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Will a warp drive be created?

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Offline Johnny Ola

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Will a warp drive be created?
« on: 28/05/2013 22:42:59 »
I gather from news that there is a fair amount of scientists working warp drive technology:
newbielink:http://www.scienceworldreport.com/articles/7120/20130527/scientists-refine-warp-drive-concept-using-space-time-distortion.htm [nonactive]

So my question: is there anyone here with a comprehensive enough knowledge of science history to tell whether there was some technology being worked on at some point by x amount of scientists and getting x funding, comparable what is being done in the area of warp drive. I'm asking this cause I want to get a rough estimation of whether they'll be able to build one of these things within my life time. It seems a lot of people think it's possible. So maybe it's just a matter of funding, time and manpower? Quantum computers are almost here too (almost practical that is).
« Last Edit: 28/05/2013 22:45:47 by Johnny Ola »


 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Will a warp drive be created?
« Reply #1 on: 29/05/2013 00:58:32 »
I find it is highly doubtful, both developing a "warp drive", as well as creating a mobile energy source capable of warping space being propelled with a starship to another location.

Personally, I would be very reluctant to allow a full-scale testing such a system anywhere within our solar system, and probably not any closer than proxima centauri.

Warp Conduits, constructed to be external to a ship?  Perhaps that would be possible, but may require actually building a conduit that is several light-years long, which would take an extraordinary amount of matter, and still a lot of energy to run.  You would still have to define what you're building.

Collapsing the distance in space?
Making a vacuum that is capable of excluding space, but still allowing matter to be inside?

It still seems like a longshot.

While I can understand research into new constant acceleration technologies, I hope NASA isn't spending a lot of tax payer money on warp technology.
 

Online evan_au

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Re: Will a warp drive be created?
« Reply #2 on: 29/05/2013 11:21:16 »
At this stage, this is "blue-sky" research - a lot of theory, and not much practice.

Even if they put 20 theoreticians on it, that is not a great expense compared to the LHC at $US9 billion, or the NIF at around $US1 billion, or our national road networks, at a far higher cost again.

The cost really starts to mount up when you try to build the first/largest/most powerful device of its kind.

There is no simple formula that says something will succeed if you put a certain amount of money on it. People investing in research tend to invest in many different areas, and several different approaches, in the hope that some of them will prove feasible, and move into general usage. Even the ones that didn't work still represent progress, because we now know several things that don't work.

After spending an absolute fortune on our road networks, they still don't really work!

Some things may just prove to be impossible, or impractical, or more easily solved by an entirely different approach.

Having said that, it would be exciting if some explorers could hop in a spacecraft, have a look at Alpha Centauri, and come back to tell us about it within our grandchildrens' lifetimes... or even better to hop over there for the summer holidays...but I'm not sure it would be good for the universe!
 

Offline yor_on

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Re: Will a warp drive be created?
« Reply #3 on: 29/05/2013 12:40:06 »
I don't think quantum computers are here yet? It's more like people try to create logic circuits that may enable a quantum computer to work, as far as I've seen. And they have not gotten very far, except theoretically? And a warp drive compressing a 'space' seems quite difficult to do. I would prefer something translating it to a quantum 'gestalt', that we then can rebuild at some other place. It might not have an importance 'where', depending on how callous that society might be. Also depending on if it is possible to 'scan' something quantum mechanically without destroying it. So far it isn't possible, but assuming it could be some day, you would get perfect 'clones' of yourself, up to that moment of scan, (at least physically). But it has a lot of ethical questions involved, and it is a SF idea for now, not practically possible.
=

It's not entirely true that it isn't possible to port one quantum mechanical state to another location. But you the 'clone' that state, as a spin. And doing so you still need a transportation of the 'information' containing that 'spin' under light speed. So it would not be FTL. What you would need for a ftl is a way to map a universe quantum mechanically as I think, alternatively find a way to define that some state has to be cloned 'some where else' under some translation, even though you won't be able to define where. And that would be a callous approach, to me.
« Last Edit: 29/05/2013 12:50:05 by yor_on »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Re: Will a warp drive be created?
« Reply #4 on: 30/05/2013 06:32:33 »
Evan,
I'm not sure what your problems with the Australian roads is.  Here in the USA, I think we have a reasonably good road network, except perhaps for urban congestion.  Part of the effectiveness of the road system includes the building of an interstate freeway system (which for the most part is free) over the last 3/4 century. 

If you look at some previously "impossible" events, for example the Apollo lunar missions, I think you could conclude that they were more or less inevitable after the WWII buzz-bombs, the Sputnik, and the first ICBMs. 

It would be interesting to look at the development of the first fission bombs.  It certainly doesn't seem as if it should have been obvious how to create a critical mass of Uranium, or Plutonium (which is generally a synthetic element), then develop a bomb with an extraordinary explosive potential.

Anyway the concept of warp travel is necessary for a movie such as Star Trek.  Otherwise, one would have to deal with grueling acceleration/deceleration, and perhaps generations of people (or some kind of stasis chambers) for traveling from one star system to the next.  The Star Trek world goes into far greater detail on how such travel might be possible than other movies such as Star Wars.  Yet, there is still a lot of "hand waving" trying to explain it.

Perhaps one day we will harness antimatter, or some similar extremely high density energy source.  Yet I'm not convinced we will, in fact, be able to find some shortcuts through space, thus traveling at greater than the speed of light. 
 

Offline flr

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Re: Will a warp drive be created?
« Reply #5 on: 30/05/2013 18:43:05 »

I voted yes based on my guess that the locality can be broken, but that will require different physics than what we know today.
 

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Re: Will a warp drive be created?
« Reply #5 on: 30/05/2013 18:43:05 »

 

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