Saturday, May 24, 2008

Serious Discussions of Warp Drive

"Warp Drive: A Cottage Industry Emerges"
Centauri Dreams (May 19, 2008)

"Mention the term 'warp drive' and the name Miguel Alcubierre immediately comes to mind. But it was only recently that the Mexican physicist's connection to the idea arose. His 1994 paper, written while he was at the University of Wales, took what had been a science fiction concept (most famously, I suppose, in Star Trek) and extended it into the realm of serious science. Not that Alcubierre put forth a realistic proposal for building a starship that could travel faster than light. What he was doing was the essential first step in such study, trying to demonstrate that FTL travel times could be achieved within the context of General Relativity...."

This is one of the more detailed and yet readable discussions of the theoretical work of Miguel Alcubierre, and its application to exotic propulsion systems.

Very interesting: but don't expect interstellar travel any time soon. Today's spaceships follow transfer orbits, based on math developed by Isaac Newton about three centuries ago. Working out the math is one thing: developing technologies that can make use of the principles is something else.
Related posts, at

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