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Disinfo Agent
2009-Apr-04, 06:47 PM
'Bad news I'm afraid -- it looks as if faster-than-light travel isn't possible after all. That's the conclusion of a new study into how warp drives would behave when quantum mechanics is taken into account. "Warp drives would become rapidly unstable once superluminal speeds are reached," say Stefano Finazzi at the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste, Italy, and a couple of friends.'

Friday, April 03, 2009, Technology Review Blogs (http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/23292/)

NEOWatcher
2009-Apr-06, 02:10 PM
'Bad news I'm afraid -- it looks as if faster-than-light travel isn't possible after all.
What a shock :eek:
Captain, the warp field is starting to destabilize. ;)
:lol:

Disinfo Agent
2009-Apr-07, 06:16 PM
I don't think I understand your sarcasm... :confused:

stktos
2009-Apr-07, 07:29 PM
I still have hope. (naive maybe)

All the things we don't know yet, I just can't believe that just like that.
It's done. It wont work.

novaderrik
2009-Apr-07, 08:29 PM
did they take into consideration the effects of reversing the polarity of the deflector dish and recalibrating the bussard collectors? how about if they re-reoute the power thru the plasma conduits in Jeffrey's tube #12?

Damburger
2009-Apr-07, 09:27 PM
Why the rush?

Making humans live for thousands of years instead of decades is far closer to real science than making the distance between humans and the places they want to explore several orders of magnitude shorter.

Or, we could become mature enough as a species to begin things we know that we won't live to see the conclusion of.

Gsquare
2009-Apr-07, 11:39 PM
What a shock :eek:
Captain, the warp field is starting to destabilize. ;)
:lol:

Yea, I'm shocked too....especially since earthlings haven't yet even been able to reach a meager 0.001c. ;)

Dang; I guess we are just going to have to be content with reality.

Probably all the better anyway; stopping from cool velocity of .99c is a real wear on the brakes. The last few guys who tried to land on Mars from those speeds really ended up raising the galactic insurance rates....not to mention all the lawsuits from the environmental wackjobs complaining about the REALLY deep impact craters :D

G^2 :D

...

aquitaine
2009-Apr-08, 07:04 AM
Something to consider is the article only mentions the Alcubierre model, but not the updated version from Baylor University which doesn't break the laws of physics (it just needs massive amounts of power, although eventually this too may be resolved through an even better model). That makes me wonder about the rest of it.....

ravens_cry
2009-Apr-08, 07:34 AM
What if each warp was used to only push one forward by a small amount, but one used many different warps? Like an inch worm, folding the space only immediately ahead so one reaches that point, then folding the next small stretch closer and so on. Another anaolgy would be instead of folding the paper in half, one made like a paper fan.

eburacum45
2009-Apr-08, 08:09 AM
The abstract says

On one side, an observer located at the center of a superluminal warp-drive bubble would generically experience a thermal flux of Hawking particles. On the other side, such Hawking flux will be generically extremely high if the exotic matter supporting the warp drive has its origin in a quantum field satisfying some form of Quantum Inequalities. Most of all, we find that the RSET will exponentially grow in time close to, and on, the front wall of the superluminal bubble. Consequently, one is led to conclude that the warp-drive geometries are unstable against semiclassical back-reaction.

My impression is that this problem would affect any warp drive which a/ uses a bubble of space-time and b/ travels faster than light.
Warp bubbles might be useful for other purposes, though; they could carry packets of data at speeds slower than light, or possibly even to envelop entire spacecaft; as long as the ship goes slower than light, the effect described above would not rule out the use of such warps.

What would the utility be of a warp ship travelling slower than light? Well, this form of translocation doesn't use propellant, and inside the bubble, you are isolated from the effects of acceleration. Basically an inertialess drive. That's how we use them in OA, anyway...

If warp bubbles can be used for transport they would still revolutionise interstellar communications, even if they cannot travel faster than light, I have long suspected that the universe has a set of restrictions against FTL; this seems to confirm that suspicion.

timb
2009-Apr-13, 11:39 AM
I don't think I understand your sarcasm... :confused:

I suspect he was alluding to the fact that warp drives are generally regarded as fantasy. They don't seem to have been taken seriously by mainstream physics.

Wormholes are still an area of active research (http://arxiv.org/find/grp_physics/1/ti:+wormhole/0/1/0/all/0/1). Scifinatics have to confront the fact that, even if physically realisble, the distal mouth has to be physically (ie sub-luminally) transported to the destination before it is useful. The standard way around this is to assume a super-advanced but conveniently extinct alien species has already setup a network up for us.

rommel543
2009-Apr-13, 03:03 PM
Honestly, I would be happy if we reached 1/2 that speed with any craft in space.

TampaDude
2009-Apr-14, 08:11 PM
Honestly, I would be happy if we reached 1/2 that speed with any craft in space.

1/2? I'd be happy with 1/10th! That would make our entire planetary system accessible to human exploration.

Noclevername
2009-Apr-21, 03:19 AM
1/2? I'd be happy with 1/10th! That would make our entire planetary system accessible to human exploration.

Well, depends on how long it takes to reach that top speed-- a thousand years or so to hit .1 c would be little help on the planetary scale. But I'd love to see a 1/10th gee constant acceleration drive!