Warp Drive

Once again, the folks at NASA are totally ripping off other people’s ideas when it comes to developing their own technology.  This time it’s Star Trek, and the proposed project is the Holy Grail of space travel – a warp drive.

NASA’s Eagleworks research lab is actually taking the possibility of faster-than-light travel seriously.  Some very, very smart people have decided that it’s feasible, so the research on how to abuse the laws of physics is underway.  They’re basically trying to knock a hole in space, creating a wormhole.  They’ll then mess about with space so that instead of moving the ship itself, they move space around the ship.  If they can figure out how to do it, journeys that would have taken lifetimes will only take a few years.  Human beings can finally rampage through the galaxy and plant the flags of our civilization all over the damn place!

Of course, leave it to science to not be as simple as just flipping the “on” switch.  NASA’s brains have a few problems they need to deal with before they can get going.  One problem involves needing an element for the ship design that may or may not exist.  The other big one is that the estimated energy requirements to move a ship in this manner may exceed the energy output of the entire universe.

The first problem is up-in-the-air, but the second one is what they’re dealing with right now.  They hope to optimize the ship and the way they manipulate the wormhole so that they can get movement without burning through multiple suns.  Of course, it’s all theoretical so far.

In order to make it a little less theoretical, researchers are trying to create their own wormhole in the lab, or, in their own words that I don’t quite understand:

“an interferometer test bed that will try to generate and detect a microscopic instance of a little warp bubble.”

Hopefully, this does not result in the Earth being devoured by a tear in the fabric of space.  In my humble opinion, self-destruction would be a pretty poor way of proving a scientific theory.

 

Thanks to blastr for the heads-up on this one.

Warp Drive Dangerous?

So, not only would  warp drive -fictionalized in Star Trek- make a great means of transportation, it’s a weapon of mass destruction.

Below is what researchers at the University of Sydney have discovered about a potential warp drive, which they called an “Alcubierre warp drive,” which would “propel a ship at superluminal speeds by creating a bubble of negative energy around it, expanding space (and time) behind the ship while compressing space in front of it.”

They’ve crunched up the numbers and done the math, and, according to a report in Universe Today:

…Space is not just an empty void between point A and point B… rather, it’s full of particles that have mass (as well as some that do not.) What the research team — led by Brendan McMonigal, Geraint Lewis, and Philip O’Byrne — has found is that these particles can get “swept up” into the warp bubble [when traveling faster than light] and focused into regions before and behind the ship, as well as within the warp bubble itself.When the Alcubierre-driven ship decelerates from superluminal speed, the particles its bubble has gathered are released in energetic outbursts. In the case of forward-facing particles the outburst can be very energetic — enough to destroy anyone at the destination directly in front of the ship.

“Any people at the destination,” the team’s paper concludes, “would be gamma ray and high energy particle blasted into oblivion due to the extreme blueshifts for [forward] region particles.”

I certainly understand  everything these “scientists” are saying, but…. Maybe you don’t stop RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE PLANET YOU ARE GOING TO? Perhaps aim a little to the right?

So, I guess, warp drive is out. Bummer.

What about Star Gate technology?

Source: Nerd Approved