Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Warp drive.....

Everyone knows that the laws of Physics say you cannot travel faster than light. And everyone knows that half the reason we scientist get paid is to come up with better laws that include loopholes big enough to drive a starship through. Miguel Alcubierre clearly earned his pay at least once, because he came up with a way of combining different ideas from Einsteins theory of General Relativity that actually let us design a faster than light drive.


 
Above: NASA's Advanced Propulsion Lead, Dr. Harold White, has modified the Alcubierre Drive theory, and proven that faster than light travel might just be possible Courtesy of SpaceX.

The Alcubierre drive really is a warp drive, because it exploits a loophole in the rules: If you are stood still in local space, but space expands faster than light behind you, and contracts faster than light in front of you (we know spacetime can expand that fast because space is massless, and is thought to have done this naturally in the first moments of the universe), you'll effectively travel across the universe faster than light- although the laws won't 'see' the movement (because you're stood still compared to local space) and so won't stop you.

Why am I telling you about this (especially seeing that we can't build one of these yet)?
Well the Wolfram demonstrations project has set up a lot of simulations where you can play about with various weird and wacky phenomena, and Alcubierre's warp engine is one of them. Have a look, if we're all very lucky it might be part of your grandchild's pilots test....

 And when he psses he'll go "oh myyyyyyyyy".....