Author Topic: New hope for Warp Drive concept?  (Read 80123 times)

Offline sanman

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Re: New hope for Warp Drive concept?
« Reply #20 on: 09/19/2012 11:16 am »
How is the Casimir effect relevant or applicable here? You mean just for experimental measurement purposes?

Since Casimir geometries are associated with regions of elevated or reduced quantum vacuum "pressure", then would such an altered region of space tend to bring out these warp effects more, thus making them more observable/detectable?

Online QuantumG

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Re: New hope for Warp Drive concept?
« Reply #21 on: 09/19/2012 11:37 am »
They're looking for plain space/time distortion. If a cockroach scuttled near one of these things, it would pick it up its gravity well.

Yes, but no laser interferometer is that sensitive.
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Offline Celebrimbor

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Re: New hope for Warp Drive concept?
« Reply #22 on: 09/19/2012 12:02 pm »
But actually, if recalculating with a rounded donut ring gives superior results over a flat ring, when what about if you recalculate with a spheromak type of shape?

Or get a really big computer to genetically evolve to an ideal shape...

Offline Celebrimbor

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Re: New hope for Warp Drive concept?
« Reply #23 on: 09/19/2012 12:36 pm »
Just skimmed through this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_drive

Seems that creating the bubble is one thing - requiring only matter with negative mass, expertly crafted by Sonny White and co.

But then, while this is 'allowed' to travel superluminally, it won't unless you can find and use superluminal tachyons.  Or alternatively explain away a naked singularity in front of the ship.

Some others have suggested that a bubble could not be piloted from the inside - so is more feasible as a railroad type infrastructure.  So not quite "Where no man has gone before"

Offline billh

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Re: New hope for Warp Drive concept?
« Reply #24 on: 09/19/2012 12:57 pm »
Of course, if this doesn't work out there's always the infinite improbability drive. ;)

Offline scienceguy

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Re: New hope for Warp Drive concept?
« Reply #25 on: 09/19/2012 06:45 pm »
How is the Casimir effect relevant or applicable here? You mean just for experimental measurement purposes?

Since Casimir geometries are associated with regions of elevated or reduced quantum vacuum "pressure", then would such an altered region of space tend to bring out these warp effects more, thus making them more observable/detectable?

The Casimir effect is very applicable here. According to quantum mechanics, wavelets of light are constantly appearing and disappearing everywhere, even in a vacuum. If you have 2 flat metal plates close together in a vacuum, then some of those wavelets can't appear between them because the distance between the plates is smaller than than the wavelet's wavelength. Hence there is less energy than the vacuum between the plates. Hence there is a region of negative energy (also negative mass, because mass is energy) between the plates.
e^(pi*i) = -1

Offline LegendCJS

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Re: New hope for Warp Drive concept?
« Reply #26 on: 09/19/2012 08:01 pm »
How is the Casimir effect relevant or applicable here? You mean just for experimental measurement purposes?

Since Casimir geometries are associated with regions of elevated or reduced quantum vacuum "pressure", then would such an altered region of space tend to bring out these warp effects more, thus making them more observable/detectable?

The Casimir effect is very applicable here. According to quantum mechanics, wavelets of light are constantly appearing and disappearing everywhere, even in a vacuum. If you have 2 flat metal plates close together in a vacuum, then some of those wavelets can't appear between them because the distance between the plates is smaller than than the wavelet's wavelength. Hence there is less energy than the vacuum between the plates. Hence there is a region of negative energy (also negative mass, because mass is energy) between the plates.

The slides included in the Warp Field Mechanics 101 pdf (google it) clearly say that the laser interferometer tests will be using a region of positive energy density for the experiments.  A ring of high frequency/ high voltage driven capacitors was mentioned.  No Casimir weirdness.

Remember: if we want this whole space thing to work out we have to optimize for cost!

Offline aquanaut99

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Re: New hope for Warp Drive concept?
« Reply #27 on: 09/19/2012 08:35 pm »
The problem I see with an Alcubierre-type warp drive (even assuming works without requiring the dissassembly and transformation into energy of the entire planet Jupiter and ignoring the whole negative energy, exotic matter and tachyon thing) is that the starship, once it has created its warp bubble, cannot control where it is going, since it cannot see nor interact in any way with normal space. The vessel is literally flying blind.

Also, speed is still somewhat limited. The article talks about 10c (which is Warp what, 2?). So it will still require years to journey even to the nearest star system, especially if the vessel has to drop out of warp every once in a while to get its bearings back...

Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: New hope for Warp Drive concept?
« Reply #28 on: 09/19/2012 08:41 pm »
http://news.yahoo.com/warp-drive-may-more-feasible-thought-scientists-161301109.html

Looks like there might be some reputable scientists behind this.

Thoughts?  Someone eager to shoot this full of holes?


It's a long shot but there has always been a good case, from a theoretical standpoint for a "loophole drive". The thinking, at least by some, has been essentially "well if we can't go the speed of light, or it wouldn't matter if we could (as many star systems worth looking into are too far away to make a difference even IF we were at light-speed), why don't we go around the problem through dimensional space or by adjusting the space time continuum?" And its not a bad thought, you essential bring your target to you rather than bringing yourself to it. Another way to describe would be going through the map instead of straight over it.

The theory is good, and IMO at some point it will be apparent this is the only way to really get out there into the galaxy and deep space. The near solar system and even other systems very close by can be handled by either existing systems for the former and possibly a light speed or near light speed drive for the latter, but to really get out into the galaxy, or go to some of the systems Kepler has found to be so interesting, you need to move faster then light or simply change the plane on which your moving so that brute speed is irrelevant.


If they can eventually make this work it would be a huge advance in our civilization and, Imo, the key to getting off this rock.  But its going to be awhile before we see anything like a prototype, there are still many basic theoretical problems to be solved.

Also, it wouldn't hurt if we figured out positive output fusion reactors from one of the 11 or so concepts people are working on before trying to leave the solar system in a manned capacity. Were going to need an awful lot of energy and fusion is probably going to be your only reasonable source. And we seem to be alot further down the path to economical fusion then we are to warp drive  8)


Will be interesting to see what these guys come up with.



« Last Edit: 09/19/2012 08:42 pm by FinalFrontier »
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Online Chandonn

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Re: New hope for Warp Drive concept?
« Reply #29 on: 09/19/2012 10:21 pm »
Also, speed is still somewhat limited. The article talks about 10c (which is Warp what, 2?). So it will still require years to journey even to the nearest star system, especially if the vessel has to drop out of warp every once in a while to get its bearings back...

Uh?  The nearest star is 4.3 lightyears away.  So at 10x the speed of light, wouldn't you be able to travel 43 ligthyears in 1 year?  Therefore, wouldn't you be able to get to the Alpha Centauri system in less than a month and a half?

Offline IRobot

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Re: New hope for Warp Drive concept?
« Reply #30 on: 09/19/2012 11:08 pm »
Also, speed is still somewhat limited. The article talks about 10c (which is Warp what, 2?). So it will still require years to journey even to the nearest star system, especially if the vessel has to drop out of warp every once in a while to get its bearings back...

Uh?  The nearest star is 4.3 lightyears away.  So at 10x the speed of light, wouldn't you be able to travel 43 ligthyears in 1 year?  Therefore, wouldn't you be able to get to the Alpha Centauri system in less than a month and a half?
Check your math. At 10c it takes 4.3/10 = 0.43 years = 5 months and a week.

Offline FinalFrontier

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Re: New hope for Warp Drive concept?
« Reply #31 on: 09/19/2012 11:42 pm »
Also, speed is still somewhat limited. The article talks about 10c (which is Warp what, 2?). So it will still require years to journey even to the nearest star system, especially if the vessel has to drop out of warp every once in a while to get its bearings back...

Uh?  The nearest star is 4.3 lightyears away.  So at 10x the speed of light, wouldn't you be able to travel 43 ligthyears in 1 year?  Therefore, wouldn't you be able to get to the Alpha Centauri system in less than a month and a half?
Check your math. At 10c it takes 4.3/10 = 0.43 years = 5 months and a week.


That would still be tremendous. And remember, this would be for the initial entry level device. There is little doubt that these things would be improved upon once they were better understood, after all we have jet airplanes now we started with propeller planes.
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Online TrueBlueWitt

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Re: New hope for Warp Drive concept?
« Reply #32 on: 09/19/2012 11:53 pm »
Would you need to be outside the atmosphere before engaging this, or could you start from earth?

What about on the other end? Would you still need a lander?

BTW I appreciate all the great responses to my initial post!
« Last Edit: 09/19/2012 11:54 pm by TrueBlueWitt »

Offline sanman

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Re: New hope for Warp Drive concept?
« Reply #33 on: 09/20/2012 12:34 am »
Okay, but I just want to be clear on what a "space warp" is, conceptually.

We can already visualize what a gravitational field/distortion is, with geodesics.

So what is a "warp"? A dip and peak, like an electron-hole pair? So the peak is behind you (expanding space) and the dip is in front of you (contracting space)? So it's like a "kink" in space?

With gravity, of course you don't have a dip-and-peak, like an electron-hole pair. Gravity is all dip (unless you're talking about the special exotic matter with "negative mass", which gives you all peak.)

And unlike the tiny fluctuations constantly occurring naturally in the dynamic quantum vacuum, it sounds like we are talking about a much larger macroscopic dip-and-peak, where your spaceship will somehow fit in between it. So how do you keep space "flat" in the middle, where your spaceship is?
« Last Edit: 09/20/2012 12:40 am by sanman »

Offline Star-Drive

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Re: New hope for Warp Drive concept?
« Reply #34 on: 09/20/2012 04:37 am »
Okay, but I just want to be clear on what a "space warp" is, conceptually.

We can already visualize what a gravitational field/distortion is, with geodesics.

So what is a "warp"? A dip and peak, like an electron-hole pair? So the peak is behind you (expanding space) and the dip is in front of you (contracting space)? So it's like a "kink" in space?

With gravity, of course you don't have a dip-and-peak, like an electron-hole pair. Gravity is all dip (unless you're talking about the special exotic matter with "negative mass", which gives you all peak.)

And unlike the tiny fluctuations constantly occurring naturally in the dynamic quantum vacuum, it sounds like we are talking about a much larger macroscopic dip-and-peak, where your spaceship will somehow fit in between it. So how do you keep space "flat" in the middle, where your spaceship is?

By creating a toroidal potential energy gradient around your spacecraft.
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Offline aquanaut99

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Re: New hope for Warp Drive concept?
« Reply #35 on: 09/20/2012 10:29 am »
Would you need to be outside the atmosphere before engaging this, or could you start from earth?

What about on the other end? Would you still need a lander?

BTW I appreciate all the great responses to my initial post!

I am pretty sure you would have to be far, far away from any massive body before engaging warp drive. I especially can't imagine doing so anywhere near Earth. The tremendous space-time-curvature (read: tidal forces) generated at the bubble interface would tear everything to shreds (actually, all the way down to nuclear particles, and maybe even quarks). No way is this going to be healthy to Earth and her inhabitants.

On that note: a vessel inside the bubble would have to stay well away from the edges or also risk being shredded by the tidal forces. To make matters worse, it appears that the Hawking radiation generated at the interface could heat up the inside of the bubble to several million K. Pretty unhealthy way to travel, IMO.
« Last Edit: 09/20/2012 10:33 am by aquanaut99 »

Offline Lampyridae

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Re: New hope for Warp Drive concept?
« Reply #36 on: 09/20/2012 11:34 am »
They're looking for plain space/time distortion. If a cockroach scuttled near one of these things, it would pick it up its gravity well.

Yes, but no laser interferometer is that sensitive.


I'm surprised. The highest definition non-interferometric gravity sensors I know of work to within a hundredth of a nm/s^2 (which would probably pick up a rat in the same room).
« Last Edit: 09/20/2012 11:39 am by Lampyridae »
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Offline Lampyridae

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Re: New hope for Warp Drive concept?
« Reply #37 on: 09/20/2012 12:03 pm »
Would you need to be outside the atmosphere before engaging this, or could you start from earth?

What about on the other end? Would you still need a lander?

BTW I appreciate all the great responses to my initial post!

I am pretty sure you would have to be far, far away from any massive body before engaging warp drive. I especially can't imagine doing so anywhere near Earth. The tremendous space-time-curvature (read: tidal forces) generated at the bubble interface would tear everything to shreds (actually, all the way down to nuclear particles, and maybe even quarks). No way is this going to be healthy to Earth and her inhabitants.

On that note: a vessel inside the bubble would have to stay well away from the edges or also risk being shredded by the tidal forces. To make matters worse, it appears that the Hawking radiation generated at the interface could heat up the inside of the bubble to several million K. Pretty unhealthy way to travel, IMO.

The inside of the bubble would be fine until it decelerated to sublight. Then the radiation bath reaches the bubble interior. Also, it unleashes a hellish torrent *ahead* of the bubble. Flying an expendable drone ahead of the ship would soak up must of the oncoming radiation. The manned section would decelerate first, followed by the drone, which would take the energy with it in a sacrificial explosion.

This pretty much limits you to edge-of-solar-system arrival, but you could otherwise launch from within the system (rear radiation is not a problem because you outrun it)*.

*I lie, the warp bubble would scoop up light rays ahead of it. Edge of solar system exits too, only.
« Last Edit: 09/20/2012 12:07 pm by Lampyridae »
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Offline aquanaut99

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Re: New hope for Warp Drive concept?
« Reply #38 on: 09/20/2012 12:44 pm »

The inside of the bubble would be fine until it decelerated to sublight. Then the radiation bath reaches the bubble interior. Also, it unleashes a hellish torrent *ahead* of the bubble. Flying an expendable drone ahead of the ship would soak up must of the oncoming radiation. The manned section would decelerate first, followed by the drone, which would take the energy with it in a sacrificial explosion.

That's not what I heard. AIUI, the problem is not only the radiation torrent caused in real space by the passage of the warp bubble (which would then catch up with the vessel when it drops out of warp), but also the Hawking radiation generated at the edge of the bubble itself. A part of this radiation would be trapped inside the bubble. Once inside, it can't escape into real space, so the temperature inside the bubble would progressively increase. Now, I have no idea how fast the temperature would build up, but it would, at the least, limit the range of warp travel before the vessel would have to drop out of the bubble to cool down. Of course, as you rightly state, the moment the vessel drops out of warp, the torrent of radiation generated by the warp bubble's passage would then catch up with the vessel and probably also fry everyone inside...

Offline IRobot

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Re: New hope for Warp Drive concept?
« Reply #39 on: 09/20/2012 01:24 pm »
The solution for all that already exists: ionized gas contained by a magnetic field, as used in fusion reactors. You create a magnetic field around the ship's limits, pump ionized gas to the outside of the ship (the magnetic field prevents dissipation) and it can withstand extremely high temperatures.

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