Skip to comments.Physicists: Faster-Than-Light Travel Might Be Possible
Posted on 08/14/2008 5:51:05 AM PDT by BloodOrFreedom
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.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
Anybody who watched Star Trek TNG with any regularity already has a pretty firm grasp of the concept.
Awesome! I just wish I could comprehend what they’re talking about.
Why can’t we run our cars on Dark Energy?.................damned enviros!..............
It’s gonna take oodles and oodles of energy. By the time we get the capability to generate that much, the libs will have made sure that we each are allowed the use of one AAA battery per week. Can’t warp far on that. :)
Never watched ‘Trek’ too much I was always more of a ‘Wars’ fan
Speed doesn’t kill. Acceleration (and deceleration) does.
If you were a ‘Wars’ fan, you’d know they utilize hyperspace for their FTL, which does not use the idea of a ‘bubble’ (warp) drive.
There are ten dimensions? Holy cow. There is so much that we don’t know.
My questions is this: If the speed of light is what 187000 miles per second, what is the velocity of which these people speak?
This new spaceship, or whatever form it would take, sounds like a great vehicle to be late in!
It is of course completely refuted by Einstein. The speed of light is the same regardless of the reference frame. These guys are just fantasizing about what could be if Special Relativity weren't true.
Sometimes you are the bug, sometimes you are the windshield.
So, if it travels faster than light, what happens if they flick the headlights on? ;)
When the surfer gains forward speed because of the wave, he turns 90 degree or a bit less. This means he is now gaining sideward momentum from the wave in addition to the forward momentum he already got. There is a net gain at 45 degrees (or a bit less due to friction) of relative air/ground velocity.
If the univers expansion is the wave and light propulsed by it, a ship turning 90 degrees to it could ride it faster. It’s a conjecture theory of sorts.
Pelosi says it will take at least 10 years before we can get even a drop of dark matter and we should buy stock in her wind company instead.
Haha. they get blinded?
Maybe we'll have particle lasers fueled by red mercury.
Yes, I think FTL is possible using a field theory as they describe. It just makes my teeth ache every time they mention "dark" anything. The whole science of dark energy/matter is based off of sketchy suppositions and guesses IMO.
The numbers look pretty, but they are basing a lot of it off of some seriously flawed assumptions. Again, in my undereducated opinion only.
True...the theory is still too new to give full credibility. We’ll have to see how it all plays out in the next decade
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Yeah except for you’re wrong...sort of. In fact, special relativity IS all about frames of reference, and INERTIAL frames of reference to boot. Meaning that in non-inertial frames of reference (i.e. accelerating) special relativity does not apply. However, there may or may not be some yet undiscovered principle that prevents a causal-paradox in general relativity and therefore completely prevents FTL travel. At this point, with what we know, it is possible...with enough energy that is.
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Nothing. No light would come out.
But; it would make it impossible for the speed camera to read your license plate.
True, about Einstein and SR, but they are not talking about objects moving THROUGH space faster than light, but rather manipulating space-time itself. Also, what Einstein actually said in his STR was that nothing (with mass) can be accelerated-to OR slowed-downed-to the speed of light. In theory, he said, something could already be traveling faster than light (see 'Tachyons').
From the article: "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."
You’ll have to ask the pilot to slow down so you can watch the in-flight movie.
>Sometimes you are the bug, sometimes you are the windshield.
Depends on your frame of reference.
This article makes little sense. It’s written far more from a science-fiction perspective than an astrophysics perspective. The existence of the “space-time fabric,” for example, is not based in physical reality but rather in human perception. The last sentence in particular is bad. This is easy to assume if you believe in String Theory, but if you believe in the currently understood observable universe, it becomes more and more meaningless. For example, “the reality in which light travels” is, in a vacuum, nothing. It can neither expand nor contract because it is nothing. Again, however, if you’re making the assumption that “nothing” is actually composed of superstrings, then you can make that assumption.
Guys, i dont know how to tell you this, and i know it upsets a lot of science fiction, but there’s only 3 dimensions, up and down, back to front, and side to side. And time doesn’t go faster if the clock is taken into space. Time isn’t a dimension. A lot of this “physics” is some guy does math, sees the observable world doesnt match his correct math, and then announces, “hey guys, they world my math describes must be INVISIBLE”. It couldnt possibly be that his starting place had an error so of course his math is correct but the reality doesn’t match. No magic strings,,none of it. PT Barnum spoke to all this rather accurately,,,,
That's exactly how a sailboat (or sailboard) on a beam reach (wind from the side) works.
Under ideal conditions the boat can actually go faster than the wind that provides the force propelling it.
Actually "reality" is expanding at an infinite rate spherically toward the "static" infinite expanse, while contracting at an infinite rate spherically toward the static "inifintesimality, also while multiplying those numbers of dynamic "infinitesimalities" at an infinite rate. (The numbers of infinitesimalities is the filling of the expanse "shell") All three are the dynamic boundaries of the Infinite "gaming-area"
Well, except during rush hour of course.
Are you implying that the universe is expanding into an already existing infinite space? Because the current Big Bang model says that the universe is all that there is. That there is no "space or time" outside the universe because they were created in the Big Bang.
and guys, yes, i know i’m a salmon swimming upsteam on this issue. But i think a lot of this modern physics such as string hypothesis (you need to be able to TEST a theory)is about as real as spoon bending with your mind. It offends my sense of reason. Well, thats all, I’m heading into the bunker, so fire away.
Of course time is a dimension. It's a 'coordinate', just as x, y and z. For example, if you are going to meet someone at a specific location somewhere, you need to also specify a time.
And time doesnt go faster if the clock is taken into space.
Right, time SLOWS DOWN when you are moving, as seen from the point of view of an outside 'stationary' observer. This has already been proven in several tests involving airliners. In fact, GPS technology takes this effect into account in its calculations. i.e. the location seeking system relies on the signal delay time between several really fast moving satellites and your location on Earth.
Relativity in the Global Positioning System
Dept. of Physics, University of Colorado
Boulder, CO 803090390
Abstract: The Global Positioning System (GPS) uses accurate, stable atomic clocks in satellites and on the ground to provide world-wide position and time determination. These clocks have gravitational and motional frequency shifts which are so large that, without carefully accounting for numerous relativistic effects, the system would not work. This paper discusses the conceptual basis, founded on special and general relativity, for navigation using GPS. Relativistic principles and effects which must be considered include the constancy of the speed of light, the equivalence principle, the Sagnac effect, time dilation, gravitational frequency shifts, and relativity of synchronization. Experimental tests of relativity obtained with a GPS receiver aboard the TOPEX/POSEIDON satellite will be discussed. Recently frequency jumps arising from satellite orbit adjustments have been identified as relativistic effects. These will be explained and some interesting applications of GPS will be discussed.
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“If the speed of light is what 187000 miles per second, what is the velocity of which these people speak?”
The speed of dark.
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Thank God for That!
“Acceleration (and deceleration) does.”
Depends on the ‘rate’.
The distances between the stars are just too vast for us to make it without one of these two things.
Being a religious person, I find it hard to believe that God would create us in a universe where our survival was not possible.
Do you mean "survival" in our physical form? How long should our "survival" last to make it easier for you to believe that God would create us that way? Most religions believe that God created us to live for only a limited time in our physical form.
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.That 'other dimension' is the Eleventh and is based 'Super Gravity' which was pooh-poohed until theoretical physicists realized (finally) that without it their String Theory didn't 'work' because their was FIVE of them, and that ain't good in physics. Only by adding the Eleventh Dimension of Super Gravity did they see that all five string theories were basically the same thing being approached from different directions. And more importantly the M-Theory solved the leetle problem the String Theory couldn't -- The Big Bang and The Singularity (not to mention Alternate Universes, but that's another matter (pun intended).
As to Einstein; There's already a problem with E=mc2. Super Gamma Ray Bursts blow it to hell. The 'answer' arrived at to make it work is laughable (IMO). So if he's wrong there ...??? Oh and Leptons appear in two places at the same time. How do they do that, Alternate Universes or Time Travel?
I'm not a Theoretical Physicist, nor a Cosmologist, I just play one on FR.
you’re still wrong. time doesnt describe a spatial dimension. If i say i am meeting someone on a streetcorner, sure, time is a factor. BUT if i am describing the location of Times Square to you, time is most assuredly NOT a needed descriptor.
As to Airliners, Spaceships, GPS, and slowing time. Surely* you do not suggest that the mere accounting for mechanical signals lags, due to varying distances, somehow suggests that some form of time travel has occurred? Are you kidding? That time has actually slowed? Inaccuracy in measuring devices is *not* the same as time actually passing slower. Get it? Dont believe everything claimed today in the name of physics. A clock running slower, isn’t magically making time pass slower. Its an accuracy problem.
The speed of dark.
space-time bubble.. manipulate dark energy
can wormhole tollways be far behind?
Things change once you throw out the assumption that the density of space is homogeneous throughout the universe.
When the surfer turns, he is slowing his fall off the wave.
One second is defined as the duration of 9192631770 periods of the radiation corresponding to the transition between the two hyperfine levels of the ground state of the caesium 133 atom”
1/31557600 of a Julian year.
And,,,Youre kidding, right? You actually, sincerely believe a unit of time somehow occurs *slower* if it happens in a fast moving airplane using a GPS? This is the logic of evidence used in the the witch trials. Time is fixed. Our measurents are probably necessarily doomed to be inadequate, but that doesn’t mean that actual “time” runs faster or slower. Besides, if time is not fixed, it can’t be a descriptor of a location as you claim it to be.
Time for another patch! Wait, theres a superstring or yet another unprovable invisible dimemsion that explains it all.
>>A clock running slower, isnt magically
>>making time pass slower. Its an accuracy problem.
The accelerated clock in Einsteins paradox “runs” slower, not because time itself is going slower - but because the mass of the clock itself is increased as the result of being accelerated. The localized increase of mass translates into a localized increase in energy == localized increase in spatial distortion.
Time is measured by observing a change in the state of a system.
Higher mass = higher inertia and more energy required to overcome that inertia. The increase in localized mass/energy/spatial distortion also means the distances *within* the system itself increase with acceleration.
As to the problem of the missing “Dark Energy”; that will be resolved with the realization that energy is not something that exists separately within space; but that energy IS space, or more precisely the localized distortion of space.
Thats what I think, anyhow...