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You thought that Star Trek WARP space travelling was a fantasy? Well you were wrong …

Saturday, September 22, 2012 @ 07:09 PM
Dr Ioannis Syrigos

I am sure most of people who love science would have watched the Legacy of Star Trek series.

One of the advanced technological concepts mentioned in the series is the WARP engine which allows travelling with speeds greater than the speed of light.

Well, recently NASA scientists think that ‘warp drive is realistic possibility and that in the far future humans could regularly travel faster than the speed of light’.

So what is WRAP: The WARP drive technology creates a an artificial ‘bubble’ of normal space time that surrounds the spacecraft, therefore ‘warping’ space & time around any spaceship, something that physicist Miguel Alcubierre showed was theoretically possible in 1994. Consequently a spacecraft at warp velocity can continue to interact with objects in normal space.

The drive works by using a wave to compress the spacetime in front of the spaceship while expanding the spacetime behind it. The ship itself would float in a “bubble” of normal spacetime that would float along the wave of compressed spacetime. The ship inside the warp bubble would be going faster than the speed of light relative to objects outside the bubble. This means that inside the bubble there will be no tidal forces, undue issues and the acceleration will be zero.

In that way the spaceship will be moving to another place, without actually moving and carrying none of the adverse effects of other travel methods.

Dr Harold Sonny White, the Advanced Propulsion Theme Lead for the NASA Engineering Directorate, said that they have already started the work to create a WARP engine and we will probably see it in action in our lifetime.

One of the major problems of a WARP engine would be the enormous amounts of energy required. However the NASA team by optimizing the warp bubble thickness they would be able to reduce the amount of fuel to a manageable amount. And instead of a Jupiter-sized ball of exotic matter, you will only need 500 kilograms to send a 10-meter bubble at an effective velocity of 10 times the speed of light.

Impressive technology!

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