Warp speed ahead?

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Mark D Hamill
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Warp speed ahead?

Post by Mark D Hamill » Wed May 06, 2009 11:10 AM

I found this article in the news about the possibility of Warp drive interesting.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20090506/ ... impossible
Some physicists say the faster-than-light travel technology may one day enable humans to jet between stars for weekend getaways. Clearly it won't be an easy task. The science is complex, but not strictly impossible, according to some researchers studying how to make it happen.

The trick seems to be to find some other means of propulsion besides rockets, which would never be able to accelerate a ship to velocities faster than that of light, the fundamental speed limit set by Einstein's General Relativity.

Luckily for us, this speed limit only applies within space-time (the continuum of three dimensions of space plus one of time that we live in). While any given object can't travel faster than light speed within space-time, theory holds, perhaps space-time itself could travel.

"The idea is that you take a chunk of space-time and move it," said Marc Millis, former head of NASA's Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project. "The vehicle inside that bubble thinks that it's not moving at all. It's the space-time that's moving."
The article goes on to suggest that when the Big Bang occurred it is likely that for a while anyhow the universe moved faster than the speed of light.

Sign me up for a starship ride. Meanwhile, I will have to contend myself with the Star Trek movie this weekend.
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