Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by EJD1984, Sep 18, 2012.

  1. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    A Long Time Ago...
    OK, I'll try again as well. Why does it need to pivot? Just build it in the orientation that it needs to begin with. Why a saucer shape? Why not just build it in a more efficient shape to begin with?
     
  2. larryman

    larryman Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    I guess there is no 'good' reason to not build the ship in it's most efficient shape - a football ellipsoid.
     
  3. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2001
    Location:
    Lat: 40.1630936 Lon: -75.1183777
    'Most efficient shape' according to our nascent understanding of warp fields. There's a bit of wiggle room left between now and when all future papers have been written and we're actually ready to build the thing. Also, form typically follows function, and while the form of a football might easily fulfill the function of moving at the speed of light, what the vehicle does once it gets to its destination will also have an influence on its form. Does it launch smaller craft? Does it maneuver at slower-than-light speeds? Does it set up a defensive perimeter? The efficiency of travelling faster-than-light might be a secondary concern and thus a secondary influence on the vehicle's form.

    And there is another good reason to come up with other shapes ... to make them aesthetically pleasing. If you're making a new TV show or building a CG model or painting a picture, the last thing you want as the center piece of your creative endeavor is that bland, boring monstrosity pictured on the original article.
     
  4. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    A Long Time Ago...
    It's only bland and boring because it lacks detail. The overall shape of it could be quite intriguing as the basis for a starship design.

    Technically, the Enterprise is just 3 cylinders and a platter. It doesn't become our favorite design until fully drawn out.

    Damn, now you have me thinking about the design. I'm tempted to try developing it in Sketchup.
     
  5. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2001
    Location:
    Lat: 40.1630936 Lon: -75.1183777
    I'd be tempted to shout, "Race ya!" but I have too much on my plate already and no time at all for anything 3D related. I can barely find time to make snarky remarks about other peoples' posts.

    But by all means, go for it!
     
  6. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    It might not be good to be that close to exotic matter--it might be toxic.
     
  7. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    A Long Time Ago...
    But why would you remove it from the "engine"? If you're spending the money to build an interstellar space craft you're not going to convert the most expensive part into housing at the other end of the trip.
     
  8. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    The idea is that the ring station is left behind, you come home in a more compact vehicle-at least that is how I would do it
     
  9. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    A Long Time Ago...
    But the "ring station" is/was your FTL engine. How do you "come back in a more compact vehicle" without the ftl drive?
     
  10. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    Imagine a two stage vehicle, one with a large ring, one with a smaller one that can expand and perhaps use unspent exotic matter, assuming it dimishes in mass in the trip. I would think that something has to be given up. Now maybe I'm thinking too much about rocketry to assuming what FTL engineering is like--but I would think there would have to be a trade off. The key is that you want to build a base, and perhaps leave exotic matter in the football and live in the ring if you are left behind--then have some form of entanglement.

    Imagine this. A two stage ring ship heads out, one ring remains. The exotic matter is reconfigured to the center of the ring station for another purpose--perhaps teleportation. If that doesn't work, return on the ring ship pod.

    I don't know why I think this, but I think there is going to be some type of articulated design in warp drives in some sense. Just a hunch mind you.
     
  11. sojourner

    sojourner Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2008
    Location:
    A Long Time Ago...
    So, you've somehow twisted a hypothetical FTL engine into some kind of wet stage station like Skylab was once proposed as? That's not a hunch. That's wish fulfillment using a very large shoehorn.
     
  12. publiusr

    publiusr Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2010
    I don't know about that. Now maybe exotic energy isn't harmful, who Knows?

    As far as the guy who wanted a real enterprise in space--this was as good as it ever got...almost?
    http://up-ship.com/blog/?p=17306
     
  13. gturner

    gturner Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Here's an Atlantic article on a radiation burst problem that occurs when a ship drops out of warp. The physics paper is here.

    They examined particle velocities and how those particles would transit the warp field, and some particles remain along for the ride, gathering energy during the entire flight and releasing it in a burst. The obvious solution I see is to slightly modulate the warp field so the particles don't remain in a stable position indefinitely. Lt. Cdr Data or Jordi probably did that all the time.
     
  14. Psion

    Psion Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2001
    Location:
    Lat: 40.1630936 Lon: -75.1183777
    So that's what gamma ray bursts are!
     
  15. gturner

    gturner Admiral

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2005
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I saw a suggestion that we start looking for such bursts, which would simultaneously confirm the existence of intelligent alien life and the feasibility of a warp drive.
     
  16. Wereghost

    Wereghost Part-time poltergeist Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Location:
    Ireland
    It'll be interesting if we find a large number of gamma ray bursts happening in the same location within a short space of time; otherwise, I don't think there's a reason to attribute intelligent agency to them. Jocelyn Bell and the LGM-1 pulsar spring to mind.