Warp Drive Might Actually Be Possible

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Syzygy23:
Now the only question remaining is... how the hell DO we perturb space in the first place? Unless someone just happens to have a spare Space-Disruptor lying around...?

All we need to do is polarise the tachyon grid and channel all power to the deflector array. That should perturb SOMETHING, surely?

Fingers crossed we get this thing working before we all starve and kill each other over ideology and water ^_^

Well, at least people have figured out how to get into subspace without even using a spaceship at all.

Neofishie:
I already wear a goatee. I have for many years. But I don't want to destroy and/or enslave the world. Does that mean I'm a evil version of myself with amnesia? Or that my good version is an asshole?

Either way, you gotta love it when scientists talk to each other. Perturbing space-time and oscillating the fabric of reality.

Any mention of what speeds they think they can reach with this tech?

I recall reading somewhere that they were estimating something in the region of 10c (Ten times the speed of light) unfortunately I can't remember exactly where I read this but I did work out that it would give you a one way trip to alpha centauri in something like 120 days (Again approximate figures I lost all my working and accurate answer in a crash right after I worked it out).

6th And Silver:
... they land a motherfucking SUV on Mars...

A nuclear-powered, laser-firing robot SUV that lands with a jet-pack. Truly we live in interesting times.

Just wondering - if a functional FTL drive is invented, what happens to the funny time-related consequences? Would you arrive at your destination before you left?

Interesting news. I'm sure that physics has already explained that there is little danger in that particular experiment, but the general public is not wrong to be sceptical. The danger of nuclear war did not stop scientists testing atomic reactions, and we still came close to that really happening during certain missile crises. Let's hope that this won't lead to more war and terror for the human race. On the surface at least though, it is a cool discovery.

Wicky_42:
Fingers crossed we get this thing working before we all starve and kill each other over ideology and water ^_^

No kidding. It is sad that one part of the Earth is making all of these amazing discoveries due to abundant wealth (while the same section of the planet is complaining about a "recession"), and the other part is starving and dangerous.

The world economy as it is is sadly built around exploiting that starving side, and that includes science as well. Such sacrifice is made for theories. One can only hope that some day, these theories can somehow help those of us starving and killing each other to stop. To me, that's as important, nay, more important, than getting to other stars.

Let's try to make this world as good a place as it can be, -before- we try to go ruin other places. That at least makes sense.

Neofishie:

Any mention of what speeds they think they can reach with this tech?

According to the article, about 10c.

Agow95:

GenGenners:
Hmmm.....
Isn't that similar to how FTL travel works in Mass Effect?

No, in mass effect they flow a current through element zero via dark energy, with a positive current, mass is increased, with a negative current, mass is decreased. So they lower the ships mass to nothing and this allows ftl speeds, so to do it the mass effect way we'd need a element that bioware made up and a hypothetical form of energy that may exist.

No, the actual FTL is handwaved completely, since mass-alteration couldn't accomplish it. We have massless particles in our universe already - photons and gluons - and those always travel at the speed of light. So, a spacecraft with a rest mass of zero would essentially move 300,000 km/s, no more, no less. While that would be very useful (heck, removing even half the mass would be an amazing achievement for space travel), it would only get you to the nearest star in 4.5 years.
Regarding the FTL, they just mutter something about "mass-free bubbles where the subjective speed of light is higher", which makes no sense.

XMark:
Just wondering - if a functional FTL drive is invented, what happens to the funny time-related consequences? Would you arrive at your destination before you left?

Well if its possible then the laws of physics would have to be re-written.

image

i heard that a few guys in an italian university came out with their own FTL hypothesis. not sure if it was based on white's stuff or alcubierre's designs but they were saying the amount of power needed would be E=mc^2 if m was the mass of Jupiter. that may be the "impractical" he was talking about XD

on a side note; this is very exciting news for someone who's about to start a theorhetical physics coures at university :D

Something similar to generating your own wormholes then. I like this.

As for the pwoer requirements. well you have to remember that there are still two huge untapped energy sources that we have. which is: helium3, which is suppsoedly 100 times more powerful than atomic plants we have now, and starts, which we dont have the technology for yet and probably wont for a while, but if we can take solar flares and use them to generate energy we could easily have enough energy to make warp drive jump 100+ times.

tmande2nd:
Come on hurry up!
There are some green skinned space babes that need kirking!
Yes that's a verb.

You Sir, just won the internet. Congratulations.

Captcha: eat cous cous - why, Captcha, just...why?

H'okay, guys, don't get too excited. If you read the articles, they say this requires "exotic matter." Which probably doesn't exist, by the way. It basically means matter that isn't made up of your usual protons, neutrons, and electrons. Nothing we build now or in the foreseeable future can actually pull off this kind of FTL trick, because we just don't know what we'd ever build it out of.

Acrisius:
How do you hit the brakes in space..?

Braking in a zero gravity/zero friction environment means that you simply apply thrust opposite the direction you're going. It either means putting engines in the front of your ship to slow you down or rotating the ship to fire the engines against your current velocity.

As for the warp thing...I'm less worried about how to stop and more about how you see where you're going. If you warp the fabric of space then you also warp everything IN that fabric of space like light and other forms of radiation. Meaning you could not see(clearly) what you were flying into.

ShadowKatt:

Acrisius:
How do you hit the brakes in space..?

Braking in a zero gravity/zero friction environment means that you simply apply thrust opposite the direction you're going. It either means putting engines in the front of your ship to slow you down or rotating the ship to fire the engines against your current velocity.

As for the warp thing...I'm less worried about how to stop and more about how you see where you're going. If you warp the fabric of space then you also warp everything IN that fabric of space like light and other forms of radiation. Meaning you could not see(clearly) what you were flying into.

Fool, my question was more a rhetorical one than anything else. I just wanted to bring down the hopes and dreams of anyone who might have felt hopeful after reading the article. I already know the answer, I'm just a douchebag that way ;)

Well, thing is you're not supposed to "look" where you're going as much as you're gonna calculate it. Just know where to point your ship, how far away your target is, do some fancy math and voila, you know when to stop.

Agow95:

GenGenners:
Hmmm.....
Isn't that similar to how FTL travel works in Mass Effect?

No, in mass effect they flow a current through element zero via dark energy, with a positive current, mass is increased, with a negative current, mass is decreased. So they lower the ships mass to nothing and this allows ftl speeds, so to do it the mass effect way we'd need a element that bioware made up and a hypothetical form of energy that may exist.

Wouldn't being massless mean that they travel at the speed of light, not faster than it?

porpoise hork:

XMark:
Just wondering - if a functional FTL drive is invented, what happens to the funny time-related consequences? Would you arrive at your destination before you left?

Well if its possible then the laws of physics would have to be re-written.

image

Nothing in Quantum Theory states that warp drive can't exist. I'm not aware of anything in physics that would need to be rewritten.

You aren't moving faster than light, you are bending space. The ship itself isn't actually moving. Similar to pulling on a table cloth to move a salt shaker on it, the shaker is motionless in relation to its surroundings. It is the distance itself that is being shortened.

theultimateend:

Agow95:

GenGenners:
Hmmm.....
Isn't that similar to how FTL travel works in Mass Effect?

No, in mass effect they flow a current through element zero via dark energy, with a positive current, mass is increased, with a negative current, mass is decreased. So they lower the ships mass to nothing and this allows ftl speeds, so to do it the mass effect way we'd need a element that bioware made up and a hypothetical form of energy that may exist.

Wouldn't being massless mean that they travel at the speed of light, not faster than it?

According to the Codex it reduces the mass completely, creating greater acceleration, which somehow raises the speed of light within the mass effect field, which also removes Time Dilation (which is effectively travelling forwards in time by moving so fast).

theultimateend:

You aren't moving faster than light, you are bending space. The ship itself isn't actually moving. Similar to pulling on a table cloth to move a salt shaker on it, the shaker is motionless in relation to its surroundings. It is the distance itself that is being shortened.

Indeed, it's not as much "FTL" as it is "Taking a short cut while the light goes the long way around" thing. Similar to you making 10 steps uphill while your friend in the car has to take the road up the incline and make a wide turn, you're still slower than them, but you'll be from point A to point B quicker than they are.

However, since "light" is our main means of transmitting and receieving information, that could lead to some funky stuff. Or at least it's going to look funky until we have this spacebending thing observed more extensively. And they thought bloodbending was the real deal, pfsh.

Agow95:

theultimateend:

Agow95:

No, in mass effect they flow a current through element zero via dark energy, with a positive current, mass is increased, with a negative current, mass is decreased. So they lower the ships mass to nothing and this allows ftl speeds, so to do it the mass effect way we'd need a element that bioware made up and a hypothetical form of energy that may exist.

Wouldn't being massless mean that they travel at the speed of light, not faster than it?

According to the Codex it reduces the mass completely, creating greater acceleration, which somehow raises the speed of light within the mass effect field, which also removes Time Dilation (which is effectively travelling forwards in time by moving so fast).

I have a feeling the codex writers never took a science class.

That was fun to read but mostly made no sense. Thanks for the insight though.

Basically the speed of light (c) IS presuming a vacuum devoid of mass [non-photon particles].

If the space it is traveling in is not completely particle free the speed of light becomes slower (mostly due to it bouncing off of particles as it travels, changing the straight line into a zig zag one).

Well, to be entirely honest I think Einstein will be proven wrong at some point, just like other great minds before him. To me the idea that light speed is as fast as you can go, and that to travel faster would effectively mean you'd be travelling through time has always struck me as being pretty wonky, even if it can be justified mathematically for the moment.

That said, this is an interesting development, time will tell what's going to happen with it.

I honestly expect we're likely to re-write what we know about physics more than a few times, maybe even before my lifetime is done.

Silva:

The world economy as it is is sadly built around exploiting that starving side, and that includes science as well. Such sacrifice is made for theories. One can only hope that some day, these theories can somehow help those of us starving and killing each other to stop. To me, that's as important, nay, more important, than getting to other stars.

Let's try to make this world as good a place as it can be, -before- we try to go ruin other places. That at least makes sense.

The world economy really just cares little about the poorest nations of the world. They have minimal infrastructure (for transporting products and electricity), little education (for a workforce that can do stuff other than manual labour) and no stability or safety (Kinda hard to set up any industries when they might be raided, looted and burned down with all the employees killed). The only reason to ever set up industries in these nations is because the wages are low.

The vast majority of science is done for the purpose of making this place as good as possible. The 20th century has been the least violent century so far, in terms of % of male deaths that are caused by warfare, and the 21st century looks like it will top that record. More people now die from obesity instead of starvation.

We produce enough food for 12 billion people. Why are some people starving? Is it all the people in the first world being greedy gits and eating it all? Not really. You know the infrastructure problems I mentioned earlier that exist in the poorest nations. They make it very difficult to transport and sell excess food to them. Additionally, mass-dumping food on these nations tends to destroy the economy as it puts the farmers that live there out of business.

I love reading articles like this. Always nice to get a good dose of optimism.

Even the comments so far are better than the typical for these types of threads. There are fewer posts by cynical folk who like to pretend they know what they're talking about with regards to science/mechanics.

Science is cool.

ok so we now need to find a way to harness dark energy or zero point energy or reduce the energy cost to a manageable amount of antimatter

They should probably test this stuff in space. Preferably the next solar system over.

Although it is fun to think about them perturbing space on the surface of this planet. What if it's a shockwave that shifts every particle on the planet like 1cm? Would everything be instantly disintegrated?

Deathlyphil:

vxicepickxv:

Acrisius:
How do you hit the brakes in space..?

The problem with current theoretical brakes that would be easily developed is that the brakes would kind of destroy your destination. They're still working on that part.

Brakes aren't needed at all, since the object in the warp bubble is not actually moving. What the field is doing moving space around the object. In Star Trek this is why they aren't affected by time dilation. If this works the same way, then it too should avoid the time dilation effect.

in addition, its prety safe! power goes off > movement of the bubble stops. but your still IN the bubble. so even if you would stick in say, a ROCK your air bubble would still be there so you would not get crushed! *dont ask me where the rock part would be, im guessing where you can from*

/s

clearly the pursuit of scientific knowledge is a waste of time and we should continue to cut governmental funding to such endeavors *glares angrily at the NIH & NASA*

/s

All I could think of while i read this was Star Trek First Contact

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