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Can we travel faster than the speed of light?

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Openheimer
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« on: August 19, 2015, 12:56:09 am »

Can we travel faster than the speed of light?
Posted on Monday, 17 August, 2015




The speed of light is a significant barrier to exploring the universe. Image Credit: NASA/ESA/ESO
Professor Geraint Lewis believes that traveling at warp speed may actually be a viable possibility.
Right now the idea of traveling to planets orbiting distant stars is something that we can only dream about - even a spacecraft moving at just under the speed of light would take four years to reach the next closest star and over two million years to reach the next nearest galaxy.

The key to interstellar space flight therefore would seem to lie in finding a way to exceed the speed of light - something that conventional physics currently deems impossible. Or does it ?

According to Professor Lewis Geraint Lewis from the University of Sydney, the concept of traveling faster than light has been a part of Einstein's theory of relativity all along.

"If you look at the equation that Einstein gave us, it shows you can bend and warp space so you can travel at any speed you like in the universe," he said. "It's theoretically possible."

The main issue then, Prof Lewis contends, would be in the actual construction of a working warp drive - something that he believes would require material with a 'negative energy density'.

"It is not a material that we actually have in our hands, but there are signs that there are aspects of the universe that actually have this kind of property," he said.

"Empty space itself has a negative energy density. The big question is if we could mine it and shape it, we would basically have a warp drive there and then, but we just don't know if that's possible."

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-17/warp-speed-a-possibility-astrophysicist-says/6702034
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Openheimer
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2015, 12:57:39 am »

Warp speed space travel a possibility thanks to Einstein's theory of relativity, astrophysicist says

Updated Mon at 12:27am

Media player: "Space" to play, "M" to mute, "left" and "right" to seek.
Video: Could Einstein's Theory of Relativity make 'warp speed' a possibility? (ABC News)
Photo: Artist's impression of a spacecraft entering warp speed. (NASA CD-98-76634 by Les Bossinas)
Map: Australia

Long considered a staple of science fiction, high speed space travel between galaxies — or warp speed — may actually be possible, according to astrophysicist Professor Geraint Lewis.

Professor Lewis, from the University of Sydney, is set to deliver a talk today at the National Science Week in Sydney, and said the futuristic concept was actually part of Albert Einstein's theory of relativity.

"If you look at the equation that Einstein gave us, it shows you can bend and warp space so you can travel at any speed you like in the universe," he said.

"It's theoretically possible, but can we ever build a warp drive? We have hints that the kind of materials that we would need exist in the universe, but whether or not we could get them together and build a warp drive, we still don't know."
YouTube: Spacecraft enter warp speed in Star Trek

Professor Lewis said a warp drive would mean humanity would be able to colonise the universe at a far greater speed.

"The big problem we have, the speed of light, while fast — 300,000 kilometres per second — the distances involved are immense, so even travelling at the speed of light, it would take four years to go to the nearest star and 2 million years to go to the nearest large galaxy," he said.

"[These distances] would stop you colonising the universe ... so you would need some sort of way to beat that speed limit, and Einstein's theory of relativity gives it to you.

But to visit distant galaxies, conventional rocket thrusters will not be enough — instead, in order to build a warp drive, scientists need to find a material that has a "negative density energy".
No stars in jump into hyperspace

Remember in Star Wars when the Millennium Falcon goes into hyperspace and a kaleidoscope of stars streaks past the ship? Sadly, that really wouldn't happen, a team of British science students have calculated.

"It is not a material that we actually have in our hands, but there are signs that there are aspects of the universe that actually have this kind of property," Professor Lewis said.

"Empty space itself has a negative energy density. The big question is if we could mine it and shape it, we would basically have a warp drive there and then, but we just don't know if that's possible."

While Professor Lewis admitted the concept was theoretical, he said there was "plenty of science that started off as speculative ideas and became real in the future".

"You just have to look at the work of Newton 400 years ago, and even people who work in quantum physics 100 years ago, and those things are real today and they started off as dreams essentially.

"Einstein's theory is already a hundred years old, but we have only started to scratch the surface.

"I think in the next 100 or 1,000 years we will reveal a lot more about the universe and maybe this hyper-fast travel will be realisable."
YouTube: The rebel fleet enters hyperspace in Star Wars
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Openheimer
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2015, 12:58:48 am »



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Openheimer
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2015, 12:59:37 am »


https://youtu.be/AMtGw5pf3AQ?list=PLFLZZ3YKh2gHmQkZiUwNcRxm5hxDhDJuG


http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-08-17/warp-speed-a-possibility-astrophysicist-says/6702034
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"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." - the Bhagavad Gita
Xomon
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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2015, 01:01:47 am »

Did the good Prof also say how many Petawatt are required to warp a mile of space?
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The Creeper
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2015, 01:03:07 am »

Negative energy may not be necessary to warp space. Dr. Harold White at NASA thinks it may be possible to create a space warp with an electrical charge on a ring of capacitors, something much easier to obtain. The results of his experiments, so far, suggest that he may be on the right track. Another, independent team seems to have repeated his results, which conceivably could be due to a small space warp field. More definitive results await higher precision experiments, which Dr. White proposes to make.
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Astra
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« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2015, 01:04:24 am »

Technically, the theory of using a 'space warp' to traverse vast distances does not mean the traveller is moving faster than light, it only means the distance travelled is being reduced.
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Helmut
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« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2015, 01:05:48 am »

My calculations work out to approximately 1.21 gigawatts.
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Equantez
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« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2015, 01:07:03 am »

Seems to be lacking some substance here ... all theoretical.
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the Joker
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« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2015, 01:08:45 am »

Since the universe may be a virtual simulation anyway, i'd say go for it. Build the Tardis and "engage"!
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Ufochick
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« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2015, 01:10:16 am »

could our bodies can take that kind of speed?
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DieChecker
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« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2015, 01:11:55 am »

Speed is never the problem it is the acceleration that would do you in. But as far as a warp drive is concerned as someone already mentioned you wouldn't actually going that fast. The distance would be changed.
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Rebelitarian
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« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2015, 10:54:15 am »

Duh you just build yourself a tachyon engine.

If you know where to find tachyons.   Shocked
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Kong1933
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« Reply #13 on: August 21, 2015, 01:19:06 am »

How would u avoid hitting stuff at those speeds is the real question.
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the Joker
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« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2015, 01:22:02 am »

That is an interesting thought problem. If you're warping space around you, what is your relationship to the physical universe while the drive is engaged?
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