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Originally posted by Nanocyte
, this argument still relies on the implicit assumption that alien life would have roughly the same lifespan as humans, and for some reason, I can’t recall ever hearing anyone counter this seemingly unjustified assumption. Consider the following:
a) Even on our own planet, there is a very wide range of lifespans among various organisms. There are animals that live for hundreds of years, and some, such as the lobster and the Turritopsis nutricula jellyfish that are considered to be biologically immortal ....
b) We still really don’t have a solid idea of how life forms in its initial stages, and we have no way of knowing if the replication errors that occur in life on Earth that we generally attribute to aging are universal, or even common. It could be that the evolution of life on other planets has allowed for even more complex organisms to live for thousands of years, ....
c) I would argue that it’s not only plausible, but likely, that civilizations that have reached a high degree of technological development sufficient for long-distance space travel would also have developed a fairly strong ability to artificially compensate for inherent biological problems. Things like artificial organs, cybernetic implants, genetic manipulation...
Now, assuming that an alien lifeform did have a lifespan significantly longer than a human’s, travel to distant stars would suddenly seem much more feasible.
Originally posted by OpenEars123
What gets me is that people will say it is impossible going by 'our' laws of physics. What makes our physics so perfect and final? We are an under evolved race, therefore our laws of physics are under evolved. Just my 2 pence.
In theory, they say, it’s possible to construct a wormhole or warp bubble, which would shave a few millennia off of your travel time. But constructing it would take a lot of juice — whose source would be something called “the negative energy associated with a quantum field.” The problem is, to get enough energy to make a warp bubble big enough to hold a spaceship, you need negative mass “about 10 powers of 10 (i.e., 10 orders of magnitude) larger than the total mass of the entire visible universe!”
Significant problems with the metric of this form stem from the fact that all known warp drive spacetimes violate various energy conditions. It is true that certain experimentally verified quantum phenomena, such as the Casimir effect, when described in the context of the quantum field theories, lead to stress–energy tensors that also violate the energy conditions, such as negative mass-energy, and thus one can hope that Alcubierre-type warp drives can be physically realized by clever engineering taking advantage of such quantum effects. However, if certain quantum inequalities conjectured by Ford and Roman hold, then the energy requirements for some warp drives may be absurdly gigantic, e.g. the energy equivalent of -1064 kg might be required to transport a small spaceship across the Milky Way galaxy. This is orders of magnitude greater than the estimated mass of the universe. Counter-arguments to these apparent problems have also been offered.
Chris Van Den Broeck, in 1999, has tried to address the potential issues. By contracting the 3+1 dimensional surface area of the 'bubble' being transported by the drive, while at the same time expanding the 3 dimensional volume contained inside, Van Den Broeck was able to reduce the total energy needed to transport small atoms to less than 3 solar masses. Later, by slightly modifying the Van Den Broeck metric, Krasnikov reduced the necessary total amount of negative energy to a few milligrams.