NASA looking into Warp Drive development

Oldbitcollector (Jeff)Oldbitcollector (Jeff) Posts: 8,090
edited 2012-12-03 - 02:01:45 in General Discussion
http://io9.com/5963263/how-nasa-will-build-its-very-first-warp-drive

please, please, please... sometime in my lifetime..
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Comments

  • ercoerco Posts: 19,738
    edited 2012-11-26 - 19:33:48
    Q: Where's Zefram Cochrane when you need him? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zefram_Cochrane

    A: Rome, likely womanizing! http://www.facebook.com/zefram.cochrane.5
  • kwinnkwinn Posts: 8,565
    edited 2012-11-27 - 08:49:47
    http://io9.com/5963263/how-nasa-will-build-its-very-first-warp-drive

    please, please, please... sometime in my lifetime..

    Same here, although I did have to check the date to be sure I hadn't gone through a time warp and ended up on April 1st.
  • prof_brainoprof_braino Posts: 4,312
    edited 2012-11-27 - 10:48:12
    if they made a kickstarter, i'd give them $10. i already support the ion thruster project!

    like they say, a fool and his money are soon off to alpacenturi!
  • skylightskylight Posts: 1,915
    edited 2012-11-27 - 15:06:12
    I love the spaceship from the link, so much so it's now my wallpaper
  • xanatosxanatos Posts: 1,120
    edited 2012-11-27 - 16:44:20
    I've been watching this with the greatest of hope since Alcubierre's initial announcement......... it just seems intuitively "right". I hope I'm right in this! :-)

    Dave
  • BitsBits Posts: 414
    edited 2012-11-27 - 17:49:46
    I am concerned with the warp bubble it is intended to create.

    I don't want to see this technology developed as the right or wrong people will screw up the universe with it. Look what we "humans" have already done. Perhaps I need to just accept the fact we are the ones that are going to collapse the universe.
  • mindrobotsmindrobots Posts: 6,506
    edited 2012-11-27 - 18:07:08
    Good point, now we have Global Warming/Cooling/Climate Change with this we could have Universal Slowing/Accelerating/Temporal Change. The slightest thing goes wrong and somebody's dumping their warp core in space, soon, there will be unstable warp cores scattered all over...talk about a Super Fund clean up!!! Heavy freight haulers will pay higher temporal fabric use taxes. Some planet will be sitting the BIG dilithium deposits and we'll all either have to play nice or, well, you know the alternative.......

    I don't see anything good coming from this kind of research!!!
  • BitsBits Posts: 414
    edited 2012-11-27 - 18:25:48
    mindrobots wrote: »
    Good point, now we have Global Warming/Cooling/Climate Change with this we could have Universal Slowing/Accelerating/Temporal Change. The slightest thing goes wrong and somebody's dumping their warp core in space, soon, there will be unstable warp cores scattered all over...talk about a Super Fund clean up!!! Heavy freight haulers will pay higher temporal fabric use taxes. Some planet will be sitting the BIG dilithium deposits and we'll all either have to play nice or, well, you know the alternative.......

    I don't see anything good coming from this kind of research!!!

    Well, I am just saying; there are some foolish people out there and I am one of them. Sort of like putting me in a chocolate store and expecting me not to make a mess - seriously!, lol.
  • TorTor Posts: 1,999
    edited 2012-11-28 - 00:19:06
    Well, I don't know.. I love FTL travel as much as anyone, and enjoy reading e.g. Culture novels, but I see a couple of major problems:
    1: He may have found a loophole in General Relativity, but Special Relativity still stands in the way. If he can travel to Alpha Centauri faster than the time it takes for light to travel there, you'll be able to break causality and I don't see how you can handle that. You'll have to break Special Relativity and every test so far has just confirmed it, not the other way around.
    2: The Enrico Fermi paradox: "Where is everyone?" If FTL drives can be built we should have seen visitors everywhere. And we just don't (despite what UFO nuts claim).

    -Tor
  • skylightskylight Posts: 1,915
    edited 2012-11-28 - 03:09:31
    As in a previous thread, I still think that warp technology is not about travelling at any speed, rather about bringing objects to you by folding in the fabric of space, bit like the pattern on a curtain say a flower is a couple of feet away you pull the curtain towards you and it folds(rouches) and the flower pattern comes closer to you.

    The way I read the article it's suggesting doing this in small increments in front and behind the bubble but oscillating fast, to go back to the curtain analogy, you are pulling the curtain in front towards you at the same time throwing the curtain behind away from you but to an independent observer you yourself are not moving.
  • TorTor Posts: 1,999
    edited 2012-11-28 - 04:58:53
    Yes, the travelling itself isn't done FTL, due to the space warping - that's the loophole for not moving at lightspeed, gaining infinite mass and disconnect from time. However, you'll still arrive at the destination faster than you can send a lightbeam there (from your starting point), thus you're set up to break causality according to special relativitiy. So I don't believe in the proposed technology until the authors can also come up with a fix for that problem too.. :)

    -Tor
  • LoopyBytelooseLoopyByteloose Posts: 12,537
    edited 2012-11-28 - 12:31:39
    I don't think space really has loop holes or any holes for that matter - no worm holes, no black holes. Space is space, not swiss cheese.

    Somewhere along the way, physic began using metaphor and analogy rather loosely. This items are localized discontinuities, not holes.
  • lanternfishlanternfish Posts: 366
    edited 2012-11-28 - 15:22:08
    Tor wrote: »
    Well, I don't know.. ... 2: The Enrico Fermi paradox: "Where is everyone?" If FTL drives can be built we should have seen visitors everywhere. And we just don't (despite what UFO nuts claim).

    -Tor

    This assumes that other intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe (lets not get into a discussion re earthly 'intelligence' or lack thereof ...). Highly probable but just as possible that we are it. Damn!
    skylight wrote: »
    As in a previous thread, I still think that warp technology is not about travelling at any speed, rather about bringing objects to you by folding in the fabric of space, bit like the pattern on a curtain say a flower is a couple of feet away you pull the curtain towards you and it folds(rouches) and the flower pattern comes closer to you.

    The way I read the article it's suggesting doing this in small increments in front and behind the bubble but oscillating fast, to go back to the curtain analogy, you are pulling the curtain in front towards you at the same time throwing the curtain behind away from you but to an independent observer you yourself are not moving.

    That is my understanding too! I tried to locate another article in space/time folding which clearly explained this. Will keep looking and provide a link.

    And when they find the solution to the energy requirements ....
  • ElectricAyeElectricAye Posts: 4,561
    edited 2012-11-28 - 17:04:15
    I'm guessing that someday humans will learn that going faster than light is cheap, comfortable, and very affordable.

    But they'll find that it's the slowing down part at their destination that's a problem.

    OrginArizona_Impact5.jpg
  • rod1963rod1963 Posts: 752
    edited 2012-11-28 - 22:13:37
    Perhaps the reason why we haven't found any intelligent life could be for several reasons.

    1) Bill Joy's hypothesis - that we eventually develop high tech that exterminates us through our own incompetence. My money is this one at for us at least. We're very, very clever but not very wise.

    2) The others are so advanced they just have nothing in common and sure as heck are not going to share tech with a race that has tens of thousands of nuclear warheads aimed at itself. Kinda like the Prime Directive thing.
  • ElectricAyeElectricAye Posts: 4,561
    edited 2012-11-28 - 22:59:30
    rod1963 wrote: »
    Perhaps the reason why we haven't found any intelligent life could be for several reasons.....

    Could also be there's a telepathic way to communicate and once you get it, it's so darn easy, nobody else out there even bothers doing anything else. Why send semaphore signals to Sumatra when all you gotta do is type an email or use your cell phone?

    monty_semaphore.jpg
  • xanatosxanatos Posts: 1,120
    edited 2012-11-30 - 16:14:19
    Tor wrote: »
    Yes, the travelling itself isn't done FTL, due to the space warping - that's the loophole for not moving at lightspeed, gaining infinite mass and disconnect from time. However, you'll still arrive at the destination faster than you can send a lightbeam there (from your starting point), thus you're set up to break causality according to special relativitiy. So I don't believe in the proposed technology until the authors can also come up with a fix for that problem too.. :)

    -Tor

    Not quite sure you're actually breaking causality by arriving at a place faster than the light can get there. Sure - we go to Alpha Centauri (or probably Beta, more likely), and then we break out the super cool telescope and look back at Earth, and we see ourselves as we were 4.5 years before we left (damn good telescope!) But are we really "existing simultaneously" - no, we're just seeing the old reflected light that bounced off of us back then. If we now hoped to hop on the space-time surfboard and catch a wave back and talk to our previous selves, we'd find that when we arrived, we'd still be arriving at a point after we had initially left.

    This is sort of like if we travelled faster than the speed of sound, we could arrive at a place before the sound of our departure reached us. And people travel faster than the speed of sound frequently. Yes, overly simplistic analogy, but isn't our seeing of our apparent arrival being before our departure quite a different thing from the actuality of it? The space-time fabric still registers a finite positive time interval between our departure and our arrival, just the light can't catch up, because compared to stellar distances, light is slow as molasses. Furthermore, light isn't the event itself, just an echo of what was there when that light got reflected off of the participants in the event. So maybe I'm just dumb, but I don't see a real causality violation there.

    My understanding of an example of a causality violation is the idea of travelling backwards in time, ie., if you go back and accidentally kill your great grandfather, then you would never have been born to travel back, etc...

    But in the warp case, you're never travelling backwards, you're just getting ahead of a light beam that only carries historical imagery, not actual events. As soon as you jump back to the origination point, it's still been a positive, finite time interval since you initially left and came back.

    Or look at it this way - a lot of the stars we see out there went supernova a loooong time ago, but their light is still travelling to us. They're still quite thoroughly dead, though, and if we "warped" to them (at a safe distance), we'd see their remnant nubula, but not the star as we saw it back on Earth. Warp back to Earth, and look back, and we'd see the star again, as it was prior to it's demise.

    Make sense to anyone?
  • prof_brainoprof_braino Posts: 4,312
    edited 2012-12-01 - 07:35:51
    xanatos wrote: »
    Make sense to anyone?

    I agree with xanatos, "old" light is the same as an echo, it doesn't violate anything any more than looking in the mirror would. Yech! I should take better care of myself.

    In any case, we won't know till we try, I nominate OBC as first explorer. As long as he leaves someone to tend the shop while here's gone. I don't know about the next two volenteers, but I'd like be the forth person that tries.

    Geeze, that was hard to work in.
  • LoopyBytelooseLoopyByteloose Posts: 12,537
    edited 2012-12-01 - 10:59:55
    I think there is an opportunity to get in on the ground floor in a bright new business -- the Warp Drive Retrieval Services. Someone has to go and bring them back when they run out of fuel or fail in testing.

    It would might grow into becoming the AAA towing services to the Universe. Lots of opportunity to travel and lots of paid overtime. Of course, you might have to eat a lot of cosmic radiation along with your work. But every jog has something.
  • rod1963rod1963 Posts: 752
    edited 2012-12-01 - 13:27:26
    First off we've not made any real progress since the Moon landings. The Shuttle was essentially 1960's tech and no one has been able to build a successor - that alone is a scathing indictment of the quality of engineers we've been producing. The space station never got going, just a floating junk pile that will be decommission in the not too distant future. We've even lost the engineering and manufacturing ability to put men on the Moon again.

    We don't have any sort of propulsion or life support systems that can take man beyond the Moon.

    There is so much in the way of basics that need to be addressed before we have a real space program it's not even funny. The sad thing is, the U.S. is a economic pygmy today compared to the 1960's and we cannot afford a robust Space Program that is the equivalent of Apollo. We could if we reformed a few domestic programs and cut out a few useless Stealth fighters but that won't happen.

    In some respects NASA is a gem much like ORNL, Bell Labs. Logically we should be funding it to the tune of $30 billion a year to for basic research. It's a low cost way to keep the country's scientific standing strong. It won't happen. The problem is our political elite only looks ahead to the next election and bulk of the populace only cares about Dancing with the Stars and reality TV. You can't talk to these people about technical subject with them going into a coma.
  • LoopyBytelooseLoopyByteloose Posts: 12,537
    edited 2012-12-01 - 14:16:36
    Could also be there's a telepathic way to communicate and once you get it, it's so darn easy, nobody else out there even bothers doing anything else. Why send semaphore signals to Sumatra when all you gotta do is type an email or use your cell phone?

    monty_semaphore.jpg

    Yes, telepathic communication is a bit like safe sex. If you keep your barriers in place, you might actually survive exploring. And if you don't, you never quite know what your are going to come home with.
  • ElectricAyeElectricAye Posts: 4,561
    edited 2012-12-01 - 14:52:43
    rod1963 wrote: »
    ...The Shuttle was essentially 1960's tech and no one has been able to build a successor - that alone is a scathing indictment of the quality of engineers we've been producing. ....

    It's hardly an indictment against the quality of the engineers - but says more about the society in which those engineers live. If a society cared more about exploring the mysteries of the universe vs. getting Liked on Facebook, then those engineers et al would get funding to actually do things, get to work solving global problems, and help inch the worm of humankind a little higher out of the dunghill of poverty, endless warfare, and mindless gaming apps.
  • mindrobotsmindrobots Posts: 6,506
    edited 2012-12-01 - 15:07:48
    Warping/folding space seems to be an unnavigable mode of transportation. If your observable universe is visible at various times since it is light based and the distances mean you are seeing various time delayed realities, it seems like a crap shoot to fold to some place where real time may be different than observed time. For example, "let's fold to that bright shiny star over there." you press the button and as soon as you wink out of existence, your ground crew watches that bright shiny star super nova....bummer!
  • HumanoidoHumanoido Posts: 5,770
    edited 2012-12-02 - 05:09:44
    mindrobots wrote: »
    Warping/folding space seems to be an unnavigable mode of transportation. If your observable universe is visible at various times since it is light based and the distances mean you are seeing various time delayed realities, it seems like a crap shoot to fold to some place where real time may be different than observed time. For example, "let's fold to that bright shiny star over there." you press the button and as soon as you wink out of existence, your ground crew watches that bright shiny star super nova....bummer!
    Good point but it's likely not impossible. This is the reason all good starships should have an active stellar cartography and analysis station, to determine the viability and safety of traveling to various objects in the Universe. For example, there are tell tale signs prior to a star going supernova. These objects could be analyzed during forward motions, thus speeding up their evolutionary appearances for determinations.
  • HumanoidoHumanoido Posts: 5,770
    edited 2012-12-02 - 05:34:40
    I hope research can be accelerated into warp drive and shields development. I imagine the military is already on this, considering they had antimatter and were contracting for ways of containment in the early 1990s. Of course this is not the only approach to FTL travel. Using gravity, a larger than Hadron m-type particle accelerator derivative could create a series of short lived tiny black holes in front of the craft to relativistically engage it. Their size, distance, position, and duration could navigate the spacecraft through time. There is one equation that defines a theory with a similar approach that allows for time travel in both forward and reverse directions though it may be limited to the time traveler in juxtaposition to the singularity. This has many possibilities..
  • TorTor Posts: 1,999
    edited 2012-12-02 - 06:42:23
    xanatos wrote: »
    Not quite sure you're actually breaking causality by arriving at a place faster than the light can get there.[..]
    No you're not breaking causality just by going there FTL (no grandfathers implicitly killed by that action), but if you can go there that fast then you have established a system which can be set up to break causality, as currently defined. And that's the snag..
    Not that it's particularly easy to grasp though. Had to see graphs and explanations for years before I could start to wrap my head around it. Here's a site that tries to explain how it works: http://www.theculture.org/rich/sharpblue/archives/000089.html

    -Tor
  • LoopyBytelooseLoopyByteloose Posts: 12,537
    edited 2012-12-02 - 08:33:05
    mindrobots wrote: »
    Warping/folding space seems to be an unnavigable mode of transportation. If your observable universe is visible at various times since it is light based and the distances mean you are seeing various time delayed realities, it seems like a crap shoot to fold to some place where real time may be different than observed time. For example, "let's fold to that bright shiny star over there." you press the button and as soon as you wink out of existence, your ground crew watches that bright shiny star super nova....bummer!

    Folding space is a 2 dimensional metaphor applied to a 3 dimensional space. Writers can write about it, but it is a bit like Esher's 2D drawing depicting paradoxical 3D pictures. Entertaining, but when you fold space, how do get ahold of it to do so. When you go in a hole in space, how do you make or find the hole.

    It's loose language creating stuff that is fantastic, but not about to happen.

    Or course accidentially flying into a supernova could be a real nasty hazard along with a lot of other nasty hazards. Nobody knows where you are going or how to bring you back.
  • GadgetmanGadgetman Posts: 2,436
    edited 2012-12-02 - 23:56:24
    That The Culture page seems to base the article on "FTL Travel = Time travel"
    I'm not that into the "Spcecial relativity" to know if that has to be true, which I really hope it isn't.
    Anyway, WARP drive isn't FTL as the ship isn't travelling FTL even if the region of space its in happens to skip around a bit.

    Supernovas.
    Astrophysicists can tell you a long time in advance if a star is going to blow. and even if not, I'd expect someone who sends a ship that far into the unknown to take certain precautions such as stopping well outside of the target star system to observe.
    (Might also be useful for avoiding planets, moons and pesky asteroid belts during final approach)
  • TorTor Posts: 1,999
    edited 2012-12-03 - 02:01:45
    Gadgetman wrote: »
    Anyway, WARP drive isn't FTL as the ship isn't travelling FTL even if the region of space its in happens to skip around a bit.
    That's where I argue that yes, using a WARP drive to get from A to B faster than light can go from A to B is FTL - it's as prone to Special Relativity causality issues as any other method of going from A to B faster than light, because how can you tell the difference? The only problem you bypass with a WARP drive is a local problem of avoiding the (local) speed problem. The global universe-scale FTL issue is still there and it isn't going away.

    -Tor
  • jonabel1971jonabel1971 Posts: 92
    edited 2020-07-07 - 15:08:55
    Here is a Tubular Linear Induction Motor & Plasma Barrier design - that can be signaled with the P1 or P2 microcontroller, depending on your programming skills.

    If you assume the universe is made from Plasma - instead of spacetime, then it potentially functions as a Newtonian warp drive - and utilizes the published Gravitational Magnus Effect (2018), instead of gravity.

    I have open-sourced it for Parallax Community consumption. All source articles & patents are included.



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