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Could failing warp drives point us in the direction of intelligent aliens ?

By T.K. Randall
June 30, 2024 · Comment icon 7 comments

Could aliens have figured out how to build warp drives ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Alorin
Scientists have come up with another possible way to look for intelligent alien civilizations: failing warp drives.
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.

A mathematical model for an actual real-life warp drive was 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.

Now a new study by an international team of scientists has taken things one step further by suggesting that not only could advanced extraterrestrial civilizations have already mastered this technology, but that it may even be possible for us to detect when they are using it.
They propose that if an alien warp drive was to suffer a "containment failure", the resulting collapse might emit gravitational waves that we would be able to pick up with LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory).

Of course, as things stand, there is no known way to actually achieve a working warp drive, but that doesn't mean that a more advanced alien civilization hasn't figured out how to do it.

And if they can do that, then it's also likely that they will have suffered a few containment failures along the way.

"Going beyond standard astrophysics as we did in this study really challenged us to adapt and push the methods to their limits, and this knowledge and experience will certainly help us as we study more challenging regimes in astrophysical applications in the future," said study lead author Katy Clough from Queen Mary University of London.

Source: Gizmodo | Comments (7)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Hazzard 12 days ago
I swear.. the nerds after work parties are getting wilder and wilder!!
Comment icon #2 Posted by Ell 11 days ago
Some alien civizations might use Pern dragons to travel through space. If one of them dragons suffers a heart attack after coming out from between and forgets to teleport its dead body back into between, we might detect the corpse of such a dragon and its riders in interstellar space. We need to build larger telescopes in order to detect these corpses!
Comment icon #3 Posted by Hazzard 11 days ago
You need to go to bed and let mummy tuck you in.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Antigonos 11 days ago
This cannot be a serious post.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Ell 11 days ago
You object to building larger telescopes?
Comment icon #6 Posted by astrobeing 10 days ago
Any article that has "Star Trek" in the first sentence is not to be take seriously.
Comment icon #7 Posted by godnodog 9 days ago
you quoted the wrong dude

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