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Science and Technology "Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known." - Carl Sagan.

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Old September 18 2012, 05:16 PM   #16
Psion
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Re: Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say

JarodRussell wrote: View Post
Isn't the main problem that FTL travel using Alcubierre's method is causing a huge radiation surge in front of the ship, killing everything in front of it? I thought I read or heard about something like that.
And thus was solved the mystery of the gamma ray bursts.

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Old September 18 2012, 05:22 PM   #17
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Re: Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say

EJD1984 wrote: View Post
Hopefully if the experiments do verify the theory, and NASA will fast-track this program for a small test vehicle/probe.

I can see the initial uses as local to the solar system. Earth to Mars in 20 minuets - at a substantially reduced speed.
The article doesn't strongly indicate one way or the other, but I am fairly certain this type of drive would require constant acceleration to build up velocity. You can't simply turn it on and dial-a-speed; the drive causes forward motion through a mechanism not totally unlike gravity, which basically means you're constantly "falling" forward within the field.

The key advantage for this drive is that because it produces a noninertial reference frame, its acceleration and energy curve isn't subject to the usual limits of special relativity.
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Old September 18 2012, 05:39 PM   #18
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Re: Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say

EJD1984 wrote: View Post
The one issue I just thought of is with communication. Would you have to stop to make a transmission? If so, look at the time it would take for earth to receive the message, and time to get a reply.

Unless there is some sort of connected "subspace" theory that can be utilized. I can see a ship being nearly cutoff during most of the mission.
Oh that's simple, you fire a torpedo with its own warp drive back to Earth with a recorded message, it then drops out of warp into Earth orbit and broadcasts the recorded message in the em spectrum, so there is no real need for "subspace radio".
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Old September 18 2012, 05:46 PM   #19
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Re: Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say

I have to add that warp drive belongs in the realm of fantastic science fiction, that is the nonhard variety. In the Trek timeline I can see the Warp Drive being invented by Zepham Cochrain in 2063 or whenever, but I don't really expect the ability to distort the fabric of space-time with gravity and anti-gravity to come all that readily.

An antigravity field would have its own implications, you know how gravity slows down time, well antigravity speeds it up or should do so if it behaves anything like gravity but with the - sign switched with a +.
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Old September 18 2012, 06:05 PM   #20
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Re: Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say

Mars wrote: View Post
I have to add that warp drive belongs in the realm of fantastic science fiction, that is the nonhard variety. In the Trek timeline I can see the Warp Drive being invented by Zepham Cochrain in 2063 or whenever, but I don't really expect the ability to distort the fabric of space-time with gravity and anti-gravity to come all that readily.
It seems the article in the OP puts it back into "hard" science fiction.
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Old September 18 2012, 06:16 PM   #21
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Re: Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say

^ I don't expect some mad scientist to invent it in his garage, I don't expect it to be invented anytime in the foreseeable future if ti is possibly. Warp Drive is something at the theoretical stage, some idea physicists toy with on their lunch breaks, but their day jobs don't include building one. We haven't even got artificial gravity, and before we can build warp drive, we need to figure out a way to generate gravity, or create degenerate matter, we need to protect spaceships from the tidal forces created, so warp drive is at the chalkboard stage, much like string theory and other stuff like that. For real world physics, I'd stick with reaction drives, nuclear power plants, Einstein and Newton.
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Old September 18 2012, 07:44 PM   #22
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Re: Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say

I do not see anyrhing quantitatively new that has not been discussed before.
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Old September 18 2012, 07:55 PM   #23
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Re: Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say

newtype_alpha wrote: View Post
EJD1984 wrote: View Post
The one issue I just thought of is with communication. Would you have to stop to make a transmission?
No, relativistically the speed of light remains constant in all reference frames, even if you're FTL with respect to the receiver. Message transit time is the same either way (you might want to stop accelerating for a while, though, in case the warp field scatters your radio signals). The thing is, your signal would be redshifted by such an insane degree that it might be below the detection threshold of anything that might be able to receive and decode it. 10c is enough of a doppler shift to go from x-rays to ULF radio, and that would have certain complications for message integrity.
I think the redshift is easily calculated because the sender isn't undergoing time dilation. The sender traveling to Alpha Centauri sends 5 months (their perceived time) worth of data, which gets strung out from Earth to Alpha Centauri, so the end of their message arrives 4.2 years later, a factor of 10 (their velocity in C). So a 20 GHz signal arrives at a frequency of 2 GHz.
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Old September 18 2012, 08:00 PM   #24
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Re: Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say

Ronald Held wrote: View Post
I do not see anyrhing quantitatively new that has not been discussed before.
What new is the experiment to actually detect the effect in a lab, which as this or another article pointed out, is like the first reactor pile in Chicago that generated a fractional Watt, establishing that a nuclear chain reaction could generate measureable energy. A couple years later we were generating megawatts.

If they can generate a field and measure the tiniest change in the speed of light, the rest is engineering.
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Old September 18 2012, 08:05 PM   #25
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Re: Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say

EJD1984 wrote: View Post
The one issue I just thought of is with communication. Would you have to stop to make a transmission?
For most of human history, exploring, trading and even patrolling military ships were out of contact for months at a time while at sea and the fastest way to send a message anywhere was to hand it over to a ship heading in that direction.

It would be risky, but it wouldn't be an unprecedented feet for explorers to be out of touch. We send a ship to Alpha Centauri, we hear of their year long exploits in the system when they come home two years later.


In other news, my wife usually keeps a few kilograms of exotic matter in the back of the fridge, which I would be willing to donate to the cause.
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Old September 18 2012, 08:06 PM   #26
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Re: Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say

Mars wrote: View Post
^ I don't expect some mad scientist to invent it in his garage, I don't expect it to be invented anytime in the foreseeable future if ti is possibly. Warp Drive is something at the theoretical stage, some idea physicists toy with on their lunch breaks, but their day jobs don't include building one.
You really should research what you're talking about. This isn't some "mad scientist in a garage", it's a NASA funded and run project. It IS their day job.

Ronald Held wrote: View Post
I do not see anyrhing quantitatively new that has not been discussed before.
The new bits are the amount of energy required being substantially reduced and the table top experiment.
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Old September 18 2012, 08:17 PM   #27
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Re: Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say

Two gripes:

1. This thread is a repost.

2. That's either a rugby ball or an American handegg. It's not a football. Footballs are spherical.

Other than that, this is the most exciting news I have read in a long long time.
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Old September 18 2012, 08:55 PM   #28
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Re: Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say

Mars wrote: View Post
EJD1984 wrote: View Post
The one issue I just thought of is with communication. Would you have to stop to make a transmission? If so, look at the time it would take for earth to receive the message, and time to get a reply.

Unless there is some sort of connected "subspace" theory that can be utilized. I can see a ship being nearly cutoff during most of the mission.
Oh that's simple, you fire a torpedo with its own warp drive back to Earth with a recorded message, it then drops out of warp into Earth orbit and broadcasts the recorded message in the em spectrum, so there is no real need for "subspace radio".
That precludes two-way communication. Unless, of course, that's not something you care too much about.
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Old September 18 2012, 09:24 PM   #29
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Re: Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say

Deimos Anomaly wrote: View Post
That's either a rugby ball or an American handegg. It's not a football. Footballs are spherical.
Not in America. The article was written there.
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Old September 19 2012, 07:08 AM   #30
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Re: Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say

I saw the news this morning. This is very exciting; regardless of whether the experiment succeeds, I expect it'll expand our knowledge of general relativity.

Now where's Zefram Cochrane when you need him?
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