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Solfe
2011-Nov-09, 09:38 PM
I have been reading about Alcubierre drives and while the wiki page seems to cover it in detail, I have some more basic questions.

Assuming such a drive was possible, would you feel acceleration on the ship that is moving? If you turned on the device, would near by objects feel a tug or push? Would the bubble damage things in its way?

Noclevername
2011-Nov-09, 09:46 PM
I have been reading about Alcubierre drives and while the wiki page seems to cover it in detail, I have some more basic questions.

Assuming such a drive was possible, would you feel acceleration on the ship that is moving? If you turned on the device, would near by objects feel a tug or push? Would the bubble damage things in its way?

You would be in a bubble of unmoving space, so you would feel no acceleration.

The bubble, depending on the amount of "warpage" applied, would probably move, shred, or spaghettify anything that actually entered the warped area of space.

Solfe
2011-Nov-09, 10:02 PM
Wow! That is bad. I do love the fact that spaghettification is a word.

So if you were a good ways away, outside of the bubble, you would feel nothing at all?

Noclevername
2011-Nov-09, 10:22 PM
Wow! That is bad. I do love the fact that spaghettification is a word.

So if you were a good ways away, outside of the bubble, you would feel nothing at all?

Assuming it worked as advertised, not a thing. Unfortunately it has certain flaws, like needing more energy than the Universe contains, and not having any way to start, stop or steer it.

swampyankee
2011-Nov-09, 10:23 PM
Assuming it worked as advertised, not a thing. Unfortunately it has certain flaws, like needing more energy than the Universe contains, and not having any way to start, stop or steer it.

Hey, that's even better than an Hummer!

Solfe
2011-Nov-09, 10:34 PM
Here is another question. Is spaghettification just like a planet's Roche limit except many orders of magnitude larger?

Noclevername
2011-Nov-09, 10:41 PM
Here is another question. Is spaghettification just like a planet's Roche limit except many orders of magnitude larger?

Many orders of magnitude thinner. ;) But yes, it's the same tidal effect at work.

ravens_cry
2011-Nov-10, 09:13 AM
One sad recent possiblity is that they may not even work above the speed of light (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_drive) (see citation 12). If that is the case, one is probably better off with more conventional approaches, at least you can take advantage of time dilation that way.

Solfe
2011-Nov-11, 04:41 AM
In that abstract they called it a "wall." Is that literally a 2-d shape? Or do they mean something like a shell wall that is a sphere?

Noclevername
2011-Nov-11, 08:09 AM
In that abstract they called it a "wall." Is that literally a 2-d shape? Or do they mean something like a shell wall that is a sphere?

I would say a shell since it has to surround the ship.

Solfe
2011-Nov-11, 08:43 PM
I wondered how that would work. It doesn't make a whole lot of sense to have a shell of distorted space appear around you moving MUCH faster than you. All and all, it is a neat idea for Sci-Fi.

If you created one of these devices on the surface of a planet what would happen? Would people dirt side see an explosion as everything was distorted in the shell that forms around your vehicle? It sounds mighty dangerous for use around planets in general, but on the surface of a planet it sounds much worse.

schlaugh
2011-Nov-11, 08:51 PM
Stephen Baxter used an Alcubierre drive in Ark (http://www.stephen-baxter.com/books.html#), the sequel to Flood. Interesting to read what happens on a ship that is moving at light speed but without the "benefits" of time contraction. And when stuff breaks.