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Spaceship Could Fly Faster Than Light

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posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 06:52 PM
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Stumbled across this article and thought it'd be a good idea to share it and find out people's views and opinions.



Travel by bubble might seem more appropriate for witches in Oz, but two physicists suggest that a future spaceship could fold a space-time bubble around itself to travel faster than the speed of light.

We're talking about the very distant future, of course.

The idea involves manipulating dark energy – the mysterious force behind the universe's ongoing expansion – to propel a spaceship forward without breaking the laws of physics.

"Think of it like a surfer riding a wave," said Gerald Cleaver, a physicist at Baylor University. "The ship would be pushed by the spatial bubble and the bubble would be traveling faster than the speed of light."

In theory, the universe grew faster than the speed of light for a very short time after the Big Bang, driven by the dark energy that represents about 74 percent of the total mass-energy budget in the universe. Dark matter constitutes 22 percent of the budget, and normal matter (stars, planets and everything you see) makes up the remaining 4 percent or so.

Strange as it sounds, current evidence supports the notion that the fabric of space-time can expand faster than the speed of light, because the reality in which light travels is itself expanding.

Cleaver and Richard Obousy, a Baylor graduate student, tapped the latest idea in string theory to devise how to manipulate dark energy and accelerate a spaceship. Their notion is based on the Alcubierre drive, which proposes expanding space-time behind the spaceship while also shrinking space-time in front.

String theorists had believed that a total of 10 dimensions exist, including height, width, length and time. The other six dimensions exist largely as unknowns, but everything is based on hypothetical one-dimensional strings. A newer theory, called M-theory, suggests that those strings all vibrate in yet another dimension.

Manipulating that additional dimension would alter dark energy in terms of height, width, and length, Cleaver and Obousy theorize. Such a capability would permit the altering of space-time for a spaceship, taking advantage of dark energy's effect on the universe.

"The dark energy is simultaneously decreased just in front of the ship to decrease (and bring to a stop) the expansion rate of the universe in front of the ship," Cleaver told SPACE.com. "If the dark energy can be made negative directly in front of the ship, then space in front of the ship would locally contract."

This loophole means that the spaceship would not conflict with Einstein's Theory of Relativity, which states that objects accelerating to the speed of light require an infinite amount of energy.

However, the Baylor physicists estimate that manipulating dark energy through the extra dimension requires energy equivalent to the converting the entire mass of Jupiter into pure energy — enough to move a ship measuring roughly 33 feet (10 meters) by 33 feet by 33 feet.

"That is an enormous amount of energy," Cleaver said. "We are still a very long ways off before we could create something to harness that type of energy."

The workaround solution may leave fans of Einstein pleased. But for now, faster-than-light travel remains, like Oz, a pleasant fantasy.


www.livescience.com...


A pleasant fantasy...but i think its safe to assume that its something that is being worked on by scientists right now.




posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 07:16 PM
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However, the Baylor physicists estimate that manipulating dark energy through the extra dimension requires energy equivalent to the converting the entire mass of Jupiter into pure energy — enough to move a ship measuring roughly 33 feet (10 meters) by 33 feet by 33 feet.


I somehow doubt they're working on something related to this right now with those kinds of energy requirements. I mean, I know governments have secret ops, but this is a little out there. I can't deny the possibility 100% though. Nothing is ever certain.

[edit on 14-8-2008 by OnionCloud]



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 07:26 PM
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One thing that I have never quite understood is why the rate of 99.9999-percent of light speed could not be reached with simply, controlled, constant acceration using any one of a number of means of propulsion? If a vessel were to be able to carry enough fuel or or collect enough fuel on the outbound journey why could it not accelerate to the smallest decimal point below light speed, that great unreachable velocity? It is possible that my own ignorance keeps me from understanding, but every bit of research leads me to the conclusion that it is not the velocity but the fuel requirement and the navigational difficulty(see Star Wars ), am I crazy?
Anyone?

[edit on 14-8-2008 by spookjr]



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 07:59 PM
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Originally posted by spookjr
One thing that I have never quite understood is why the rate of 99.9999-percent of light speed could not be reached with simply, controlled, constant acceration using any one of a number of means of propulsion? If a vessel were to be able to carry enough fuel or or collect enough fuel on the outbound journey why could it not accelerate to the smallest decimal point below light speed, that great unreachable velocity? It is possible that my own ignorance keeps me from understanding, but every bit of research leads me to the conclusion that it is not the velocity but the fuel requirement and the navigational difficulty(see Star Wars ), am I crazy?
Anyone?

[edit on 14-8-2008 by spookjr]


It is possible, but the amount of fuel you'd need is incredible. Especially when you consider the fact that fuel has weight, so for each bit of fuel you add you have to add more fuel to counteract its weight. It quickly adds up to an extreme amount. That's why modern rockets operate in stages, so they can lose the excess weight as they burn the fuel off.

There's also the fact that any navigational change you'd make would have to be calculated well in advance because to turn you wouldn't want to lose all that speed. You'd also need a proportional amount of fuel to stop, unless you don't mind ramming in to something at 99% the speed of light. Nothing would likely survive that impact.

That's why solar sails and ionic thrust drives are currently the best option for light speed travel of technical equipment. They collect energy as they go along through space (from the sun and from the charged particles that exist naturally in space), so if they do have to slow down getting back up to speed is only a matter of time.

As far as the warp drive is concerned though, it ignores all the problems of speeding up and slowing down because your moving the space to transport yourself rather than the physical object through thrust.



posted on Aug, 14 2008 @ 11:07 PM
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I thought by the way I worded my question that other readers would presume that I had a pretty good grasp on the basic concepts,obviously not. And for that I apologize. So thanks for the insight. Proper planning,computing power and the fuel requirement, make the need for loss of velocity while navigating a moot point. Obviously the fuel requirement is really the only barrier to 99.999- light speed velocity. Thanks OnionCloud, I thought so. It must be money then, becase we have the technology now to do this.So basically there is no reason other than a willing crew(willing to leave their word and time behind) and a willing financial backer that we have not yet ventured toward the stars. Just for the record though OnionCloud you are dead wrong about the weight, it makes no difference if you do not have to escape the earths' gravity. An orbital departure point is the most logical means.

[edit on 14-8-2008 by spookjr]



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 07:11 AM
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Originally posted by spookjr
I thought by the way I worded my question that other readers would presume that I had a pretty good grasp on the basic concepts,obviously not. And for that I apologize. So thanks for the insight. Proper planning,computing power and the fuel requirement, make the need for loss of velocity while navigating a moot point. Obviously the fuel requirement is really the only barrier to 99.999- light speed velocity. Thanks OnionCloud, I thought so. It must be money then, becase we have the technology now to do this.So basically there is no reason other than a willing crew(willing to leave their word and time behind) and a willing financial backer that we have not yet ventured toward the stars. Just for the record though OnionCloud you are dead wrong about the weight, it makes no difference if you do not have to escape the earths' gravity. An orbital departure point is the most logical means.

[edit on 14-8-2008 by spookjr]


I mainly meant the weight issue was related to rockets. For solar sails and ionic thrusters orbital launches would definitely be the best way to go. Those machines wouldn't be able to fight the earths gravity on their own, they are not powerful enough. You could sit in your office chair with an ionic thruster pointing the other way and not move a centimeter because the friction from your chair wheels is greater than the thrust.

One of the issues with solar sails is the art of unfolding such a delicate material. Unless you actually build it in space, you have to design it to unfold, and it is a pretty complex process.

If you want to know more about advanced space propulsion, I recommend you listen to Astronomy Cast, episode 101 (the newest one). They talk about solar sails and ionic thrusters, among other things.

[edit on 15-8-2008 by OnionCloud]



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 08:48 AM
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But doesnt relativity say that the mass of objects flying faster than speed of light becomes infinity.



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 10:24 AM
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Originally posted by peacejet
But doesnt relativity say that the mass of objects flying faster than speed of light becomes infinity.



Yes, which is where the weight issue comes into it. The faster you go, the heavier you become.



posted on Aug, 15 2008 @ 10:52 AM
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reply to post by OnionCloud
 





I somehow doubt they're working on something related to this right now with those kinds of energy requirements. I mean, I know governments have secret ops, but this is a little out there. I can't deny the possibility 100% though. Nothing is ever certain.


Yeah,that sure is a lot of energy.
But its still possible.

Usually when they mention things like this you find out a few years later that they've been working on it.Similar thing happened when,for example,scientists were working on creating a black hole in a lab.



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