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Hyperdrive Propulsion Could Be Tested At the LHC

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the i-can't-believe-i-used-the-transportation-topic dept.

Transportation 322

KentuckyFC writes "In 1924, the influential German mathematician David Hilbert calculated that a stationary mass should repel a particle moving towards or away from it at more than half the speed of light (as seen by a distant inertial observer). Now an American physicist has pointed out that the equal and opposite effect should also hold true: that a relativistic particle should repel a stationary mass. This, he says, could form the basis of a 'hypervelocity propulsion drive' for accelerating spacecraft to a good fraction of the speed of light. The idea is that the repulsion allows the relativistic particle to deliver a specific impulse that is greater than its specific momentum, an effect that is analogous to the elastic collision of a heavy mass with a much lighter, stationary mass, from which the lighter mass rebounds with about twice the speed of the heavy mass. Unlike other exotic hyperdrive proposals, this one can be tested using the world's largest particle accelerator, the LHC, which will generate beams of particles with the required energy (abstract). Placing a test mass next to the beam line and measuring the forces on it as the particles pass by should confirm the theory — or scupper it entirely."

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! hyperdrive (5, Informative)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29680739)

I think most/all of us take the term "hyperdrive" to imply FTL speeds.

This technology doesn't claim to achieve that.

Re:! hyperdrive (5, Funny)

Tobor the Eighth Man (13061) | more than 4 years ago | (#29680775)

I agree, it should be downgraded to the less impressive and more hierarchically correct megadrive or perhaps superdrive.

Re:! hyperdrive (5, Funny)

Random2 (1412773) | more than 4 years ago | (#29680911)

Can they still go plaid at those speeds?

Re:! hyperdrive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29681607)

"Can they still go plaid at those speeds?"

Come on people, I think that post deserves a +1 funny.

Re:! hyperdrive (5, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681639)

No, hyperdrive isn't sufficient to go to plaid. For that you need a system capable of ludicrous speed. </pendantic>

Re:! hyperdrive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29681171)

If you name it Hyperdrive now, what will you name a FTL drive? Full-speed Hyperdrive? Hi-Speed?

Re:! hyperdrive (1)

dBLiSS (513375) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681251)

I don't think naming conventions really matter at this point.

Re:! hyperdrive (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29681499)

How could you possibly say such a thing? Meaningless speculation is a key component of our culture I'll have you know.

Re:! hyperdrive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29681373)

what will you name a FTL drive?

How about naming it "FTL Drive".

Re:! hyperdrive (3, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681421)

AwesomeDrive64.

As long as we don't follow canonicals example: (1)

LordAndrewSama (1216602) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681431)

If you name it Hyperdrive now, what will you name a FTL drive? Full-speed Hyperdrive? Hi-Speed?

Windows: Hyperdrive 7.

Mac: Hyperdrive Snow leopard.

Ubuntu: Hyperdrive Jaunty Jackalope.

Fine, fine, I'm going...

Re:! hyperdrive (1)

kehren77 (814078) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681469)

Ludicrous Speed?

Re:! hyperdrive (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29681547)

If you name it Hyperdrive now, what will you name a FTL drive? Full-speed Hyperdrive? Hi-Speed?

Hi-Definition Hyperdrive -- or HDHD.

Re:! hyperdrive (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681577)

Uh, Warp drive? Duh.

Re:! hyperdrive (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681473)

I agree, it should be downgraded to the less impressive and more hierarchically correct megadrive or perhaps superdrive.

What do the Sega Genesis [wikipedia.org] and Apple DVD recorder [wikipedia.org] have to do with relativistic spacecraft engines?

Re:! hyperdrive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29681623)

Congrats - you missed the joke, and proceeded to restate it in a rather impressively clumsy fashion.

Re:! hyperdrive (1)

iris-n (1276146) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681581)

The problem is that hyper or super don't belong to the SI.

I propose that we should use kilodrive for it, so we can upgrade it to megadrive or gigadrive when the technology becomes more refined, or downgrade it to just drive if it is proven useless.

Re:! hyperdrive (1)

Zencyde (850968) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681583)

Truthfully, hyperdrive is less about propulsion and more about warping time and space.

Re:! hyperdrive (1)

durrr (1316311) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681627)

Because we apparently consider hyperdrives to be hyperlightdrives, we should call it a hypodrive. A simple drive would be a equal to lightspeed propulsion system.

Re:! hyperdrive (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 4 years ago | (#29680797)

True. This is more of a Relativisitc Drive.

Re:! hyperdrive (5, Funny)

bughunter (10093) | more than 4 years ago | (#29680947)

Agreed. The only 'hyper' in this story is hyperbole.

Re:! hyperdrive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29681091)

you're like the guy driving a pinto who scoffs at a lottery of a mere million bucks cause its not big enough.

a jump from speeds of a mere 50k mph to fractions of the speed of light whole hundreds of orders magnitude higher isnt good enough for you? you gotta start somewhere genius.

Re:! hyperdrive (1)

thedrx (1139811) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681121)

Hundreds of orders magnitude higher? Are you sure you're not high?

Re:! hyperdrive (3, Insightful)

HateBreeder (656491) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681275)

50K MPH equals roughly 22352.0 meters per second
The Speed of light = 299792458 meters per second

50KMPH * (1 hundred orders of magnitude = 1e+100) = 2.2352e+104 meters per second

In terms of Speed of light:
7.45582465586909e+95 * C

That's quite an impressive jump in speed.

Re:! hyperdrive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29681597)

Just to improve the readability of your post (and fix the prefixes, as I have no idea what 50 Kelvin Mega (Watt/second) Hydrogen is)

50k mph equals roughly 22,352 meters per second
The Speed of light = 299,792,458 meters per second

50k mph * (1 hundred orders of magnitude = 1e+100) = 2.2352e+104 meters per second

In terms of Speed of light:
7.4558 2465 5869 09e+95 * C

That's quite an impressive jump in speed.

Re:! hyperdrive (1, Informative)

bughunter (10093) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681167)

How could parent be redundant? It's 1) stamped two minutes after the article's post time, and 2) currently the only comment based on the common SF use of 'hyperdrive' as a synonym for 'superluminal.'

(Normally I would correct such clueless moderation, but I posted in this thread already.)

Re:! hyperdrive (4, Insightful)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681457)

When we get a "-1, Statement of the Bloody Obvious that Every 3rd Nerd Will Be Compelled to Make", we can use that.

Re:! hyperdrive (2, Interesting)

kalirion (728907) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681201)

How about Impulse Drive?

Re:! hyperdrive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29681371)

We already have the technology to do impulse drives. This has nothing to do with them.

Re:! hyperdrive (2, Informative)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681535)

It was an Impulse drive that launched Sputnik and every other object we have sent into space.

Re:! hyperdrive (1)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681211)

I believe this is what's generally referred to as "sublight," which is generally understood to mean a significant fraction of the speed of light.

Re:! hyperdrive (1)

dBLiSS (513375) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681263)

My car travels at sublight speed.

Sounds great, but... (4, Insightful)

Tobor the Eighth Man (13061) | more than 4 years ago | (#29680741)

It could be tested at the LHC if it ever manages to stay working for more than a month at a time, that is. :(

Re:Sounds great, but... (3, Insightful)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29680949)

It hasn't "worked" fully at all, yet. But it is one of the more complex science instruments on the planet, not a Toyota Pickup truck at the garage. Give them time and it'll do its job... unless some twelve-year old Chinese prodigy figures out a way to do the same stuff in his lunch box.

Re:Sounds great, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29681209)

Very true, however it may not just be a Chinese prodigy. Could also be Indian, Russian, Japanese or 'GASP!' American!

Re:Sounds great, but... (1)

jbezorg (1263978) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681439)

It hasn't "worked" fully at all, yet. But it is one of the more complex science instruments on the planet, not a Toyota Pickup truck at the garage. Give them time and it'll do its job... unless some twelve-year old Chinese prodigy figures out a way to do the same stuff in his lunch box.

Who would be immediately lynched by the scientific community because no one likes a smart ass.

Re:Sounds great, but... (1)

Goffee71 (628501) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681531)

Or at least seriously wedgied.

Still, as is traditional, I - for one - would welcome our slightly limping, lunch-box particle-accelerator wielding, junior overlords.

Re:Sounds great, but... (1)

Boomerang Fish (205215) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681643)

Wait, are you saying that the chinese can make mini-blackholes with a lunchbox? No wonder we're losing the world to them!

--
Everyone needs a sig now and then...

Re:Sounds great, but... (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681545)

But it is one of the more complex science instruments on the planet, not a Delorean at the garage.

Hey, Doc managed it with just 1.21 GW.

Re:Sounds great, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29681291)

Wait... the LHC is working???? I thought the wold was going to end when we finally got that thing working.

One thing... (3, Interesting)

Random2 (1412773) | more than 4 years ago | (#29680757)

"calculated that a stationary mass should repel a particle moving towards or away from it at more than half the speed of light"

So, how do I slow down while going half he speed of light?

I see the advent of a new industry: space crash landings

Re:One thing... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29680811)

You apply the brakes, faggot.

One More Thing... (4, Insightful)

popo (107611) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681085)

While testing this on the ground, just make sure you're not actually moving the Earth...

Re:One More Thing... (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681605)

I move the Earth every time I fart (or do anything else)

Re:One thing... (1)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681095)

Anything you're moving towards should push you away, so you'll slow down automatically when you get close to anything.

Re:One thing... (1)

aicrules (819392) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681451)

Slow down/crash into/be bumped off course? I'm pretty sure you'd still be going fast enough to be screwed if you were heading straight at something.

Re:One thing... (1)

EatHam (597465) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681559)

"calculated that a stationary mass should repel a particle moving towards or away from it at more than half the speed of light"

So, how do I slow down while going half he speed of light?

According to what you have in quotes, approaching a stationary mass ought to do the job.

Hurrah! (0)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 4 years ago | (#29680759)

One step closer to Revelation Space [wikipedia.org]

First Contact.. (2, Funny)

madhatter256 (443326) | more than 4 years ago | (#29680763)

With something so simple as to elastic collision, who would have thunk it?

Theoretically it makes sense, and what's cool about it is that it can be done with today's technology.

Pretty cool.

Next thing you know we'll have Romulans visiting. I'm liking all of this already..

Re:First Contact.. (1)

SuperNumberOne (1635789) | more than 4 years ago | (#29680941)

Its not really elastic collision, that is just a poor analogy. This is a result due to the gravitational force between two objects as described by General Relativity.

Re:First Contact.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29681105)

It's been tested. A lot. Everytime someone gets shot by a bullet we experimentally prove that the repulsive force is much less than required.

Re:First Contact.. (1)

quercus.aeternam (1174283) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681479)

Maybe in the movies...

You're welcome to determine this experimentally, btw. I think mythbusters did something on this, too.

Re:First Contact.. (1)

holmstar (1388267) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681573)

I don't think we've ever created a gun that can fire bullets at relativistic speeds.

So what happens when... (2, Funny)

bossanovalithium (1396323) | more than 4 years ago | (#29680773)

There's a hyperdriven black hole careering all around Northern Europe? That's a hot mess waiting to happen.

Re:So what happens when... (2, Funny)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29680823)

There's a hyperdriven black hole careering all around Northern Europe? That's a hot mess waiting to happen.

It's like that childrens' book, "If you give a black hold a continent..."

Breaking Out (0)

gpronger (1142181) | more than 4 years ago | (#29680783)

Our problem with space travel has been our propulsion systems. Our major tech advances across the board tend to hinge on a single key break-through that then opens the door for subsequent refinements till we have a viable technology. If this pans out it may no longer "locked" to shuttling around the Earth and moon, and if someone's willing to make a likely one way trip to Mars.

Re:Breaking Out (1)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681149)

I have yet to see a reasonable space drive proposal other than the standard Newtonian momentum transfer drives (aka rockets) we have now.

Re:Breaking Out (1)

gpronger (1142181) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681521)

Agreed. But my point (and maybe not clearly communicated) was that the hyperdrive may be the "break-out" technology which changes the basic premise (liquid and solid fuel rockets). So long as we're chemical based, we're likely limited to wandering (with manned space flight) fairly close to home. Even our next nearest planets are highly impractical for manned flight with current technology.

Great test of General Relativity (4, Insightful)

jabuzz (182671) | more than 4 years ago | (#29680871)

Apart from being a potential nifty space drive, it would also provide a new test of General Relativity. This is far more likely to get it done as a real experiment at the LHC, than a new space drive.

But (1, Insightful)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#29680897)

KE = 1/2m*v^2

There's no way around that one, and I don't care WHAT you use to accelerate your object. Rocket, ion drive, hyperdrive - you are always going to need a source of fuel, which is going to increase your mass, which is going to increase the amount of fuel you need, etc.

It doesn't matter how efficient your engine is, your top speed (and thus your range) will ALWAYS be limited by the mass of fuel you need to drag along with you to get there (and hopefully decelerate too). Never mind the perfect ecosystem required to keep a crew alive for decades/centuries. (Cue magical "suspended animation")

The ONLY exception to this is the "solar sail" concept, which relies on an external source of propulsion. However THAT is limited by your only being able to accelerate for a limited time until you get far enough away from a star that the particle density is essentially nil and acceleration stops.

Re:But (4, Insightful)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 4 years ago | (#29680919)

Unless we use a Bussard Ramjet [wikipedia.org] to collect interstellar dust...

Re:But (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681143)

Or combine the two. Use a solar sail to get initial speed, then start collecting fuel with the ramjet. As you near your destination, deploy the sail again to start slowing your craft.

Re:But (2)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681227)

Oh, you beat me to it. I posted nearly the same point, but apparently you were posting at the same time. Your write up is better, anyhow. Great wiki link, thanks.

Re:But (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29680993)

That's in terms of classical mechanics, by the way.

Re:But (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681039)

Well, also consider that even deep space isn't completely empty. There are always at least a few hydrogen atoms floating around in even the most remote corners of the universe, as well as lots of photons, background radiation, possibly dark matter and dark energy, and frankly, stuff that we might not even know of yet.

Just like the significant possibility that there's water and other resources on the moon that we once thought was a vast, barren wasteland of nothing useful, with enough research, we may yet find ways of sustaining ourselves even in the almost true nothingness that is outer space.

Re:But (1)

Viper23 (172755) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681043)

Alternately, if you're not thinking of yourself, but of the potential for future generations' travels through space, you could preposition fuel at waypoints already traveling at useful speeds for their craft to catch up to...

It might take you a couple hundred years to set up, but some projects just might be worth the time / effort / expense...

Re:But (1, Troll)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681087)

Somebody hasn't read much Larry Niven. Why take starlight as-is when you can use solar collectors to gather it up and power a laser to drive your sail?

I'm not sure that the maximum velocity is as much a limit as you think, either. Given the time and proper course, so long as you can get above the local escape velocity (which is easier done by stealing momentum from other celestial bodies than by carrying around fuel) you can go somewhere else.

Re:But (0)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681321)

Why take starlight as-is when you can use solar collectors to gather it up and power a laser to drive your sail?

Here's a handy tip: next time you fall in a hole, you can get out by lifting yourself by your own bootstraps.

Re:But (1)

CarpetShark (865376) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681449)

Here's a handy tip: next time you fall in a hole, you can get out by lifting yourself by your own bootstraps.

But a pulley helps.

Re:But (1)

GargamelSpaceman (992546) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681595)

Ok, I don't understand how solar sails are supposed to work, but if light exerts pressure on a sail, then I see how one might wonder if shooting a given candlepower of light out of a bulb might not produce the same amount of force as the light would exert upon hitting a sail. If that is the case though, then there is no need for a sail at all, as all you would be doing would be re-channeling the starlight that hits your craft out the aft end. Would this mean a glass sphere covered in lenses that focus light into fiber optics that all route out one way would move?

Ramjet? (0, Redundant)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681163)

I was reading some science fiction once (I'm thinking maybe it was Larry Niven? Don't remember for sure). Anyhow, the author described a ship which used some sort of large electromagnetic 'scoop' to gather hydrogen gas from space (remember, space isn't a complete vacuum, and, the Interstellar Gas is believed to be about 89% hydrogen), to use as fuel (basically, the scoop in this theoretical ship narrowed down to a cone, and at the extreme minimal point of the cone, achieved compression necessary to cause fusion of the Hydrogen). It was sort of an interstellar fusion ramjet

Because of the problem you've mentioned, I've always thought that, somehow, this has to be the answer to the long-distance fuel problem - gather your fuel as you go, don't 'pack it all' at the beginning of the voyage.

Also, because fusion releases so much energy, it has a much better 'energy density' than current, conventional fuels. So, you can get more acceleration from smaller amounts of fuel mass.

Re:Ramjet? (1)

kalirion (728907) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681307)

Yeah, that's Niven's early Known Space universe (I think the hydrogen scoop was abandoned after ships switched to hyperspace travel.)

Re:But (1)

Ritz_Just_Ritz (883997) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681183)

In the solar sail case, you've got a star at the beginning of the journey to provide acceleration and theoretically you're going to venture to another star which should provide the "fuel" for deceleration. In between, I am assuming that you don't lose any speed since you're traveling in a vacuum.

Re:But (1)

JerryLove (1158461) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681195)

There a any number of viable methods to not carry fuel with them. Ramjets have been mentioned. Electromagnetic sails (or any kind of repulsor of an externally emitted wave/particle). The time-honored method of stealing velocity from other objects (gravity sling-shot).

And, in this case, if we are using a hypervelocity particle to repell a mass, then the particle could, presumably, be fired from a fixed point (Earth) to repel a ship.

Re:But (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29681205)

If you want another "spacecraft carries its fuel" exception, check out magsails [wikipedia.org] .

Backing up, though, I'll see your KE = 1/2 m v^2, and raise you E = mc^2. Consider that 1 kg matter + 1 kg antimatter yields 1.7975 * 10^17 J of energy. A mere 20 kg of reactants would yield enough energy to accelerate 90 metric tons -- somewhat more massive than the Space Shuttle orbiter -- to 0.01c. 2 metric tons of reactants vs 90 metric tons of total mass gives 0.1c. Chemical propulsion doesn't seem to be a viable mechanism long-term, as you point out, but the energy-vs-mass problem overall isn't as dire as you indicate.

Humanity has been attempting spaceflight for only 50 years now. Interstellar travel will happen. It almost certainly won't be in our lifetimes, but don't count us out yet.

Re:But (4, Interesting)

radtea (464814) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681225)

The ONLY exception to this is the "solar sail" concept, which relies on an external source of propulsion.

I believe the idea here is to have a particle accelerator in orbit that will be fired past the spacecraft it is accelerating, so it is analogous to a laser-pumped solar sail. It's also best to think of this as a potential tool for accelerating really low-mass instrument packages intended to do fly-bys of nearby stars, which could be scientifically useful.

The rest of your post sounds remarkably like statements by people back in the '70's that we'd never be able to image the disk of even nearby stars, much less discover or image planets around them.

It may be that what the author is proposing is impossible. There are a number of things in the paper that look highly sketchy to me, but GR ain't my field. Even so, while this method of acceleration for interstellar exploration may not work, the one method that is certain not to work is never bothering to try.

Re:But (2, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681257)

There's no limit to how much energy you can put into your propellent though. If you had Sufficiently Advanced Technology you could put a huge particle accellerator on your spaceship and send your exhuast out behind you at 99.999999999% the speed of light which, in fact, gives you a KE > 1/2m*V^2 due to relativistic effects. In fact, you could accelerate a million ton spacecraft up to .5 c with half a kilogram of propellent if you could put enough energy into it.

Re:But (4, Insightful)

Timothy Brownawell (627747) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681387)

In fact, you could accelerate a million ton spacecraft up to .5 c with half a kilogram of propellent if you could put enough energy into it.

The question then becomes, how much does that amount of energy weigh?

Re:But (1)

bughunter (10093) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681325)

Nobody said they're getting around anything. In general relativity, such equations balance out only within the context of one inertial frame of reference. The relativistic particle and the stationary mass are in two separate frames of reference. I haven't read the 1924 Hilbert paper, but it sounds like the change in the frame of reference between the relativistic particle and the stationary mass transfers additional KE to the latter.

Plus there's the whole relativistic mass thing [M=m(1-v^2/c^2)^-2 ], which gives additional momentum to a relativistic particle also. Or perhaps that's the basis of the Hilbert paper (but that seems way too obvious).

Re:But (1)

Viper23 (172755) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681339)

BTW, you don't need magical suspended animation.

1. Frozen embryos. (Already have this tech)
2. Artificial wombs. (Getting close on this one)
3. Automated learning systems. (Also pretty damn close)

Thaw, birth and teach them when the ship finds them a home. (You could even test the system over a 20 year cycle in our own solar system and at the end of the test "Surprise, you're actually still here!")

The point might not be to get YOU to a new star system... just a sample of humanity so we know that some of "us" are out there being "us".

Send thousands of these ships out there looking for a place to land, and see if anyone ever calls back.

Re:But (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29681375)

um... no?
kinetic energy doesn't follow that formula at relativistic speeds, which the article is explicitly about.

Re:But (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29681417)

That is the Newtonian equation. It does not take relativistic effects into account. Ever wonder where the 1/2 went for E = MC^2?

Re:But (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681425)

Considering that the article is about accelerating a mass by flinging relativistic objects at (near) it, the energy source would likely be stationary; much like a sail reflecting light from a stationary laser.

Hyperdrives don't work that way. (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681465)

A drive allows you to occupy a contiguous set of physical locations from origin to destination, optimally in a straight line.

A hyperdrive allows you to take a shortcut and skip some of the locations.

Re:But (1)

lymond01 (314120) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681631)

Agreed mathematically. I see two problems with near-light speeds of travel:

1) You need to get around the mass vs acceleration issue -- I recommend a good warping of space: bring your destination to you.

2) Inertial dampening. To accelerate to near c is either going to take a very long time, or it's going to give someone a pretty severe case of whiplash (as in "Get that unrecognizable pulp out of the captain's chair!"). Braking has the same issue.

Perhaps a simple fix is to drive a micro black hole in front of you -- this would warp spacetime, bringing everything closer, and if tweaked properly, might offset acceleration forces (as your ship accelerates, instead of going backwards, you're going towards the black hole's gravity field). For deceleration, just toss the black hole behind your ship.

And since there's a chance the LHC is going to generate a micro black hole, we need to get a Cessna and Chuck Yeager on site, STAT!

Oct 8th, Warp Drive Day. (3, Insightful)

Flowstone (1638793) | more than 4 years ago | (#29680967)

First we have the means to power the thing in the works. http://science.slashdot.org/story/09/10/08/0316200/Design-Starting-For-Matter-Antimatter-Collider [slashdot.org]

And now they're getting the theory down for building it.

Its only a matter of time (pun intended) till this plays out and turns into the world's first hyperdrive.

Re:Oct 8th, Warp Drive Day. (4, Informative)

dumeinst (664891) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681067)

Its only a matter of time (pun intended) till this plays out and turns into the world's first hyperdrive.

It's only a matter of time until we're all consumed in a fiery death

Re:Oct 8th, Warp Drive Day. (1)

shish (588640) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681589)

It's only a matter of time until we're all consumed in a fiery death

You'd rather we never research long-distance travel methods, but instead sit here and wait for the sun to explode? :-P

power (1, Funny)

Alien Being (18488) | more than 4 years ago | (#29680999)

Has that thing got a Hemi in it?

David Hilbert stood idly by (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29681023)

while the Nazi's harassed and murdered his Jewish colleagues and friends. Credit for Hilbert's 'discoveries' should be given to someone else, someone who had the balls to stand up to the Nazi's.

Re:David Hilbert stood idly by (2, Funny)

hardburn (141468) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681203)

I'm sure someone posting Anonymously on /. has the courage to stand up to thugs.

turn the LHC 90 degrees so its facing down (1, Troll)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681063)

then duct tape a lawn chair on top of it

interstellar travel here we come!

Re:turn the LHC 90 degrees so its facing down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29681161)

then duct tape a lawn chair on top of it

Didn't I see this on the Darwin Awards [darwinawards.com] ?

you saw it at the multiplex this summer (0, Offtopic)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681369)

tell me the guy with the lawnchair and the balloons was not the inspiration for the movie "up"

but i loved that guy's plans for descent: just shoot the balloons with a bbgun one by one. i think i'd have some trepidation with that plan sitting in a lawnchair at 2,000 feet. lol

Reminds me of Elite (2, Interesting)

lxs (131946) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681099)

Where hyperspeed was possible unless there were ships or asteroids nearby. In that case you became "mass locked" So it turns out that more than just a gimmick to skip the boring bits of the game, mass does indeed interfere with fast moving objects.

any bio-passenger would turn into jelly (0)

peter303 (12292) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681151)

At those accerelations.
Perhaps useful for robotic exploration.

Re:any bio-passenger would turn into jelly (1)

Kozz (7764) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681349)

Hmm, bio-passenger turns to jelly... sounds like a plausible plot line from Fringe.

So everything should repel everything else? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29681193)

There's plenty of things all around us in the universe moving above the speed of light, including light.

Sounds more like an... (1)

tmosley (996283) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681327)

This sounds more like an "impulse drive" to me. I'm growing more convinced every day that Gene Roddenberry came to us from the future.

Hyperdrive? Nah... Impulse Drive, maybe... (1)

itsybitsy (149808) | more than 4 years ago | (#29681563)

Hyperdrive is FTL. 1/2 Impulse is 1/2 the speed of light. Every treker, trekie, star trek fan, watcher of star trek, ..., knows that! Dah!

"The idea is that the repulsion allows the relativistic particle to deliver a specific impulse that is greater than its specific momentum, an effect that is analogous to the elastic collision of a heavy mass with a much lighter, stationary mass, from which the lighter mass rebounds with about twice the speed of the heavy mass."

How does one get a mass stationary anyhow? Just try and make a mass stationary in this Universe. What is zero velocity? With respect to what? Heck even space is "growing" so even if one is stationary space is growing around and in you and thus you're moving. The stars and even the galaxy are moving and rotating pulling all those stationary objects around. Just a question. Is it even possible to ever be stationary?

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