Comicbook World #67- Warp Drive technology is now "Plausible and worth further investigation..."

One of the things that makes science fiction awesome is aliens. Traveling to alien worlds- or having aliens come to Earth- would require faster-than-light travel, which is virtually impossible in the non-fictional universe we inhabit. The warp drive engine, a cornerstone of  space science-fiction, uses a cheat code built into the laws of physics. See, no object within the space-time continuum can travel faster than light, BUT there's nothing to say that space-time ITSELF can't move faster than light... 

Theoretically at least. 
"The idea is that you take a chunk of space-time and move it," said Marc Millis. Besides having a name that sounds like it was conceived by Stan Lee, the mighty mister Millis is the former head of NASA's Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project. "The vehicle inside that bubble thinks that it's not moving at all. It's the space-time that's moving."

No, it's not crazy talk! IT'S SCIENCE, FOOL! Peep game... 
Science suggest this warping of space-time has already happened in the past, as the universe expanded at warp speeds after the Big Bang. General Relativity says that any concentration of mass or energy warps space-time around it. Gravity is a manifestation of this phenomenon in action: gravity is simply the curvature of space-time that causes smaller masses to fall inward toward larger masses. Chew on that for a minute.

So anyways, the point is scientists need to invent new propulsion technology that moves bubbles of space-time. And fossil fuels ain't gonna cut it... 

sample page from Nadir's Zenith
"If we find some way to alter the properties of space-time in an imbalanced fashion, so behind the spacecraft it's doing one thing and in front of it it's doing something else, will then space-time push on the craft and move it?" Millis said.

Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre first proposed the idea of real-life warp-drive technology in 1994, but other scientists rained on his parade saying that the sheer amount of energy that it would take to warp space could never be safely generated. Almost twenty years later, the idea is gaining some more attention. Alcubierre's Warp Drive composed of football-shaped ship with a large ring  encircling it. The "exotic matter" in the ring would cause space-time to warp around the ship allowing it to move at faster-than-light speeds.
By adjusting the shape of the ring, the amount of mass-energy required can be reduced from planetary scale to something humans could realistically build.
Spaceship by Grimhel

"The findings I presented today change it from impractical to plausible and worth further investigation..." said Harold White of NASA's Johnson Space Center, whose work suggests that even more energy reduction is possible over time.
I could go on and on... If you actually read down this far, you probably wanna go to this article on Yahoo and this article on So hopefully these dudes can bend space-time without accidentally breaking the universe or whatever...



Arkonbey said...

That is pretty coo. I remember reading a comic in Discover magazine back in '95 about Alcubierre drive.

It seemed so plausible (expand the space behind the ship, compress it ahead so you're always getting closer) but the comic said that, once turned on, the drive might be impossible to turn off. So, you surf a wave of space-time forever.

BTW, much better than the feeding-my-robophobia posts ;)

samax amen said...

Yeah, I'm trying not to be so paranoid/negative about scientific progress (Ignore the last line of the post! LOL!)

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