Warp drive: closer than we think? (science video)
The Director of Advanced Research & Development of Limitless Space Institute, Harold “Sonny” White, joins us to talk about warp drive technology.
Is Dr. Zefram Cochrane a NASA employee? He certainly seems to be. Dr. Zefram Cochrane, a fictitious character from Star Trek, became the first person to travel faster than the speed of light on April 5, 2063. Perhaps the discovery of warp speed technology, as depicted in Trek, is closer than we believe.
Warp drive technology, also known as faster-than-light (FTL) propulsion, is a concept that has been popularized in science fiction, but has yet to be proven possible in reality. The idea behind a warp drive is that it could allow a spacecraft to travel at faster-than-light speeds by creating a bubble of space-time in front of the ship and contracting the space behind it, enabling the ship to “surf” on the bubble and effectively travel faster than the speed of light.
The concept of a warp drive is based on the theory of general relativity, which describes the relationship between space, time, and gravity. The theory states that it is theoretically possible to create a warp bubble that would enable a spacecraft to travel faster than the speed of light. However, general relativity also states that the energy required to create such a bubble would be astronomical, and the closest star to our solar system is Proxima Centauri, which is 4.2 light-years away, and the energy required would be equivalent to the mass-energy of the planet Jupiter.
There are other physical laws that would make it very challenging to create a warp drive, such as the laws of thermodynamics, which state that creating a warp bubble would produce an enormous amount of entropy and would require an enormous amount of energy. The idea of creating a warp drive also goes against the principle of causality, which states that an effect cannot happen before its cause, in other words, nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, so if a ship were to travel faster than the speed of light, it would travel back in time.
Despite these challenges, scientists and engineers have not given up on the idea of creating a warp drive. Some researchers have proposed alternative ways of achieving FTL travel, such as wormholes or extra dimensions. However, these concepts also present their own set of challenges and require a greater understanding of physics and space-time.
In recent years, NASA has been funding research into the possibilities of FTL propulsion, such as the concept of an “Alcubierre drive” and the “EM Drive” propulsion, which was first proposed by Dr. Roger Shawyer in 2001. The concept is that a propellantless propulsion system uses microwaves in a closed container to generate thrust. However, the EM Drive hasn’t been proven to work as it violates the laws of physics.
The energy requirements and physical challenges that would have to be overcome to create a warp drive are enormous and currently, the technology to build one does not exist. Even though NASA has been funding some research in this area, it is still a long way from becoming a reality. It’s still an exciting idea to ponder about and further research and developments in physics and technology may one day make it possible.