The Alcubierre warp drive concept is capable of moving a spaceship, within an enclosed bubble of space-time
At the start of 2013, a research paper was submitted to the Astrophysical Journal and made public on arxiv.org about the discovery of 15 new planets, which add to the dozens of potentially habitable candidates out there. To travel to these planets in any meaningful time requires science to overcome the problem of the vast distances in the universe. Even the closest exoplanet found so far is four light years or 24 trillion miles away. Recent developments have NASA starting a laboratory called Eagleworks to develop interstellar warp drive technology. One idea they have is to create warp engine that enables faster-than-light travel. If this sounds all too Star Trek, it’s because the proposed warp drives are directly influenced by the cult sci-fi series.
In December 2012, researchers submitted a paper on HAL, an open-access archive for published and un-published scientific papers, that describes a Natario warp drive that could reach Gliese 581 c, the first Earth-like planet found in a habitable zone (just over 20 light years, or over a hundred trillion miles away) in just a few months traveling at 200 times the speed of light. But, there’re many impracticalities with theoretical warp drives. Take the precursor to the Natario drive, known as the Alcubierre warp drive. Astrophysics researchers from the University of Sydney, Australia, published a paper in Physical Review D in March 2012 about its catastrophic side effects.
The researchers conclude that not only would a spaceship require shields to protect its crew from dangerous particles moving towards them, but light particles or anything else that’s picked up during the ship’s journey would be deposited at its destination as high-energy particles. “Any people at the destination would be gamma-ray and high-energy-particle blasted into oblivion,” say the researchers. Now, they plan to analyze this problem in more detail, which may involve parallel computing to simulate the warp physics in various space-time dimensions.
Like ants on rubber
The Alcubierre warp drive concept is capable of moving a spaceship, within an enclosed bubble of space-time – also known as a warp bubble – at any speed by expanding space-time behind and compressing space-time in front of the ship.
For those still contemplating how this idea could exist outside of sci-fi fantasy, Brendan McMonigal, a researcher from the gravitational astrophysics group at the University of Sydney, who is a co-author on the Physical Review D paper, gives a terrestrial analogy. “Think of ants walking on a sheet of rubber,” says McMonigal. “The ants can only walk so fast but the underlying structure they exist on (the rubber) is stretchy, so we can drag a small piece of the rubber surface around much faster than the ants can walk.”
“This makes it seem that the universe should want to snap back after a warp drive has traveled somewhere, but this is not the case,” says McMonigal.
Even if the Alcubierre warp drive were possible, there’s still the matter of that explosion once you reach your destination.
Which journey has the biggest boom!
The Sydney-based researchers looked at three different scenarios: a warp bubble at a constant velocity, a warp bubble on a one-way trip, and a warp bubble on a round trip. From their calculations, a ship traveling at a constant faster-than-light – superluminal – velocity would have the largest destructive result on a destination, also destroying the ship in the process. “Realistically, the large build-up of energy in front of the ship would disrupt the warp bubble before it became too ridiculous,” says McMonigal.
The Latest Bing News on:
- The Morning After: Tesla accuses engineer of stealing Warp Drive secretson January 25, 2021 at 4:20 am
Good morning! We start the week as Tesla tries to keep its trade secrets and technology safe. This time, it’s suing engineer Alex Khatilov for allegedly stealing the company’s custom Warp Drive ...
- Tesla claims a software engineer stole critical automated software from its WARP Drive systemon January 23, 2021 at 11:17 am
Tesla is suing a recently hired software engineer who the company claims has stolen critical automated software from its WARP Drive ERP system. Tesla WARP Drive While most automakers use commonly ...
- Why Has America’s Vaccination Drive Suddenly Stalled?on January 21, 2021 at 4:31 pm
Just as Trump left, the U.S. started running out of vaccine, leading to canceled appointments and growing anger as the pandemic kills record numbers.
- Time Warp Drive-In, Jewish Film Festival return: Here's what's playing at each film eventon January 19, 2021 at 12:13 pm
In and Jewish Film Festival are both back this year thanks to the availability of an outdoor movie "theater" and virtual technology.
- Biden taps D.C. veteran David Kessler for vaccination driveon January 15, 2021 at 1:59 pm
David Kessler will replace Moncef Slaoui, who will take on a limited advisory role with the government's vaccine accelerator.
- Biden picks former FDA commissioner Dr. David Kessler to lead Operation Warp Speed, the government's vaccination driveon January 15, 2021 at 2:51 am
Dr. David Kessler will lead the White House's vaccination drive under President-elect Joe Biden, the New York Times reported. Kessler, who will lead Operation Warp Speed, has advi ...
- Warp Drive, Surface, Bamboo Cut Deals on Eve of J.P. Morganon January 10, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Sanofi and Warp Drive Bio have had a unique relationship since the French pharma giant teamed with Greylock Partners and Third Rock Ventures to launch the Cambridge, MA-based biotech with $125 ...
- New, bigger store in Creve Coeur gives Warp Drive Toys more possibilitieson January 9, 2021 at 3:51 am
Warp Drive Toys was outgrowing its original Pekin location and has moved to a new, larger premises in Creve Coeur.
- Time Warp Drive-In: Strange Christmas 7on December 10, 2020 at 12:39 pm
Explore the more bizarre, demented side of holiday cinema with a duet of disturbed yuletide horrors, the original 1974 Black Christmas and the 1984 Silent Night, Deadly Night.
- Has NASA Really Created A Warp Drive?on April 27, 2015 at 10:09 am
The piece of kit responsible for the sudden warp-drive frenzy is called the Electromagnetic Drive or EM Drive for short. It’s an innovative thruster that was built to steer rockets without the ...
The Latest Google Headlines on:
The Latest Bing News on:
Alcubierre warp drive
- The Theory Of Almost Everything, God Speed Jim Bridenstine, Lady Gaga's Anthem A Subtle Comment.on January 20, 2021 at 3:30 pm
A Theory of Everything has been the subject of many pages of journals and of much more ink spilled. Sean Carroll makes the point that at low energies, and within a domain of validity that applies to ...
- Recently in the Johnson Space Center Categoryon December 13, 2020 at 12:01 am
"The Space Life Sciences strategy involves developing collaborative business models to drive innovation," said Dr. Jeffrey Davis, SLSD director. "This experimental competition is one example of ...
- Frontiers of Propulsion Scienceon April 21, 2017 at 5:28 pm
This new physics included experiments with the Casimir effect, anti-gravity effects from superconductors, the Alcubierre warp drive, quantum entanglement and theoretical tachyons and wormholes. There ...
- Some Emerging Possibilitieson November 22, 2016 at 9:41 pm
Even though the physics has not yet matured to where "space drives" or "warp drives" can be engineered, individuals throughout the aerospace community and across the globe have been tracking these and ...
- Faster-Than-Light Travel: Are We There Yet?on May 8, 2015 at 9:28 am
Of all of the attempts to wiggle out of Einstein’s speed limit, probably the most plausible is theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre’s “warp drive”. Alcubierre’s proposal doesn’t ...
- NASA Reveals Latest Warp-Drive Ship Designson June 11, 2014 at 11:27 am
How? Warp drive, of course! If a spaceship could be designed in such a way that it created a warp bubble, then the space in front of the ship would be compressed and the space behind would expand.