.

    Instead of taking “decades or centuries,” White says this would allow us to visit a spot like Alpha Centauri — a little over four light years from us — in as little as “weeks or months.”


    http://techland.time.com/2012/09/19/...ht-warp-drive/
    We control matter because we control the mind. Reality is inside the skull.
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    Senior Member atmjjc's Avatar
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    In part a quote from Richard Obousy

    "Everything within space is restricted by the speed of light," explained Richard Obousy, president of Icarus Interstellar, a non-profit group of scientists and engineers devoted to pursuing interstellar spaceflight. "But the really cool thing is space-time, the fabric of space, is not limited by the speed of light."
    With this concept, the spacecraft would be able to achieve an effective speed of about 10 times the speed of light, all without breaking the cosmic speed limit.

    http://www.foxnews.com/science/2012/...cientists-say/
    Last edited by atmjjc; 09-20-2012 at 11:16 AM.
    We control matter because we control the mind. Reality is inside the skull.
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    Senior Member atmjjc's Avatar
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    We control matter because we control the mind. Reality is inside the skull.
    ~ George Orwell ‘1984’

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    ]Super-Fast Space Travel Would Kill You in Minutes
    Jamie Condliffe





    Everyone thinks it would be cool to travel at the speed of light, which is why scientists devote their lives to working out if it would be possible and NASA is trying to develop its own warp drive. But easy, tiger: turns out super-fast space travel would be fatal.

    A paper published in Natural Science brings some boring common sense to the speed-of-light-travel table. In order to travel huge distances in next to no time, people need to travel close to the speed of light. In so doing, travelers cover extremely large distances very quickly and, thanks to the quirks of relativity, would feel like it took mere minutes because of an effect known as time dilation, which squashes perceived time.

    Trouble is, traveling close to the speed of light brings about other effects, too. In Natural Science, Edelstein and Edelstein point out that hydrogen in any craft cable of traveling at the speed of light would also prevent it from traveling at the speed of light. They explain:


    Unfortunately, as spaceship velocities approach the speed of light, interstellar hydrogen H, although only present at a density of approximately 1.8 atoms/cm3, turns into intense radiation that would quickly kill passengers and destroy electronic instrumentation. In addition, the energy loss of ionizing radiation passing through the ship's hull represents an increasing heat load that necessitates large expenditures of energy to cool the ship.

    In other words, travel close to the speed of light and you'll be bombarded with so much radiation that you kick the bucket. The knock-on effect is that even if it's possible to create a craft capable of traveling close the speed of light, it wouldn't be able to transport people.

    Instead, there's a natural speed limit imposed by safe levels of radiation due to hydrogen, which means humans couldn't travel faster than half the speed of light unless they were willing to die almost immediately. Dammit. [Natural Science]


    Super-Fast Space Travel Would Kill You in Minutes
    We control matter because we control the mind. Reality is inside the skull.
    ~ George Orwell ‘1984’

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    Senior Member atmjjc's Avatar
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    NASA's Breakthrough Propulsion Physics

    http://www.grc.nasa.gov/WWW/bpp/index.html
    We control matter because we control the mind. Reality is inside the skull.
    ~ George Orwell ‘1984’

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    Senior Member majicbar's Avatar
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    "A paper published in Natural Science brings some boring common sense to the speed-of-light-travel table."

    But it is wrong! The hallmark experiments of A.A. Mickelson, which are the foundation of much of what we think we know about light, are wholly misunderstood in what they teach us about light's behavior. Is the speed of light a universal constant as relativists and Einstein claim? No, the speed of light is constant to the "ether" entrained by massive bodies such as the Earth, and the speed changes when it drops into the "ether" of free, or absolute space, but again it is constant to the "ether". Relative to this "ether" the speed of light is constant, but that is not universal as a speed in the absolute sense, if one were to consider it in terms of absolute space.

    The error of Mickelson is in not considering the Doppler Effect in his experiment. If the light moved in free space, or absolute space, and was constant to that space, one still would have to expect to find the Doppler Effect. Clearly in his interferometry experiments he does not see the Doppler Effect: what Mickelson sees is an instrument that behaves as if it is at rest. Assuming that the Ether is fully entrained to the motion of the Earth, the instrument IS at rest.

    Assuming that one could entrain the ether to one's spacecraft, then the speed of light would be constant to the spacecraft and any speed would become possible. Radiation might be an issue to such a spacecraft as the Doppler Effect would shift radiation the spacecraft approaches to higher and more dangerous energies. Could the ether be manipulated to deflect, or refract, that radiation? Presumably yes. I don't see a problem going faster than the speed of light.

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    Senior Member atmjjc's Avatar
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    Hi Majicbar it has been awhile, hope life has been treating you well.

    I do agree the radiation problem will be just a work-around. Whether we agree with Einstein or not I do think the Natural Science paper is assuming too much with too little information to base a solid opinion on how FTL the way it as being proposed will effect biological matter and even with the worst case scenario we should overcome the problem. Otherwise humanity has no future to speak of. We must explore and colonize or we are doomed.
    We control matter because we control the mind. Reality is inside the skull.
    ~ George Orwell ‘1984’

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    Scientists perform new experiment to solve the 'one real mystery' of quantum mechanics

    Friday, November 2, 2012

    What is light made of: waves or particles? This basic question has fascinated physicists since the early days of science. Quantum mechanics predicts that photons, particles of light, are both particles and waves simultaneously. Reporting in Science, physicists from the University of Bristol give a new demonstration of this wave-particle duality of photons, dubbed the 'one real mystery of quantum mechanics' by Nobel Prize laureate Richard Feynman.

    To continue reading… http://www.labspaces.net/125009/Scie...ntum_mechanics
    We control matter because we control the mind. Reality is inside the skull.
    ~ George Orwell ‘1984’

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    Alcubierre warp drive

    An idea for achieving faster-than-light travel suggested by the Mexican theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre in 1994.1 It starts from the notion, implicit in Einstein's general theory of relativity, that matter causes the surface of spacetime around it to curve.

    to continue reading > http://www.daviddarling.info/encyclo...lcubdrive.html
    We control matter because we control the mind. Reality is inside the skull.
    ~ George Orwell ‘1984’

  10. #10
    Here is a little light reading for those who are skeptical of the possibilities of Faster then Light Travel...

    http://www.fas.org/sgp/eprint/teleport.pdf

    edit to add: Some of you may recognize a few names involved with this research group. (see pages 21 & 55)
    Last edited by epo333; 12-19-2012 at 03:29 AM.

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