×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Quantum Setback For Warp Drives

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the warp-zero-mister-sulu dept.

Transportation 627

KentuckyFC writes "Warp drives were generally considered impossible by mainstream scientists until 1994 when the physicist Michael Alcubierre worked out how to build a faster-than-light drive using the principles of general relativity. His thinking was that while relativity prevents faster-than-light travel relative to the fabric of spacetime, it places no restriction on the speed at which regions of spacetime may move relative to each other. So a small bubble of spacetime containing a spacecraft could travel faster than the speed of light, at least in principle. But one unanswered question was what happens to the bubble when quantum mechanics is taken into account. Now, a team of physicists have worked it out, and it's bad news: the bubble becomes unstable at superluminal speeds, making warp drives impossible (probably)."

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Hiesenberg says.... (5, Funny)

MeNotU (1362683) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443497)

Or is it *both* Impossible and not Impossible?

Hackers. (0, Offtopic)

hikaricore (1081299) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443541)

Was the best movie of all time.

Re:Hiesenberg says.... (5, Funny)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443615)

That's the only statement you could come up with?

What a Bohr.

Re:Hiesenberg says.... (3, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443669)

Don't Asimov about it bro. Sometimes you just gotta Kepler.

Re:Hiesenberg says.... (2, Funny)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443753)

oh, that's the cat's meow

Re:Hiesenberg says.... (-1, Redundant)

teknopurge (199509) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443805)

What a Bohr.

I see what you did there.

Re:Hiesenberg says.... (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443869)

Are you BLIND?

Re:Hiesenberg says.... (1)

rilles (1153657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443899)

What about trans-warp drives?

Re:Hiesenberg says.... (4, Funny)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443773)

I always just have Mr. Scott handle the warp drive. He does the impossible instantly, miracles take longer. When Spock lends a hand, hours can seem like days...

Re:Hiesenberg says.... (4, Funny)

discord5 (798235) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443793)

Or is it *both* Impossible and not Impossible?

Only when you're not observing and you don't hear it meowing

Reverse the Polarity! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27443821)

It always works.

Re:Hiesenberg says.... (2, Funny)

Brian Edwards (1429281) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443925)

"So many of our dreams at first seem impossible, then they seem improbable, and then, when we summon the will, they soon become inevitable." - Christopher Reeve

improbability drive (4, Funny)

phrostie (121428) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443499)

is this where the improbability drive comes in?

yeah, someone had to say it.

Re:improbability drive (5, Funny)

Lord_Frederick (642312) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443589)

Will that allow ludicrous speed?

Re:improbability drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27443629)

We've gone plaid.

Re:improbability drive (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443653)

With an improbability of 27591:1 it will.

I assume it can take you anywhere in space at a reasonable time at a varying improbability.

Re:improbability drive (0, Troll)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443743)

Hi, Stats-nazi here. Probabilities are represented as a real number between 0 (nigh impossible) to 1 (almost certainty).

Probability = 0.00003624

kthxbai!

Re:improbability drive (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27443865)

1 is only "almost" certainly? And 0 is "nigh" impossible? What values then for absolute certainly and definitely impossible?

Wrong film! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27443781)

Wrong film!

Re:improbability drive (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443747)

or the FTL.

Re:improbability drive (3, Funny)

tuxgeek (872962) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443755)

Q: "is this where the improbability drive comes in?"
A: 42

Re:improbability drive (1)

TheCycoONE (913189) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443813)

But... the question and the answer can't both exist in the same universe. It would be unstable.

Re:improbability drive (4, Funny)

francium de neobie (590783) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443843)

Opening a small bistro in your spaceship will allow it to go beyond light speed without turning you into a sofa.

Re:improbability drive (2, Funny)

JamesP (688957) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443905)

No, no, the Bistromatic drive is much better...

Even though now it's been replaced with the CDS drive, so you can have ludicrous speeds without an actual propulsor...

Longer lifetimes is the answer (5, Interesting)

tjstork (137384) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443507)

The SCI-FI buff in me holds out hope that physics will uncover a trick to FTL, but...

It doesn't really matter if we cannot travel faster than the speed of light so long as we can live long enough to get there.

Who cares if it takes 50 years to fly to Alpha Centauri if we can engineer ourselves to live for a thousand!

Re:Longer lifetimes is the answer (5, Insightful)

SnapShot (171582) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443533)

Depends on whether we can engineer ourselves to live 50 years in a tiny spacecraft with a bunch of strangers.

They won't be strangers for long. (4, Insightful)

wiredog (43288) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443601)

Heck, after 8 weeks of army basic training none of the 50 or so people in my company were strangers.

Re:They won't be strangers for long. (5, Funny)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443759)

Oh my.

This is why we need women in the army to stop that nonsense.

Re:Longer lifetimes is the answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27443603)

Depends on whether we can engineer ourselves to live 50 years in a tiny spacecraft with a bunch of strangers.

Someone's been watching Space Mutiny [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Longer lifetimes is the answer (1)

Exitar (809068) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443617)

And what do you think the bunch of Big Brother like shows are for?

Re:Longer lifetimes is the answer (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443761)

Pretty sure Big Brother's sole purpose is destroying my faith in humanity. Just when the networks put a good show on - like Pushing Daisies or Arrested Development, it inevitably gets canceled. Yet, Big Brother? Let me check... yup, still on SEASON 11.

Re:Longer lifetimes is the answer (1)

arekusu_ou (1344373) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443635)

You missed those Sci fi horror thrillers of cold sleep during long travels, and people waking up out of cold sleep unexpectedly to find either something went wrong and most of the people died locked in the cold sleep chambers, or some alien is loose on the ship and is slowly killing everyone off till only you and one other is left alive and you realize, the alien is him or in him or wearing him.

Anyways, cold sleep to deal with the travel :)

Re:Longer lifetimes is the answer (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443829)

Earth 2's pilot. The humans entered cold sleep for ~50 years but were suddenly awakened when the ship went off course & plunged directly into the planet. Ooops. Later we learned the government did it on purpose because the politicians didn't want citizens leaving home.

(sigh)

Yet another good show canceled by the idiots at NBC.

Re:Longer lifetimes is the answer (1)

Fujisawa Sensei (207127) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443659)

Depends on whether we can engineer ourselves to live 50 years in a tiny spacecraft with a bunch of strangers.

On a tiny spacecraft they wont be strangers for long.

Re:Longer lifetimes is the answer (3, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443665)

Why make the ship tiny?

Re:Longer lifetimes is the answer (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443763)

That is totally wrongheaded. If you mine asteroids in space and build your craft in orbit then you can afford to take a large spacecraft. Nobody says they have to be a bunch of strangers, either. You're just a negative nancy.

Re:Longer lifetimes is the answer (1)

rilles (1153657) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443853)

Any hot chicks on board??

Re:Longer lifetimes is the answer (3, Insightful)

Twisted Willie (1035374) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443607)

It doesn't really matter if we cannot travel faster than the speed of light so long as we can live long enough to get there.
Who cares if it takes 50 years to fly to Alpha Centauri if we can engineer ourselves to live for a thousand!


Either that, or we can just figure out how to get really close to the speed of light, and reap the benefits of time dilation to make the journey only last hours from the traveller's point of view.

Re:Longer lifetimes is the answer (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443651)

From the traveler's point of view, wouldn't it be space dilation? Someone on the ground would see the traveler experiencing time slower, but to the relevant individual (the traveler), the stars would get closer.

Probably quote: Is it just me, or did the universe suddenly get small?

Mod parent up (4, Insightful)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443707)

Right. At about one G acceleration you can reach any point in the universe in a few years of ship time.

Re:Mod parent up (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443881)

Yeah but you need a massive amount of fuel to accelerate to C and then slow down again. About 40,000 times the size of the shuttle's boosters.

Perhaps this is why, despite our best efforts, no other civilization has contacted us. It's simply too hard to bridge the huuuuge gap between the stars.

Re:Mod parent up (5, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443895)

With magic, you can ride a unicorn.

taxdayteaparty.org (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27443657)

taxdayteaparty.org

Enough is enough! It's time to tell our leaders that we don't support piling on trillions of dollars in additional debt in order to deliberately wipe out the dollar so that they can then come to us with a "solution" of and America remade in Obama's neosocialist image.

"Great nations rise and fall. The people go from bondage to spiritual truth,to great courage,from courage to liberty,from liberty to abundance,from abundance to selfishness,from selfishness to complacency,from complacency to apathy,from apathy to dependence,from dependence back again to bondage"

--Alexis de Tocqueville

Re:taxdayteaparty.org (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27443861)

Clearly, the boot-licker who modded me flamebait has already reverted to the bondage state.

Re:Longer lifetimes is the answer (1)

weber (36246) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443849)

If we can accelerate at one g (internal reference) all the way (changing thrust direction halfway), we pretty quickly get close to light speed, which means that we can travel many light years in only a few years (internal time).

Of course there're several obstacles (power, collisions, etc.), but it would make it possible to travel great distances within one's lifetime even at below light speed.

Re:Longer lifetimes is the answer (1)

tuxgeek (872962) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443933)

There is always the Serenity Scenario
Build large passenger and freighter ships and then fly off to colonize a neighboring star system.
Just think of the cool Jetson type outfits you can wear while hanging out in an artificial gravity environment.

Personally, I'd just settle for my jetpack right now.

WARP 10 (2, Funny)

Flyin Fungi (888671) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443511)

We all know what happens when you try to travel that fast!

Re:WARP 10 (1)

wooferhound (546132) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443611)

But you ain't done nothing till you've gotten up to Warp 11 . . .

Re:WARP 10 (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443739)

Super skidmarks!

There is no fabric! (0)

psb777 (224219) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443517)

"His thinking was that while relativity prevents faster-than-light travel relative to the fabric of spacetime, it places no restriction on the speed at which regions of spacetime may move relative to each other."

There is no fabric, see Michelson Morley http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michelson-Morley_experiment [wikipedia.org]

And oh yes there is a restriction!

Re:There is no fabric! (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443703)

Actually, it proves that there is no "Aether" that propagates light waves, analogous to air (or other matter) that propagates sound waves.

That does not discount the possibility of a space-time fabric, it simply states that it is not the thing that propagates light.

Re:There is no fabric! (2, Informative)

Grokmoo (1180039) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443801)

In fact there is a fabric of sorts, see Casimir Effect [wikipedia.org] for an experimental result of that "fabric".

It is not at all like the aether that people were thinking of in the 19th century, but it does exist. One way of looking at it is that the vacuum is filled with particles that are constantly popping in and out of existence. Another way is to look as the vacuum as having a "zero point" energy. Either way, it is not truly "empty".

So we can't go there, big whoop... (5, Funny)

bhunachchicken (834243) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443551)

Just do what the Planet Express Ship does and use a Dark Matter drive to move the Universe around us instead... [wikipedia.org] :)

Re:So we can't go there, big whoop... (1)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443971)

or dark energy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_energy [wikipedia.org]
I think it is interchangeable with dark matter. That way you have a forward and a reverse for your time machine, Einstein.

Proof! (5, Insightful)

cjstaples (810734) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443553)

From the article... "strongly implies that such a bubble would be unstable." Sounds like proof to me! Right. Just like it was proved impossible for planes to fly. It might indeed - eventually - prove to be impossible, or impossible to do meaningfully / reliably, but it's pretty unlikely we're in a position to make that call at this time. That's why we do research.

Re:Proof! (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443693)

THANK YOU. Once upon a time we all knew that the gods made things fall to the ground. Then we knew that things have the falling nature, and the world was flat so things fell "down" no matter where you were. Then we knew that F=MA. Now we know that E=MC^2. What will supersede relativity? (QM is just too wacky, it has been said that if it doesn't confuse you, you don't understand it. I think that means it's a bad model, and we should just abandon particles. But whatever.)

Re:Proof! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27443725)

I don't think anyone said planes are impossible, seeing as birds and insects manage flight just fine.

Re:Proof! (4, Interesting)

geckipede (1261408) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443903)

This isn't anything new, it's an old idea being analysed more rigorously with quantum mechanics.

The problem is that in order to have a region of spacetime moving in relation to the outside universe, space has to expand behind it and contract in front, which demands negative and positive gravity in those regions. You need a large negative mass held in place in front of you, and a large positive mass behind. (We'll leave aside the problem that nobody has demonstrated the existence of negative mass, I personally don't believe it could exist precisely because it would enable FTL, but that's seperate to this point.) What you have to achieve is to have the centre of gravitation of the two masses at the centre of the edges of distortion. It means inevitably that half of the negative mass you are using has to stick out of the bubble ahead of you into normal unwarped space, and so that in order to keep generating the field ahead of you, it has to travel faster than light in its local frame. That is strictly not allowed.

Re:Proof! (-1, Flamebait)

oh_my_080980980 (773867) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443923)

Ummm...hi...it's called Mathematics. That's your proof!

Where the hell do you think they come up with the limit in the first place?? A little something we call a mathematical formula: E = MC^2.

Yes, we are in the position to make that call at this time. Just because your tiny little mind can't comprehend that, doesn't make otherwise.

Jackass!

Warp Drives?? (3, Funny)

rodrigoandrade (713371) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443557)

So you mean to say my brand spanking new SSDs have become obsolete already???

Re:Warp Drives?? (2, Funny)

wooferhound (546132) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443643)

My wife likes my Hard Drive much better than my Floppy Drive . . .

Re:Warp Drives?? (4, Funny)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443941)

It's a shame they're both 3.5"

Zing!

Causality (5, Interesting)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443559)

Faster-than-light travel always causes causality paradoxes [orionsarm.com] , so a priori, FTL drives are impossible unless special relativity is wrong. (That's is a bit like saying that perpetual motion machines are impossible unless thermodynamics is wrong.) The proposed mechanism behind the FTL drive doesn't matter -- it'll still cause a time paradox.

Just like we know any proposed perpetual motion machine must have a flaw, any proposed FTL drive must also have a flaw. They belong to the same class of impossible device, and deserve the same degree of consideration.

Re:Causality (1)

Exitar (809068) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443733)

You bring as proof of a scientific statement an article that demonstrate it using an item (ansible) found in SciFi books?
"An Ansible is an instantaneous communicator in Ursula LeGuin's Hainish books, the best of which are The Left Hand of Darkness and The Dispossessed.

Re:Causality (2, Informative)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443855)

You bring as proof of a scientific statement an article that demonstrate it using an item (ansible) found in SciFi books?

Um, yes. To show how FTL communication causes paradoxes requires an FTL communication device. None exist in reality, and thus a fictional one must be posited. Ansibles already exist in fiction, so the author lifted that just to make use of the word.

Re:Causality (4, Interesting)

delt0r (999393) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443745)

There have been some papers that even survived peer review on possible resolutions to this. But this is by far the biggest stake in FTL heart. Ironically this is not the biggest problem with the Alcubierre drive. Negative mass energy being one of them.

IIRC Einstein said they GR and SR may be proven wrong, but that the laws of entropy will never be broken (ie entropy is always getting bigger). I would aggree with this. ie FTL is less sci fi than "vacuum energy" or anti inertia drives.

But if I were a betting man, I would bet on light speed as the ultimate speed limit of the universe.

Got a Better Idea? (2, Insightful)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443827)

While what you say may be very true, the problem is that we have yet to come up with a more feasible method of reaching distant planets in a reasonable amount of time.

The next closest idea that Science and Science Fiction have come up with is Wormhole/Space Fold travel. And unless you have some safe way of generating more power than a large star in a safe and contained manner, that's going to be even tougher than FTL or Warp Bubble drive.

So our best bet is to spend the time doing a full scientific inquiry into FTL/WB drive including actually attempting to BUILD something and testing it. If after that we can show that FTL/WB drive is the cosmic equivalent of a perpetual motion machine, then OK. But let's do the hard Science and prove it first. IANAQP, but it seems to me that your theory and TFA theory are as about as likely as the Mexican guy's theory. Let's find out, shall we?

Re:Causality (3, Interesting)

JerryLove (1158461) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443887)

I'm not sure perpetual motion is, strictly speaking, impossible.

Thermodynamics doesn't seem to preclude 100% efficiency, allowing motion in perpituity. Some real-universe examples:

Light on the fringes of the universe will continue travelling forever (unless we assume something new to stop it).

The electron on an atom that never falls into a star, black hole, or the like will forever circle the nucleus.

Heck: the atom itself will never stop moving.

Nor, best as we can tell, will the universe. It will be in motion perpetually (I suppose unless it all disintegrates into Hawking radiation, but then *that* will be in motion.

There are two problems with perpetual motion machines. One is the false math that you can derive infinate energy from one. That's not true at all. You could derive exactly the energy put into one.

The second is 100% effeciency, which is required for perpetual motion to obey thermodynamics, is not possible in what we would likely call "a machine"

Re:Causality (1)

mblase (200735) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443915)

Faster-than-light travel always causes causality paradoxes,

But that's why we have the Eschaton's Third Commandment: Thou shalt not violate causality within my historic light cone. Or else.

Helicopters! (2, Insightful)

agorist_apostle (1491899) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443565)

Back before helicopters were successfully demonstrated, people dismissed the idea, saying basically they violated the laws of physics, too...

Re:Helicopters! (1)

wooferhound (546132) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443663)

Not to mention the Bumble Bee is to heavy for it's wings thing.

Bah, just reverse the polarity (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27443577)

Any warp engineer knows that.

So what they are trying to say is (1)

MSDos-486 (779223) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443585)

...The bubbles can't take no more Capt.

Paper was submitted 1. April (5, Insightful)

49152 (690909) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443597)

Please note the submission date:
Semiclassical instability of dynamical warp drives [arxiv.org]

Re:Paper was submitted 1. April (2, Interesting)

AdmiralXyz (1378985) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443889)

Not saying it's necessarily a hoax, as the math seems valid at a casual glance (although IANA theoretical physicist), but they misspelled "a priori".

Re:Paper was submitted 1. April (2, Funny)

sanjosanjo (804469) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443893)

Darn, it's from 2009. I was expecting the submission date to be from in future.

Just reinvent Physics (1)

MSDos-486 (779223) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443621)

Hey its not like it hasn't been done before, I propose we call the new version Post-Modern Physics.

Alcubierre didn't figure out how to build anything (1)

SirGarlon (845873) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443627)

What Alcubierre did was prove that faster-than-light travel within a bubble of spacetime does not conflict with the laws of general relativity. What he didn't do was figure out exactly how to generate that bubble of spacetime. In fact I don't believe any laboratory experiments were involved.

In other words, he was pretty damn far from figuring out how to build anything. This is not to understate the importance of his work -- he never claimed to have invented anything practical or even to have set out to invent anything.

Re:Alcubierre didn't figure out how to build anyth (1)

VShael (62735) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443671)

In fact I don't believe any laboratory experiments were involved.
In other words, he was pretty damn far from figuring out how to build anything.

Sounds like Da Vinci and his helicopter to me.

Re:Alcubierre didn't figure out how to build anyth (1)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443875)

Sounds like Da Vinci and his helicopter to me.

Let's just hope that the time from original concept to working prototype is a bit shorter with this one.

Progress in theoretical physics (2, Insightful)

worip (1463581) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443639)

This is best guess at the moment. We don't have a unified theory of everything proven and in the bank. We are not yet even sure how many dimensions the universe is constructed out of (the total varies between 4 and some large number every month). So it is an improbability with current physics knowledge versus a distinct impossibility (a small but significant difference in argument)

Great! (1)

kristinuk21 (1416695) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443641)

now it's the good moment to start the reaserch for a superluminical speed Stabilizer! Maybe we can use the flux capacitor. :)

Oh, nonsense.... (1)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443667)

What about the inertial dampeners, bitches?

SOLVED!

...and if not, tell Jordi to fire up that holodeck scientist bitch who built the engines, and GET ON IT.

Cancel the Star Trek movie (5, Funny)

Onyma (1018104) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443679)

That's it, cancel the Star Trek Movie. Now that I know it's all fake it just ruined it for me.

The postulate seems screwy in the first place (1)

Roland Piquepaille (780675) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443683)

relativity prevents faster-than-light travel relative to the fabric of spacetime, it places no restriction on the speed at which regions of spacetime may move relative to each other. So a small bubble of spacetime containing a spacecraft could travel faster than the speed of light

This whole proposition seems like flawed logic to me. It's like saying "air is odorless, so let's wrap a fart in a small bubble of air, so it won't stink up the room".

I have trouble believing the concept of a bubble of spacetime that moves relative to another without any interaction between the two, especially with mass inside the bubble. The other thing is, the whole idea seems to forget that everyday notions of relative speed (the "speed of a bullet shot inside a moving train" logic) don't work at relativistic speeds.

Or is this a late april fool?

Re:The postulate seems screwy in the first place (1)

Roland Piquepaille (780675) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443791)

Nevermind, nevermind, TFA was posted on Apr 1 [arxiv.org] . It's just an april's fool joke with Slashdot lag.

Re:The postulate seems screwy in the first place (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443857)

This whole proposition seems like flawed logic to me. It's like saying "air is odorless, so let's wrap a fart in a small bubble of air, so it won't stink up the room".

doesn't pass the sniff test, eh?

Oblig. quote.. (1)

gzipped_tar (1151931) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443713)

"... The people of your world once believed the world was flat. Columbus proved it was round. They said the sound barrier could never be broken!... It was broken. They said warp-speed could not be accomplished."

Oh wait...

Guild Spacer (1)

wcbsd (1331357) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443715)

Personally, I'm stocking up on Melange so I can fold space.

Hans Solo said to Luke on the Millennium Falcon: (1)

SpzToid (869795) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443731)

"Hyperspace ain't like dustin' crops, boy! Without precise calculations you could blast yourself into a star, or bounce of a supernova; and that'd end your journey Real Quick."

This problem has been solved. (2, Funny)

benwiggy (1262536) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443735)

I think I've seen this episode.

Don't they remodulate the shield frequency (or reconfigure the emitter array), and that keeps the bubble stable just long enough?

Stabilize the bubble... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27443741)

Can't they stabilize the bubble field by reversing the polarity of the magnetic probe?

It just might work!

Quantum mechancs+General relativity incompatible? (3, Interesting)

Vellmont (569020) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443751)

I thought we knew that combining these two theories resulted in answers we know to be nonsense. So the implication is one or both of them are wrong in some way. So I'm a little confused why we should trust results based on the combination of two theories that don't work together.

Granted I'm just a laymen, but does anyone else want to comment about the intersection of these two theories?

I don't think that means what you think it means.. (3, Informative)

AcquaCow (56720) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443785)

Quantum would be an atomically short distance...

IE: a "Quantum leap" is just an electron jumping to another valence level in an atom... it's not a very large distance =)

Not impossible, just not invented yet (1)

WCMI92 (592436) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443809)

One component of most Sci-Fi "warp drives" is a forcefield/shield etc that would reinforce or protect the ship within that bubble.

So while the hyperspace bubble may be inherently unstable there could be a way given enough power (think fusion or matter-antimatter power) to stabilize it with a forcefield.

We're clearly at least a century if not more from having the technology to even think about building a warp capable space craft, and I believe that's largely because we need to get to the point of practical nuclear fusion or a practical way to manufacture antimatter in quantity.

Unless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27443811)

Unless it does work for some reason... sorta how the controls on an airplane reverse after Mach 1, which surprised the crap out of everyone the first time they did that.

Superluminal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27443817)

... hey... loom.

Spice (1)

jimbudncl (1263912) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443833)

Obviously, they're missing a key ingredient...

So what you're saying is (1)

FauxPasIII (75900) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443839)

The Science Directorate has stated that faster-than-light travel is not possible...

Quantum Hard Drives (1)

V50 (248015) | more than 5 years ago | (#27443939)

Ugh. Read this early in the morning, still haven't had my caffeine yet, and only after reading through all the comments did I realise this was about travel, not hard drives.

After skimming through it, I thought it was talking about a hard drive that stored data in a bubble of faster-than-light speed, using quantum mechanics or something. My first thought was that you'd probably end up with a hard drive where all your data is both there and not there at the same time.

Ugh. Need. More. Tea.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?