How NASA might build its very first warp drive
A few months ago, physicist Harold White stunned the aeronautics world when he announced that he and his team at NASA had begun work on the development of a faster-than-light warp drive. His proposed design, an ingenious re-imagining of an Alcubierre Drive, may eventually result in an engine that can transport a spacecraft to the nearest star in a matter of weeks — and all without violating Einstein’s law of relativity.
HOLY SHIT WARP DRIVE IS PLAUSIBLE AGAIN
OK TUMBLR LET ME TELL YOU A THING ABOUT PHYSICS!
NOTHING, LITERALLY NOTHING CAN TRAVEL FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF LIGHT. NOT A SUN, NOT A PLANET, NOT A BUNCH OF METAL, AND NOT A ROCK THAT YOU THREW REALLY HARD. 299,792,458 METRES PER SECOND THIS THE SPEED LIMIT OF OUR UNIVERSE.
SEE THESE THINGS?
THOSE DESCRIBE THE LORENTZ TRANSFORMATIONS. AS YOU CAN SEE, THERE IS A RELATION BETWEEN YOUR MOVEMENT THROUGH TIME AND YOUR MOVEMENT THROUGH SPACE SO THAT AS YOU MOVE FASTER THROUGH SPACE YOU START MOVING SLOWER THROUGH TIME. AND GUESS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU HIT THE SPEED OF LIGHT? THAT’S RIGHT, RELATIVE TO THE REST OF THE UNIVERSE YOU FREEZE IN TIME.
SEE THAT PART ABOUT X? THAT MEANS THAT AS YOU APPROACH LIGHT SPEED YOUR LENGTH ALONG THE DIRECTION OF MOVEMENT SHORTENS AND WHEN YOU HIT THE SPEED OF LIGHT YOU BECOME A SPACE PANCAKE THAT’S SO FLAT IT’S 2 DIMENSIONAL.
YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE?
WHEN YOU ACCELERATE SOMETHING WITH MASS TO THE SPEED OF LIGHT IT’S MASS AND ENERGY BECOME INFINITE.
YOU WANT TO GO FASTER THAN THE SPEED OF LIGHT WITHOUT GOING BACKWARDS IN TIME, HAVING INFINITE MASS, AND BEING 2 DIMENSIONAL AND YOU DON’T HAVE INFINITE ENERGY TO DO IT? YOU CAN.
1 THING CAN TRAVEL FASTER THAN LIGHT AND THAT IS SPACE ITSELF. SPACE CAN STRETCH AND CONTRACT. IT DOES IT ALL THE TIME. REMEMBER A WRINKLE IN TIME? YEAH, IT’S A LOT LIKE THAT.
SO WHAT THESE NASA PEOPLE ARE TRYING TO DO IS BASICALLY WARP SPACE AROUND THE SPACE SHIP TO GET IT WHERE IT NEEDS TO GO AND AS FAR AS WE KNOW THAT IS POSSIBLE AND IT’S TOTALLY AWESOME! GET PUMPED!