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Thread: Alcubierre Drive

  1. #1 Alcubierre Drive 
    Forum Bachelors Degree Kerling's Avatar
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    So I heard lately that there is some guy at NASA trying to make a working (oscillating) Alcubierre drive. Does anyone know who he is?
    Cos I forgot his name, and can't find it by just publications.


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    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    I think you are referring to the White-Juday Warp Field Interferometry Project. See here :

    Access forbidden!

    The lead scientist of this project is Dr Harold White, who is quite active in propulsion research within the NASA JSC.


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    Forum Bachelors Degree Kerling's Avatar
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    I'll see if i can open it from the institute tomorrow. Thanks for the link
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    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    It says "Access Forbidden", but the link opens just fine ( at least on my iMac ).
    Just out of interest, what is your opinion on the Alcubierre metric ? Do you think turning this into an actual, functional propulsion system is realistic ? Personally I have my doubts, specifically I am unclear on what would happen at the boundary of the "Warp Bubble" on a quantum level; my feeling is that such extreme fluctuations in space-time geometry will have dramatic effects if one considers quantum field theory. Will it even be possible to enter or leave such a bubble, let alone actually control it ??
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    It says "Access Forbidden", but the link opens just fine ( at least on my iMac ).
    Just out of interest, what is your opinion on the Alcubierre metric ? Do you think turning this into an actual, functional propulsion system is realistic ? Personally I have my doubts, specifically I am unclear on what would happen at the boundary of the "Warp Bubble" on a quantum level; my feeling is that such extreme fluctuations in space-time geometry will have dramatic effects if one considers quantum field theory. Will it even be possible to enter or leave such a bubble, let alone actually control it ??
    The link works on my XP driven dinosaur, as well.

    The bubble issue: I'd have to find the link and have a headache and a case of the "I doesn't damns a give at the moment," but there's a relevant article floating around this here interweb on this. The warp bubble would gather particles during travel that would be flung off like sand off a beach towel that was whipped when you pop out of warp.

    Destroying the planet you're about to land on may crush some future astronauts dreams as well as upsetting the local populace of that planet.

    Frankly, I think there's a feasible work around for that the can be devised. I question the massive energies involved to make the warp drive work in the first place.

    Edit: Fine... I'll hoots a give...
    Funny how they both are influenced by the Star Trek Culture.
    Warp Drives May Come With A Killer Downside
    This one didn't take Mr. Scott's engineering prowess into account.
    Bad news Scotty: Star Trek-style 'warp drive' systems could turn spacecraft into Death Stars which destroy planets on arrival | Mail Online
    "Aye, Capn' th' deflector dish is fully operation'l n' installed. Enterprise'll deflect the wee lil' beasties safe n' soun'."
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    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverfly View Post
    The warp bubble would gather particles during travel that would be flung off like sand off a beach towel that was whipped when you pop out of warp.
    Well, that throws up another question - how do you control the bubble from inside it ? How do you pop out of warp, as you put it ? Could anyone hail Geordie LaForge to explain it to us, because I don't see any physically practical way to do that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    - how do you control the bubble from inside it ? How do you pop out of warp, as you put it ? Could anyone hail Geordie LaForge to explain it to us, because I don't see any physically practical way to do that.
    As if I have a clue. Even a ram scoop would have to be kilometers across to be effective.
    I don't think it's unreasonable to speculate that in time, our understanding of quantum mechanics and the properties of space may improve to where a viable solution would be available. I can't say the same for the energy problem, though.
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    Forum Bachelors Degree Kerling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    It says "Access Forbidden", but the link opens just fine ( at least on my iMac ).
    Just out of interest, what is your opinion on the Alcubierre metric ? Do you think turning this into an actual, functional propulsion system is realistic ? Personally I have my doubts, specifically I am unclear on what would happen at the boundary of the "Warp Bubble" on a quantum level; my feeling is that such extreme fluctuations in space-time geometry will have dramatic effects if one considers quantum field theory. Will it even be possible to enter or leave such a bubble, let alone actually control it ??
    Well first of all I must admit that my General relativity days are years old, and I am mostly looking at things from the quantum perspective. But I have studied it for such. For instance Neutron stars are ultracold quantum matter. :P
    Now a Metric, is just that. A metric it has lots of assumptions and hidden constants. Calculating the einstein Tensor from the metric (which is what you want) is a horrible work, but most importantly, it is just mathematics.
    First of all, looking at the principle (a shift of time and space) is in my opinion not very realistic. If that was so easy, then where are all the gravity waves?

    Either way, to succesfully create a buble (even an oscillating one) we would require some resonant oscillation of negative mass. And we are not so sure the really exists, we will have to wait the results of the AEGIS experiment before we can actually weigh antimatter (10^5 molecules minimum)
    Till that time I remain very sceptical that antimatter will have negative mass. As though I can imagine negative energy, negative mass is a whole different story. More importantly I cannot think of any spacetime curving instances, though that might not be too difficult for me once I actually try, because I do know a lot of quantum mechanical effects that can seemingly violate that. However even still, I've got a thick head in it. Honestly untill someone proves gravity waves by observation, I don't think it to be possible.
    And I honestly don't think we'd use oscillations in the future either. This would create ripples, and we don't like ripples. Time-space vortices might have a considerable control mechanism. But all in all, we need something to curve time space in a way that normal matter can't. And untill that time, I won't bother my head too much with it. But I want to see what the NASA guy came up with.
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    Moderator Moderator Markus Hanke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerling View Post
    This would create ripples, and we don't like ripples.
    Interesting point, this never even occurred to me. A lot of the energy one puts into creating such a bubble would simply be carried away by gravitational waves, i.e. simply wasted.
    Perhaps this whole concept isn't so very feasible after all.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Bachelors Degree Kerling's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Hanke View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Kerling View Post
    This would create ripples, and we don't like ripples.
    Interesting point, this never even occurred to me. A lot of the energy one puts into creating such a bubble would simply be carried away by gravitational waves, i.e. simply wasted.Perhaps this whole concept isn't so very feasible after all.
    Well the oscillating version would for sure. But the static one might not. But that would also require way more energy. I don't think the static one (the original bubble) should have this problem.
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  12. #11  
    Anti-Crank AlexG's Avatar
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    It seems to me that the energy in any bubble would be at the bubble wall. So what happens to that energy when you pop the bubble?
    Its the way nature is!
    If you dont like it, go somewhere else....
    To another universe, where the rules are simpler
    Philosophically more pleasing, more psychologically easy
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