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Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say

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posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 12:02 PM
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HOUSTON — A warp drive to achieve faster-than-light travel — a concept popularized in television's Star Trek — may not be as unrealistic as once thought, scientists say.

A warp drive would manipulate space-time itself to move a starship, taking advantage of a loophole in the laws of physics that prevent anything from moving faster than light. A concept for a real-life warp drive was suggested in 1994 by Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre, however subsequent calculations found that such a device would require prohibitive amounts of energy.

Now physicists say that adjustments can be made to the proposed warp drive that would enable it to run on significantly less energy, potentially brining the idea back from the realm of science fiction into science.

"There is hope," Harold "Sonny" White of NASA's Johnson Space Center said here Friday (Sept. 14) at the 100 Year Starship Symposium, a meeting to discuss the challenges of interstellar spaceflight.


Warping space-time


An Alcubierre warp drive would involve a football-shape spacecraft attached to a large ring encircling it. This ring, potentially made of exotic matter, would cause space-time to warp around the starship, creating a region of contracted space in front of it and expanded space behind.

Meanwhile, the starship itself would stay inside a bubble of flat space-time that wasn't being warped at all.

"Everything within space is restricted by the speed of light," explained Richard Obousy, president of Icarus Interstellar, a non-profit group of scientists and engineers devoted to pursuing interstellar spaceflight. "But the really cool thing is space-time, the fabric of space, is not limited by the speed of light."

With this concept, the spacecraft would be able to achieve an effective speed of about 10 times the speed of light, all without breaking the cosmic speed limit.


Source




posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 12:06 PM
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It always start with one small step, and in front of that one small step is full of advancements. Someone once said, imagination is more important then logic because without imagination we wouldn't have the things we do today and we definitely wouldn't have ever considered the possibility of Warp Drive from Star Trek to have been possible.

Now Researchers and Scientist are beginning to see that it's quite possible and if this is possible, then people open your minds and not be so closed minded about this; It's quite possible that Aliens do in fact exist considering that they would be far more advance then us and most likely have already accomplished Wrap Drive and God knows what else they have accomplished as a race.



posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 12:06 PM
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As cool as that would be, it would still be useless in New York. Warp drive or not you're sitting in traffic. Like it or not.lol
On a serious note, I would love to see warp drive come to reality in my life time. Imagine how much of space we could explore with this technology.



posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 12:08 PM
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The thing that makes Star Trek so popular is everything about the show is theoretically possible.



posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 12:20 PM
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If they did make a warp drive and some way to make artificial gravity, it makes me really wonder how many people would just leave earth for good.



posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 12:39 PM
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Good topic.

Originally posted by TheProphetMark
Now Researchers and Scientist are beginning to see that it's quite possible
Let's not get too carried away...they said there was hope, which is different from saying it's possible.


and if this is possible, then people open your minds and not be so closed minded about this; It's quite possible that Aliens do in fact exist considering that they would be far more advance then us and most likely have already accomplished Wrap Drive and God knows what else they have accomplished as a race.
Most people think alien intelligence is possible.

Some people presume that warp drive development is a foregone conclusion for an alien civilization a million years more advanced than us. No doubt they would have technologies we can't even imagine, but there's no guarantee warp drive will be among them. I'm all in favor of researching it, and let's make it true if we can. But it won't be easy and in the end, it just might be impossible after all, who knows?



posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 12:53 PM
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Wow that's pretty cool news indeed. I will not accept the belief that interstellar travel is impossible without spending years in cryogenic hibernation.



posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 12:54 PM
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Alot of scientists are using sci fi as an initial thinking point of a problem / solution and i'm sure star trek has a few very well respected people on its teams to make sure that the science is as close to what is theoretically possible



posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 12:56 PM
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They plan on doing a table top experiment.
If that works then we can feasible travel faster than light.

Then the aliens can come and show us the universe.



posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 01:03 PM
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If we get to hear now that this could be possible, the financial/elite crème de la crème surely did this a long time ago and went away on their exquisite adventures.
All funded by the misery of the people left on the planet.

Hmm perhaps I sound to negative now...
Just trying to put in my 5 cents of conspiracy delight in the thread.




reply to post by ObjectZero
 

Sign me up for that statistics.

edit on 17-9-2012 by LiberalSceptic because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 02:11 PM
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Great find.

This is another step towards direct relationships with the intelligent civilizations that I believe have been visiting us.

The beauty of this is that you will be moving without moving. This is because we're trapped in time by entropy. This isn't the case with space-time, so space around the ship will be warped but the ship would stay inside a bubble of space that wasn't being warped. So time on the ship would be what we normally experience yet the ship will go from here to Alpha Centauri in no time.

Hopefully they will start to think about the signatures in space that this warp drive would produce. Then as they get a better understanding, they can begin to look for signatures in space.

So the questions become, how will it look to Observers when a ship goes into warp drive. I said years ago that some of the U.F.O.'s that look fluid, glow and move in ways that's foreign to us could be warping the space around them. Will warp drive leave any high energy signatures?

I look forward to hearing more.



posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 02:43 PM
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I find the argument that if interstellar travel is possible, other lifeforms must have figured it out already and would have colonized the complete the galaxy, a good argument against the possibility of such technology, as there is no evidence of any of this having taken place. So I find the chances of such technology being possible extremely slim.

Though a warp drive would not necessarily mean that interstellar travel is possible. It could also be a good propulsion system for travel inside our own solar system, or even on earth.



posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 02:50 PM
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So if it can go up to 10 times speed of light... lets see how long it would take to go to our nearest star...


Alpha Centauri is the closest star system to the Solar System. It lies about 4.37 light-years in distance, or about 41.5 trillion kilometres, 25.8 trillion miles or 277,600 AU.


Speed of light is 299,792,458 metres per second x10 = 2,997,924,580 meters per second so that's 10,792,528,488 Kilometers per Hour (10.792 billion kilometers an hour)

41.5 trillion kilometers is 41,500,000,000,000

41,500,000,000,000 / 10,792,528,488 = 3,845.25 hours. / 24 hours = 160 days. REALLY?


DOH I just realized I could have just done 4.37 light years / 10 lol.

Edit to add:
We could get to Sirius in 313 days
Epsilon Eridani 384 days (Which is believed to have TWO planets!)
Gliese 876 (Ross 780) 560 days (4 planets there!




Mars and Earth can be 401 million km apart (249 million miles) when they are in opposition and both are at aphelion. The average distance between the two is 225 million km.

Jul. 27. 2018 – 57.6 million km (35.8 million miles)


Man are you serious? 2 minutes 13-14 seconds to mars at x10.


Hey let a man dream
edit on 17-9-2012 by LOLZebra because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 03:06 PM
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NASA Scientists to Begin Warp Drive Experiments



Faster than light travel impossible


It is an axiom in modern physics that faster than light travel, at least by conventional means, is impossible. The fasting an object is accelerated, the more massive it becomes, according to a piece on the problem on the Discovery Channel website. At the speed of light, an object would have infinite mass, clearly impossible. In any case, even at near light speed, the nearest star system, Alpha Centauri, is about a 4 1/2-year voyage away.


How a warp drive would work


However, there appears to be a way, at least mathematically, to get around the faster than light problem.According to Popular Science, it is possible to create a "warp bubble" around an object such as a space ship. Spacetime ahead of the ship could be compressed and spacetime behind the ship could be expanded. In effect, a future starship would travel not by moving itself but by moving space.


The NASA experiments


A team inside NASA's Eagleworks, a skunkworks operation at the Johnson Space Center, is working on an experiment that would create and detect a microscopic warp bubble, according to Gizmodo. The team proposes to do this with a device called the White-Juday Warp Field Interferometer that will use a laser to create the microscopic warp bubble.


The energy problem


Hitherto, while such a warp drive was considered theoretically possible, it was thought that it would take an amount of exotic matter, more of a concept in physics than something that has actually been discovered, the size of Jupiter to power it. However, the NASA scientists working on the warp bubble experiment have ascertained that by tweaking the shape and nature of the warp field, about 500 kilograms of exotic matter would be needed to fire up a warp drive, according to Gizmodo.


Implications of a warp drive


The implications of the proof of the concept of a warp bubble cannot be overstated. Space.com suggests that a football field-sized starship, surrounded by a ring that would generate the warp bubble, could travel an apparent speed of 10 times light speed. Gizmodo suggests that an Earthlike world about 20 light years away, Gliese 581g, would be a two year voyage away.

Naturally a great deal of work would have to be done before a real-life Captain Kirk can issue the order, "Ahead Warp Factor Two." For one thing, some way has to be found to create exotic matter. But if the experiment works, a giant leap toward that day will have been achieved.


Source



posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 05:59 PM
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Originally posted by -PLB-
I find the argument that if interstellar travel is possible, other lifeforms must have figured it out already and would have colonized the complete the galaxy, a good argument against the possibility of such technology, as there is no evidence of any of this having taken place. So I find the chances of such technology being possible extremely slim.

Though a warp drive would not necessarily mean that interstellar travel is possible. It could also be a good propulsion system for travel inside our own solar system, or even on earth.


You are aware that this galaxy could have as much as 4 hundred billion stars with each star having multiple planets. It's a pretty big place! Having an alien race colonize the entire galaxy is not a good argument against anything. The galaxy is a pretty big place & would take a long, long time & feck knows how many generations to accomplish such a task. Who is to say that down the line said alien race decides it's had enough & wants to try it's hand in another galaxy or wherever. In fact, I think the opposite would be true! That an advanced race with the ability to explore the wonders of the galaxy & universe wouldn't limit itself to colonizing planets. There is absolutely nothing to gain from such a move. Take a look throughout human history, colonies were set up & said colonies ended up rebelling. If we put a colony on Mars it too would eventually want it's own independence from Earth & be allowed to do it's own thing away from 'our' control. Therefore I cannot see any advanced alien race faring any differently if they ever attempted such a thing.

Sure they will set up outposts & colonize planets while out on their travels but there is just that many planets out there, that grabbing them all just isn't feasible. Primarily because there is nothing to gain by achieving such a feat so highly doubt it would be on their agenda.

As to the other part. Seeing how much energy is involved, then unless it's of the utmost importance, it would never be used for travel within the solar system. If you could travel at 10x the SOL, you could travel around the planet 70x in a single second. So even if it were safe to use within an atmosphere, it ain't gonna be used 'in-planet'.



posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 07:17 PM
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This seems too good to be true. Is the source legit?

Please let it be true!

...actually, it might very well be true, they'll make an announcement at the 2012 100 Year Starship Symposium in Houston.


sensitivity analysis started by White in 2011 and completed this year has shown that the energy requirements can be greatly reduced by first optimizing the warp bubble thickness, and further by oscillating the bubble intensity to reduce the stiffness of space time. The results, to be presented at the 2012 100 Year Starship Symposium in Houston

www.icarusinterstellar.org...

All those wishes as a kid would have come true. Now Sit back and weight for the Vulcans to detect the ripple caused by the warping of space time during their first lab test, and decide come visit us to make first contact!
edit on 17-9-2012 by MrSpiderMonkey because: further digging



posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 07:45 PM
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Wow...this is...incredible.

Basically, what they are conforming is that all those proposed UFO propulsion systems and the theory of bending space/time should really work - and this seems to be legit scientific sources.

Regardless of the M.O....it means FTL travel would be possible...which is nothing but a sensation even if the law of physics *per se* are not violated - just...incredible.
edit on 17-9-2012 by flexy123 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 07:56 PM
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I saw an article referring to this "warp drive" idea on Yahoo News and thought I should throw my thought into the mix.

I don't believe this is possible, that is, to "warp" space/time. The reason is that I don't think there is space/time. In particular, I don't think there is "time".

I have posted on this in other threads and I'm not going to discuss my reasons for disbelieving in the existence of time in this thread, but I would like to indicate how I think that interstellar travel will happen when we have the understanding to achieve it.

Very simply, interstellar travel will be achieved by a kind of "water hammer" effect. The object that one wishes to send to another star will be slammed at a very fundamental level in a way which is completely beyond science at this time. The force of that slam will send the impact through the universe, as a water hammer does, to the calculated destination where it will reconstitute itself as the object slammed.

The nuts and bolts of how this is achieved is anybody's guess, but there is no "warping" of "space/time" involved. I know I sound like a crackpot who is just another "know nothing", but to me the notion of warping "space/time" is absurd.

I'm just thowing it out there.



posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 08:12 PM
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Actually, if memory serves an Alcubierre wrap drive could allow us to achieve speeds into X100 that of light, in which case travel to the nearest stars could take weeks or days, not years.



posted on Sep, 17 2012 @ 08:18 PM
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Interesting article. If it becomes possible to travel faster than light by warp or some other means, the implications for travel on Earth would be staggering. One could travel to any point on Earth instantaneously. Travel to the Moon would be a matter of mere seconds. Interplanetary way points could be set up for the longer trips to Mars and the outer planets.






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