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Physicists propose potentially groundbreaking real-life 'warp drive'

By T.K. Randall
May 19, 2024 · Comment icon 7 comments

Is it possible to build a working warp drive ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Alorin
Could warp drive one day enable long distance space travel ? One group of physicists certainly seems to think so.
Anyone who has ever watched Star Trek will no doubt be familiar with the concept of warp drive - a futuristic propulsion system that can enable travel through space at faster-than-light speeds.

While scientists have dabbled with the idea of building a real-life warp drive over the years, no practical solution has ever been forthcoming... though that may be about to change.

Known as the "Constant-Velocity Subluminal Warp Drive", this latest incarnation of the warp drive concept has been developed by physicists from the University of Alabama, Huntsville and from the Advanced Propulsion Laboratory at the Applied Physics think tank in New York.

The exact mechanics of their proposed warp drive are complex to say the least.
Part of the concept is similar to an idea proposed by theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre in 1994 whose "Alcubierre drive" worked by contracting space in front of a spacecraft and then expanding space behind it - thus propelling it along without relying on conventional propulsion.

The new Constant-Velocity Subluminal Warp Drive would work by combining this concept with a stable shell of ordinary matter to create a "warp bubble" in which the ship would travel.

The team also believes it can be done without requiring exotic or negative forms of matter.

Of course, the proof is in the pudding, so unless someone actually manages to build this thing and demonstrate that it works, it will likely remain little more than a theoretical concept.

It would certainly be great if it actually did work, though.

Source: The Debrief | Comments (7)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Stiff 1 month ago
Comment icon #2 Posted by OpenMindedSceptic 1 month ago
But, but Jupiter; but, but vastness of space makes travel impossible; but, but weather balloons... what do you mean it might be possible????
Comment icon #3 Posted by Guyver 1 month ago
I love it when things like this make the news.  So many of the things like time travel that have been considered impossible for so long, are now considered theoretically possible.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Gumball 1 month ago
It may already have been built in a smaller form. It may already be being tested. If we're hearing about it now it was being worked on years ago.
Comment icon #5 Posted by joc 1 month ago
Of course, the proof is in the pudding, so unless someone actually manages to build this thing and demonstrate that it works, it will likely remain little more than a theoretical concept. Dream on Trekkies....dream on...
Comment icon #6 Posted by L.A.T.1961 1 month ago
This drive is not a warp drive like envisaged in Star Trek it would be a sub light drive.  But It would still be much faster than anything used today.
Comment icon #7 Posted by pallidin 1 month ago
It would be true the some personalities do not handle extreme scientific endeavors (like this) very well. Rubs against their own world-view, I guess, even though it doesn't run against science at all. Sad, really.

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