ALCUBIERRE WARP Drive: Is It REAL? Why is NASA taking it seriously?
The science fiction television series “Star Trek” has confused thousands of questions since it was broadcast.
Science fiction series has been intertwined with real life science for the past few decades. It inspires technology that people use every day.
Among the many remarkable events featured in the series, warp is one of the many futuristic ideas that have captured the attention of many around the world. In fact, this is the first theory proposed in Star Trek, allowing it to travel across the galaxy faster than the speed of light. So, against Einstein’s theory of relativity – stopping anything moving faster than light.
In 1994, theoretical physicist Miguel Alcubierre proposed a theory called the Alcubierre propulsion. He created a space-time bubble that distorted distance so that anything could travel far inside the bubble. Most people think this is perfect in theory, but in practice it doesn’t work.
To prove them wrong, however, an undergraduate from the University of Alabama, Joseph Agnew, wanted to test the hypothesis. “Speaking mathematically, if you meet all the energy requirements, they can’t prove it doesn’t work,” Joseph said. “Suppose you have a bubble craft,” he continued, quoted in a press release from the university for the talk. . . “What you’re doing is, you’re compressing space-time in front of the vehicle and expanding space-time behind the vehicle.”
But you don’t think Einstein’s theory of relativity has caused the whole thing trouble, because nothing can go faster than the speed of light. Therefore, when an object moves faster, they tend to become heavier. And the heavier they are, the harder it is to accelerate. In short, it is impossible to reach the speed of light.
But what is a warp drive?
The warp drive is arguably considered the Holy Grail of space exploration. It is said to have the ability to have a propulsion system that travels faster than the speed of light. With this, don’t you think it’s possible for people to reach any corner of the galaxy anytime, anywhere?
Given Einstein’s theory of relativity, it seems difficult to break this concept.
But will it?
Most science fiction writers give us hope with many images of interstellar travel, but traveling at the speed of light is absurd.
We all know, as Einstein’s theory explains, that nothing travels faster than the speed of light. The reason is, because accelerating any object to the speed of light requires an infinite amount of energy. The only reason light is unaffected is the fact that photons (ie light particles) have no mass. Therefore, any spacecraft traveling at the speed of light is highly unlikely.
However, there are two weaknesses here:
- If we are talking about finding the probability of traveling at the speed of light, that means we are talking about the drive of an object.
- There is no prohibition on traveling as close to the speed of light as possible.
Is a warp drive even possible?
Perhaps by bending the laws of physics, it may be possible to break the overall speed limit. This is where the “Alcubierre warp drive” theory comes into play. Alcubierre’s warp drive may not exceed the speed of light, but instead has the potential to travel around the speed of light by warping space-time, as in the “Star Trek” series.
According to this theory, the spacecraft inside a meridian bubble is surrounded by a circle of negative mass. The negative mass cycle will help reduce the spacetime in front of the spacecraft and extend the space time behind the spacecraft. Doing so would allow the spacecraft to travel ten times faster than light. Even so, inside the bubble, the spacecraft will maintain the cosmic speed limit, while general relativity remains the same.
While there may be a small problem here, this requires a lot of mass to make a warp drive work. To drive a spacecraft to such a level, you would need a Jupiter-like mass.
Consider Einstein’s equation here, E = mc2. Don’t you think you need a lot of energy, even more than the universe can provide?
What’s the problem?
NASA mechanical engineer and physicist Dr. Harold Sonny White is still working to find a solution to the required mass-energy. He believed that by changing the physics way, it would be possible to reduce the mass-energy requirements mentioned in Alcubierre’s theory. He also suggested that there may be some possibility of changing the shape of the negative mass cycle to achieve the mass requirement of about 700kg.
White is now leading a team of physicists and engineers at NASA to build a White-Judy Curvature Field Interferometer. It is a beam splitting interferometer that can easily detect and produce the smallest warp bubbles. This may not get you to Andromeda’s galaxy right away, but eventually you will arrive when needed.
Although significant, we are still a long way from interstellar travel and warp drive becoming a reality. However, as technology improves, the solution we are looking for may be close enough.