Warp Drive

It’s doable folks.


Physicists Do the Math on Warp Drive

By John Borland EmailDecember 14, 2007 | 2:18:12 PMCategories: Physics  
Enterprise The venerable warp drive is science fiction no longer. Baylor University physicists Richard Obousy and Gerald Cleaver have published a paper outlining the math underlying one possible technique an advanced civilization might to use to create such a Star Trekkie means of scooting around the universe.All it requires is blowing up a hidden, or “compactified” fifth space-time dimension into a big bubble, and using that to pop out to another place in the regular universe.

Plausible? On second thought, we’ll leave it squarely in the category of science fiction for a little while longer. However, the paper makes fascinating reading even for people who can’t follow the math. 

Here’s a sample:

(I)t is challenging to make predictions on how this ‘warp drive’ might function. Naively one could envision a spacecraft with an exotic power generator that could create the necessary energies to locally manipulate the extra dimension(s). In this way, an advanced spacecraft would expand/contract the compactified spacetime around it, thereby creating the propulsion effect.

And more:

(A) sufficiently advanced technology with the ability to locally increase or decrease the radius of the extra dimension would be able to locally adjust the expansion and contraction of spacetime creating the hypothetical warp bubble discussed earlier. A spacecraft with the ability to create such a bubble will always move inside its own local light-cone. However the ship can utilize the expansion of space-time behind the ship to move away from some object at any desired speed or equivalently to contract the space-time in front of the ship to approach any object.

Before the scoffers scoff, this has been a semi-respectable topic for some time. NASA even has a page dedicated to the subject here.

The math and theoretical physics involved is, I fear, far above my head. But I’d love to hear the thoughts of anyone whose multidimensional fu is stronger than mine.

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