And on a related note to the previous blog entry
: Warp Drive May Be More Feasible Than Thought, Scientists Say
. An excerpt:
A warp drive
to achieve faster-than-light travel — a concept popularized in
television's Star Trek — may not be as unrealistic as once thought,
A warp drive
would manipulate space-time itself to move a starship, taking advantage
of a loophole in the laws of physics that prevent anything from moving faster than light. A concept for a real-life warp drive was suggested in 1994 by Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre, however subsequent calculations found that such a device would require prohibitive amounts of energy.
Now physicists say that adjustments can be made to the proposed warp
drive that would enable it to run on significantly less energy,
potentially brining the idea back from the realm of science fiction into
"There is hope," Harold "Sonny" White of NASA's Johnson Space Center said here Friday (Sept. 14) at the 100 Year Starship Symposium, a meeting to discuss the challenges of interstellar spaceflight.
White and his colleagues have begun experimenting with a mini version of the warp drive in their laboratory.
They set up what they call the White-Juday Warp Field Interferometer at
the Johnson Space Center, essentially creating a laser interferometer
that instigates micro versions of space-time warps.
"We're trying to see if we can generate a very tiny instance of this in
a tabletop experiment, to try to perturb space-time by one part in 10
million," White said.
He called the project a "humble experiment" compared to what would be
needed for a real warp drive, but said it represents a promising first
And other scientists stressed that even outlandish-sounding ideas, such
as the warp drive, need to be considered if humanity is serious about
traveling to other stars.
"If we're ever going to become a true spacefaring civilization, we're
going to have to think outside the box a little bit, were going to have
to be a little bit audacious," Obousy said.