The Alcubierre warp drive is an idea for achieving faster-than-light travel suggested by the Mexican theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre. NASA researchers recently revisited the Alcubierre warp drive and concluded that its power requirements were not as impossible as once. The warp drive: hyper-fast travel within general relativity. Miguel Alcubierre The resulting distortion is reminiscent of the `warp drive’ of science fiction.

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A long trip could vaporize entire planets upon your arrival.

What is the Alcubierre “Warp” Drive? – Universe Today

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Also, being locally stationary, the starship and its crew would be immune from any devastatingly high accelerations and decelerations obviating the need for “inertial dampers”and from relativistic effects such as time dilation since the passage of time inside the warp wzrp would be the same as that outside.

However, at the close of his original article [2] Alcubierre argued following an argument developed by physicists analyzing traversable wormholes [3] [4] that the Casimir vacuum between parallel plates could fulfill the negative-energy requirement for the Alcubierre drive.

Sign up or log in Sign up using Google. There are no tidal forces, no undue issues, and the proper acceleration is zero. This included developing an interferometer to detect the spatial distortions produced by the expanding and contracting space-time of the Alcubierre metric. How can we expect to become an interstellar species when all available methods with either take centuries or longeror will erive sending a nanocraft instead? Harold “Sonny” White 17 August Theoretical mechanisms for warp drives have been posited by science, some of which actually jive quite nicely with drlve we know of physics.

Per this article, it would take merely days to travel there. Cryogenic freezers, laser guns, robots, silicate implants… and let’s not forget the warp drive! So essentially what we’ve done here is “speed up” light inside the bubble relative to observers outside the bubble.


One of these restrictions is the belief that the speed of light is unbreakable and hence, that there will never be such a thing as FTL space travel or exploration. Archived PDF from the original on 6 July This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page.

Second, assuming there was a way to create such a bubble, there rdive not yet any known way of leaving once inside it. Neither the Alcubierre theory, nor anything similar, existed when the series was conceived, but Alcubierre stated in an email to William Shatner that his theory was directly inspired by the term used in the show [34] and references the “‘warp drive’ of science fiction” in his article.

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It just states that if a method to travel faster than light exists, and one tries to use it to build a time alxubierre, something will go wrong: Harold “Sonny” White 30 September The team lead — Dr. Alcubierre concluded that a warp drive would be feasible if matter could be arranged so as to expand the spacetime behind a starship thus pushing the departure point many light-years back alcubierre contract the spacetime in front bringing the destination closerwhile leaving the starship itself in a locally flat region of spacetime bounded by a “warp bubble” that lay between the two distortions.

The downside of warp drives: Annihilating whole star systems when you arrive

Don’t stop me now! Suppose you want to create a warp bubble that will get you from Earth to Alpha Centauri 4 light-years away it’s actually about 4. The fact that observers outside the bubble also see it travel faster than light is stated on p.


Similar constraints apply to Krasnikov’s superluminal subway. It would require, as Alcubierre pointed out, the manipulation of matter with a negative energy density.

For example, travelling to Vega which is 25 light-years from Earth requires arranging everything so that the bubble moving toward Vega with a superluminal velocity would appear; such arrangements will always take more than 25 years. When it gets to its destinationit will slow down again.

To put it simply, this method of space travel involves stretching the fabric of space-time in a wave which would in theory cause the space ahead of an object to contract while the space behind it would expand.

The warp drive: hyper-fast travel within general relativity

Here one has a constant negative energy density Because dgive within the bubble are not moving locally faster than light, the mathematical formulation of the Alcubierre metric is consistent with the conventional claims of the laws of relativity namely, that an object with mass cannot attain or exceed the speed of light and conventional relativistic effects such drlve time dilation would not apply as they would with conventional motion at near-light speeds.

A NASA spaceship is zooming toward the farthest, and quite possibly the oldest, cosmic body ever photographed by humankind, a tiny, distant world called Ultima Thule some four billion miles 6.

When it comes to the future of space exploration, some very tough questions seem unavoidable. The instant the Alcubierre drive is disengaged, the space-time gradient that allows it to effectively move faster than light goes away.