Is Warp Drive Possible?

05/29/11
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Ever wonder if “warp drive” as depicted in Star Trek and other sci-fi tales were theoretically possible? And if so, what does it have to do with safe sex? Using a “creative” prop, theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss breaks down the real physics behind accelerating beyond the speed of light.

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the_science_of_star_trek
Date: Friday June 4, 2010
Time: 07:00 PM-08:30 PM
Moderator: Faith Salie
Participants: Eric Horvitz, Lawrence Krauss, Seth Shostak

The original Star Trek and its numerous successors were far ahead of their time, but just how far? Will science eventually catch up to this series’ nearly five-decade-old creations? With Lawrence Krauss, Eric Horvitz, Seth Shostak and moderator Faith Salie, explore the plausibility of scientific phenomena from the Star Trek universe, including warp speed, time travel, humanoid aliens and whether anyone in our universe will be "beamed up" by transporter anytime soon....[Read more]

2 comments
rodney1956
rodney1956

PS to my comment -

There would be no danger of collision during the instant journey if the existence of mass depends on interacting electromagnetic and gravitational waves (waves are united in superposition during so-called "deletion" of spacetime; and can't act as separate, interacting quantities).

rodney1956
rodney1956

I think E=mc^2 supports the idea of making warp drive possible by deleting distance in space and time –

Representing the masslessness of photons by 0 (zero) and replacing the m

(mass in Einstein's famous equation relating energy, mass and the speed of

light) with the masslessness results in E=0*c^2 i.e. E=0. Having reduced the

equation to E and nothing but E, m=0 and c^2=0 which means m=c^2. At first glance, m=c^2

seems to be saying mass exists at light speed. But the absence of E refers to

there being no interaction of light energy and gravitational energy, and therefore

no mass. Gravity is a result of space-time's curvature. If mass cannot best produced, there must, in some sense, be no space-time as well as no gravity and

space=0, time=0 and gravity=0. The zero-ness of space-time/gravity does not

mean they don't exist. It means we can appear to re-locate matter and

information superluminally, or travel into the past and future, because distance

is eliminated in both space and time.

Deleting distance in a mathematical sense is good but a mechanism that

deletes it in a physical sense is vital - A 2009 electrical-engineering experiment

at America's Yale University, together with the ideas of Albert Einstein, tells us

how we could travel to other stars and galaxies in literally no time. Electrical

engineer Hong Tang and his team at Yale demonstrated that, on silicon-chip

and transistor scales, light can attract and repel itself like electric charges or

magnets. This is the “optical force". For 30 years until his death in 1955,

Einstein worked on his Unified Field Theory with the aim of uniting

electromagnetism (light is one form of this) and gravitation. Achievement of this

– perhaps by spacetime equalling zero, and there being no distance between photons and gravitons - means the microscopic

components (gravitons) of warps of space (gravity, according to General

Relativity) between spaceships and stars could mimic the Optical Effect and be

attracted together, thereby totally eliminating distance (this is similar to

traversing a wormhole, or shortcut, between two folds in space-time). Distance

is not only deleted in space. There would no longer be any “distance” in time.

Just as we can journey to particular stars, we could take trips to particular years

in the past or future .