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"Our Star-Trek Future" --NASA Scientists Engineering a Warp-Drive Solution for Faster-Than-Light Space Travel (Today's Most Popular)

 

 

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Move over Star Trek! According to state-of-the art theory, a warp drive could cut the travel time between stars from tens of thousands of years to weeks or months. Harold G. White, a physicist and advanced propulsion engineer at NASA and other NASA engineers are trying to determine whether faster-than-light travel — warp drive — might someday be possible. The team has attempting to slightly warp the trajectory of a photon, changing the distance it travels in a certain area, and then observing the change with a device called an interferometer.

“Space has been expanding since the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago,” said Dr. White, 43, who runs the research project told the New York Times. “And we know that when you look at some of the cosmology models, there were early periods of the universe where there was explosive inflation, where two points would’ve went receding away from each other at very rapid speeds. Nature can do it,” he added. “So the question is, can we do it?”

In 1994, a Mexican physicist, Miguel Alcubierre, theorized that faster-than-light speeds were possible in a way that did not contradict Einstein by harnessing the expansion and contraction of space itself. Under Dr. Alcubierre’s hypothesis, a ship still couldn’t exceed light speed in a local region of space. But a theoretical propulsion system he sketched out manipulated space-time by generating a so-called “warp bubble” that would expand space on one side of a spacecraft and contract it on another.

 

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An Alcubierre Warp Drive stretches spacetime in a wave causing the fabric of space ahead of a spacecraft to contract and the space behind it to expand. The ship can ride the wave to accelerate to high speeds and time travel. The Alcubierre drive, also known as the Alcubierre metric or Warp Drive, is a mathematical model of a spacetime exhibiting features reminiscent of the fictional "warp drive" from Star Trek, which can travel "faster than light/"

Alcubierre-warp-drive-manifold“In this way, the spaceship will be pushed away from the Earth and pulled towards a distant star by space-time itself,” Dr. Alcubierre wrote. Dr. White, the NYT reports, has likened it to stepping onto a moving walkway at an airport.

Alcubierre’s theory, however, depended on large amounts of a little understood or observed type of “exotic matter” that violates typical physical laws.

In general relativity, one often first specifies a plausible distribution of matter and energy, and then finds the geometry of the spacetime associated with it; but it is also possible to run the Einstein field equations in the other direction, first specifying a metric and then finding the energy-momentum tensor associated with it, and this is what Alcubierre did in building his metric. This practice means that the solution can violate various energy conditions and require exotic matter. The need for exotic matter leads to questions about whether it is actually possible to find a way to distribute the matter in an initial spacetime which lacks a "warp bubble" in such a way that the bubble will be created at a later time.

Yet another problem according to Serguei Krasnikov is that it would be impossible to generate the bubble without being able to force the exotic matter to move at locally FTL speeds, which would require the existence of tachyons. Some methods have been suggested which would avoid the problem of tachyonic motion, but would probably generate a naked singularity at the front of the bubble.

Dr. White believes that advances he and others have made render warp speed less implausible. Among other things, he has redesigned the theoretical warp-traveling spacecraft — and in particular a ring around it that is key to its propulsion system — in a way that he believes will greatly reduce the energy requirements. But ”We’re not bolting this to a spacecraft,” he said of the technology.

Richard Obousy, a physicist who is president of Icarus Interstellar, a nonprofit group composed of volunteers collaborating on starship design, said “it is not airy-fairy, pie in the sky. We tend to overestimate what we can do on short time scales, but I think we massively underestimate what we can do on longer time scales.”

Dr. White likened his experiments to the early stages of the WW11 Manhattan Project, which were aimed at creating a very small nuclear reaction merely as proof that it could be done.

“Routine travel among the stars is impossible without new discoveries regarding the fabric of space and time, or capability to manipulate it for our needs,” says Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History, said “By my read, the idea of a functioning warp drive remains far-fetched, but the real take-away is that people are thinking about it — reminding us all that the urge to explore continues to run deep in our species.”

 

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Still, one of the most dubious is Dr. Alcubierre himself. He listed a number of concerns, starting with the vast amounts of exotic matter that would be needed. “The warp drive on this ground alone is impossible,” he said. “At speeds larger than the speed of light, the front of the warp bubble cannot be reached by any signal from within the ship,” he said. “This does not just mean we can’t turn it off; it is much worse. It means we can’t even turn it on in the first place.”

The Daily Galaxy via New York Times and Dr. David Lewis Anderson/Anderson Institute

Image credit: With thanks to http://www.patrickshrier.com/tag/alcubierre-drive/


 

Comments

The military and security implications of this are off the charts. The only reason NASA is able to pursue this jaw dropping technology is that those in charge give it little chance to succeed (but obviously gigantic implications if it does). Once NASA makes any real progress toward a "warp drive," it will be moved so fast to the dark side that it will make your head spin. Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if NASA scientists working on it would disappear as well. BTW, I am very reality oriented, but believe that people simply don't grok the implications if, in the very very unlikely event, the technology works.

Bob Lazar, UFOs, area 51, haha, good joke.
Guys, I think you are on the wrong website ...

This man claims we don't need to warp space to achieve FTL:

http://rjmichie.blogspot.com/

He says that far from big celestial objects (Earth, the Sun, etc.), Einstein's equations change. Time dilation and mass increase disappear.

His theory seem fantastical.

The thing is, we don't really know what would happen in deep space. We've never been there. All we know is theories, and more theories. Just because something works in a certain way near clumps of mass, doesn't mean it will work the same way out there in deep space. We just *assume* it will.

He's also published a book (I read it), on amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00D0S8HMC

Interesting piece. If true, it will completely change the conversation. From warp drive to actually moving FTL. We'll see.

The theory, by the way, is called Information Physics. If you've heard of Wheeler's "it from bit", this is a quantum leap in that direction. Or, would be, if it were true. I don't know, but it's very interesting.

My guess is that it must be possible somehow, hmmmm, or else interstellar commerce will never come to be, which would be a disappointment...such a huge universe and no way to explore it in a practical manner makes no sense, no sense at all.

Some already have it. When you consider that humankind is possibly trillions of years old, why not? In any case there are ships that fly 500 lightyears in 7 hours, and even a ship that flies that distance in a millionth of a second. Open www.theyfly.com and read The Pleiadian Mission by Randolph Winters of the same contacts to get up to date.

Before you scream hoax if this upsets your narrow paradigm because it didn't come from nasa, seti, astronomers or the Govt. note that the Swiss contactee published data on our solar system sometimes years ahead of nasa's discoveries, that given him by et or from his personal observation aboard et et cradt.

Yawn! I mean, they have captured UFOs and they've probably figured out what makes them tick so to speak. But they can't just say we know how to travel faster then light because of the aliens. So then a cover story has to be generated like you know scientist in Mexico says FTL possible.

Who needs a "starship" if there are no stars? Unless the goal is to go nowhere as fast as possible, this device will be a purely academic pursuit.

I say can take advantage of the expanding space, by dropping out of it. form a stationary bubble around your ship. meanwhile space will be moving outward around your bubble. remove your bubble you will be a different point in space. so the quickest way to get anywhere in the universe is to be still.

Problem is they are already off with the current age of the universe. 14 billion years is not even close. The universe has been expanding for trillions of years... matter only sticks around so long before its recycled.. The age of the universe is way way off in their calculations.

Nature can do it,” he added. “So the question is, can we do it?”

Did nature really do it? Is the Big Bang Theory even correct?
It's funny how many people believe in something that they do not understand, yet because most scientists believe in it too, everyone else thinks it is a fact. If you do not understand the actual flaws in the Big Bang theory yet want to critisize me for even questioning whether the Big Bang is true or not, please understand that you occupy a position of ignorance, much like those religious true-believers that accept the word of priests as the word of God.

So maybe some alien race one thousand years, or ten thousand years ahead of us really do have the capacity to come and go at will...

it may be possible to explore the quantum law of entanglement for fast traveling, where a particle billions of miles away reacts with another one here instantaneously. maybe we can travel without actually going anywhere, just duplicate ourselves.))) I don't know much about this stuff, but Einstein said we must think out of pocket....

A science story that is more tangible is one G excelerated space flight with the power of fusion. This will open the entire solar system for development.

Yes, it could cut time, unless you hit something on the way and cease to exist in a matter of milliseconds.

Guys, Initially, the experts clearly stated that Dr. Alcoubierre's warp bubble would work but it would require the total energy output of a planet the size of Neptune or Uranus. So,
the theory sat of the shelf until someone bright enough to figure out that what it needed was to curve that toroidal ring and if we stuttered the power instead of keeping it on the whole time, we could then get the energy requirements down to something like what one of our voyager spacecraft use. This IS by far more acceptable.
So, just how far would the Alcoubierre warp drive system get you? Unless I'm mistaken, it would allow us to travel about 26 LY in one week, roughly.
Herr Burkhard Heim when trying to unify Relativity and Quantum mechanics had to work with 6 and sometimes 8 dimensions of reality. What he figured out was this. BY jumping into the next higher dimension of reality, we could APARENTLY go faster than the speed of light without breaking any of the Laws governing this issue. Herr Heim clearly stated we should be able to travel 11 LY in 80 days.
So, I did the math and this is how it came out ... figuring this by enlistment hitches ( 2Yr.,4Yr., )Therefore, the distance you could travel by Heim's method would be roughly 99LY in a 2
year hitch. Of course, you'd need to another two years to return home. So, we're looking at a 200 LY diameter of interest for us.
I next looked at the issue of would it actually be worth our time and effort to go out there. ( IE: Are we living in a desert or a forest in regards to planets and stars in our 200 LY area of interest.) What I discovered after compiling stars for over three days was this ... there are more than 275 stars in our local area and many of them are main sequence yellow dwarf stars. So, I'd say it would be very much to our advantage to go out there into space.
And, now for the best nibble yet ... who is to say we need to travel at speeds equaling the speed of light.
At the beginning of the Universe, light and gravity had the same speed. However, the speed of GRAVITY has NOT slowed down any. The speed of GRAVITY has been figured to be about 20 MILLION times faster than the speed of light.
Yes, FTL drives would give us our local area of the Galaxy but, FTG drives would give us the Galaxy ! ... Anonymouse

nasa probably had this technology under control 30 years ago!

I really hope that space exploration will be possible in my lifetime.it is my life long dream to travel in space.though don't have the knowledge of a genius i know i have the heart of an explorer.

I'm an unashamed, lifelong Trekkie. I certainly want there to be an FTL warpdrive.

But, practically, how will such a craft dodge all the planets, stars and other masses in space that its pilots won't be able to see because they're going too fast?

And wouldn't such a craft need to expend an impossible amount of energy if some theoretical way of 'bending' everything out of the way is found?

Even if we could travel faster then light, many problem would occur, for exemple how we would be able to locate our position?

General positioning system mesure the distance between 2 or 3 points, even if we cartography the whole universe into a database on ship board, it would probably need infinite storage, and the data would be relative to what is seen from our planet.

I got great information from this article. THANKS!!!

Great info

Mathew, your comment is silly. Read closer what is intended and how it works, and go find somewhere to brush up on your physics.

While I am glad the subject is getting a decent shake, if you check out: https://sites.google.com/site/ufosite1/home/warp-drive you might be a bit surprized about some unmentioned facts.

TO N.A.S.A UNDERSTANDING OF Quantum physics Warp Drive they really do not understand it and how it works! Mark tomion developed of star drive engineering and built the saucer star warp drive ship from 1990 to 1992 AND WROTE THE STAR DRIVE ENGINEERING MANUAL BOOK and proposed a contract to N.A.S.A to built a fleet star drive warp drive ship but NASA engineers did have understanding of Quantum physics science technologies back in 1992 year, and NASA still do not understand it today in 2014 year ! NASA WAY OF THINKING TODAY IS OLD SCHOOL 60 YEARS OLD ROCKET TECHNOLOGY IS GREAT FOR THE FUTURE OF SPACE TRAVEL BUT THIS NOT THE WAY TO GO FOR THE FUTURE OF MAN KIND TO COLONIZED OTHER PLANETS AND EXPLORING OTHER UNIVERSES ! QUANTUM PHYSICS TECHNOLOGY IS WAY FOR FUTURE SPACE TRAVEL FOR WARP DRIVE TRAVEL FOR EXAMPLE STAR TREK WARP DRIVE IN QUANTUM PHYSICS ! THE THINK OF NASA WILL NOT GET MAN KIND OUT THIS SOLAR SYSTEM AT LEAST FOR 1000 YEARS ! MARK TOMION STAR DRIVE ENGINEERING IN QUANTUM PHYSICS TECHNOLOGY'S IS THE WAY TO GO FOR THE FUTURE OF MAN KIND FOR WARP DRIVE TECHNOLOGY'S ! I WORKED WITH MARK TOMION ON STAR DRIVE WARP DRIVE STAR SHIPS IN 1990 TO 1992 YEARS TO FINISH ! MARK IS ELECTRICAL ENGINEER WITH MASTER DEGREE AND WORKED WITH ME IN MAJOR COMPANY IN THE ENGINEERING DEPT TOGETHER AND BEST FRIEND FOR 10 YEARS !

i believe and always have believed that a simple beam of light still has the answers to our traveling as fast as light questions!!

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