Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

The Starship Builders (Speculation on UFO Propulsion methods by Physist)
Stardrive ^ | FR Post 3-15-03 (Article update 1999) | by Kim Burrafato

Posted on 03/14/2003 6:19:01 AM PST by vannrox

The Starship Builders

by

Kim Burrafato




In UFOs and the New Physics, we discussed some of the daunting problems in applying terrestrial rocket propulsion principles to any hypothetical models of UFO propulsion. A lot has happened since that article?s publication over two years ago.

It seems we?re getting almost weekly reports of newly discovered extrasolar planetary systems. What was once highly speculative, is now commonplace. Obviously, our previous estimates of the number of stars with possible planetary systems will be revised dramatically upwards.

Then there is the recent announcement from a distinguished British research team, that they also had found unambiguous traces of microbial life in Martian meteorite fragments. Combine that with the proliferation of newly discovered extrasolar planets, and one has the makings of a scientific revolution. In this extraordinary context, the subject of UFOs suddenly takes on significant new meaning.

Despite all this stunning news, we?re still left at the point we were at the end of the last article: If UFOs are real, then how do they get from there (where or whenever that may be), to here?

Since the publication of physicist, Miguel Alcubierre?s, landmark paper "The Warp Drive: Hyper fast travel within General Relativity," in the journal Classic and Quantum Gravity(11, L73, 1994), the idea of hyperfast space travel has become a hot scientific topic no doubt fueled in part by the recent discoveries of Martian microbe remnants and extrasolar planets.

The Alcubierre Warp Drive is purely a consequence of the subtleties inherent in Einstein?s General Theory of Relativity. Spacetime, the union of one time and three space dimensions, is dynamic according to General Relativity. It can be twisted, deformed, and possibly even engineered by concentrations(random or selective) of mass/energy. Alcubierre?s Warp Drive alters spacetime in such a way that the region directly in front of the ship contracts, while the region directly behind the ship expands. The net effect of this is that the ship is propelled on a weightless geodesic path through spacetime.

Alcubierre explains his reasoning in the following paragraphs. I quote them in full because they are essential to the rationale of this article

"The basic idea can be more easily understood if we think for a moment in the inflationary phase of the early Universe, and consider the relative speed of separation of two comoving observers. It is easy to convince oneself that if we define this relative speed as the rate of change of proper spatial distance over proper time, we will obtain a value that is much larger than the speed of light. This doesn?t mean that our observers will be traveling faster than light: they will always move within their own light cones.

"The enormous speed of separation comes from the expansion of spacetime itself. This superluminal speed is very often a source of confusion. It is also a very good example of how an intuition based on special relativity can be deceiving when one deals with dynamical spacetimes."

The next paragraph is the crystallization of his warp drive idea.

"The previous example shows how one can use an expansion of spacetime to move away from some object at an arbitrarily large speed. In the same way, one can use a contraction of spacetime to approach an object at any speed. This is the basis of the model of hyper fast space travel that I wish to present here: create a local distortion of spacetime that will produce an expansion behind the spaceship, and an opposite contraction ahead of it. In this way, the spaceship will be pushed away from the earth and pulled towards a distant star by spacetime itself. One can then invert the process to come back to earth, taking an arbitrarily small time to complete the trip."

Alcubierre does point out in his abstract that "just as it happens with wormholes, exotic matter will be needed in order to generate a distortion of spacetime like the one discussed here." We will return to the subject of exotic matter later in this article.

The key point is that Alcubierre?s drive eliminates the nagging problem of time dilation, also discussed in the previous article. This would go a long way in making interstellar travel a practical reality. You could leave on a Saturday morning to go on a hundred light year journey(or thousand, for that matter), and return the following Saturday(or the same Saturday) to find everyone you know and love has aged no more or no less than yourself. Nice. If it works.

Alcubierre works this seeming bit of gravitational magic by creating what he glibly calls "a simple metric that has precisely the characteristics mentioned above." His paper is actually one of the first theoretical realizations of "metric engineering," an idea first advanced by Russian Nobel Laureate, Andre Sakharov and American Nobel Laureate, T.D. Lee, and further developed by physicist Hal Puthoff and others.

The way to metric engineering and the creation of exotic matter may lie in the energetic quantum vacuum. Modern Quantum Electrodynamics shows that the vacuum is not a void, but rather the opposite: an infinite reservoir of virtual particles and zero point energy. These zero point energy fluctuations of the vacuum lead to such real, measurable effects as the Casimir force, the Lamb shift, the Van der Waals chemical binding forces, and a number of other measurable effects.

Harold Puthoff is one physicist who has been exploring this particular area for some time. Puthoff is a theoretical and experimental physicist specializing in fundamental electrodynamics, and Director of the Institute for Advanced Studies at Austin. His research ranges from the study of quantum vacuum states as they apply to the stability of matter, gravitation, cosmology and energy research, to laboratory studies of innovative approaches to energy generation. A graduate of Stanford University, he has published over 30 technical papers in the areas of electron-beam devices, lasers and quantum zero-point energy fields, and is co-author of a textbook, Fundamentals of Quantum Electronics (Wiley, 1969).

In a paper published in the Feb 1, 1994 Physical Review A, Puthoff, along with Bernard Haisch of Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory, and Alfonso Rueda of California State University at Long Beach connect zero-point vacuum energy to inertia ? that is, the tendency of moving masses to remain moving, and masses at rest to remain at rest.

You?re a little kid standing up in your red Radio Flyer wagon, when your pal suddenly pulls the wagon forward and you?re rudely flung onto the ground. You might have blamed your friend for his lack of good judgment, but it was actually inertia that catapulted you off the wagon. Scientists have been trying to figure out exactly what inertia is and how it arises ever since Galileo came up with the concept in the 17th century. Even Einstein, who believed that inertia was due to the arrangement of matter in the Universe, was unsuccessful in theoretically describing the true nature of inertia.

In their paper, Puthoff, Haisch, and Rueda propose that inertia is the result of the zero-point fluctuations of the hidden quantum vacuum energy that surrounds us. It is this omnipresent vacuum energy that the researchers believe resists the acceleration of mass, thus giving rise to what we call inertia. Their idea was based in part around an earlier and long forgotten idea of Sakharov, linking the force of gravity to the vacuum zero-point fluctuations. If the nature of inertia can ever be understood, the way will have been paved for it to eventually being controlled. At that point we will have obtained that Holy Grail of science fiction, the inertialess star drive.

This work has additional relevance to the Alcubierre paper. In a more recent publication entitled "SETI, the Velocity-of-Light Limitation, and the Alcubierre Warp Drive: An Integrating Overview" (Physics Essays, volume 9, number 1, 1996), Puthoff extends Alcubierre?s work to show that "Alcubierre?s result is a particular case of a broad, general approach that might loosely be called ?metric engineering,? the details of which provide further support for the concept that reduced time interstellar travel, either by advanced extraterrestrial civilizations at present, or ourselves in the future, is not, as naïve consideration might hold, fundamentally constrained by physical principles." Puthoff?s expression "metric engineering" is not to be taken lightly. Just as the internal combustion engine drove the Industrial Revolution and human expansion around the globe, metric engineering would drive a new human interstellar society into the furthest reaches of the space. Heady stuff.

"The fact that the vacuum constitutes an energy reservoir," as Puthoff says, doesn?t mean it?s going to be easy to tap into it. There are some promising avenues of approach, though. The Casimir force mentioned earlier, is an attractive force between two very flat, conducting plates placed closely parallel to one another. Fewer electromagnetic waves can fit between the plates than outside them. As a result, the electromagnetic zero-point pressure is smaller between the plates than outside them. The result is an attractive force. The total vacuum energy density between the plates is negative, that is, less than compared to that outside them. Anything that has such a lower, or negative energy relative to the overall vacuum density can be considered exotic matter.

Physicist Robert L. Forward published a paper entitled "Extraction of electrical energy from the vacuum"(Phys. Rev., B 30, 1700, 1984), that attempts to exploit the Casimir plate effect. Forward has done considerable work in the theoretical and engineering aspects of matter/antimatter annihilation propulsion, including an ingenious design for an antihydrogen ice crystal powered starship. His vacuum energy extraction paper uses the Casimir effect as a kind of vacuum electrical generator. Again, two identically charged plates are placed close together. Like charges repel something known as Coulomb repulsion. However, the stronger Casimir attractive vacuum force overcomes this Coulomb barrier, and causes the plates to be drawn together in a collapsing motion. This in turn, confines the electrical charge distribution to an ever decreasing volume. The end result is that zero-point energy or Casimir energy is converted into potential electrical Coulomb energy, which can then be extracted in a number of straightforward ways.

The problem with this scheme is that such a Casimir generator is a one shot device. You have to put as much energy into the device to get the plates to return to their original separated positions, as you get from their attractive collapse. Considering the normal operating inefficiencies in any kind of electro-mechanical device, such a device remains a long way from operating in any kind of energy "over unity, " or "break even" mode, for that matter.

Attempts are being made to work around that problem. In a paper entitled "The energetic vacuum: implications for energy research"(Speculations in Science and Technology, Vol 13, No. 4, page 247, 1990), Puthoff extends Forward?s idea of a vacuum energy generator.

"Let us carry this one step further, however. If one could arrange to have an inexhaustible supply of such devices, and if it took less energy to make each device than was obtained from the Casimir-collapse process, and if the devices were discarded after use rather than recycled, then one could envision the conversion of vacuum energy to use with a net positive yield. Although almost certainly not achievable in terms of mechanical devices, a possible candidate for exploitation along such lines would be the generation of a cold, dense, non-neutral(charged) plasma in which charge condensation takes place not on the basis of charged plates being drawn together, but on the basis of a Casimir pinch effect. Such an approach would constitute a ?Casimir-fusion? process, which in its cycle of operation would mimic the nuclear fusion process." Puthoff then goes on to say that he knows of "programs in the United States, the Soviet Union and other countries to explore just such an approach on an experimental basis."

Yet imaginative efforts continue in designing propellant based starships. One of the better examples is the ICAN II web site at -

http://antimatter.phys.psu.edu/ICAN-II_Paper/pictures/ICAN-II_System.html

This ingenious scheme incorporates an enormous hybrid particle accelerator around the actual starship itself, continually generating antimatter fuel while in flight. Again, nice if it works. But that still doesn?t get around the time dilation problem. Try this site -- http://sunsite.unc.edu/lunar/ssdengr.html -- for a good overview of various starship propulsion schemes and designs. Despite all the ingenuity, always boils down to the fact that propellant type "rockets" - no matter what the fuel - don?t cut the interstellar mustard when it comes to truly rapid transit. You have to be able to tweak the spacetime metric itself so you can at least come back and play with the dog.

Of course, this entire discussion centers around some basic human assumptions. It?s still conceivable that interstellar space could be populated with societies who, although incapable of manipulating spacetime, are technologically sophisticated enough to carry their unique, life sustaining environments with them at sub-light speeds, and thrive while doing it. But it would be hard to envision contemporary human society ever adapting to such an alien, nomadic lifestyle.

Another interesting and potentially important propulsion development are the so-called "gravitational shielding" experiments. In these experiments small weights are suspended by extremely sensitive strain gauge devices. Placed closely underneath are rapidly rotating superconducting ceramic discs, which in turn are in a state of levitation due to the superconducting Meissner effect. It has been found in a number of different experiments that a significant fraction of weight is lost from the suspended materials. The effect was first discovered by Tampere University of Technology physicists E. Podkletnov and R. Nieminen, and published in paper entitled "A Possibility of Gravitational Force Shielding by Bulk YBa2Cu307-x Superconductor"(Physica C 203, 1992, pp 441- 444).

Podkletnov later published a second paper with colleague A.D. Levit, "Gravitational Shielding Properties of Composite Bulk YBa2Cu307-x Below 70C Under Electro-magnetic Field"(Tampere University of Technology Report MSU-95 chem, January 1995). This paper provides even stronger evidence for the weight loss effect. In this 2nd experiment, samples of different composition and weight (10-50grams) were placed at distances of 25mm to 1.5 meters from the rotating disk. The resultant mass losses went as high as around 2% -- undeniably a statistically significant amount.

Even more interesting, is the fact that NASA is reported to be conducting, or about to conduct similar gravity shielding experiments. Scientists Ning Li and D.G. Torr at the University of Alabama, Huntsville, have written a number of papers in major journals on the relationship between superconductors and gravitation. It?s not hard to understand why NASA would be interested in the subject. Although other researchers have duplicated these findings, no accepted theory of this new phenomenon has yet to emerge.

More than one reputable physicist has gone on record as saying it?s physically impossible for there to be a direct "electro-gravitic" coupling of such a large magnitude, according to the standard classical General Theory of Relativity when combined with Maxell?s electromagnetic field equations.

"However, there are some hints as to what this effect might actually be," says physicist Jack Sarfatti. "Superconductors have giant quantum wavefunctions. Which means they have large quantum forces exerted on them. The question is: will these large quantum forces distort the spacetime metric in a non-classical way? So, the Finnish experiments might actually be a new kind of giant quantum effect. There is one good phenomenological clue. Thin films of superfluid helium creep vertically up the sides of open beakers, in blatant defiance of the gravitational force. Nevertheless, the jury is still out on the gravitational shielding phenomenon."

NASA?s level of interest in exotic new energy sources and propulsion methods is such that the agency established a landmark research program in July 1996. The following program summary was put out by Marc G. Millis of the NASA Lewis Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. I quote it in its entirety.

"NASA?s Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Program

Sep 13, 1996

"In July, 1996, a small new NASA research program was established to seek the breakthroughs that could one day revolutionize space travel and enable interstellar voyages. This program, called "Breakthrough Propulsion Physics," is led by Marc G. Millis of NASA?s Lewis Research Center and is a part of the comprehensive Advanced Space Transportation Program managed by the Marshall Space Flight Center.

"Prompted by new possibilities that have emerged in recent scientific literature and by the preparatory research by individuals on how to apply these possibilities to the goal of creating revolutionary propulsion, researchers from various NASA centers, other government laboratories, academia, and industries collaborated to initiate this program. This program looks beyond textbook science and foreseeable technology to seek the solutions required to revolutionize space transportation and make deep space travel practical and affordable. Specifically, the goals of the program are to accomplish three propulsion breakthroughs. They are:

"(1) Eliminate or dramatically reduce the need for rocket propellant. This implies discovering fundamentally new ways to create motion, presumably by manipulating inertia, gravity, or by any other interactions between matter, fields, and spacetime.

"(2) Dramatically increase vehicle speeds to make deep space travel practical. This implies determining and achieving the actual maximum speed limit for motion through space or the motion of spacetime itself. If possible, this means circumventing the light speed limit.

"(3) Discover fundamentally new on-board energy generation methods to power such revolutionary propulsion devices. Since the above two breakthroughs could require breakthroughs in energy generation to power them, and since the physics underlying the propulsion goals is closely linked to energy physics, this third goal is included in the program.

"Since these goals are beyond today?s established science, this program cannot guarantee that the desired breakthroughs are achievable, but it can promise to produce credible and measurable progress that leads toward the breakthroughs -- credible progress toward incredible possibilities.

"As such, this program faces two challenges; programmatic and technical. The programmatic challenges include: (1) advocating such long range research amidst dwindling resources and stiff competition from the nearer-term, more conservative programs, (2) creating confidence that research funded today will lead to the necessary breakthroughs, (3) selecting the most promising research tasks from the large number of divergent and competing approaches, and (4) conducting meaningful and credible research economically. The technical challenges include: (1) focusing emerging physics to answer NASA?s propulsion needs, (2) finding the shortest path to discovering the breakthroughs amidst several, divergent and competing approaches, and (3) balancing the imagination and vision necessary to point the way to breakthroughs with the credible, systematic rigor necessary to make genuine progress.

"A government steering group containing members from the various NASA centers, DOD and DOE laboratories has been established to develop the research challenges. These criteria are to be in place by mid 1997, in time for the next program milestone; a kick-off workshop. The invitation-only workshop will examine the relevant emerging physics and will produce a list of next-step research tasks. If the workshop successfully demonstrates that promising and affordable approaches exist, funding may be granted to begin conducting the step-by-step research that may eventually lead to the breakthroughs."

This new NASA working group adds an exciting dimension to the space program as we head into 21st century. One can only feel encouraged that the agency has chosen to go in this promising direction. It will take the kinds of breakthroughs discussed in this article, and soon to be studied in depth by the NASA working group, to get us to the stars. And one can feel confident that because of this, more startling theoretical and technological breakthroughs lurk right around the corner.

That brings us to the final mind-blowing aspect of this subject. Of course, it will take human imagination and genius to realize the kinds of breakthroughs discussed here. But our consciousness may play an even more fundamental role than in just the metaphorical sense of genius and creativity. It may actually be an integral part of a star drive -- as important as fuel, instruments, and navigation systems. (And navigation is a formidable problem. How does one reliably navigate across such vast interstellar distances in a distorted spacetime metric?)

Jack Sarfatti, never fearful of climbing out on a theoretical limb, has given these ideas considerable thought. "The key to building a practical cost-effective "UFO-like" advanced propulsion system may be in a better understanding of the fundamental meaning of quantum mechanics and its relation to consciousness. If the photos of the Roswell crash fragments are not bogus, then the panels with hand prints provide a major clue that the craft is controlled by consciousness. The late Brendan O Regan, who worked with Astronaut Edgar Mitchell and the Noetics Institute told me in 1973 that he had classified information that such was the case. He very much wanted me to work on that problem when he was Editor of Psycho-Energetic Systems in which he published some of my early premature speculations. Now, more than twenty years later, we have Sir Roger Penrose, Fellow of The Royal Society, and Professor of Mathematics at Oxford, speculating on a direct connection of human consciousness with quantum gravity.

"Quantum gravity refers to zero point fluctuations in the metric i.e. in the four-dimensional fabric of dynamical spacetime itself. The Wheeler-Feynman "action-at-a distance" classical electrodynamics explains electromagnetic zero-point fluctuations and radiation resistance as the effect of advanced waves propagating backwards in time from their future absorption to their past emission. This idea has only recently been extended to quantum mechanics by Fred Alan Wolf and John Cramer and to quantum gravity and the superstring theory of everything by Shu-Yuan Chu. John Archibald Wheeler's "delayed choice experiment", now confirmed in the laboratory, shows that, if we use the traditional Bohr Copenhagen interpretation of quantum theory, then whether a photon acts as a wave or a particle in the past depends on the future freewill choice of a conscious observer. In other words, the conscious choice acts backward in time. Brain experiments by Ben Libet of the University of California show that if there is free will, then it has to act backward in time for about one second. In other words, our conscious intention seems to depend on Wheeler's quantum delayed choice effect.

"Roger Penrose in The Emperor's New Mind describes Libet's experiments as a quantum teleological effect. Yakir Aharonov and his students show how to build a quantum time machine which, unlike traversable wormhole time machines using exotic matter, can travel back to a time before it was constructed. This depends on quantum nonlocality in time in which what happens now depends on both what did happen and what will happen. John Gribbin, in his new popular book, Schrodinger's Kittens, give an easy to understand explanation of these ideas. Gribbin argues that Cramer?s explanation of quantum mechanics in terms of the Wheeler-Feynman combination of retarded waves of positive energy from past to future with advanced waves of negative energy from future to past is the "best buy" to understand the meaning of quantum theory. Note that exotic matter has negative energy propagating forward in time. This is exactly the opposite of what ordinary antimatter does. There are apparent defects in Cramer's theory that I am now working on. Cramer's theory, according to Gribbin, seems to need the zero proper time of light waves in order to work. That is, a photon gets from here to there in zero proper time. This is not so for quantum waves which need imaginary proper time. Furthermore, Cramer's theory requires particles to emit and absorb their quantum waves.

"But the late David Bohm showed that such quantum emission and absorption violates standard quantum mechanics in a very serious way. There is an extension of quantum mechanics to living conscious matter using "back-action" which permits the Cramer?s theory to work. It is not clear that the Cramer's theory will work for dead matter as Gribbin would like. The back-action may well provide the feedback control mechanism for something very like the power of the Q in the space-opera Star Trek, The Next Generation. This would explain UFO propulsion as a quantum consciousness effect explaining the hand imprint panel of the Roswell wreckage. In other words, one could imagine that there are states of consciousness accessible through meditation, electrical stimulation, and chemicals that would allow the shaping of the spacetime metric using controlled quantum action at a distance. I caution the reader that none of what I say here is established theory and I could well be completely wrong. I am simply giving a very speculative description of my current intuitions on this problem."

Only time will tell if any of these ideas pan out. But if they do, it will certainly give new meaning to the line "When you wish upon a star..."


[Note added Aug 7, 1999 by Jack Sarfatti.

Astronomer, Tom Van Flandern http://www.ldolphin.org/vanFlandern/gravityspeed.html, has discovered a smoking gun that suggests that the Face on Mars in Cydonia is artificial. We await his detailed report.]
Copyright (c) 1995 by Kim Burrafato and Jack Sarfatti. All rights reserved.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; Japan; News/Current Events; Philosophy; Russia; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: explore; nasa; physics; podkletnov; ship; space; speculation; star; sun; technique; time; travel; trek; ufo; warp
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-77 next last
Whether you believe in UFO's or not. This is interesting.
1 posted on 03/14/2003 6:19:01 AM PST by vannrox
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: vannrox


2 posted on 03/14/2003 6:27:10 AM PST by Joe Brower (http://www.joebrower.com/)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
Another interesting and potentially important propulsion development are the so-called "gravitational shielding" experiments. In these experiments small weights are suspended by extremely sensitive strain gauge devices. Placed closely underneath are rapidly rotating superconducting ceramic discs, which in turn are in a state of levitation due to the superconducting Meissner effect. It has been found in a number of different experiments that a significant fraction of weight is lost from the suspended materials. The effect was first discovered by Tampere University of Technology physicists E. Podkletnov and R. Nieminen, and published in paper entitled "A Possibility of Gravitational Force Shielding by Bulk YBa2Cu307-x Superconductor"(Physica C 203, 1992, pp 441- 444).

Podkletnov later published a second paper with colleague A.D. Levit, "Gravitational Shielding Properties of Composite Bulk YBa2Cu307-x Below 70C Under Electro-magnetic Field"(Tampere University of Technology Report MSU-95 chem, January 1995). This paper provides even stronger evidence for the weight loss effect. In this 2nd experiment, samples of different composition and weight (10-50grams) were placed at distances of 25mm to 1.5 meters from the rotating disk. The resultant mass losses went as high as around 2% -- undeniably a statistically significant amount.

I think a reason NASA is interested in this is that if such an effect is real, then potentially operating it out of a gravity well (e.g. where we send our space probes) means that it might be useful as a propulsion system. That is, something that can appear to reduce weight (it says mass but in reality the samples were weighed) in a zero gravity field might produce "negative" weight - that is, a propulsion effect. As Einstein pointed out, there is no measurable difference between the exposure to a gravitational field and acceleration (the elevator thought experiment.)

3 posted on 03/14/2003 6:32:35 AM PST by dark_lord
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
This is easier:

Find it and dig it up!

4 posted on 03/14/2003 6:38:09 AM PST by JohnnyZ (I am just here for the beer)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
Oh boy, this article is old, many things have happened since this has been written. Almost all of them bad. The BPP program at NASA has been terminated for several months, Ning Li pretty much was pulling a scam on NASA scientists and left the program a year or two ago. The studies that were completed of the gravitational shielding discs showed no new phenomenon. The one ray of hope is from Dr.James F. Woodward's devices that he's successfully tested that involve propellantless propulsion. NASA was funding him through the BPP program but that program is no more. I think some companies have taken intertest in his inertial propulsion ideas and are continuing studies on it. That may be for the best anyway, a private company is probably the best way to go about developing this stuff, if there's anything to it. The BPP sure was fun though. :(

Link to more info on Woodward's propulsion testing:

James F. Woodward: Mach's Principle Weight Reduction = Propellantless Propulsion

5 posted on 03/14/2003 6:50:26 AM PST by Brett66
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
"This new NASA working group adds an exciting dimension to the space program as we head into 21st century. One can only feel encouraged that the agency has chosen to go in this promising direction. It will take the kinds of breakthroughs discussed in this article, and soon to be studied in depth by the NASA working group, to get us to the stars. And one can feel confident that because of this, more startling theoretical and technological breakthroughs lurk right around the corner."

This new NASA working group has been dissolved and Mr. Millis reassigned.

===========================

My comment on "Starship Builders": If any of these schemes were feasible, intelligent aliens would have reduced them to practise thousands of years ago. We should observe their traffic (e.g., massive waves of Cherenkov radiation). We do not. Nor have they landed on the White House lawn and requested a private audience with the interns.

Hence either none of these schemes is feasible or there are no intelligent E.T.'s.

This is a version of the 'Fermi Paradox' (FP) and is easy to construct once you've understood the FP.

If UFOs are cruising our skys from, say, dozens of Starship Building alien cultures, it is curious that all of them are so shy and seem to be fixated on anal probes.

On the other hand, were I a shy alien in a UFO, the best way to appear unobtrusive would be to build my ship in the shape of a 747 and go flying around at 550 mph...

--Boris

6 posted on 03/14/2003 6:51:18 AM PST by boris
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: boris
the best way to appear unobtrusive would be to build my ship in the shape of a 747 and go flying around at 550 mph

LOL! But where's the fun in that? I would keep the wierd saucer shape so I could spook people in trailer parks.

7 posted on 03/14/2003 6:53:58 AM PST by Brett66
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
UFO's have various methods of propulsion. Some are propelled by ignorance, some by imagination, some by fear, and some by wishful thinking.
8 posted on 03/14/2003 7:10:18 AM PST by Physicist
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Brett66; boris
Please be outside your residences this evening: a jet will lay a contrail overhead, so wait 15 minutes and then breathe deeply.

I haven't had to do this much damage control since 'Heaven's Gate' somehow got the impression that I was flying around in a vintage De Havilland and was looking for someone to hand out peanuts.


9 posted on 03/14/2003 7:14:03 AM PST by Hoplite
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
Probes and people will travel across the stars as femtobyte electro-magnetic waves (cosmic rays) ala Rudy Rucker. It's the only way to travel.
10 posted on 03/14/2003 7:16:19 AM PST by techcor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
Bump for later read
11 posted on 03/14/2003 7:21:17 AM PST by Kerberos
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Physicist
LOL!!!!
12 posted on 03/14/2003 7:22:38 AM PST by Gary Boldwater
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Physicist

13 posted on 03/14/2003 7:26:57 AM PST by BenLurkin (Socialism is slavery.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: boris
On the other hand, were I a shy alien in a UFO, the best way to appear unobtrusive would be to build my ship in the shape of a 747 and go flying around at 550 mph...

Yeah, but imagine how cool it would be if you built your ship to resemble a huge black monolith, especially with an external dimension ratio of 1x4x9....

14 posted on 03/14/2003 7:28:14 AM PST by Jonah Hex
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Brett66

15 posted on 03/14/2003 7:29:16 AM PST by BenLurkin (Socialism is slavery.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Joe Brower

16 posted on 03/14/2003 7:30:15 AM PST by BenLurkin (Socialism is slavery.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: boris
If any of these schemes were feasible, intelligent aliens would have...

The dinosaurs possessed some level of intelligence for 200 million years and developed no technology that we know of. Intelligence to create technology may be a very rare or even perhaps unique event.

17 posted on 03/14/2003 8:19:19 AM PST by staytrue
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: boris
Question for you boris: Do we have Cherenkov-detectors placed around the planet, either on it or in near space? If not, perhaps such evidence just hasn't been collected. This is truly something to consider, and I'm asking in all seriousness.

However:

"Nor have they landed on the White House lawn and requested a private audience with the interns."

C'mon. Denegration isn't required here. I participate (lightly) on a YahooGroup that is looking at Alcubierre's work and subsequent refinements, and they are pretty well on track. They take it very seriously, get published, and don't surrender to hype or UFO cults.

That's reminds me of something I noticed about this paper. One of the frequent criticisms of papers that reference the Alcubierre breakthrough is that his idea requires more negative energy than the total (positive) energy of the universe! Certainly a show-stopper. However, the metric-engineering mentioned in the the article is a big focus of refinement of this field, and as researchers/theorists have moved forward new metric treatments have reduced the energy requirements to concievable levels.

My focus is on the engineering aspects of building the equipment involved, but I'm only recently looking into it. What I find interesting is that if the theories are systematically digested, they aren't that hard to understand. Eating the elephant one bite at a time, as it were.
18 posted on 03/14/2003 8:27:29 AM PST by Frank_Discussion (Time is the fire in which we burn...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: BenLurkin
I really enjoy the Billy Mierer photos. They look soooo much like a pie plate tethered on a string, yet when his followers get on Art Bell they are treated with such deference and are given every benefit of the doubt.
19 posted on 03/14/2003 8:38:29 AM PST by Dialup Llama
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 16 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
Wonderful stuff. I just hope I live long enough for this to become real science with a solid theory that is well understood and the experimental data to confirm the theory.
20 posted on 03/14/2003 9:16:03 AM PST by InterceptPoint
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Frank_Discussion
"Question for you boris: Do we have Cherenkov-detectors placed around the planet, either on it or in near space?"

I used "Cherenkov" as an example of potential traces of FTL travel. That's what "e.g." stands for.

And yes, we have lots of such detectors--they are called eyeballs, and almost everyone has a couple.

--Boris

21 posted on 03/14/2003 9:29:43 AM PST by boris
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: boris
Ok, boris, don't be an ass. I was asking seriously, and you fire back vitriol. I know what "e.g." means, don't be so snide.

Do you have an answer to my specific question, or just more deflective bull$hit? I'm irritated with you because I merely asked a real question, to which there should be a real answer, and you decided to stay on your UFO-bashing rant.
22 posted on 03/14/2003 9:34:05 AM PST by Frank_Discussion (Time is the fire in which we burn...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: Brett66
Don't tell me that even NASA got duped by yet another free energy scam..

Humans have some irrational belief that perpetual motion devices are real, and have been scammed by them since the first cavemen.
23 posted on 03/14/2003 9:36:24 AM PST by Monty22
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
yes, it all was
24 posted on 03/14/2003 9:40:06 AM PST by skinkinthegrass (Just because your paranoid,doesn't mean they aren't out to get you. :)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
I always knew Zephraim Cochran was an old drunk. This is where he stole (will steal?) the idea from!

exotic matter will be needed in order to generate a distortion of spacetime like the one discussed here

Haven't they ever heard of dilithium?

25 posted on 03/14/2003 9:41:04 AM PST by Jim Noble
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Frank_Discussion
"Ok, boris, don't be an ass. I was asking seriously, and you fire back vitriol."

Wait a bit. I haven't really wound up with the vitriol in quite a while.

--Boris

26 posted on 03/14/2003 10:56:05 AM PST by boris
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: boris
Truce? You're not listening, and I didn't want a flame war.

(All the trouble I get for asking a sincere question...)
27 posted on 03/14/2003 11:03:25 AM PST by Frank_Discussion (Time is the fire in which we burn...)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: dark_lord
One thought: if NASA can reduce the effect of gravity on a rocket by just a percentage point, that turns into megabucks per launch of savings.
28 posted on 03/14/2003 11:06:49 AM PST by Poohbah (Beware the fury of a patient man -- John Dryden)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: techcor
That reminds me of an idea I had once...I envisioned a magnetic propulsion system, utilizing gyroscopes or whatever (I am NOT well versed in physics), in which a strong magnetic field is created which "attracts" the craft from the front and "repels" the ship from the rear.

Thus the poles for the magnetic field have to be "projected" to a point outside the ship by some sort of field amplifier. The poles have to be reversible to stop.

Also, humans would have to be shielded or isolated from a magnetic field of that strength.

I'm sure this is impossible or someone would have thought of it...but it seems more likely than the other crazy propulsion systems I've read about.

29 posted on 03/14/2003 11:11:18 AM PST by ez (Advise and Consent = Debate and VOTE!!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
In the 1950's there was a well known cartoon strip that featured SpaceCraft that used magnetism to get around. So, there you go, use powerful magnets to leave Earths' gravity!ha ha hha hahhah, I know it's not that simple.
30 posted on 03/14/2003 11:14:55 AM PST by timestax
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: vannrox; Poohbah
Thanks.

I didn't bother with every paragraph but it seems like an impressive enough essay to me.

I do suspect, however, that things are much more progressed beyond this paper than is hinted at.
31 posted on 03/14/2003 11:22:26 AM PST by Quix (MARCH BIBLE CODES DIGEST LATEST RESEARCH COMPARES WAR AND PEACE VS BIBLE W SURPRISES 4 BOTH SIDES)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Brett66
And how do you filter out the disinformation from the fact, from the conjecture, from the dreaming, fantasies and even sometimes from the mere hogwash?
32 posted on 03/14/2003 11:24:37 AM PST by Quix (MARCH BIBLE CODES DIGEST LATEST RESEARCH COMPARES WAR AND PEACE VS BIBLE W SURPRISES 4 BOTH SIDES)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: ez
Check out some working technology here
33 posted on 03/14/2003 11:26:15 AM PST by Myrddin
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: ez
I'm pretty sure that's impossible because you have to fix the magnetic fields to your craft. It would be like pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps. Actually, I think there was a sci-fi book by that name "The Bootstrap Effect" but I'm not sure who wrote it.

If your interested in near future technology for space travel, look up americium 242m or "Two weeks to Mars" on google. It's 100 times as powerful as plutonium. 1 gram I think was suppose to equal 2 tons of jet fuel. For some reason no one around FR knows about or is interested in it.

One last thought is why do we need matter to transmit momentum? Think about it. If you use a powerful laser, it heats up (i.e. transfers momentum) say a propellant which shoots out the back and the rocket goes forward. Why can't there be just electro-magnetic energy that shoots out the back of the rocket and transfers momentum to the universe in general.

34 posted on 03/14/2003 11:26:23 AM PST by techcor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Quix
Lots of stuff in there has been shot down since.

Alcubierre's "warp drive" has one small problem: ASSUMING you manage to get the thing actually started, it's physically impossible to turn it off.
35 posted on 03/14/2003 11:26:23 AM PST by Poohbah (Beware the fury of a patient man -- John Dryden)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 31 | View Replies]

To: boris
It's plausible that even ET's would have limits placed on their options.

But, Von Braun insisted that after the Iraq war planned in 1970ish, we would be called on to fight the evil ET's--something he considered a hideous hoax--his being convinced all the ET's were benign.

36 posted on 03/14/2003 11:26:46 AM PST by Quix (MARCH BIBLE CODES DIGEST LATEST RESEARCH COMPARES WAR AND PEACE VS BIBLE W SURPRISES 4 BOTH SIDES)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
bump for later read
37 posted on 03/14/2003 11:28:02 AM PST by Captain Beyond (The Hammer of the gods! (Just a cool line from a Led Zep song))
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Brett66
It would be interesting to see your face turn white when a LOT of things start falling out of reality which your biases have precluded from ever happening. . . regardless of the size of your mansion and distance from a trailer park.

Arrogance doesn't look any better on you than chartreuse.
38 posted on 03/14/2003 11:28:09 AM PST by Quix (MARCH BIBLE CODES DIGEST LATEST RESEARCH COMPARES WAR AND PEACE VS BIBLE W SURPRISES 4 BOTH SIDES)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: ez
Also, check out Myrddin's post to you and "Lifter technology". Someone here said they must be using an "ionic breeze" but according to some of their info it actuall works in a vacuum (which would eliminate that as a theory).
39 posted on 03/14/2003 11:29:25 AM PST by techcor
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 29 | View Replies]

To: Frank_Discussion
Wonderful to read a balanced reply.
40 posted on 03/14/2003 11:30:15 AM PST by Quix (MARCH BIBLE CODES DIGEST LATEST RESEARCH COMPARES WAR AND PEACE VS BIBLE W SURPRISES 4 BOTH SIDES)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 18 | View Replies]

To: Frank_Discussion
I think it's in his blood.

Maybe in the air he breathes.

Or maybe his anal probe was mistakenly left in place.

Whatever it is, he seems slavishly addicted to such tones in responses.

I don't know of a cure or effective solution. I deplore abuse buttons except in super destructive, egregious, aggressive cases.

I suppose one could just ignore his prickliness and try and comment on what substance might be left. But it's not quite as much fun. Besides, such arrogant orneriness NEEDS slapped down at least occasionally. IMHO.
41 posted on 03/14/2003 11:33:53 AM PST by Quix (MARCH BIBLE CODES DIGEST LATEST RESEARCH COMPARES WAR AND PEACE VS BIBLE W SURPRISES 4 BOTH SIDES)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: boris
With you, a little is a lot.

And when you "really wind up"

it's galactically over the top.

It wouldn't kill you to own your tendencies, tones and trashing words/phrases.
42 posted on 03/14/2003 11:35:35 AM PST by Quix (MARCH BIBLE CODES DIGEST LATEST RESEARCH COMPARES WAR AND PEACE VS BIBLE W SURPRISES 4 BOTH SIDES)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 26 | View Replies]

To: Poohbah
Hmmm. Interesting point.

I assume you put 0.00% credence in allegations that some of the stealth craft are dual propulsion systems--one option being anti-grav of some sort.

???
43 posted on 03/14/2003 11:37:08 AM PST by Quix (MARCH BIBLE CODES DIGEST LATEST RESEARCH COMPARES WAR AND PEACE VS BIBLE W SURPRISES 4 BOTH SIDES)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 28 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
I think this is NASA's site on the topic. Lots of links, lots of info: Warp Drive When?.
44 posted on 03/14/2003 11:38:29 AM PST by PatrickHenry (The universe is made for life, therefore ID. Life can't arise naturally, therefore ID.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Myrddin
Thanks.

Interesting link. Had stumbled across something similar before. Seems like they've made progress.
45 posted on 03/14/2003 11:39:22 AM PST by Quix (MARCH BIBLE CODES DIGEST LATEST RESEARCH COMPARES WAR AND PEACE VS BIBLE W SURPRISES 4 BOTH SIDES)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]

To: vannrox

Ha! Stupid humans! You're piddling attempts at hyper light speed travel amuse us.
You are destined to be ruled and enslaved by our superior technology!

46 posted on 03/14/2003 11:40:28 AM PST by Bloody Sam Roberts ()
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Poohbah
I C.

I have a notion that a lot of these articles are a kind of deliberate cracking the door open . . .

--perhaps to prepare the rest of the scientific community for POSSIBILITIES so that the REALITIES already afoot won't be such a shock . . .

--perhaps to prepare the populace in general for similar reasons.

etc.

I realize you probably still think I and the whole field are 150 galactic clusters the other side of sanity.

But I still have to be responsible to reality as I've experienced it with my friends, relatives and vast quantity of at least scanned information. All of THAT says--things have progressed far further than you seem to allow--and had done so even 35 years ago. I certainly don't have the capacity to convince you or anyone of such at present.

But the more I read, month by month, the closer that day seems to get.

I've long felt that the UFO type stuff would be held in reserve until we were much closer to the global government. The Iraq thing seems all cocked to push us much closer to that time. Then there's the Von Braun allegations about the scheduled war on terrorism, Iraq and finally ET's.

The pieces do indeed fit increasingly together. And it almost doesn't matter the TYPES of sources. The data curve or whatever one might call it--the curve is getting more and more steep toward certainty; toward a proven end-point; toward deployment--whatever one wants to call it.

IMHO, of course.

Appreciated your kind reply.
47 posted on 03/14/2003 11:46:35 AM PST by Quix (MARCH BIBLE CODES DIGEST LATEST RESEARCH COMPARES WAR AND PEACE VS BIBLE W SURPRISES 4 BOTH SIDES)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 35 | View Replies]

To: boris
I dunno, can you see Cherenkov radiation, or any other traces of the use of undiscovered (by us) means of propulsion, with your eyeballs? Seems to me that I was taught there are some pretty narrow limits to human vision in biology.

48 posted on 03/14/2003 11:48:08 AM PST by William Terrell (People can exist without government but government can't exist without people.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: vannrox
Screw the Starship, bring on the hot green space babes!
49 posted on 03/14/2003 11:49:00 AM PST by Wolfie
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Myrddin
I've been following the "lifter" technology for a while. Here is a lifter clip.

And here is another neat video clip.

50 posted on 03/14/2003 11:59:34 AM PST by dark_lord
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 33 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-77 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson