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Is Warp drive possible?

Discussion in 'Science & Technology' started by betazed, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. Pirate

    Pirate Emperor

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    Well, if a short-distance warp system were developed that can get a ship and supplies to Mars or other planets within seconds, then I'd say tourism on Mars would be a whole lot more feasible. Heck, it might just be a ride at Disney World where you hop in a ship, go orbit Jupiter for a few minutes, then shoot on back to earth - round trip 12 minutes.

    A technical question- if space is expanded and contracted at the front and rear edges of the bubble, what happens at the sides of the bubble? Is that space just stretched along with the bubble?
     
  2. Bozo Erectus

    Bozo Erectus Master Baker

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    Using FTL for a hop to Mars would be overkill on a cosmic scale I think.
     
  3. Aphex_Twin

    Aphex_Twin Evergreen

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    How will society change... We will jump to a category 2 civilisation. I don't know if I should feel frightened or delighted.
     
  4. betazed

    betazed Seeking...

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    The expansion and contraction is really a "English" way of saying something mathematical. Maybe a better way of saying would be space is "created" and "annihilated". Hence you do not really move from "here" to "there"; rather you are "here" and then you are "there".

    An outside observer will not really see you go by. Neither will a person inside the bubble feel any motion or see anything at all for that matter since he will be disconnected from anything outside the bubble as long as it is moving.

    So to answer your question, in a sense you can think as if the expansion and contraction (or creating and annihilation) occurs only in one spatial dimension. The other two spatial dimensions are unchanged.
     
  5. Hundegesicht

    Hundegesicht Manly Studmuffin

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    *Our* entire lifespan. Remember, relativity would make a trip at just under the speed of light seem like only 24 hours for every 10 years. (Okay, okay, so I'm no mathematician but I remember reading that figure somewhere in a physics book... of course you'd have to account for ~2 years acceleration time to keep the astronaughts from being squished into fine organic paste on the back of the ship)
     
  6. Bozo Erectus

    Bozo Erectus Master Baker

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    Theyd probably bust right through the back of the ship and spew out into space.
     
  7. Aphex_Twin

    Aphex_Twin Evergreen

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    They do not move, space moves around them, hence, no G forces.
     
  8. Michael York

    Michael York On Sabatical from Civ

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    I think you guys have missed what warp drive actually is.

    Rather than travelling faster than light, you changing the distance. You warp the space infront of you into a short distance and the space behind you into a great distance. No acceleration, no speeds beyond which we are currently capable of. Put two dots on a sheet of paper, push the paper together until the dots are next to each other.

    The other way would be wormholes. Take a sheet of paper. Put two dots 4" (10cm for you Continentals) apart. fold the sheet of paper and overlap them.

    Suddenly you can travel lightyears in seconds while moving at 1 mph (1.6 kph).
     
  9. Bozo Erectus

    Bozo Erectus Master Baker

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    Ok, so you pinch the space in front of you together in order to accelerate, but what happens to the space while youre compressing it? If the space where our solar system is was pinched together so somebody could travel at FTL, would we here on Earth know it?
     
  10. Michael York

    Michael York On Sabatical from Civ

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    I presume the theory (it is not mine) is related to the expanding universe theory. I presume that it would have a trivial gravitational effect here on earth (presuming Newton's Gravitational equation holds). The key to avoid messing with the gravitational field of our solar system would be to expand the space behind you. (I presume that bringing Alpha Centari into the Sol system, would be VERY bad for us). The key is that you don't accelerate, you just play with the distances.
     
  11. nihilistic

    nihilistic Intergalatic Delivery Boy

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    A bigger problem is that we are trying to argue about the physical properties of something that doesn't exist yet. Are you sure that if it is eventually invented, then it must be how we envisioned it right now? For example, how would anybody in the medieval times discuss how a mag-lev train must work or what is superconductivity?
     
  12. Michael York

    Michael York On Sabatical from Civ

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    True, but the assumption is that it warps something. Besides, they talk about a warp field. I presume that it is field in which the warping action isn't occuring (hence they're not making E deck disappear). Upon the terminology they use, it seems reasonable to me. The have physicist consultants, to make sure such things aren't impossible. The key is that it is all based upon the theories we have at present. In medieval times, they didn't have any kind of a E-M theory to base it upon. We do have theories now with which to base our ideas.
     
  13. Pirate

    Pirate Emperor

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    I was suggesting how our world would change if we implemented it. If you could fly from Earth to Mars faster than you could fly from London to Paris, it would certainly change how we think about Mars. If it is always 6 months one direction it will forever be just a colony, not a fully integrated part of our world.
     
  14. samildanach

    samildanach Necrophile

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    Yes mini big bangs on earth don't sound like fun. What other applications might warp technology have other than FFL travel ?An atom sized missile with a mini big bang for a warhead sounds like something that might appear in Civ4. The ability to collapse space-time seems interesting but I can't think of an application.

    @col thats a very curious avatar you have in the CDZ reminds me of some very bad people at college and suggests to me you may have been in contact with them. I wonder if all the people they accused talk to themselves, that would be a very convenient and very unbelievable excuse for the "terrible misunderstanding" on their part. PM me if you wish to redeem yourself, and i hope anarres enjoyed the website:) my mug is apparently all over the internet including on sites like that one.:(
     
  15. nihilistic

    nihilistic Intergalatic Delivery Boy

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    That depends completely on whether alternative technologies exist that can do the same thing (more efficiently).

    Then again, think of how it is a waste to use all that processing power on your computer and all that networking capability to do something as simple as posting on a internet forum. :p
     
  16. Bozo Erectus

    Bozo Erectus Master Baker

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    Pirate and nihilistic, to me its like using an F-16 to go to the corner store for some milk. Theoretically possible, but an extremely expensive and unecessarily complicated way of getting there. For strictly in system travel between planets, it isnt necessary to warp space.
     
  17. betazed

    betazed Seeking...

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    I believe that a "warp drive" or some other such discovery could have far reaching social consequences owing to the following reasons.

    (a) It is an idea that most people can at least appreciate (thanks to Star trek and numerous other SFs). Hence people would not say "What was that again?" when you tell them that we can build a Warp Drive.

    {Precisely this sort of thing happened to the Superconducting Super Collider - the SSC. How many Americans know that the SSC was scuttled purely owing to political reasons when there was a lot of scientific appeal to the idea of a SSC. For that matter how many Americans know that there was something called a SSC. }

    (b) The potential benefit can appeal to most people. I mean you would have to be supremely unimaginative to not see any potential to a device that can take us to the stars and spread the seed of humankind.

    (c) Hence it is a project that most people can feel being a part of.

    And I being an optimist of human nature, would like to believe that given such a science project of such monumental but doable scale, we will channel a lot of our energy and some of our significant resources towards it purpose, leaving less resources for war and other such deeds.

    We could forget our petty miseries and hope and dream for a better future even if it is far away.

    And hope is a great thing. It lessens a lot of anger and hatred that would otherwise need an exhaust.
     
  18. nihilistic

    nihilistic Intergalatic Delivery Boy

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    I still do not see it that way. In my mind technologies are simply tools. They do not possess dignity. Again, I must incur how we are all using modern computers to do computationally trivial stuff while the us government employed such garguantuan (yet impotent by modern standards) beasts such as the ENIAC (in the 1940's) to calculate ballistic trajectories and crypt-analysis. Could they possibly imagine wasting so much computational capability (by their standards) to play a game?

    The ENIAC is still revered and copies of it up in display, a position in which my centrino laptop (which is by far superior to the ENIAC in every way), will ever be in. Attitudes change.

    There is no reason to assume that warp travel (if possible) can never be made practical.

    Edit: added the dating of ENIAC for those unfamiliar with the history of computers.
     
  19. Pirate

    Pirate Emperor

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    Why not? People took the Concorde from New York to Paris even though it cost a whole lot more because it saved them a little time. If you could get to Mars in minutes rather than months, it would be worth an investment since the full potential of real-time interaction with another planet would be possible. Of course the technology would have to reach a point where it is economically feasible, but I don't see what's wrong with it.
     
  20. Souron

    Souron The Dark Lord

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    Interesting.
    That still does not eliminate the probem of getting to other planets in decent time, however once there exploration and colinization can begin immediately. It might also elliminate the need for long distance ships to carry lage amounts of fuel.
     

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