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Warp Drives May Come With a Killer Downside

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the or-a-killer-upside-if-you're-a-klingon dept.

Science 458

An anonymous reader writes "Alcubierre warp-drives (theoretically) allow rocket ships to travel faster than the speed of light, while staying within the rules of Einstein's general theory of relativity. New research (PDF) has shown that as such warp-drives zip through the universe, they gather up particles and radiation, releasing them in a burst as the warp-drive slows down. This is bad news for family and friends waiting for the ship to arrive, as this intense burst will fry them."

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458 comments

This is why you drop to impulse in a solar system (5, Funny)

Y-Crate (540566) | more than 2 years ago | (#39222777)

Duh

Re:This is why you drop to impulse in a solar syst (0)

SailorSpork (1080153) | more than 2 years ago | (#39222821)

If this is our biggest barrier to developing one tomorrow, then why don't we have these already? I mean besides NASA budget cuts...

Re:This is why you drop to impulse in a solar syst (5, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39222963)

If this is our biggest barrier to developing one tomorrow, then why don't we have these already?

Because nobody has figured out exactly how one would warp space, only that it's theoretically possible.

Awesome!!! (5, Insightful)

busyqth (2566075) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223009)

This is a great thing! Now we know how to wipe out all our alien competition!

Fermi Paradox (4, Insightful)

medv4380 (1604309) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223107)

Unless the resulting burst is a Gamma Ray Burst we should already have seen other aliens using this kind of tech.

Re:Fermi Paradox (4, Interesting)

kurzweilfreak (829276) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223147)

Unless those aliens that have space-warping technology have already also solved the problem of particle/radiation collection and burst release. If they can travel faster than light, is it really much of a stretch to imagine they might have figured this out too?

Re:Fermi Paradox (5, Insightful)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223181)

Not just that, but probably determine how to collect it as usable energy. Many articles like this don't bother thinking any deeper than one.

Re:Fermi Paradox (4, Funny)

medv4380 (1604309) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223295)

Then we just end up in the other areas of the Paradox like why if they have FTL travel they should have already come here, and there should be clear evidence of it. I'd rather think that this kind of tech gets developed tested and the entire civilization that made it is wiped out by the test flight.

Re:Fermi Paradox (2)

kurzweilfreak (829276) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223431)

There are any number of reasons why they might not want to come here or why we might not notice them. For sure the Fermi Paradox has some interesting arguments, but I don't believe that just because we haven't seen them coming here (or recognized them, maybe they're already here and we just don't see it!) doesn't mean they aren't out there.

Re:Fermi Paradox (3, Informative)

kurzweilfreak (829276) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223239)

Also, this from tfa:

“Any people at the destination,” the team’s paper concludes, “would be gamma ray and high energy particle blasted into oblivion due to the extreme blueshifts for [forward] region particles.”

So maybe that's exactly what we have been seeing! :D

Re:This is why you drop to impulse in a solar syst (1)

pz (113803) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223445)

If this is our biggest barrier to developing one tomorrow, then why don't we have these already? I mean besides NASA budget cuts...

Well, there is that whole problem with creating a bubble of negative energy, something we've not quite figured out how to do (or even what it means).

Re:This is why you drop to impulse in a solar syst (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39222879)

Why do you want to irradiate all star systems other than Sol's?

Re:This is why you drop to impulse in a solar syst (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39222975)

Think of it as the space version of a signal cannon.

Re:This is why you drop to impulse in a solar syst (2)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223057)

Urban renewal?

Re:This is why you drop to impulse in a solar syst (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223247)

Can't they wrap the dock in tinfoil or something?

duh (4, Funny)

Moheeheeko (1682914) | more than 2 years ago | (#39222789)

Because we all know you drop to sublight IN the docking station.

>thisfuckingguy.jpg

Not even real and already weaponized. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39222801)

Yup.

Re:Not even real and already weaponized. (3, Interesting)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223103)

You mean, just like the A-bomb?

bussard collector (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39222829)

bussard collectors. /thread

Re:bussard collector (4, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#39222923)

More like needing the radiation equivalent of a Catalytic Converter...

If one knows that some undesirable trait will manifest, look at ways to mitigate that undesirable trait.

Or, use that trait beneficially. If the act of dropping out of warp releases a fuckton of energy, find a way to harness that energy.

Re:bussard collector (1)

Aryden (1872756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223169)

Bussard collectors (in the Star Trek reference) were for collecting particles to augment the matter storage of the ship. They did not keep the ship from building up these particles as it traveled.

"We'll be there in a sec... (3, Funny)

Openstandards.net (614258) | more than 2 years ago | (#39222833)

... May the force be... uh... ummmm... so, sorry!"

Re:"We'll be there in a sec... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39223037)

Not sure if whoosh or ironic... :)

Re:"We'll be there in a sec... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39223325)

"I sense a great disturbance in the Force. As if millions of voices all cried out in terror, and then were suddenly silenced. So ease up on the damn brakes next time, Solo."

Seriously? (4, Funny)

AmigaMMC (1103025) | more than 2 years ago | (#39222845)

They came to that conclusion now? Every newly certified spaceship pilot knows that you must drop out of warp no less than an AU from destination.

Re:Seriously? (2)

PRMan (959735) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223275)

In the Star Wars novels, planets even have field generators which stop you from entering the solar system in warp.

Re:Seriously? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39223341)

Star Wars uses hyperspace, not warp. Get off my lawn!

Re:Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39223415)

<rage type='nerd'>
Star Wars makes no reference to warp drives, they travel through hyperspace. Furthermore it is not some generated field which prevents you from entering / travelling through hyperspace near a planet, it is the gravity well itself. Seriously!
</rage>

Great Weapon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39222855)

Now it can be funded.

WhatMeWorry!

Northern Lights and Killer Asteroids (4, Interesting)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 2 years ago | (#39222857)

So you drop out of warp outside the Van Allen belts and everybody gets a nice light show.

Worst case you only use Warp Drive as far in system as Mars and use more conventional means from there to Earth.

Hell using Warp drive through the Oort cloud or Asteroid Belt might be troublesome if you just start picking up crap when passing through dense matter. You slow down and all of the asteroids and comets you picked up are on a colission course for Earth. I suggest some different approach vectors might be the first precaution.

Re:Northern Lights and Killer Asteroids (2)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 2 years ago | (#39222979)

So you drop out of warp outside the Van Allen belts and everybody gets a nice light show.

Worst case you only use Warp Drive as far in system as Mars and use more conventional means from there to Earth.

Hell using Warp drive through the Oort cloud or Asteroid Belt might be troublesome if you just start picking up crap when passing through dense matter. You slow down and all of the asteroids and comets you picked up are on a colission course for Earth. I suggest some different approach vectors might be the first precaution.

An Aggie with warp drive is what caused the Oort cloud.

Re:Northern Lights and Killer Asteroids (1)

cycleflight (1811074) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223251)

WHOOP-sidaisy

Re:Northern Lights and Killer Asteroids (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39223141)

Wow, we could have real fun on the short wave ham bands if we knew when/where someone would drop out of warp speed - we'd be there waiting for the "bands to open up". ATTENTION!! ATTENTION!! Six meters will be open across the *Northern* Hemisphere starting at 0300Z tomorrow. The scheduled opening for the Southern Hemisphere has been postponed until Thursday at 1800Z due to a delay in the arrival of Flight 425...

Dump it all on Mars (2)

Tekfactory (937086) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223305)

Actually using Mars as a dumping ground to add more Mass and Heat, that was in Red Mars right?

Re:Northern Lights and Killer Asteroids (1)

CompMD (522020) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223409)

"Everybody gets a nice light show"

Yeah, except all the people you just gamma ray'd.

Apparently these guys never watched any Star Trek (5, Interesting)

guspasho (941623) | more than 2 years ago | (#39222859)

This is what the deflector array is for. Like, the original purpose, not the solution-of-the-week it usually gets jury-rigged for.

Re:Apparently these guys never watched any Star Tr (5, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 2 years ago | (#39222909)

You mean, as in:

Data: Geordi, in my experiments to become more like a human, I seem to have lodged Captain Picard up my positronic rectum

Geordi: Wow, Data, I mean, um.... Maybe I don't want to know. But I tell you what, we'll set up a tachyon burst through the deflector array and that should cause your mechanical sphincter to open. If we're lucky, it will also fry his brain so he won't remember you stuffing him in there.

Re:Apparently these guys never watched any Star Tr (1)

yincrash (854885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223019)

the deflector dish protects the ship. it does not protect anything outside the ship.

Re:Apparently these guys never watched any Star Tr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39223047)

It would keep the particles from collecting in the first place. Try to at least read the summary.

Re:Apparently these guys never watched any Star Tr (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39223277)

So, what you're saying is that this situation calls for WD-40 rather than duct tape? I suppose you must be correct, excellent work good sir!

Visit The In-laws! (3, Funny)

RapidEye (322253) | more than 2 years ago | (#39222861)

Makes a visit to the Mother-In-Law worth while now!

okay! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39222877)

This is why we need lasers to instantly cryofreeze humans and use this burst to our advantage to insta-defrost us back to our normal state.

Re:okay! (2)

leonardluen (211265) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223221)

sure exactly the thing we want for first contact with an alien race

alien: i like these humans! they keep sending us these tasty frozen dinners and microwaving them upon arrival so they are nice and toasty warm upon delivery!

Launch all spacecraft from North Korea (0)

Oswald McWeany (2428506) | more than 2 years ago | (#39222889)

I say we build all our space ports in North Korea.

Already handled (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39222893)

For the most part, in Star Trek they intentionally didn't go to warp in-system unless it was an extreme emergency. Even in The Motion Picture they're at sublight until they're well past Pluto.

Re:Already handled (3, Funny)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223125)

Except in Star Trek: 90210 they went to warp only a couple hundred meters from space dock and dropped out in Vulcan orbit. Don't get me started on what else was wrong with it.

Re:Already handled (4, Interesting)

Stormwatch (703920) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223237)

There was essentially one thing wrong: it was written by the same retards who did Transformers.

Re:Already handled (0)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223381)

Transformers was awesome.
If you expected any more then it was, then I suggest you watch some of the original animated series.

Re:Already handled (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223261)

There's no problem with that. Vulcan was already being destroyed, what's a little extra radiation?

Re:Already handled (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223357)

If it's like all the other complaint I have read, then.. nothing was wrong with it.

Slap an Ad Hom is not really a complaint.

" couple hundred meters from space dock"
Based on? You have no reference to scale the distance. Not that ti matters, they ahve gone to warp close to things many times throughout the series.

" and dropped out in Vulcan orbit."
so? No the first time the came out of warp in an orbit.

Here is Bender, with more shocking news for you old people:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kO8H5_l9E3s [youtube.com]

Star Trek The Motion Picture (4, Funny)

tekrat (242117) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223175)

Except that in the 23rd Century way back then, Pluto was a PLANET!!!

u can break outside neighborhood, u know :) (0)

youn (1516637) | more than 2 years ago | (#39222913)

not different than a car, you don't go 200 miles an hour in tiny streets unless you are prepared for some serious dammages :)

It's simple, really. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39222925)

Just like an airport, there are specific take off lanes and pre-defined flying paths and alititudes. So in the case of faster than light space flight, there are specific channels that are not directly pointing at any hospitable planets. So all super-accelerated particles get flung off into space without mass genocide.
Now where's my lab coat and rocket science degree?

Re:It's simple, really. (2)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223135)

What happens when someone comes in behind you in the arrival lane? Since any FTL communication would by necessity be based on this unless yet another way to break the speed of light was discovered, you can't even send a "get the fuck out of the way, I'm coming in!" message without killing everyone in the arrival lane.

Re:It's simple, really. (1)

x1r8a3k (1170111) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223395)

Have something like the old railroad signal flares. If you can read this, you're too close.

Also if you launch these particles off at FTL speeds they're going to hit something. We'd need something to stop it, maybe a giant wall or something. As a nice bonus it would also freak out first time travelers a bit too.

Re:It's simple, really. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223453)

obvious:
You send a smaller craft going a slightly faster warp.

Re:It's simple, really. (1)

grumling (94709) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223349)

Actually, more like a Vogon freeway.

To be clear, this isn't "bad" news... (0)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#39222927)

...it's rather more like "non" news, since every single thing discussed here (with the exception of Albert Einstein himself) is based on theory, which tends to make me scratch my head as to how much we're spending funding research like this. Kind of hard to put the cart before the horse when you haven't even invented the wheel yet.

Re:To be clear, this isn't "bad" news... (2)

gregarican (694358) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223061)

Did you post this from your quantum computer???

Re:To be clear, this isn't "bad" news... (2)

SoTerrified (660807) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223359)

...every single thing discussed here is based on theory, which tends to make me scratch my head as to how much we're spending funding research like this. Kind of hard to put the cart before the horse when you haven't even invented the wheel yet.

I've heard about this kind of ignorance, but I'm a bit astounded to find it on Slashdot.

Basically, we still haven't found the Higgs boson. Yet physics has advanced far beyond that point, leading to several breakthroughs that we are enjoying the benefits of. And with time, we're eventually going back to prove the Higgs boson. I could name similar "theory points" in almost every science where something has not been proven, but the evidence is enough that we can move forward making assumptions and make other breakthroughs. And we can enjoy the benefit of those breakthroughs long before we verify the 'unproven'.

I weep for the mindset that you have where, if something is not yet proven, you believe that we shouldn't be funding anything beyond that point. That strikes me as very penny wise, pound foolish.

Helluva weapon (5, Insightful)

Kissing Crimson (197314) | more than 2 years ago | (#39222943)

Sent from a long distance, nearly undetectable, essentially unstoppable. When it arrives, its arrival is itself a weapon, plus whatever payload it is carrying.

Re:Helluva weapon (2)

Bentov (993323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223015)

No doubt, instant destruction, and occupation force in one nice and tidy package :) Galactic conquest can be in your hands now!

Easy Fix (1)

Agent0013 (828350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39222969)

Just fly past your destination before slowing down. Then the burst is traveling away from the family back home. You then turn the ship around and go the rest of the way on impulse engines. Why did someone even bother with this if it is such an easy solution.

Re:Easy Fix (5, Funny)

bytestorm (1296659) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223437)

I think the problem is the particles and energy are collimated, travelling in the same direction the Alcubierre wave front, kind of like a laser. It's probably going to hit something, someday. This Mass Effect 2 quote comes to mind.

Gunnery Chief: This, recruits, is a 20-kilo ferrous slug. Feel the weight. Every five seconds, the main gun of an Everest-class dreadnought accelerates one to 1.3 percent of light speed. It impacts with the force of a 38-kilotomb bomb. That is three times the yield of the city buster dropped on Hiroshima back on Earth. That means Sir Isaac Newton is the deadliest son-of-a-bitch in space. Now! Serviceman Burnside! What is Newton's First Law?
First Recruit: Sir! A object in motion stays in motion, sir!
Gunnery Chief: No credit for partial answers, maggot!
First Recruit: Sir! Unless acted on by an outside force, sir!
Gunnery Chief: Damn straight! I dare to assume you ignorant jackasses know that space is empty. Once you fire this husk of metal, it keeps going till it hits something. That can be a ship, or the planet behind that ship. It might go off into deep space and hit somebody else in ten thousand years. If you pull the trigger on this, you're ruining someone's day, somewhere and sometime. That is why you check your damn targets! That is why you wait for the computer to give you a damn firing solution! That is why, Serviceman Chung, we do not "eyeball it!" This is a weapon of mass destruction. You are not a cowboy shooting from the hip!
Second Recruit: Sir, yes sir!

Powered by Bad News (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39222983)

These starships would be so unwelcome wherever they arrived that there would be little point in going there in the first place.

That is what I call a "feature" (0)

Dareth (47614) | more than 2 years ago | (#39222985)

That is what I call a "feature", or wait is that Microsoft?

Queller Drive (5, Interesting)

kharbour (559204) | more than 2 years ago | (#39222997)

In Space:1999, the Alcubierre warp-drive was known as the Queller Drive. There was an episode about this exact subject (the drive killing everyone) in the first season episode, Voyager's Return: http://www.fanderson.org.uk/epguides/spaceyr1eg3.html#Episode%20Twelve [fanderson.org.uk] . In an almost unbelieveable coincidence, I happened to be watching it at the exact moment this Slashdot story came in. Spooky.

Re:Queller Drive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39223451)

Um, no? It was just a reaction drive.

Thermite (0)

rullywowr (1831632) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223005)

If you warp a drive to destroy data, isn't it just easier to wipe it with thermite?

Idiot (1)

LeadSongDog (1120683) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223339)

If you warp a drive to destroy data, isn't it just easier to wipe it with thermite?

If you'd properly encrypted the drive to begin with, we wouldn't be having this discussion. Now shut up and pass the ammunition.

Unless.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39223021)

those particles and radiation are consumed as fuel during the trip.

No brakes!!! (4, Interesting)

gregarican (694358) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223049)

Not sure about the theoretical effect of stopping, since the original theory [wikipedia.org] postulates that once riding that warp bubble there's no way to stop...

Heard this before... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39223073)

The warning was given before here:

http://deepthought.newsvine.com/_news/2010/08/24/4961498-einsteins-missing-pages-the-doppler-shift-and-information-loss

faster than the speed of light (1)

fizzer06 (1500649) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223079)

I thought that it was impossible (theoretically) to go faster than the speed of light.

Re:faster than the speed of light (4, Insightful)

Dcnjoe60 (682885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223163)

I thought that it was impossible (theoretically) to go faster than the speed of light.

It is easy to theoretically go faster than the speed of light. It's darn near impossible to actually do it.

Re:faster than the speed of light (1)

fizzer06 (1500649) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223253)

I know I've never SEEN it done.

Time (1)

ticker47 (954580) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223099)

Would a warp drive have the same affects on time for the observer as normal high speed travel would?

How far? (2)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223111)

From tfa:

In the case of forward-facing particles the outburst can be very energetic — enough to destroy anyone at the destination directly in front of the ship. “Any people at the destination,” the team’s paper concludes, “would be gamma ray and high energy particle blasted into oblivion due to the extreme blueshifts for [forward] region particles.”

I do not see anywhere where it is mentioned how far in front of the ship the blasted into oblivion effects will occur. How close is directly in front of the ship?

GRB mystery explained (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39223115)

Gamma ray bursts and other transient particle jets are intergalactic smog from commuters dropping out of warp?

Gamma ray bursts (1)

Vireo (190514) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223139)

so they're really only Alcubierre drive-equipped ships slowing down in our direction.

Conservation of energy (4, Informative)

rrohbeck (944847) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223157)

I hate to be the party pooper, but:
All the energy for those high energy particles has to come from somewhere, which means that it'll take ridiculous amounts of energy to create an Alcubierre drive, it it's possible at all.

Re:Conservation of energy (2)

Gotung (571984) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223389)

Not just ridiculous amounts of energy, but ridiculous amounts of negative energy. Which as far as I know only exists in theory.

Damn, it's always something! (1)

cvtan (752695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223165)

And here I thought we were going to get a warp drive without having to solve any difficult problems!

Pheww..... I prefer our good old.... (1)

Tanuki64 (989726) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223191)

... and very slow rockets. There are only behind the ship deadly. ;-)

Wait a second! (1)

Grindalf (1089511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223195)

The warp drive was never supposed to work by gravitational space distortion, as I recollect new research into Quantum Mechanics revealed that there were more dimensions than the three that we have (plus time) but a myriad of different dimensions that formed the structure of space. It was hoped that an investigation into these other dimensions would allow for a lower energy distortion of space to occur, or for a shortcut to be found (warp conduit tunnelling or “hyper-space”.) This is the “Tech” that was “borrowed” by sci-fi researchers and not the Alcubierre thought expreiment which relies on a tech that turns you into a singularity / black hole in about 2 seconds flat! :0)

Alcubierre warp-drives already proven impossible (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39223213)

http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/23292/
http://omnis.if.ufrj.br/~mbr/warp/etc/cqg15_2523.pdf

Given how they work... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39223215)

... couldn't you unwarp and rewarp really quickly and focus all that radiation and energy IN to your ship?
You could fuel your ship with all those particles you pass through on your journey, you wouldn't even need to dip in to a sun to refuel and slowly destroy your ship over time. (damn Ancients, what were you thinking?)

The radiation and particles would fall out of the gravity wells, possibly go fusion, by then you'd have already rewarped and some of the energy would have fallen back in to the warp bubble, the rest would be recaptured as more radiation, which on the next rewarp would release and fuse even more particles you have collected, until you have stopped.

How to stop the explosive energy on arrival, however, is a hard thing.
I guess one thing you could try is dissipate the energy by making successively larger rotating warp bubbles, in turn cancelling out a lot of the momentum of the explosion, but equally adding a lot of stress to your ship in doing so.
All theory, but it is an interesting thing to think about if we ever crack gravity and / or Higgs.

Helicopters (4, Interesting)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223225)

Can injure boarding/deboarding passengers with the intense amount of static electricity that builds up on the rotors. Getting fried by discharge of built-up charged particles is not a new downside to travel methods.

Car Analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39223229)

Automobiles may come with a Killer Downside.

Summary:
You can get hit by a car.

Re:Car Analogy (2)

treeves (963993) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223307)

More like, every time you park your car, everyone within a half mile of the car gets hits by tires flying off the car at 50 mph.

Waiting friends (1)

tomhath (637240) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223241)

This is bad news for family and friends waiting for the ship to arrive, as this intense burst will fry them

Not only that, but since you're traveling faster than light they wouldn't see you coming in time to duck.

Jet aircraft... (5, Funny)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223243)

Jet engines (theoretically) allow large metal objects formed into a lifting body to fly though the air at great velocities. This causes them to accumulate great momentum. This is bad news for family and friends waiting on the runway for the aircraft to arrive, as this momentum will cause the aircraft to run into them and kill them.

Duh Photon Torpedo Technology (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39223259)

This sounds the technology needed to reproduce the photon torpedo. This would certainly make a Hellacous weapon.

Han Fried First (1)

tekrat (242117) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223293)

The falcon, being the first spaceship in the SW universe to be seen going into (and out of) FTL, makes Han Solo the first fryer. Stuff it George Lucas!

But seriously, wouldn't solar winds and a habitable planet's magnetic field tend to deflect the vast majority of this crap? I mean, without either of these, we'd be getting fried by our own sun.

What? (1)

hesaigo999ca (786966) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223327)

Have they never watched an episode of star trek before... you drop in or out of warp drive at a safe distance from any other planet/lifeforms
so you would never hi warp drive until you actually where outside orbit...a safer distance then this guy thinks it would be...

Darn it all! (1)

s.petry (762400) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223333)

How dare someone interject reality in to my SciFi visions of the future!

On the more serious side, I'm sure that by the time we could develop something that could warp space, we will also have developed some sort of frictionless space flight. If we flew in space without friction, we would not be collecting all of those loose particulars.

Asimov (2)

Kohenkatz (1166461) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223367)

So basically, Asimov was right when he predicted that any interstellar travel would require death. See I, Robot chapter "Escape!" (or short story "Paradoxical Escape") http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escape [wikipedia.org] ! He was just wrong about whose death it would be.

Easy solution (1)

nilbog (732352) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223425)

Well as long as we're talking about stuff that doesn't exist, it's an easy solution: just add a dampening field generator.

Safe Zone (1)

MoldySpore (1280634) | more than 2 years ago | (#39223427)

Easy to fix. It's just like in Mass Effect 2: there would be a "safe zone" for where ships traveling at FTL speeds to come out of FTL safely. The zones would just have to be large enough to accommodate the largest of ships. The station where you would disembark and your family would be would be outside this zone.

Also, if you are a Star Trek person, you will remember the episode of TNG where the ship had to be evacuated at an orbital platform so that it could be "cleaned" as it built up particles along the hull from many light years of travel. So even fictional space ships still had these types of problems!

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