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Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say
SPACE.com ^ | 2012-09-17 | Clara Moskowitz

Posted on 09/17/2012 10:28:10 AM PDT by justlurking

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 bringing 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.

(Excerpt) Read more at news.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Technical; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: aerospace; alcubierre; alcubierredrive; ftl; haroldgwhite; haroldsonnywhite; nasa; stringtheory; warpdrive
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1 posted on 09/17/2012 10:28:12 AM PDT by justlurking
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To: justlurking
So to alleviate the device's requiring prohibitive amounts of energy to operate, it just needs to be made out of particles that haven't even been encountered.

Nice.
2 posted on 09/17/2012 10:33:39 AM PDT by Renderofveils (My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music. - Nabokov)
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To: justlurking
This ring, potentially made of exotic matter, would cause space-time to warp around the starship

Um, sure. I'm guessing that that "exotic matter" would be along the lines of unicorns that have been ground up and put through an atomic accelerator or some such. It has been a long time since I read any science fiction.

3 posted on 09/17/2012 10:36:03 AM PDT by mc5cents
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To: Renderofveils

What about the effects on the human body during acceleration/deceleration?


4 posted on 09/17/2012 10:36:08 AM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (Medicine is the keystone in the arch of socialism)
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To: Renderofveils

If it is imaginable then it is entirely possible. People once used to scoff at all sorts of things that we now take for granted so I’m not going to be so quick to dismiss this. If the particles needed have not been encountered, but have been postulated, then at least we now know what we’re looking for.


5 posted on 09/17/2012 10:37:18 AM PDT by MeganC (The Cinemark theatre in Aurora, CO is a 'Gun Free Zone'. Spread the word.)
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To: Las Vegas Ron

6 posted on 09/17/2012 10:38:05 AM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (If you like lying Socialist dirtbags, you'll love Slick Willard)
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To: justlurking
Photobucket
7 posted on 09/17/2012 10:38:19 AM PDT by tumblindice (America's founding fathers: all armed conservatives)
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To: Renderofveils; KevinDavis; SunkenCiv

Space, science, sci-fi pings?


8 posted on 09/17/2012 10:39:09 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: justlurking

Intriguing, thanks for posting.


9 posted on 09/17/2012 10:39:13 AM PDT by agere_contra (Vote ABO. Don't choose the Greater Evil and then boast about how principled you are)
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To: SunkenCiv; KevinDavis
Science ping! 8-)

10 posted on 09/17/2012 10:42:07 AM PDT by skinkinthegrass (WA DC E$tabli$hment; DNC/RNC/Unionists...Brazilian saying: "$@me Old $hit; w/ different flie$" :^)
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To: Renderofveils

Just use Unobtainium!


11 posted on 09/17/2012 10:42:16 AM PDT by Lazamataz (RAGE MONKEY RULEZ!!!)
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To: Renderofveils
So to alleviate the device's requiring prohibitive amounts of energy to operate, it just needs to be made out of particles that haven't even been encountered.

You don't have any unobtainium in your garage?

Seriously, the "original" Alcubierre drive also relies on exotic matter. The "breakthrough" that is claimed in this article is that modification of the geometry of the warp bubble reduces the energy requirement from "astronomical" to merely "large".

12 posted on 09/17/2012 10:42:22 AM PDT by justlurking (The only remedy for a bad guy with a gun is a good WOMAN (Sgt. Kimberly Munley) with a gun)
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To: Renderofveils
So to alleviate the device's requiring prohibitive amounts of energy to operate, it just needs to be made out of particles that haven't even been encountered.
We've known that all along.

Dilithium Crystals

Dilithium Crystals

As the key element in all Federation warp engine designs, the dilithium crystal mediates the reaction between the matter and anti-matter in a starship's main engine core.

Dilithium is the only material known to be non-reactive with antimatter when subjected to a high frequency electromagnetic (EM) field, rendering it "porous" to antihydrogen.

Dilithium permits antimatter to pass directly through it's crystalline structure without actually coming into contact with it, due to a field dynamo effect.

Once found only in nature, the technology of the 24th Century antieutectics enables the formation of pure, synthesized dilithium and dilithium matrix re-crystallization through the use of high energy photon injection.


13 posted on 09/17/2012 10:43:16 AM PDT by Bratch
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To: MeganC
If it is imaginable then it is entirely possible. People once used to scoff at all sorts of things that we now take for granted so I’m not going to be so quick to dismiss this. If the particles needed have not been encountered, but have been postulated, then at least we now know what we’re looking for.

There are certain aspects of physics where I agree with this. But things that are theoretically possible are not always realistically possible. You can theoretically create an environment in which a perpetual motion machine will work.
14 posted on 09/17/2012 10:43:41 AM PDT by Renderofveils (My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music. - Nabokov)
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To: Las Vegas Ron

Should be zero. You are “in” the bubble. The bubble is what is in motion. Your local bubbble-space/time reference wouldn’t change.


15 posted on 09/17/2012 10:43:56 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: justlurking

But does it run on “Green” energy?

If not, it won’t get Obama support. /s


16 posted on 09/17/2012 10:44:49 AM PDT by nevergore ("It could be that the purpose of my life is simply to serve as a warning to others.")
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To: Las Vegas Ron
What about the effects on the human body during acceleration/deceleration?

There isn't any. You're warping spacetime, not moving through it. From the perspective of the central pod, you're not moving.

17 posted on 09/17/2012 10:45:09 AM PDT by Strategerist
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To: justlurking

This has to be an established concept/theory. Or just a massive coincidence that shows like Star Trek have been using “Ringships” for 30+ years now.


18 posted on 09/17/2012 10:45:40 AM PDT by tanknetter
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To: Las Vegas Ron
"What about the effects on the human body during acceleration/deceleration?"

The spaceship isn't traveling near the speed of light. It's traveling a normal spaceship speed. It's just warping space in front of it. So that instead of going A-B-C-D-E. It's just going A-E.

It's like bending the earth so that New York City is suddenly next to Nashville. You can go from Music Row to Broadway and Back in an hour, without ever going over 60.

19 posted on 09/17/2012 10:46:52 AM PDT by DannyTN
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To: Dead Corpse
If your in a “bubble” and the bubble is set in motion, you would feel the same energy as the bubble.

Just as you feel acceleration in a car, or the Astronauts felt lifting off of the Moon.

20 posted on 09/17/2012 10:47:09 AM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (Medicine is the keystone in the arch of socialism)
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To: Las Vegas Ron

Theoretically the vessel would not be moving any faster, but the effects on humans from passing into warped space would have to be studied. Warped humans??


21 posted on 09/17/2012 10:48:19 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: Las Vegas Ron

The beauty of it is that for the vehicle inside the warp there is very little (if any) acceleration or deceleration. The vehicle itself is moving at much slower speeds within the warp bubble while space itself is moved around it. In theory the vehicle could remain stationary.


22 posted on 09/17/2012 10:49:15 AM PDT by Squawk 8888 (True North- Strong Leader, Strong Dollar, Strong and Free!)
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To: mc5cents

It’s dilithium ;-)


23 posted on 09/17/2012 10:50:02 AM PDT by Squawk 8888 (True North- Strong Leader, Strong Dollar, Strong and Free!)
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To: DannyTN

Okay, thanks.

That sort of makes sense....kind of mind bending too!


24 posted on 09/17/2012 10:50:13 AM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (Medicine is the keystone in the arch of socialism)
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To: Las Vegas Ron

It’s tough to wrap your mind around but the bubble doesn’t actually move. You need to break out of the mindset that there is some sort of definite, unchanging, grid of “space” that you “move” through.


25 posted on 09/17/2012 10:50:45 AM PDT by Strategerist
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To: Squawk 8888
It’s dilithium ;-)

...encased in pure unobtainium.

26 posted on 09/17/2012 10:51:16 AM PDT by TChris ("Hello", the politician lied.)
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To: Squawk 8888; GeronL

Thanks guys, I’m getting it now.


27 posted on 09/17/2012 10:51:36 AM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (Medicine is the keystone in the arch of socialism)
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To: tanknetter

It is established. It’s the next part in Einstein’s treatise where he said we couldn’t break the speed of light. Everybody pays attention to his energy curve part but only the hardcore nerd bother with the part where he says the solution is to condense space within a field and fly through that. I don’t know if anybody in Star Trek had actually read that part when they came up with the warp bubble, but the concept definitely pre-exists Trek.


28 posted on 09/17/2012 10:51:58 AM PDT by discostu (Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends.)
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To: justlurking
ZPE. Field theory to "flip" matter to anti-matter. Tap the quantum foam directly for power.

Energy may not be the tough part here.

Even an "exotic" material will need to interact with space/time in ways that nothing else has been able to do that we have found to date. I'm interested in seeing exactly what criteria they think will be required to get this perturbation of space/time to occur within their parameters.

29 posted on 09/17/2012 10:52:13 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: justlurking
A concept for a real-life warp drive was suggested in 1994 by Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre

Interstellar Low Rider?


30 posted on 09/17/2012 10:52:16 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: justlurking

31 posted on 09/17/2012 10:52:16 AM PDT by tumblindice (America's founding fathers: all armed conservatives)
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To: Las Vegas Ron

“What’s the matter Colonel Sanders? Are you chicken?”


32 posted on 09/17/2012 10:52:29 AM PDT by massgopguy (I owe everything to George Bailey)
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To: justlurking

33 posted on 09/17/2012 10:54:16 AM PDT by allmendream (Tea Party did not send GOP to D.C. to negotiate the terms of our surrender to socialism)
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To: Las Vegas Ron

Because you are changing your “at rest” state relative to local gravity. With a warp drive like this, it is that “local gravity” that is moving. You’d feel nothing.


34 posted on 09/17/2012 10:54:28 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: DannyTN

Ok, but what happens to everybody and everything between NYC and Nashville. There has to be some consequence to bending space.


35 posted on 09/17/2012 10:55:02 AM PDT by okkev68
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To: Renderofveils
So to alleviate the device's requiring prohibitive amounts of energy to operate, it just needs to be made out of particles that haven't even been encountered.

Yeah....I'll get right on that.

I suppose that it's good for people to dream. My only problem is when "dreams" get reported as "news". Or worse, "science".

36 posted on 09/17/2012 10:56:01 AM PDT by wbill
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To: okkev68

Very bad things, which is why it’s only for interstellar space travel, where there’s nothing to be squished.


37 posted on 09/17/2012 10:57:18 AM PDT by discostu (Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends.)
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To: okkev68

eh, flyover country...

seriously... you wouldn’t warp space anywhere near a planet or even within the solar system ideally.


38 posted on 09/17/2012 10:58:18 AM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Pursue Happiness)
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To: Renderofveils

“You can theoretically create an environment in which a perpetual motion machine will work.”

I see you’ve met the Democrat Party.


39 posted on 09/17/2012 10:59:37 AM PDT by MeganC (The Cinemark theatre in Aurora, CO is a 'Gun Free Zone'. Spread the word.)
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To: Dead Corpse
Because you are changing your “at rest” state relative to local gravity.
With a warp drive like this, it is that “local gravity” that is moving.
You’d feel nothing.
thanks, that's very understandable....

40 posted on 09/17/2012 10:59:47 AM PDT by skinkinthegrass (WA DC E$tabli$hment; DNC/RNC/Unionists...Brazilian saying: "$@me Old $hit; w/ different flie$" :^)
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To: okkev68
"Ok, but what happens to everybody and everything between NYC and Nashville. There has to be some consequence to bending space."

You probably wouldn't bend occupied space like my New York/Nashville example. You'd bend empty space. I believe the way this warp drive works is it repeatedly bends space in front of it. If it bent half a mile of empty space at a time allowing it to pass through in just a few feet. You'd still have an incredible speed.

41 posted on 09/17/2012 11:01:12 AM PDT by DannyTN
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To: justlurking
Just use Dilithium crystals, problem solved. I dinna understand the confusion.
Love, Scotty
42 posted on 09/17/2012 11:02:47 AM PDT by NonValueAdded (Taranto: "The whole point of the metaphor is that if you can hear the whistle, you're the dog.")
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To: justlurking

Good.

I want one.

Gotta emigrate to another star system where the economic laws are sane..............


43 posted on 09/17/2012 11:03:32 AM PDT by Red Badger (Anyone who thinks wisdom comes with age is either too young or too stupid to know the difference....)
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To: wbill
Look at it this way...

What kind of energy densities are we talking about that would give the desired warping effect? How would you channel the energy through a material in a way that it not only forms a bubble, it forms it where you want it and without converting itself to plasma under the discharge...

Once you have the theory, backed up with proof of concept experiments, the rest is just a numbers game.

44 posted on 09/17/2012 11:11:55 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (I will not comply.)
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To: mc5cents

“I’m guessing that that “exotic matter” would be along the lines of unicorns that have been ground up and put through an atomic accelerator or some such.”

Obama should have the unicorns ready for warp-drive use in less than a week. It would be sooner, but they’ll be busy for the next few days lowering the oceans, healing the planet, and restoring the faith of the Muslim world in America.

There could be an issue with PETA though. They don’t have to grind the unicorns up to heal the planet—that gets done with NO ANIMAL CRUELTY.


45 posted on 09/17/2012 11:14:13 AM PDT by ModelBreaker
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To: DannyTN
It's like bending the earth so that New York City is suddenly next to Nashville.

But what if you do that while I'm bending it to get from Cincinnati to Myrtle Beach?

Who wins?

46 posted on 09/17/2012 11:17:47 AM PDT by Izzy Dunne (Hello, I'm a TAGLINE virus. Please help me spread by copying me into YOUR tag line.)
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To: mc5cents
I'm guessing that that "exotic matter" would be along the lines of unicorns that have been ground up and put through an atomic accelerator or some such..

7 elements have been added to the periodic chart since I went to school. None have involved "ground up unicorns". That being said, I think we will probably hit a SHTF scenario long before warp drives come into existence.

47 posted on 09/17/2012 11:21:13 AM PDT by Starstruck (It's all Obama's fault)
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To: MeganC
I see you’ve met the Democrat Party.

If you can get the dead out to vote, everything else is a cakewalk. ;)
48 posted on 09/17/2012 11:23:46 AM PDT by Renderofveils (My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music. - Nabokov)
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To: Izzy Dunne
"But what if you do that while I'm bending it to get from Cincinnati to Myrtle Beach? Who wins?"

Well if you do that there is a good chance that Myrtle beach will end up next to Nashville. And New York next to Cincinnati.

And then won't you feel stupid for not waiting.

49 posted on 09/17/2012 11:24:00 AM PDT by DannyTN
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To: Izzy Dunne
"But what if you do that while I'm bending it to get from Cincinnati to Myrtle Beach? Who wins?"

Well if you do that there is a good chance that Myrtle beach will end up next to Nashville. And New York next to Cincinnati.

And then won't you feel stupid for not waiting.

50 posted on 09/17/2012 11:24:18 AM PDT by DannyTN
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