“The elusive warp drive seems to be expanding beyond difficulties” as NASA goes past theories that once held them back to standard relativity assessments. They are now looking into artificially warping space-time, allowing a sort of bubble-effect to actually ‘push’ an object through space at unusual speeds allowing one to reach their destination in a much shorter’ time.’
NASA’s original statement regarding warp drive pointed out the unfortunate consequence of Special Relativity being the light speed barrier- “To move faster, you add energy. But when you get going near the speed of light, the amount of energy you need to go faster balloons to infinity! To move a mass at the speed of light would take infinite energy. It appears that there is a distinct barrier here.” They concluded that the only way around this argument was either wormhole transport(currently being explored by Nassim Haramein and his black hole theories) or Alcubierre’s warp drive theory.
Professor Miguel Alcubierre of the University of Mexico suggested, originally, that one might be able to move past the limitations of light speed travel if you remained still. Remained still? What did he mean? This concept is what allowed warp speed ideas to finally move out of science fiction and onto the drawing board in order to discover how. The theory is based on the knowing that spacetime is not limited in it’s ability either expand or contract, it is only objects moving through space that seem to show a lack of flexibility. It is known that the cosmos, while expanding (such as during the big bang), has the capacity to move at the unbelievable rate of 30 million billion times the speed of light. This leaves a lot of room for objects to be propelled if we were able to manipulate spacetime itself. It is a bit like wrinkling a carpet in front of the spacecraft and stretching it behind – to create a sort of gravitational leverage that can then the object can ride, much like a wave propelingl the object forward without actually moving, covering distance at faster than light speed rates.
For a great video clip diagramming the whole idea check this out:
Physicist Harold White of NASA is heading up the project and initially announced the idea to the aeronautic world. White postulates that this theory, if actualized, could result in travel from Earth to somewhere like Alpha Centauri(4.3 light years away) in a mere two weeks. This idea is very exciting to the whole world, especially the long time Star Trek fans, I’m sure. But White doesn’t want to get everyone too excited just yet, as he admits there is lots of work to be done in order to make this a reality.
White comments: “The bottom line is, nature can do it, so the salient question is, ‘can we?'”
We may have a long way before we go warp drive, but for now teams at NASA are hard at work figuring out the possibilities. Who knows, in less time than we think we may not be able to comprehend a time without warp drive and when that happens, space travel will become the ‘norm’ opening us up to a whole new enterprise. So I guess the real question is – are we ready? As signals are beamed out by Lone Signal to our extraterrestrial friends we are simultaneously building the technology in order to meet them. I’d say we’ve come a long way in a very short time…or shall I say a short time in what seems like a long space? Until we know more we will just have to stick with regular air travel and higher than atmosphere hopes.
Written by: Stasia Bliss