Here's something for all of you to consider.......
We here about faster than light (FTL) travel, warp drives and such. Science fiction is full of them......Star Trek, for instance. But even more interesting is the fact that several very well studied concepts have been put forward as theories in the last decade or so (notably Miguel Alcubirre's work at the U. of Cardiff in 1994) which establish the possibility of warping spacetime to use as a ship's propulsion.
Now, it is known that space itself is full of energy. Now by that I don't mean all the energy in matter, light and such that is in space, but when everything in space is taken out, there is a residual energy left that is a product of space itself. It's otherwise known as the Zero Point Field and is generated by the quantum fluctuations of the vacuum. This energy exhibits itself as electromagnetic radiation, but is not related to the CMB (Cosmic Microwave Background) generated by the Big Bang.
It is also known that gravity and electromagnetism are two different aspects of the one force and given certain conditions (namely high energy densities) they both act in the same manner. Now, knowing of the coupling between gravity and electromagnetism, the fact that the very fabric of spacetime itself generates a field of electromagnetic energy should predicate to the possibility of being able to use that coupling to create a field which could warp the fabric of spacetime itself. What would be required is an electromagnetic field of some sort which had these aspects......1. High energy density (to create the coupling effect), 2. Field focus at a subatomic level (to exploit coupling with the ZPF/spacetime fabric) and 3. A field asymmetry (for drive purposes). You would, in effect, be creating an asymmetrically layered bubble of spacetime around your ship which was generated by the coupling of the ZPF and gravity, at high energy densities (within the warp field itself).
These high energy densities would be at their greatest at a subatomic level, where the coupling effect between the ZPF/spacetime and the field being generated by the ship would occur. Field asymmetry would be obtained by creating a layered effect in the field where successive energy levels in the field would be different for each level, thus creating a gradient of energy and degree of coupling between each of the layers. Further enhancement of the gradient effect could be had by creating an impeller effect. This could be done by a series of coils which were being used to generate the space coupling effect, fired in a sequence from one to another. The quicker the firing sequence and the stronger the coupling, the faster the ship would move, and vice versa. Also, the field asymmetry would be generated such that the warping in front of the craft would be strongest and then allowed to snap back to normal out the rear.....creating a drag like effect on the spacetime bubble around the ship and pulling it along. Alternatively, a wave like pushing effect could also be used, either method would depend on the geometry of the generated field and the ease of the generation (one method could be easier to produce than the other.)
Given all of this, I'd like to see a discussion occur about the possibilities which may be present with the development of warp drives and whether anyone can come up with ideas which maybe expand on what I have written here. You can even suggest methods for the generation of the warp fields if you like......ones that could be scientifically feasible......and don't be afraid to speculate.
If you want some background reading, have a quick look at these sites......
To check out more, just goto Yahoo or Google and enter "Zero Point Energy" and "Casimir Effect" in the search box. While you're at it, you can also look up GUT's (Grand Unified Theories) and quantum ground states.
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Warping Spacetime.....Warp Drives
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