posted on Jun, 24 2005 @ 12:19 PM
Ugh, can 'o worms time...this is a problem that is very tough to solve.
The Big Issues are causality and energy.
Most of the mathematcially consistent ways one might violate c also violate casuality. That means that you start having effects before causes, which
is impossible in physics as we know it.
The other issue is that as speed increases, so does effective mass. This in turn increases inertia, which makes any change in velocity cost
increasingly more energy. To the point where just getting *any* mass to c costs infinite energy. Not a winning proposition for spacecraft
Most of the research in this area seems to be focused on some type of "warp" drive. This does not violate any of the laws of physics, because no
movement is involved to violate causality or energy requirements. Instead, space itself is warped, "gathered up" in front of the craft and
"stretched out" back behind it. This allows the craft to change position in the Universe without actually moving at all. The problem is, nobody
really knows how space might be warped using technology. There are a lot of theories involving gravitation and electromagnetic fields, but no firm
MY personal opinion (as a layman in physics), is that we will find some correlation between electromagnetism, gravity, and inertia. If this problem
is solvable, I think it will be by using EM fields to create gravitic propulsion, and simultaneously lower (or cancel) inertia. If inertia is
sufficiently lowered, a tiny energy input could accelerate the craft to almost infinite speed. Since there is no inertia, there is no damage to the
occupants. Also since inertia is the cause of rising energy costs with velocity, the maximum speed above c might only be limited by the degree to
which inertia is canceled out. And since collision energy is also based on inertia, collisions with small objects would also have less inpact energy
commensurate with the degree of inertial modification.
Just my gut feeling on this, but I think it is consistent with the alternative research we're seeing in EM fields, superconductors, gravitics and
[edit on 24-6-2005 by MrMorden]