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NASA investigating warp drive

Posted on Wednesday, 24 July, 2013 | Comment icon 44 comments

Image credit: NASA/ESA/ESO

Researchers at NASA are working on developing a real-world counterpart to Star Trek's warp drive.

Physicist Dr. Harold G. White believes that it may be possible for a spacecraft to travel faster than the speed of light by bending the rules of time and space. The idea is based on the theories of Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre who postulated that this could be achieved by harnessing the expansion and contraction of space. A ship that uses a "warp bubble" that expands space on one side and contracts it on the other could theoretically be propelled by space-time itself.

In a new experiment Dr. White will aim to demonstrate this effect by attempting to propel a single photon faster than the speed of light. "Space has been expanding since the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago," he said. "And we know that when you look at some of the cosmology models, there were early periods of the universe where there was explosive inflation, where two points would’ve went receding away from each other at very rapid speeds."

"NASA physicist and engineer Dr Harold G. White, 43, believes it is possible to bend the rules of time and space that Albert Einstein constructed when he postulated that it is impossible to exceed the speed of light."

  View: Full article |  Source: Russia Today

  Discuss: View comments (44)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #35 Posted by skookum on 8 August, 2013, 9:14
70 years ago many believed achieving the speed of sound was impossible.
Comment icon #36 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 8 August, 2013, 12:02
No they didn't. They knew it was a difficult technological challenge but they knew it was possible because bullets were traveling supersonic then as they are now. In fact 70 years ago the first V2 test flights had occured and that was capable of more than 3,500mph.
Comment icon #37 Posted by DONTEATUS on 8 August, 2013, 22:58
But you have to admit ? The Imagination is truly What starts the process to get to Warp Drive ! I would wager that If we dont Fry on this planet,and make it past the next 100 years,We have quite a good chance to break that limit. Whats really amazing Is then in another 500 years Who Knows what Universes we may twist to do our Exploration?
Comment icon #38 Posted by Chooky88 on 12 August, 2013, 0:11
FTL drive is great but is anyone also working on artificial gravity? Personally when it comes to science I think anything is possible (with exception of a retrospective time machine)
Comment icon #39 Posted by The Word of Thoth on 12 August, 2013, 10:14
slightly off topic, but this has GOT to be one of the best things Ive ever read on UM Asadora
Comment icon #40 Posted by DONTEATUS on 15 August, 2013, 2:57
Indeed ,Indeed ! It is our Journey ! To never take no for a Answer ! Nothing is Impossible it just takes a little longer to work out the details ! Words of wisdom!
Comment icon #41 Posted by bassai26 on 15 August, 2013, 3:13
yep light is made up of particles and particles are matters which attracts to gravitational pull...
Comment icon #42 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 15 August, 2013, 9:58
No, light is both a wave and particles. Photons, however, are not matter. Matter has mass, photons have no mass. Light is affected by gravity because, in Einstein's model, mass bends space time, hence deflecting the path of the photons.
Comment icon #43 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 15 August, 2013, 10:00
Lots of things are impossible, the trick is finding which things are possible.
Comment icon #44 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf on 15 August, 2013, 10:07
Well firstly this isn't FTL, it's a way around the fact that faster than light travel is impossible according to current understanding. This would provide a kind of short cut, without ever breaking the laws of nature. As for artificial gravity, I think we would need to understand how gravity works a little better before we progress to a Star Trek like artificial gravity. Rotating space ships are the best solution for the time being. Anything within the laws of nature is possible. If the laws of nature forbid something then we will never be able to achieve it. - Arthur C. Clark... [More]

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