Author Topic: No Joke: NASA Working on Warp Drive  (Read 27514 times)

Offline TomH

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No Joke: NASA Working on Warp Drive
« on: 06/12/2014 01:46 AM »
And they have named the first model Enterprise. Supposedly, the unimaginable amount of energy first thought required for warp drive has been reduced greatly. NASA actually has people working on generating warp fields.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/06/11/this-is-the-amazing-design-for-nasas-star-trek-style-space-ship-the-ixs-enterprise/

Offline Cinder

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Re: No Joke: NASA Working on Warp Drive
« Reply #1 on: 06/12/2014 01:57 AM »
Search for "Sonny White" in this Advanced Concepts forum and you'll find previous coverage.   

Quantum vacuum plasma thruster (Q-thruster)  Late 2013 topic
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=33220.0

New hope for Warp Drive concept? - Late 2012 topic. 
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=29924.0

Dr. Harold (Sonny) White.   Early 2011 topic
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=24325.0 


Propellantless Field Propulsion and application - older general topic incl. Mach Effect and others, with many comments by Paul March who IIRC now works at Eagleworks with White.
http://forum.nasaspaceflight.com/index.php?topic=13020.0
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Offline TomH

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Re: No Joke: NASA Working on Warp Drive
« Reply #2 on: 06/12/2014 02:10 AM »
Thanks for those threads. Apparently what's new is proof of concept experiments.

I remember when the theory was announced 20 years ago one physicist said a few seconds of warp drive would require as much energy as Sol (our star) will put out during its entire approx. 10 billion year lifetime. I then remember a couple of minor statements in the general press a couple of years ago that there may be a way to reduce the energy requirement.

Offline aceshigh

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Re: No Joke: NASA Working on Warp Drive
« Reply #3 on: 06/12/2014 02:12 AM »
NASA didnīt name the ship anything, nor are they really working on a "warp drive".

these renders were comissioned by Dr White himself, and since this guy used to do other spaceship renders, apparently several related to Star Trek, I think he himself named the ship as Enterprise. The ship is just an artistic impression of how a warp drive ship would look like according to Dr White.

Also, "working a warp drive" is a bit far fetched. Eagleworks is investigating IF a warp drive is possible with ZDF theory, which Dr White believes it is. So the only thing being done as far as I know is testings of spacetime nano-deformations using a laser interferometer, but there is talk the results have been negative...

Offline aceshigh

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Re: No Joke: NASA Working on Warp Drive
« Reply #4 on: 06/12/2014 02:17 AM »
Thanks for those threads. Apparently what's new is proof of concept experiments.

eh? What do you mean with "proof of concept"? I donīt think they went farther yet then verifying if they can do nano deformations at spacetime.


Quote
I remember when the theory was announced 20 years ago one physicist said a few seconds of warp drive would require as much energy as Sol (our star) will put out during its entire approx. 10 billion year lifetime. I then remember a couple of minor statements in the general press a couple of years ago that there may be a way to reduce the energy requirement.

thatīs the crux of Dr White's work on Warp. We have two distinct things here to consider:
1 - Dr White calculations on how to reduce the negative/exotic mass requirements from a Sun/Jupiter, to a single ton of exotic mass, by changing the rings width, oscilating the fields, etc, thus "softening" spacetime structure

2 - how to GET negative mass in the first place, which as far as I understand is what he is trying to do, through ZPF (Zero Point Field), then measuring it with the laser interferometer.

Offline GalacticIntruder

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Re: No Joke: NASA Working on Warp Drive
« Reply #5 on: 06/12/2014 02:31 AM »
Well, we won't be creating and manipulating 'negative' energy in a usable way for a very, very, very long time. No FTL. But the Q thrusters could advance spaceflight substantially in our lifetimes.
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Offline NovaSilisko

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Re: No Joke: NASA Working on Warp Drive
« Reply #6 on: 06/12/2014 05:00 AM »
This keeps happening! One man from NASA comissioning an artist to make a spaceship doesn't make it a NASA project arargahrhghrgh

It gets problematic because I've noticed in the past that some folk end up saying things like "I thought NASA was working on a warp drive! Why are they doing all this other stuff?"

Offline Star One

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« Last Edit: 06/12/2014 07:02 PM by Star One »

Offline RanulfC

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Re: No Joke: NASA Working on Warp Drive
« Reply #8 on: 06/12/2014 12:28 PM »
This keeps happening! One man from NASA comissioning an artist to make a spaceship doesn't make it a NASA project arargahrhghrgh

It gets problematic because I've noticed in the past that some folk end up saying things like "I thought NASA was working on a warp drive! Why are they doing all this other stuff?"

Neat looking ship though :)

Randy
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Offline JohnFornaro

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Re: No Joke: NASA Working on Warp Drive
« Reply #9 on: 06/12/2014 01:55 PM »
This keeps happening! One man from NASA comissioning an artist to make a spaceship doesn't make it a NASA project arargahrhghrgh

It gets problematic because I've noticed in the past that some folk end up saying things like "I thought NASA was working on a warp drive! Why are they doing all this other stuff?"

I call bogosity on the scientainment.
Sometimes I just flat out don't get it.

Offline DMeader

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Re: No Joke: NASA Working on Warp Drive
« Reply #10 on: 06/12/2014 05:29 PM »
Yes, joke.

Offline Stormbringer

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Re: No Joke: NASA Working on Warp Drive
« Reply #11 on: 06/12/2014 10:12 PM »
just a few observations:

The results were not negative as of the last briefing that exists  in the video world. Dr White says he got some results suggestive of deformation but that the results were not robust enough to meet standards of proof for an extraordinary claim *YET.* Also he said that a colleague convinced him that a different type of interferometry instrument would be much better. He was unfamiliar with the operation and set up of said interferometer so his colleague was instructing him on it's proper set up and use. he said that he would be running further trials with the new set up. He also said he was going to construct a stronger test article instead of using the repurposed QVPT thing he had pressed into service for his first set of experiments.

He also said that he thinks it may be possible to forego negative energy requirements with the right design.

The current energy requirements are based upon assumptions and parameters which Dr White says he has not optimized. he only worked on that until he had values that would move the concept from impossible to possible. by tweaking the design and parameters further he thinks the energy requirements can be driven down further.

the current estimate is still staggeringly large and beyond our capability of producing. it is the same amount of energy that would be liberated by converting the entire mass of the voyager space probe to energy. that is many times more power than than all the atomic bombs ever made on earth by everybody who ever made them on earth from the beginning of the atomic age going off at once.

just because Dr white was not satisfied with the sigma level of his data and analysis does not mean he reported negative results. he said quite the opposite. (that the preliminary results were suggestive that he had detected a warp and he was encouraged by them) that is... unless there was a report after the one i saw.

and finally; this new article which saw as well has no update on anything we didn't already know. when i saw it i hoped for an update on his test data or at least an announcement of the resumption of his test runs or completion of the new lab set up and test articles and equipment. The Model is simply a better rendering of something he had already shown in his briefings. in short it appears to be a bit fluffy as articles go.

EDIT:  this is the latest thing i have seen that involved Dr White briefing on his experiments. is there something newer that contains new information i have missed?

« Last Edit: 06/12/2014 10:23 PM by Stormbringer »
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Offline drbuzz0

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Re: No Joke: NASA Working on Warp Drive
« Reply #12 on: 06/13/2014 10:24 PM »
I did some calculations and was surprised to find that the amount of energy needed is decidedly not impossible.  They sometimes quote the amount of energy needed by the redesigns as being about the mass of a Voyager probe.   That's a lot of energy, actually, if you are talking mass-energy equivalence (which they are).  It's basically saying you would have several hundred kilograms of matter and antimatter reacting.

It turns out that the amount of energy they are talking about, in the optimistic, efficient schemes that use a ringed spacecraft is something on the order of 50-75 exajoules.  (give or take) to get to a local star by warping space.  That's a mass energy equivalent of several hundred kilograms.

That's a difficult amount of energy, but, not actually an impossible amount.

If you figure the most energetic thing humanity ever put into a small package is the AN602 hydrogen bomb - known as the "Tsar Bomba"  It had a full design yield of 100 megatons.  (It was tested at less than this by replacing the uranium tamper with an inert one of tungsten)   That is 410 petajoules.  or .41 extajoules.  So what we would need is the energy equivalent of hundreds of very high yield h-bombs.

I have no idea how that energy would be contained and channeled into warping space, as opposed to just blowing things up, but it's an amount of energy that current technology could deliver.   

Hundreds of big h-bombs would be expensive.  They'd be heavy and take a lot of rockets to just get out of the atmosphere.  And again, I have no idea how that raw explosive energy could be used for this.  BUT, it is humanly possible to get that much energy.


Offline drbuzz0

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Re: No Joke: NASA Working on Warp Drive
« Reply #13 on: 06/13/2014 10:30 PM »
A quick follow-up.  If you want to express that energy in terms of high yield nuclear explosives (again, those being the most energetic things we can produce), a better example is the US B41 bomb.  It was 25 megatons, so it was only 1/4 as powerful as the Tsar Bomba.  But it is far more efficient.  It has a much better ratio of yield to mass.  Also, the AN602 was not produced in mass.  One test device was made and possibly a few others, but not a huge number.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B41_nuclear_bomb

The B41 was mass produced to a quantity of about 500 (although not all versions were the 25 megaton high yield variation)

You would need 700 of these things to produce enough energy.  So, again, not an impossible number.

The mass is ten metric tons each.  So you'd need a large, but not impossibly large number of rockets to get them into space, where presumably, you would start your warp drive from.

Offline savuporo

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Re: No Joke: NASA Working on Warp Drive
« Reply #14 on: 06/13/2014 10:52 PM »
You would need 700 of these things to produce enough energy.  So, again, not an impossible number.

The mass is ten metric tons each.  So you'd need a large, but not impossibly large number of rockets to get them into space, where presumably, you would start your warp drive from.

If you do, please do it on the other side of Jupiter just in case. Thanks.
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Offline hop

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Offline KelvinZero

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Re: No Joke: NASA Working on Warp Drive
« Reply #16 on: 06/14/2014 04:18 AM »
With any FTL proposal, I always wish there were an attempt to explore the most critical question of the apparent paradoxes. Otherwise you essentially have this:



Offline cordwainer

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Re: No Joke: NASA Working on Warp Drive
« Reply #17 on: 06/14/2014 05:49 AM »
I think we should reserve judgement regarding Sonny White's progress in this field. His math is pretty solid and he hasn't claimed in any way shape or form that he is capable of creating negative energy or exotic matter.

Instead he is claiming that he may have developed diagnostic tools for detecting negative energy and quantum fluctuations which in turn could be used to discover exotic matter of zero-point energy manifestations.

His modifications to Alcubierre's warp bubble physics have been peer reviewed and in theory could work if we could produce negative energy and the sizable positive energy requirement needed. Personally, I think that it would be highly unlikely we could ever get the sizable amount of positive or negative energy needed from ZPF, but if ZPF can be detected and manipulated or exploited in some way the ramifications could be immense.

Offline MATTBLAK

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Re: No Joke: NASA Working on Warp Drive
« Reply #18 on: 06/14/2014 06:56 AM »
Warp Drive; developed or funded within the lifetimes of anyone reading this?
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Offline john smith 19

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Re: No Joke: NASA Working on Warp Drive
« Reply #19 on: 06/14/2014 09:23 AM »
just a few observations:

The results were not negative as of the last briefing that exists  in the video world. Dr White says he got some results suggestive of deformation but that the results were not robust enough to meet standards of proof for an extraordinary claim *YET.* Also he said that a colleague convinced him that a different type of interferometry instrument would be much better. He was unfamiliar with the operation and set up of said interferometer so his colleague was instructing him on it's proper set up and use. he said that he would be running further trials with the new set up. He also said he was going to construct a stronger test article instead of using the repurposed QVPT thing he had pressed into service for his first set of experiments.
Watching the video (it glitched for me about 26:00 for a minute or two) you actually note how very cautious he is about the results. It's also clear that their work is being tried at other sites and multiple different approaches (with different hardware) to ensure it's not a measurement artifact.

I'll also note that the "Q Thruster" work they are doing is not the wormhole work and seems to have yielded some practical results. He talked about 0.1N/Kw of power. Mission concepts for a 70 tonne spacecraft (50 tonne payload 20tonnes for the 2MW nuclear drive and a lot of individual Q thrusters) Jupiter in <1 year, Pluto in < 5yr  :o (reactor power density at 10 Kg/Kw is within SoA) the other implication being station keeping propellant depletion is no longer a life ending mode for comm sats.

Listening to his presentation I wonder if he's ever read "Instruments and experiences" by Dr RV Jones. Jones work involved a lot of optical lever work and "kinematic" motion using flexure joints and levers to deliver nm displacements in a conventional lab environment in the 1950's. White's comments echoed Jones work on seismometers on sensitivity (It's an excellent book. Part memoir, part collection of scientific papers  :) )

I cannot say if all the positive results are measurement artifacts and Dr White is deluding himself that this can work. What I can say is that this work has taken a concept that needed to turn a mass equal to Jupiter into energy and reduced by about 24 orders of magnitude suggests there is scope for more improvement. IIRC this programme costs $1/2m a year, roughly 1/3000 of SLS (mind you if he'd had to build that vibration isolated lab from scratch that would have added a few noughts  :) ). It's an extraordinary plan and will need extraordinary proof to convince most people but for that kind of money that seems like a worthwhile trade off.

I think "You can go to Jupiter in less than 1 year (with a Q thruster away, no FTL needed)" is a hell of a positive message. Developing a large space rated reactor is challenging but AFAIK this is the only source that could deliver the power you'd need if you wanted to build even an uncrewed star probe. White's reference design is 10m in size. Reusing the power unit from a Jupiter ship you could probably send small instrument packages to anywhere in a 170 LY radius of Earth with the same sort of delay in results as Voyager took in delivering it's outer planet results.

That's a huge amount of space (and stars) to explore at 10C.
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