WHAT IS THE ALCUBIERRE “WARP” DRIVE?

Discussion in 'Astronomy, Exobiology, & Cosmology' started by paddoboy, Jan 23, 2017.

  1. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    http://www.universetoday.com/89074/what-is-the-alcubierre-warp-drive/

    It’s always a welcome thing to learn that ideas that are commonplace in science fiction have a basis in science fact. Cryogenic freezers, laser guns, robots, silicate implants… and let’s not forget the warp drive! Believe it or not, this concept – alternately known as FTL (Faster-Than-Light) travel, Hyperspace, Lightspeed, etc. – actually has one foot in the world of real science.

    In physics, it is what is known as the Alcubierre Warp Drive. On paper, it is a highly speculative, but possibly valid, solution of the Einstein field equations, specifically how space, time and energy interact. In this particular mathematical model of spacetime, there are features that are apparently reminiscent of the fictional “warp drive” or “hyperspace” from notable science fiction franchises, hence the association.

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    Artist’s concept of a spacecraft using an Alcubierre Warp Drive. Credit: NASA

    much more at link.........................
     
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  3. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    One part of the article says......
    "However, there is are few problems with this theory. For one, there are no known methods to create such a warp bubble in a region of space that would not already contain one. Second, assuming there was a way to create such a bubble, there is not yet any known way of leaving once inside it. As a result, the Alcubierre drive (or metric) remains in the category of theory at this time".

    I'm sure they mean speculative instead of "theory" in that paragraph

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    And of course really highly speculative at this time, and if possible, probably not for a few more hundred years I would suggest.
    But remember, as the article says.............
    "In 2012, NASA’s Advanced Propulsion Physics Laboratory (aka. Eagleworks) announced that they had began conducting experiments to see if a “warp drive” was in fact possible".
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2017
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  5. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Some more on the subject here................

    http://www.seeker.com/warp-drive-engine-would-travel-faster-than-light-1764710070.html
    Warp Drive Engine Would Travel Faster Than Light
    Physicists outline how to manipulate the fabric of space to accelerate a craft faster than the speed of light -- in theory, anyway.

    and here......
    https://www.nasa.gov/centers/glenn/technology/warp/warp.html

    and here.......
    https://www.npl.washington.edu/av/altvw81.html

    and here......................
    https://tauzero.aero/who-we-are/
    "Tau Zero" is lead by
    Marc Millis lead NASA’s visionary “Breakthrough Propulsion Physics” project and created the milestone book, Frontiers of Propulsion Science, a compendium of scholarly research on propellantless space drives and faster-than-light flight. Earlier in his NASA career, Millis designed ion thrusters, electronic instrumentation for rockets, cryogenic propellant equipment, and even a cockpit display for free-fall aircraft flights. After 31 years with NASA, he retired in 2010 to devote full time to interstellar research and education via the Tau Zero Foundation.

    Tau Zero is a place for thinking about the long-range future of space exploration. While others work on the next big thing, Tau Zero looks at emerging possibilities that could change our future. Instead of advocating a specific mission or vehicle, Tau Zero builds a foundation of reliable information from which future vehicles and missions can be created. This includes investigating ideas on the infrastructures for expanding human presence in space, launching interstellar probes, and all the way to the advancing the physics of faster-than-light flight.
    https://tauzero.aero/who-we-are/
     
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  7. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    Q-reeus likes this.
  8. Boris2 Valued Senior Member

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  9. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    I have and still do have plenty of respect for Professor Carroll, but I also remember another physicist, [Lord Kelvin] who in an exchange of letters with Major Baden Baden-Powell, in reply to a request to join the moribund Aeronautical Society, replied thus.........
    http://zapatopi.net/kelvin/papers/letters.html
    Dec 8/96

    [Letterhead: “THE UNIVERSITY, GLASGOW.”]

    Dear Baden Powell

    I am afraid I am not in the flight for “aerial navigation”. I was greatly interested in your work with kites; but I have not the smallest molecule of faith in aerial navigation other than ballooning or of expectation of good results from any of the trials we hear of. So you will understand that I would not care to be a member of the aëronautical Society.

    Yours truly Kelvin

    not long before the Wright Brothers got there cardboard and wire craft off the ground....

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    and of course the article and paper recognise the highly speculative nature of the research, but of course the benefits that would be obvious if success were achieved, would be out of this world, would it not dmoe?

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    Or do you propose that all physical and other science research be abandonded?

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    And of course dmoe, I did click on your link and understand fully what Professor Carroll is saying, just as I understood what the great Lord Kelvin was saying in his correspondence to Major Baden Powell.

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    Last edited: Jan 24, 2017
  10. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    And new technological innovation and technology may always be around the corner!
     
  11. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Let's look at some other illustrations of pessimistic attitudes about what may or may not eventuate.

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13556-10-impossibilities-conquered-by-science/

    1. Analysing stars
    2. Meteorites come from space
    3. Heavier-than-air flight
    4. Space flight
    5. Harnessing nuclear energy
    6. Warm superconductors
    7. Black holes
    8. Creating force fields
    9. Invisibility
    10. Teleportation

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13556-10-impossibilities-conquered-by-science/
    With number [6] and the harnessing of Nuclear energy, it was arguably the greatest Physicist that ever lived that said,
    “There is not the slightest indication that [nuclear energy] will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will.”

    “A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
    Winston Churchill

     
  12. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

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    I read somewhere, (can't find a reference just now), that an Alcubierre drive could be made with existing tech, but it would only go about 1/4 light speed. Too bad I won't be around to see it...
     
  13. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    I'm holding out hope and optimism that ETL will be confirmed and that we will have set foot on Mars before I kick the bucket.

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  14. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

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    At the risk of providing a prime example of my ignorance, what is ETL?
     
  15. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Extra Terrestrial Life:
     
  16. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

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    ...irrellevent, irreverent and immaterial...
    ...a "Strawman"?
    ...of course you did, and the 6 "emojis" signify the depth of your ability to "understand fully"...
     
  17. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

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    Thanks, pad. I may live to see that. I think life will be found almost everywhere, once we start really looking.
     
  18. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    No, actually quite relevant, reverent and certainly good material.

    Do they?

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    Well there I can say with certainty, that you do have a problem [emojis] ....

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    Deal with it.

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  19. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    I hope so! Even still in our own Solar system...Europa, Enceledus, perhaps Titan...who knows?
     
  20. Boris2 Valued Senior Member

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    LOL, nothing in my last post was pessimistic. Just a fact of life. Engineering is a difficult endeavour, one reason we don't all have hoverboards and handheld "blasters".
     
  21. Q-reeus Valued Senior Member

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    I say that's BS. Please stop being lazy and actually cite the relevant *non-crackpot* article.
     
  22. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    I don't believe I or anyone else has specifically inferred that saying the engineering would be difficult [to put it mildly] is pessimistic.

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    In fact my own summation of the article and paper, used much stronger terms.
    I simply commented directly to your comment with "And new technological innovation and technology may always be around the corner!"
    And that statement is certainly no more optimistic then your's was pessimistic.

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    Again just in case some people have jumped the gun with regards to the article and paper........
    "However, there is are few problems with this theory. For one, there are no known methods to create such a warp bubble in a region of space that would not already contain one. Second, assuming there was a way to create such a bubble, there is not yet any known way of leaving once inside it. As a result, the Alcubierre drive (or metric) remains in the category of theory at this time"

    to which I corrected with......
    "I'm sure they mean speculative instead of "theory" in that paragraph"

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  23. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    https://ntrs.nasa.gov/archive/nasa/casi.ntrs.nasa.gov/20110015936.pdf

    Warp Field Mechanics 101
    1 Dr. Harold “Sonny” White
    NASA Johnson Space Center


    Abstract:

    This paper will begin with a short review of the Alcubierre warp drive metric and describes how the phenomenon might work based on the original paper. The canonical form of the metric was developed and published in [6] which provided key insight into the field potential and boost for the field which remedied a critical paradox in the original Alcubierre concept of operations. A modified concept of operations based on the canonical form of the metric that remedies the paradox is presented and discussed. The idea of a warp drive in higher dimensional space-time (manifold) will then be briefly considered by comparing the null-like geodesics of the Alcubierre metric to the Chung-Freese metric to illustrate the mathematical role of hyperspace coordinates. The net effect of using a warp drive “technology” coupled with conventional propulsion systems on an exploration mission will be discussed using the nomenclature of early mission planning. Finally, an overview of the warp field interferometer test bed being implemented in the Advanced Propulsion Physics Laboratory: Eagleworks (APPL:E) at the Johnson Space Center will be detailed. While warp field mechanics has not had a “Chicago Pile” moment, the tools necessary to detect a modest instance of the phenomenon are near at hand.


    Conclusion
    In this paper, the mathematical characteristics of the Alcubierre metric were introduced and discussed, the canonical form was presented and explored, and the idea of a warp drive was even considered within a higher dimensional manifold. The driving phenomenon was conjectured to be the boost field as opposed to purely the York Time which resolved the asymmetry/symmetry paradox. An early idea of a warp drive was briefly discussed within the context of mission planning to elucidate the impact such a subsystem would have on the mission trade space. Finally, a laboratory experiment that might produce a modest instantiation of the phenomenon was discussed. While it would appear that the model has nearly all the desirable mathematical characteristics of a true interstellar space drive, the metric has one less appealing characteristic – it violates all three energy conditions (strong, weak, and dominant [9]) because of the need for negative energy density. This does not necessarily preclude the idea as the cosmos is continually experiencing inflation as evidenced by observation, but the salient question is can the idea be engineered to a point that it proves useful for exploration. A significant finding from this effort new to the literature is that for a target velocity and spacecraft size, the peak energy density requirement can be greatly reduced by allowing the wall thickness of the warp bubble to increase. Analysis performed in support of generating the plots shown in Figures 1 and 2 also indicate a corresponding reduction in total energy when converted from geometric units (G=c=1) to SI units, but still show that the idea will not be an easy task. So it remains to be seen if the evolution of the phrase penned by J. M. Barrie in the story Peter Pan will ever be uttered on the bridge of some majestic starship just embarking on a daring mission of deep space exploration taking humanity beyond the bounds of this solar system and boldly going out into the stars: “2nd star to the right, straight on till morning…”
     

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