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Thread: Book research: Faster Than Light/ Interstellar travel

  1. #1 Book research: Faster Than Light/ Interstellar travel 
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    Hi there.

    Firstly, I would like to say that I am a newly registered member to this site and after some information from people who know a great deal more of physics/ Astronomy & cosmology than I do, even though i have done a fair bit of research.

    My name is Robinson, and I'm a writer. I am currently writing my first book and, after much research, have gathered information, theories and came up with a possible way for Faster than Light or Interstellar travel. Whichever you prefer.

    Let me explain:

    I've looked into many ways space travel over large distance can be possible, and, the most reasonable I've looked at is known as the Alcubierre Drive named after Mexican, theoretical physicist Miquel Alcubierre Moya. In 1994 Moya published a paper called "The Warp drive: Hyper-faster travel within general reality". His paper describes the Alcubierre drive; a theoretical means of travelling faster than light while not violating the physical principle "Nothing can locally travel faster than light".

    Basically what I want to know is if this idea would be possible, (I'm just trying to be as accurate and make it sound as believable as possible):

    A faster-Than-Light or Alcubierre Drive functions by causing ruptures behind and in front of the space craft. These ruptures are in the form or either microscopic Black-Holes or microscopic White Holes depending on the situation (explained later). The purpose of these Black and white holes is to expand and shrink space in front and behind at different times, effectively creating a bubble around the craft which allows it to travel faster than light. This allows a space-craft to enter; travel' and then exit "Sip-space"/"Jump-space".

    The microscopic Black and White holes are created by the FTL/Alcubierre Drive which utilizes a high-powered cyclic particle generator/accelerator to constantly create the Black and White holes as they would dissipate in a short amount of time due to their size. This creates a "bubble" around the ship, allowing it to travel at FTL speed due to the expansion of space behind the ship and the shrinkage of space in front of it. For the ship to no longer travel at faster than light speed the opposite occurs; the shrinkage of space changes and happens at the back of the ship while the expansion of space occurs at the front of the ship.

    I am aware that collisions could occur with even the smallest particle during travel and that an extremely large amount of energy would be required to travel at FTL speeds. However, as this is a book, these things can be invented if it is necessary and they do not already exist. For example some sort of shield technology will have to be present to stop outside interference on the ship while systems for keeping the crew, systems and parts of the ship of the inside safe from harm once exiting and also entering "Slip-space"/"Jump-space".

    Also note the current method for mounting an FTL Drive for large ships is for the drive to be mounted inside the ship itself, while a smaller ship would have a removable, external component such as an FTL/Alcubierre Drive sled/bed which can be externally mounted and demounted while in space, orbit or while on a planet.

    Also factors for a ships travel time would need to be considered, such as, but not limited to:
    • Destination of Origin
    • Destination of Travel
    • Desired Route of travel
    • Ships Entry Speed
    • The Ships Size
    • Condition of the Ship (Damage wise)
    • Condition of the ship (systems, Hull and components wise)
    • Condition of the FTL/Alcubierre Drive
    • Ships Distance from a gravitational force upon entry into "Slip-space"/"Jump-space"
    • On-board or Outboard FTL/Alcubierre Drive


    Any advice, alternate ideas and other factors to be considered would be extremely helpful as this is research and I'd like to get as many views as possible.

    Kind regards,
    Robinson


    Last edited by Novelist2639; July 21st, 2011 at 10:52 AM.
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    The trouble with creating black and white holes in front of and behind the space ship is that it is a process which would be severely limited by light speed. The energies needed to form them would only travel at light speed and the B&W holes would take finite time to form (from.....?).

    The fact that photons and gravity travel at light speed suggests that there is a limiting factor in what we call space itself and that nothing we presently know of is going to travel faster.

    Possibly you could have a drive that travelled "outside of space", so which was not limited by the speed of light but then you would have to have some method of propulsion which could move you faster than light. You might also have to travel by "dead reckoning" since you would have no contact with the universe, other than maybe some kind of tachyon radar?

    Tachyons may exist and travel at FTL speed but that does not mean anything else can.

    Most SF stories fudge FTL travel with Star Trek talking on the nonsensical dilithium crystals, and such. Just call it a tachyonic drive and all your readers will understand what it means.


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    If you're willing to think really far outside the box, maybe you could mix fast travel with backwards time travel, so you get to your destination 2 bazillion light years away in 2 bazillion years, and then time travel back 2 bazillion years. Just say that you can't time travel to a previous time in your own history, but since the distant object's present isn't part of your own history (because the light from that object hasn't reached your home world yet), you're free to travel to that time and place without fear of contradiction.

    The problem with using gravity/black holes/ worm holes is that local time near a black hole is very very slow compared to local time outside the black hole. Even though you may obtain a faster than light speed by frame dragging, it's faster than light in the local measurement of time, and so that speed may not be terribly impressive from the perspective of an observer looking at it from an outside observation point. That's the trouble with time being relative. What we're hoping for is a short trip duration from the perspective of planet Earth, not just from the perspective of the occupants of the space ship.
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    I really appreciate the input guys, also the alcubierre drive was not my final idea, but my first, and both ideas you've suggestions seem great, however, Kojax, with your theory, if there were other people already at the planet you were to travel to, would they age at all or not?

    I like the Idea you had though Cyberia, but I'm more after a unique idea which can be as realistic as possible, and I'm not too sure that the Tachyonic drive would fulfill that, although it is very close: would the drive slow the ship down (to the human eye) once exiting jump space and vice versa?

    Still open for more ideas and suggestions
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    The idea behind an FTL drive is that a spaceship would only be travelling at FTL speeds as long as it operated. Once it stopped, a ship would then "enter normal space" where it would be travelling at the original speed before it operated it's FTL drive. To observers, the ship would suddenly seem to appear from nowhere.

    E E Doc Smith in a story written getting on a century ago had his heroes in a ship with inertialess drive. It had basically separated itself from the rest of the universe so that if you shone a torch out of a window, you would instantly (without any effects of gravity) be moving at light speed in the opposite direction. In another story he had a planet moving at fifteen times light speed in another dimension that had no such limiting velocity.

    I don't believe time travel is possible but I have read stories where it has been incorporated into space ships to get them from A to B very fast.

    I hope we will pass the light barrier one day but I don't think anyone presently has a realistic idea on how it can be done so it is just a matter of making something up which will convince SF fans.

    Like maybe you have another dimension overlaid on our universe but it is a millionth of the size, so travel through it at one mile per second, and you are covering the equivalent of a million miles per second in our universe (so over five times light speed), so when you re-enter our space you will be an impossible distance away in a short time.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberia View Post
    Like maybe you have another dimension overlaid on our universe but it is a millionth of the size, so travel through it at one mile per second, and you are covering the equivalent of a million miles per second in our universe (so over five times light speed), so when you re-enter our space you will be an impossible distance away in a short time.
    That's my general Idea so far. the ship basically enters Jump/Slip-space to travel to other locations across the galaxy with relative ease. However, what I do still need is a means of propulsion for the ship to travel while in this alternate 'Realm' (does it use normal engines or the FTL drive?) and a way for this drive to actually work. e.g: What does it do to get the ship into this other 'Realm'?

    Perhaps if the Drive actually tore a temporary hole in the 3rd dimension in which the ship can proceed through into the 11th dimension where it is possible for the ship to travel at FTL speeds and also eventually exit (somehow) at its destination.
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    It might make sense to consider that, in our realm, objects that are in motion stay in motion. Could this apply to this other realm? If so, there is no need for an alternative method of propulsion, as long as you can define your entry/exit points beforehand.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedFreek View Post
    It might make sense to consider that, in our realm, objects that are in motion stay in motion. Could this apply to this other realm? If so, there is no need for an alternative method of propulsion, as long as you can define your entry/exit points beforehand.
    Thanks! I seriously was not aware of that ......

    now for the entry/ exit method.......

    Perhaps if the Drive actually tore a temporary hole in the 3rd dimension in which the ship can proceed through into the 11th dimension where it is possible for the ship to travel at FTL speeds and also eventually exit (somehow) at its destination.
    I think this might work. but i am still in need of a method for the ship to actually be able to enter and exit this realm.....
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    [QUOTE=Novelist2639;278223]
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberia View Post
    That's my general Idea so far. the ship basically enters Jump/Slip-space to travel to other locations across the galaxy with relative ease. However, what I do still need is a means of propulsion for the ship to travel while in this alternate 'Realm' (does it use normal engines or the FTL drive?) and a way for this drive to actually work. e.g: What does it do to get the ship into this other 'Realm'?

    Perhaps if the Drive actually tore a temporary hole in the 3rd dimension in which the ship can proceed through into the 11th dimension where it is possible for the ship to travel at FTL speeds and also eventually exit (somehow) at its destination.
    The 4th physical dimension is as close as the chair you are sitting on. It is just an extension in an unknown direction. Let's say you charge a hull with other dimensional energy (with all contained therein safe, like a Faraday cage). The ship just slips seamlessly into the other dimension, soundlessly vanishing from our dimension (other than a pop as air flows into the vacuum it left behind). Discharging the other dimensional energy into "space" would mean that the ship would immediately slip back into our dimension.

    The laws are different there and let's say photons move at ten million miles per second instead of 186,282 mps. They are in an inertialess ship so a simple directional search light on the outer hull can have them moving in any direction at the new speed of light instantly. They would have to travel by direct reckoning, based on direction, known speed and known time, and then emerge near where they wanted to be where the laws of our universe take over. Being inertialess, they would have no problem as they suddenly decelerated to below 186,282 mps.

    Imagine a star ship running on some AA batteries, apart from the energy needed to generate the other dimensional energies that is. You can think up a fancy name for the metal or special material that the hull of the ship is made of. Of course it would have a conventional drive too, otherwise it would never be able to approach a planet let alone land on it.
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    I don't know if it would be exactly accurate, but you could mess around with concepts related to Cherenkov Radiation

    Cherenkov radiation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia...

    Sometimes an electron can move through a substance like glass at a speed greater than the speed light would normally travel through that substance. (Still always slower than the speed of light in a vacuum.)

    If you interpreted space as being a medium, like reverting back to Aether theory (something you'd draw a lot of criticism for, but ..... maybe could away with), then you could argue that a means was discovered to make matter travel through that medium faster than light in a similar manner to how electrons are sometimes able to travel through glass faster than C. It's a stretch, but it might be fun. One side effect would be the Cherenkov Radiation effect: bursts of blue light coming off of the spaceship as it went.
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    Not Really what I'm after, Cyberia and Speed Freak are on the right track though, currently thinking of a new theory which i will eventually upload
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    an idea i was thinking of is based on the expansion of the universe.just as the milky way is orbiting our local galaxy cluster at 300km/sec,in turn that galaxy cluster could be orbiting a larger group of galaxy clusters at a proportionally higher 'speed' ,then if it was possible to stop our relative motion,we could travel millions of miles almost instantly without moving by 'conventional' means...just an idea
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  15. #14  
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    Quote Originally Posted by brane wave View Post
    an idea i was thinking of is based on the expansion of the universe.just as the milky way is orbiting our local galaxy cluster at 300km/sec,in turn that galaxy cluster could be orbiting a larger group of galaxy clusters at a proportionally higher 'speed' ,then if it was possible to stop our relative motion,we could travel millions of miles almost instantly without moving by 'conventional' means...just an idea
    An easy misconception to make of the way the expansion of space works. I don't have time to explain this right now but if no-one has explained it by the time I've had dinner then I will

    Edit: explanation here we go... I see now that understanding this phenomenon does'nt necisarrily mean I can explain it, this will be more difficult to explain than I thought. The expansion of space is locally limited by the speed of light, but as the expansion of space is expanding from every observation point in the universe at an equal speed, if you look over a great distance, the recession happens at faster than the speed of light. This means that at no given point does the expansion of space break the laws of special reletivity and go faster than the speed of light, but still, something over a great distance can receed at faster than the speed of light. Has this made sence? I hope someone will read over this and make any corrections neccisary.
    Last edited by somfooleishfool; August 14th, 2011 at 02:43 AM.
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  16. #15  
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    No disrespect meant,somefoolishfool,but i understand the theory about the way the universe expands.

    It has nothing to do per say,with the expansion of space.i was merely referring to how 'space' is moving around us due to the expansion,as well as galactic movement therein.Sorry for any confusion
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyberia View Post
    another dimension overlaid on our universe but it is a millionth of the size, so travel through it at one mile per second, and you are covering the equivalent of a million miles per second in our universe (so over five times light speed), so when you re-enter our space you will be an impossible distance away in a short time.
    Basically, there is another dimension(nameless atm) which overlays our universe but is like a millionth of the size. Explained above. So the ship enters this dimension and is able to travel between Point A and B relatively easy with some possible side-effects depending on the situation. Now, as for propulsion (as mentioned by SpeedFreek) objects in our realm that are in motion stay in motion. So because they're travelling through this alternate dimension in which this rule also applies, there is no need for them to have a source of propulsion.

    How they enter this Realm? I was thinking something about a Mass Particle Drive-not sure if it exists, just thought of it then- and basically this combines Protons, Electrons and Neutrons to create atoms. These atoms are then split( like in a similar process as Atom bombs) to "tear" a hole into the actual fabric of space to gain entry into this overlapping dimension, same method for exit.

    Any thoughts? I think this could work for SF fans....
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