01-18-02, 03:13 PM
When talking about "real" space travel, we have to realize that our conventional ways on space transportation just donít cut it.
Recently I have been looking into the subject of "warp" transportation. I find it to be more fictional than fact, though the theory on warp transportation is not farfetched. To my Knowledge a "warp" engine works by exposing anti-matter to "normal" matter, and therefore causing a plasma-like reaction that would propel a spaceship with great speed. First of all you would need some sort of shield that would protect the ship from the all the problems of bending time and space. I donít believe that generation ships are the answer, and some may say that "warp" engines are out of our time, but when is our time? Iíd like your input about "warp speed" and also how we can device ways of creating shields too. Thanks.
Personally, I like the idea of bending some part of space, then "riding the wave" when it recoils back to its original shape. Perhaps this can be done with one of the coiled up dimensions of string theory (if they exist), the only problem with the idea would be the amount of energy required.
Imagine a stick. You are at one end, and want to reach the other. In order to travel to the other end, you would have to travel along the stick until you finally got to the other side. What if you bend the stick to the two ends meet? Then, to get to one end to the other, you would be required to move a much lesser distance than if you took the conventional route.
Matter/Antimatter reactions, although 100% effecient in converting mass to energy, cannot supply a drive unit with the infinite energy requirement to accelerate to the speed of light (which is a theoretical impossibility anyway). So you would still be limited to just under 3.00x10^8 m/s anyway.
The key is not for you to travel to the destination, but to have the destination travel to you. IMO anyway.
Check ou the Infinitly Improbable thread in Astronomy, Exobiology and cosmology.
Like the new avatar!
Like the new avatar!
Thanks :) I'm still trying to figure out how to work Photoshop properly ;)
01-24-02, 05:54 PM
Well, if you're thinking of warp travel in the Star Trek sense, keep in mind that they've got "Inertial Dampeners" to keep themselves from being plastered against the bulkhead. So yes, you'd need some sort of shield to get around inertial phsyics. From what I've heard regarding matter/anti-matter reactions, the resulting power generated could power an FTL engine, though I'm probably wrong (can't remember where).
I do remember reading something in a science mag about how CERN would take a few billion years to create one kilo of antimatter. It takes a lot of time to create very little of that stuff, and then you have to contain it magnetically so that it doesn't react with your container.
Believe me, the number of warp core breaches on Star Trek were probably realistic given the situations they went through. It wouldn't take much to really screw up such a complex and high-tech system. Then again, their "warp" wasn't exactly what you're describing; that warp engine worked by creating a flux bubble that allowed the insides to exist in "subspace," a dimension where the lightspeed barrier works in reverse-- the slowest you can move is C. At least, that's how I remember it from the rather wordy TNG tech manual :D