Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Students Calculate What Hyperspace Travel Would Actually Look Like

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the i-didn't-know-my-broken-tv-could-see-into-hyperspace dept.

Space 234

cylonlover writes "The two Star franchises (Wars and Trek) and countless science fiction movies have given generations of armchair space travelers an idea of what to expect when looking out the window of a spaceship that's traveling faster than the speed of light. But it appears these views are – if you'll excuse the pun – a bit warped. Four students from the University of Leicester have used Einstein's theory of Special Relativity to calculate what faster than light travel would actually look like to Han and Chewie at the controls of the Millennium Falcon. The fourth year physics students – Riley Connors, Katie Dexter, Joshua Argyle, and Cameron Scoular – say that the crew wouldn't see star lines (PDF) stretching out past the ship during the jump to hyperspace, but would actually see a central disc of bright light."

cancel ×

234 comments

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

Warp vs Hyperspace (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42598609)

There are two methods of FTL being talked about here, but they are conflating the two.

Traveling via "warp" means warping space and time itself so you're moving through space at less than C, but space is shrinking in front of you and expanding behind, so the net effect is that you've moved from point A to point B in less time than it would take light travelling without warping space. (Your actual velocity may actually be zero with this method.) This is how Star Trek does it (sort of).

Traveling via "hyperspace" means punching some type of hole in space and traveling "somewhere else". Sometimes it is just a wormhole between points A and B, but it is commonly (like in Star Wars and Babylon 5) some other space within or without normal space. It's a short cut.

Nerds should know this, and yet this is the second time within a week I've seen these two ideas talked about as if they are the same thing.

(I'll leave it to someone else to explain how traveling by Guild vessel works...)

Re:Warp vs Hyperspace (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year and a half ago | (#42598675)

That's right... when you're traveling at warp speed, you're still going C relative to space around you. It's just the space itself which is warped.

Watch Star Trek, say the Khaaan movie. They're doing Warp 5 toward Space Station Regula 1 when Saavik says "Admiral, sensors indicate a vessel approaching. It's the Reliant." Now look out the window, the stars around the Reliant look normal.

Re:Warp vs Hyperspace (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42598757)

No, dumbfuck, the whole POINT of warp is that you're NOT moving relative to the space around you, never mind "C" [sic] (whatever the hell that means, vitamin C, What?)

Re:Warp vs Hyperspace (1)

Spy Handler (822350) | about a year and a half ago | (#42598999)

Slashdot stripped out the "less than" symbol. It would've made more sense otherwise.

And the OP I was replying to also used "C" to represent lightspeed. Thanks for playing, though.

Lights (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599235)

If it's warp speed, it's a compress space thingy. Lights should be able to pass through compress space, so, theoretically, people on spaceship that travels through warp space should be able to see light from outside.

But if that spaceship travels faster than light - that is, if that's possible at all - then no outside light should be visible.

About hyperspace - since it's a puncturing a hole in the space/time thing, ... light travels _within_ the space/time constraint, so, there should be no light in the hyperspace, either.

Re:Warp vs Hyperspace (1)

cheater512 (783349) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599009)

Ok if you don't know what C is you are way out of your depth. Thats Physics 101.

Re:Warp vs Hyperspace (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42599081)

It's lower case c, you pathetic excuse for a supposed Asperger's genius.

Re:Warp vs Hyperspace (2, Funny)

Cryacin (657549) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599153)

Pfffft. Engineers.

Re:Warp vs Hyperspace (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42599041)

How can you know how warp travel works, but not know that c is the speed of light in a vacuum?

Re:Warp vs Hyperspace (2, Funny)

Iskender (1040286) | about a year and a half ago | (#42598685)

(I'll leave it to someone else to explain how traveling by Guild vessel works...)

Drugs. Lots and lots of drugs. You snort the line so fast you go right past c.

Yeah I know it sounds weird, but are *you* going to argue with Frank Herbert? I know I'm not!

Re:Warp vs Hyperspace (5, Interesting)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | about a year and a half ago | (#42598981)

The Void Captain's Tale by Norman Spinrad [eyrie.org] has FTL powered by female orgasm. Anybody know of other unorthodox propulsion methods from SF?

Aside from whatever the hell was involved in moving the ships in Cordwainer Smith's stories. Cats fending off meta-dimensional dragons in Space3?

Re:Warp vs Hyperspace (2)

ender- (42944) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599507)

I'm a big fan of Bistromathics [wikipedia.org] as a method of travel.

Re:Warp vs Hyperspace (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42599323)

Guild heighliners travel instantaneously to the destination point. Guild navigators have to be clairvoyant, because no other sensor can reliably place the arriving ship in a safe spot *outside* the lightcone. Thus, even an apprentice navigator can move a ship out of a giant cavern on Ix, but it would take the most skilled navigators the guild has to move one back in.

And as we all know, the only way to achieve true clairvoyance is by taking massive, massive, massive amounts of drugs.

Re:Warp vs Hyperspace (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42598711)

(I'll leave it to someone else to explain how traveling by Guild vessel works...)

Sure: folding spacetime using the Holtzman Effect [wikia.com] . This may seem like warp, but since travel is instantaneous, it's almost certainly more like a wormhole/hyperspace. File all this under "fictional physics," i.e., magic.

Re:Warp vs Hyperspace (1)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599151)

To confuse this even further, one must consider that Star Wars uses both the terms "hyperspace" and "lightspeed" at times. What to make of this, I don't know, and I also don't know that we can make a judgement about how long distance space travel is achieved in that "universe." Sure, Star Trek gives us a lot of pseudo-technical info about how they do things, but Star Wars canon is more limited and much more murky.

Re:Warp vs Hyperspace (1)

TheMeuge (645043) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599265)

Yes but Star Wars is also a movie in which time was measured in units of distance (your mother in how many parsecs?

Re:Warp vs Hyperspace (5, Interesting)

pushing-robot (1037830) | about a year and a half ago | (#42600035)

Fun fact: In a strange case of Hollywood writers actually getting basic science right, the error was intentional and explained in the original script: [imsdb.com]

...
HAN: Han Solo. I'm captain of the Millennium Falcon. Chewie here tells
me you're looking for passage to the Alderaan system.

BEN: Yes, indeed. If it's a fast ship.

HAN: Fast ship? You've never heard of the Millennium Falcon?

BEN: Should I have?

HAN: It's the ship that made the Kessel run in less than twelve
parsecs!

Ben reacts to Solo's stupid attempt to impress them with
obvious misinformation.

Re:Warp vs Hyperspace (1)

reasterling (1942300) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599463)

I noticed this too. I had always assumed that there were simply multiple ways of travel being sugested based on the fact that there were so many worlds who brought their technology to the galactic party. Some cultures on far away worlds developed "lightspeed" travel, while others found "hyperspace". The really mixed and divers galactic culture would have adopted both means of travel.

Re:Warp vs Hyperspace (2)

MatthiasF (1853064) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599407)

I assume when someone states "traveling faster than FTL" that they are not using a worm hole or "hyperspace" and that the ship is literally traveling through space faster than light.

In which case, they would not see any light when traveling faster than light, because if said light touched the traveler the collision would cause a domino of effects that would certainly destroy the traveler.

The field would need to have some field around it to avoid such collisions.

And there lies the true novelty of the idea of a "warp drive", since the "warp field" avoids the need to avoid any collisions.

Re:Warp vs Hyperspace (2)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599523)

Yet both are completely fictional and are not physically possible in even the remotest sense... and you're still arguing about the difference between 2 fantasy modes of travel. Next will you give us an in depth dissertation on the differences between Unicorn and Pegasus travel?

What about the Dr. Who phone booth? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42599549)

I'm just curious.

It woud look like (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year and a half ago | (#42598617)

traveling at the speed of light, only the view would be a smaller dot.

Re:It woud look like (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42599781)

You'd be able to see light that was oncoming such as from stars ahead of you the same as normal. As you approach and then begin to pass an object (it's angle to you increases away from the center of your view), it's image will slide along like every artistic lens flare ever, until it reaches the sides where it would seem like a blip from a flashlight as you pass by. Everything in your rear arc will be black because the light won't be able to catch up. Anything purely directional or blocked from your normal view will also let you see a blip of light and not much else when you enter and then leave the area that it's light is able to pass through.

At incredibly high FTL speeds, the angle to see anything off from center view and within a specific distance shrinks until a point when you're passing everything even at a 1 degree angle from center within a specific distance (farther things would still be visible more often) without seeing it, or merely seeing it flicker. If you were travelling just above the speed of light, there would probably be some streaking, but at higher speeds* the light won't have time to create that illusion.

*You would need to pass around 4E-7 meters (approximation of the wavelength of blue light) in less than 1/1E15 seconds (approximation of the frequency of blue light), or 400,000,000 m/s (probably multiplied by the size of the receiver if it's deeper than 1m). So, assuming my exponents aren't off by 1 or so, streaking will probably continue occurring until you're more than 33% (as a very rough estimate) over the speed of light for objects at a 90 degree angle from center view. The smaller the angle or further the distance before passing the object, the faster you'd have to go to avoid the streaking, and at a certain point some things will just become invisible or flicker as the light just barely manages to be in the path of the receiver before you pass between the wavelengths.

A Slower Speed of Light (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42598645)

The A Slower Speed of Light [mit.edu] game from MIT does the same thing, just by slowing the light down to your speed rather than speeding you up to light speed. It's the same, since its all relative.

Not the same thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42598655)

Hyperspace travel != FTL

Re:Not the same thing (5, Informative)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#42598709)

The link is slashdotted, but if this is the story I read earlier today then they didn't do either. Instead, they figured out what it would look like at just below light speed... about 99.995% of c.

In a nutshell, it's all about the Doppler effect. Normally visible objects like stars are blueshifted into the X-ray spectrum and the only visible is the cosmic background radition, which just looks like a big blur as it's blueshifted into the visible spectrum.

Special Relativity... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42598657)

...is broke. Usually when you prove a theory wrong through evidence, it gets put away in a box. Not Special Relativity, it gets bandied about as being the most wonderful thing, we'll just modify it a little to make it work...

Re:Special Relativity... (5, Informative)

BitterOak (537666) | about a year and a half ago | (#42598727)

...is broke. Usually when you prove a theory wrong through evidence, it gets put away in a box. Not Special Relativity, it gets bandied about as being the most wonderful thing, we'll just modify it a little to make it work...

Einstein did modify it. The resulting theory is called General Relativity. Special Relativity still works as an extremely accurate approximation in the absence of strong gravitational fields. The equations of Special Relativity are used in experimental high energy physics all the time quite successfully.

Re:Special Relativity... (2)

bcrowell (177657) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599019)

Einstein did modify it. The resulting theory is called General Relativity.

And every time we use GPS, we're using a tool that would not work at all without general relativity.

The equations of Special Relativity are used in experimental high energy physics all the time quite successfully.

And even so, theorists were very enthusiastic about trying to modify SR accomodate the superluminal neutrino results from 2011. Unfortunately those results turned out to be due to a loose cable.

Re:Special Relativity... (4, Insightful)

Nemyst (1383049) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599457)

And even so, theorists were very enthusiastic about trying to modify SR accomodate the superluminal neutrino results from 2011. Unfortunately those results turned out to be due to a loose cable.

Yep, and that's a very good thing indeed. It's when science becomes dogmatic that we should worry. Taking results in contradiction with models and attempting to modify the models so that the results fit is how science works. Sometimes you can make the models work, sometimes you need entirely new models, and sometimes it's something in between.

Re:Special Relativity... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42600003)

And every time we use GPS, we're using a tool that would not work at all without general relativity.

GPS would work perfectly fine without relativity calculations. The speeds and distances involved with satellites are nowhere near those required to negate calculations based on basic kinetics and triangulation. And even with relativity calculations, the satellites' timers are still off enough that they are generally re-calibrated daily.

Newtonian Gravity too (5, Informative)

scheme (19778) | about a year and a half ago | (#42598741)

Newton's law of gravity is broken as well. The thing is that although it's inaccurate and broken, it's a really easy approximation to how gravity works that gets you results that work well enough that people still use it for most situations. SR is similar, it doesn't work in non-inertial frames but with inertial frames, it's good enough in most situations and a lot easier to use than GR.

Re:Newtonian Gravity too (1, Interesting)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599197)

But Newtonian physics begins to break down at quantum scales, despite Newton's ignorance to that fact, so perhaps there are other exceptions that we don't know about? There are a lot of Wars/Trek technology and happenings we can't fully explain, so I don't think it is too far fetched to think that we don't have the science to properly understand and explain warp or hyperspace travel. So get back to work, and keep us posted!

Re:Newtonian Gravity too (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599473)

Perhaps, yes. Thing is, in order to find such exceptions, we need data that documents these. We can't just randomly start to modify existing theories to fit what we'd like to see and then find data that corroborates it. That's biased sampling and it's bad science.

If you have data that shows hyperspace travel is possible and that documents what happens in that case, be sure to show it.

It would look like nothing (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42598659)

FTL travel isn't possible.

Now tell me what bigfoot looks like, so long as you're just making shit up and calling it science.

Bigfoot (4, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | about a year and a half ago | (#42598677)

Big and hairy. Actually, a lot like your mom - but with better outdoor survival skills.

Re:It would look like nothing (2, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42598769)

FTL travel isn't possible.

That we KNOW of..... So far.

Re:It would look like nothing (1, Insightful)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#42598873)

that is not true, cosmologists know that our observable universe is a small part of the whole, most of which is moving faster than light away from us (and so will never be seen). In fact, we can only ever see or travel to something on the order of 1E-23 of the whole; the rest is accelerating away from us and has already passed lightspeed relative to earth.

Re:It would look like nothing (4, Informative)

Nemyst (1383049) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599499)

Incorrect. Things appear to be moving at a speed that is faster than light, but they are in fact moving at a speed below that of light, and it is space itself which is at the same time expanding, causing the effective distance between those objects and us to grow at a rate which exceeds the speed of light.

They do not however travel at FTL speeds.

Re:It would look like nothing (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42598897)

Well, since it would go against every established theory, observation and experiment so far, you're free to to propose your magnificient insight with the physics community. After all, your "That we know of.. so far" argument can be used to believe in anything.

Re:It would look like nothing (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599467)

Fair point.... but history is overflowing with examples of people asserting "X is impossible", for various values of X, and they were ultimately proven wrong.

It's simply much more honest to say that we just don't know of any way to travel faster than light than to casually assert its impossibility as factual.

Re:It would look like nothing (1)

Botia (855350) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599439)

FTL travel isn't possible.

That we KNOW of..... So far.

It isn't possible to accelerate to the speed of light. There's nothing that says you can't "jump" to the speed of light or multiples thereof. We know of particles (photons to name just one) that do this.

inaccurate slashdot summary; not a new result (5, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | about a year and a half ago | (#42598671)

The slashdot summary is totally inaccurate. It makes it sound as though the paper calculates what would be seen by an observer going faster than c relative to the stars, but actually the paper calculates what would be seen by an observer going at v=0.9999995c.

There is also basically nothing new in this paper. The effects they describe (relativistic aberration and Doppler shifts) have been well understood for a long time. ANU has made a nice educational video [youtube.com] showing these effects.

The question of how things would look if you could go faster than c relative to the stars is a whole different issue. Special relativity doesn't forbid relative motion faster than c, but it puts a bunch of constraints on it: (1) it can't be achieved by a continuous process of acceleration from velocities less than c; (2) if it exists, it violates causality; and (3) although special relativity is consistent with the existence of faster-than-light particles (tachyons), it is not consistent with the existence of faster-than-light observers in a universe with 3 spatial dimensions and 1 time dimension, a.k.a. 3+1 dimensions. Result #3 (no tachyonic observers in 3+1 dimensions) has been known [harvard.edu] for a long time, but it seems to keep getting rediscovered.

Re:inaccurate slashdot summary; not a new result (1)

yelvington (8169) | about a year and a half ago | (#42598731)

(2) if it exists, it violates causality;

That would seem to be a problem, but maybe it contains its own solution.

Wow, math (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42598681)

So it must be real! Next up, my spreadsheet calculating my yearly income if I made a million dollars an hour.

The Universe Expansion (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42598689)

Isn't the universe expanding from the center close to the speed of light, making the opposing side of the universe an example of this?

Re:The Universe Expansion (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year and a half ago | (#42598737)

Technically, the Universe has no sides and no center.

Re:The Universe Expansion (2)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#42598901)

the universe does have a center, at the observer. most of the universe has already exceeded light speed with regards to us, we'll never see or travel to most of it.

Re:The Universe Expansion (0)

aled (228417) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599005)

the universe does have a center, at the observer. most of the universe has already exceeded light speed with regards to us, we'll never see or travel to most of it.

By the same reasoning we should believe in a Ptolemaic [wikipedia.org] system, given that we obviously are at the center of the solar system.

Re:The Universe Expansion (1)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599219)

the universe does have a center, at the observer. most of the universe has already exceeded light speed with regards to us, we'll never see or travel to most of it.

I will, once I perfect my hybrid Super-Warp Hyperdrive(tm). But I can see how it is difficult for an Earthling in early 2013 to understand this, so you are excused.

make the jump to death speed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42598693)

so when you die and head towards the white light, can it be said you are dying at the speed of light?

Not even close (5, Funny)

xZoomerZx (1089699) | about a year and a half ago | (#42598701)

You wouldn't see anything at FTL speeds as even radio waves would come on as gamma radiation. If that doesn't kill you outright you can expect your clothes to no longer fit and your tan to turn a darker shade of green whereupon you smash the controls and die anyway.

I knew it would look like that! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42598703)

Now I can start working on my spaceship.

Wrong (1)

sexconker (1179573) | about a year and a half ago | (#42598705)

Hyperspace travel wouldn't look like anything special since you're fixed in space (or traveling at subluminal speeds) and doing the bulk of your travel in hyperspace. (And let's face it - that's pure fantasy.)

FTL travel wouldn't look like anything at all either since as you approach the speed of light time slows down for you. If you traveled at the speed of light you would reach your destination instantly (and you'd only be stopped by either colliding with something or being slowed by something, likely a black hole sucking you in to your doom). If you traveled faster than the speed of light you would break all of causality. Not gonna happen.

Re:Wrong (1)

socaire (2727939) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599187)

On Larry Niven books (Ringworlds, etc) when traveling in hyperspace you literally see nothing, I don't mean nothing as in a vacuum, but nothing at all. The mind could not handle it and people went mad when looking through the windows.

Re:Wrong (1)

nu1x (992092) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599405)

It is not about the windows, but rather, person's optic nerve and field of view - it basically gave extreme tunnel vision, except real. You could only see very little, all else was a blind spot.

Re:Wrong (1)

aiht (1017790) | about a year and a half ago | (#42600045)

It is not about the windows, but rather, person's optic nerve and field of view - it basically gave extreme tunnel vision, except real. You could only see very little, all else was a blind spot.

Well yes, but you could only (fail to) see that blind spot through the windows. It did not stop you from seeing the walls.

wrong analysis tool (1)

bugs2squash (1132591) | about a year and a half ago | (#42598717)

surely the whole point of hyperspace is to be a plot device where one can avoid unfortunate physical laws that would otherwise mess up a story, like momentum (these star-ships routinely crash or make sharp turns at millions of miles per hour and the crew-members just fall over gently or brace themselves against pillars), where even Heisenberg experiences no uncertainty and in particular where special relativity apparently does not apply.

Re:wrong analysis tool (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42598801)

Someone failed Inertial Dampening 100.

Re:wrong analysis tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42599023)

And if Inertial Dampening works so well while traveling at warp, why can't it compensate when you get hit by a tiny photon torpedo.

Re:wrong analysis tool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42599255)

Different AC here, but in Inertial Dampening 101, they teach you that the computer controls both the acceleration of the ship at warp AND the inertial dampening system. Therefore, it knows how much dampening to apply at every step of the process. Contrast that with getting hit by a torpedo, where the computer does not know exactly what acceleration will be applied to the ship and, as the dampener system fails, the shakes get worse because of the reduced ability to compensate.

Re:wrong analysis tool (1)

rubycodez (864176) | about a year and a half ago | (#42598887)

no, the equations of GR do allow for FTL travel via spacetime warping

I giving all she got captain and I don't get the l (4, Funny)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about a year and a half ago | (#42598791)

I giving all she got captain and I don't get the lines.

Re:I giving all she got captain and I don't get th (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599681)

So, how do those Heisenberg compensators work, Scotty?

Emergency stop - never use! (2, Funny)

Universal Indicator (626874) | about a year and a half ago | (#42598807)

After reaching ludicrous speed, everything turns to plaid.

Re:Emergency stop - never use! (3, Funny)

uvajed_ekil (914487) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599241)

Please don't mix in ridiculous Space Balls bullshit, and pipe down while the adults are talking, you blasphemer! This is a SERIOUS conversation about Star Wars and Star Trek tech!

Re:Emergency stop - never use! (1)

Scarletdown (886459) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599619)

Please don't mix in ridiculous Space Balls bullshit, and pipe down while the adults are talking, you blasphemer! This is a SERIOUS conversation about Star Wars and Star Trek tech!

Now you've done it. Time to say goodbye to your two best friends (and I don't mean the ones in the Winnebego).

what about the other star franchises (3, Funny)

Dan9999 (679463) | about a year and a half ago | (#42598871)

gate and my favorite ship troopers

Re:what about the other star franchises (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42598935)

Stargate bugs me. When they actually show the travel, it looks like you are taking the long way through the universe. It looks like twists and turns through normal space at about the speed a car drives.

Re:what about the other star franchises (4, Interesting)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599065)

The actual geometry of a wormhole is too peculiar for most viewers, so "zipping really fast across the galaxy! Wheeeee!" Is more familiar. It's a TV show. Lighten up fancis.

Really, an actual wormhole would resemble a sphere in 3d space, through the center of which, you see straight through out the other side of the companion spherical appearing disruption at your desintation. The "edge" of the sphere would look mirrory, and highly distorted. Traveling into the wormhole on any sufficiently oblique trajectory would be "a bad thing(tm)". It is this oblique interaction that is hypothesized to make any artificially stabilized wormhole rapidly become unstable, as particles get caught in tight "circular" loops and literally feedback the wormhole shut.

None of this "disc shaped portal" nonsense.

Because that would be mindfucking to most viewers, special effects people make wormholes flat, for fragile human minds.

Re:what about the other star franchises (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599699)

Doc Smith waxed prolifically about such things as far back as the Lensman series. Although he didn't use the term "wormhole" he described it -- and noted that the cross section of a terminus from hyperspace approximated a sphere. Also described visibility in hyperspace to an interesting degree, and worked it into a plot device. Imaginative, and fun!

And I'm still quite convinced he drew his inspiration for Sir Austin Cardygne from my old physics 101 professor, J.S.Miller.

Re:what about the other star franchises (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42599753)

So, the Stargate would need to be in a clean room and all weapons need to be stored in an airtight container?

what would you see going at warp? (4, Insightful)

wierd_w (1375923) | about a year and a half ago | (#42598931)

Nothing. You would see absolutely nothing. Blackness. Empty space. Here is why:

The warp field used to push the ship would be a 100% metamaterial, which redirects all particles, including light, around the ship perfectly, and or, capturing the particles on the event shock, and preventing them from reaching you.

That's the problem with cheating by removing the ship from the causally connected universe, via a albucuierre warpdrive; being no longer causally connected means you can't see anything, because you stop interacting with the universe outside the warp field.

Ok, pedantically, you would see an insanely redshifted image of the universe you left behind, instead of empty space. But to human eyes, that heat map would appear literally black.

When you rupture the field, and spill back into being causally connected with the universe at the remote reference frame, a shitton of energy and radiation will blast out.

Piloting a ship with that kind of propulsion would require very precise calculations about the passing of local time inside the warp field, and the time frames of both site of departure, and site of destination. It would be impossible to measure spacial distance, so the unpredictable unit of variable time is all you would have to work with. Long distance navigation would be an almost absurd proposition due to this fact. This could be the fly in the ointment against this form of travel in fact.

Re:what would you see going at warp? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42599655)

Effects similar to Hawking radiation or the Unruh Effect [wikipedia.org] would actually cause the front of the bubble to emit quite a bit of radiation. Estimates for an Alcubierre drive style setup shows that this radiation and light becomes quite immense as the speed of the bubble approaches c, and may be something that limits such travel to sublight speeds. So instead of black, it would be more like flying into the sun, or a gamma ray burst, depending on how fast you try to go.

Re:what would you see going at warp? (1)

conspirator57 (1123519) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599671)

When you rupture the field, and spill back into being causally connected with the universe at the remote reference frame, a shitton of energy and radiation will blast out.

Is this a metric or imperial shitton?

Re:what would you see going at warp? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42599727)

Mmm I'm non non spice

Star wars is NOT SCIENCE (1)

Cute and Cuddly (2646619) | about a year and a half ago | (#42598937)

In that movie, you also have laser guns that shoot slower that the speed of light! It was good entretainment when was just released and I was a little kid, but that is it!

Re:Star wars is NOT SCIENCE (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42598991)

Nobody suggested that Star Wars is science, moron. You're not laying down the harsh reality check you want to think you are. And you never will.

As usual, Arthur C. Clarke was there first (1)

coldfarnorth (799174) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599001)

He describes this in The City and the Stars, and possibly in an earlier work.

Re:As usual, Arthur C. Clarke was there first (1)

luckymutt (996573) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599055)

Also, Carl Sagan had a nice animation when Cosmos was re-released as a special edition in...1990? ish?

Re:As usual, Arthur C. Clarke was there first (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42600073)

Then there's The Last Starfighter, which has the stars compress and their colors shift until they became a single disc, then went further, reversing colors and directions as the ship/car went beyond C. The process reversed when they slowed down.

Fuzzy Coincidence? (2)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599093)

Why is it that hyperspace looks exactly like what one sees after 8 beers?

So, possibly something like this? (1)

Scoldog (875927) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599103)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwJtYmNpINI [youtube.com]

Will I need to bring jelly babies?

Re:So, possibly something like this? (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599721)

Lovely book, on my shelf at home some where. Not always believable, but some good rationalisations ;)
"The Physics of Star Trek"

http://www.amazon.com/Physics-Star-Trek-Lawrence-Krauss/dp/0465002048/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1358307113&sr=1-1&keywords=the+physics+of+star+trek [amazon.com]

What a /. looks like in hyperspace... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42599143)

Looks like we now know what slashdotting looks like.

http://cdn.memegenerator.net/instances/400x/33444159.jpg

You would see dots of lights moving or going back (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42599169)

If you figure time moves at 1C, since Sunlight takes 8 minutes to reach the Earth, the reflections of that are what we see on objects here... If you are traveling at 1C away from Earth, it will look like everything stopped right when you reached 1C. The light will be moving just as fast as you.

When you fly towards something, it will seem like time is going twice as fast. The normal motion, and the amount of 'light' you are going through is twice as much as normal.

But Stars and galaxies next to you or off in the distance will 'move' a little, but are still going to be way too far away.

Not really useful (1)

jimmetry (1801872) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599275)

This calculation isn't really relative to anything, so it could quite easily be wrong. What would be far more useful is if the students showed an animation of how perception changes as you *accelerate* *into* hyperspace.

What if there is no way to exceed c? (3, Insightful)

Myria (562655) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599299)

What if in fact there is no way at all to exceed c? It could mean that the only way to really explore the galaxy would be with generation ships or with machines. It would be a quite depressing discovery, for it would place limits on our imagination. "Science fiction" would pass into the category of "fantasy".

The only other possibility that would work is travel that is faster-than-light from your own perspective, but not from others' - time dilation. You could make a trip to another galaxy in a single lifetime, but it would be millions of years to everyone else.

I think that some of the biggest scientific discoveries to come will not be of possibilities, but of limitations. Not what we can do in the future, but what we can't. Humankind is going to have to live with this.

Re:What if there is no way to exceed c? (1)

Nemyst (1383049) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599533)

It's likely that you cannot exceed c. However, current theories do not preclude the existence of wormholes, or heck, the creation of them. A wormhole would technically allow travel between two points in space in a time much shorter than what would be required going at near c outside the wormhole, all while never going faster than c, by "folding" space so that the two points are effectively closer together.

That's just one way we know. It's also possible that other methods would work.

Re:What if there is no way to exceed c? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42599921)

What pessimistic claptrap.

Humans are flawed in any number of ways but one of the single greatest examples of our strength as a species to continue to develop is our complete and utter disregard of the impossible, of limits and people who are hell bent on maintaining the status quo.

When someone says something is impossible that is just inviting challengers to prove them wrong and this has happened time and time again:

"I am bold enough to say that a man-made Moon voyage will never occur regardless of all scientific advances." - Lee De Forest, "the father of electronics"

"The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C,' the idea must be feasible." - A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service, Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.

"Inventions have long since reached their limit, and I see no hope for future improvements." - Julius Frontenus, 10 A.D.

"Everything that can be invented has been invented." - Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899

And that isn't even counting all the times people have made amazing breakthroughs in complete ignorance of the impossible status of the problem they just solved.

No, the biggest scientific discoveries of the future are not going to be that there are limits, that impossible exists, rather that there is no problem we as a species can not solve.

Re:What if there is no way to exceed c? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42599973)

You're confusing science with wish-fulfilment.

They're all wrong (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599361)

Everyone knows that once you pass a certain threshold it goes plaid.

Use the force, Luke! ^w^w^w^w (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599363)

Don't go into the light, Luke!

Explained by Real Science Fiction (1)

jaminJay (1198469) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599403)

Red Dwarf - Future Echoes [wikipedia.org]

But wait... (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599551)

Except: If you were traveling at the speed of light, time would stop. So you wouldn't see a damned thing because the universe would end instantaneously for you. Also you'd implode into a singularity and devour all the energy in the universe to achieve light speed, but lets not let physics get in the way.

Assuming its a window and (1)

Turminder Xuss (2726733) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599663)

not a screen displaying a graphic representation of data gathered from sensors way broader than visible light; Windows being, you know ... a bit leaky and fragile.

Not if universe is a sim (1)

mattr (78516) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599737)

Even so, if the universe is a simulation one would expect to see alert messages such as "Please wait... Loading level 2" or "Undefined pointer at 0xa0123ebf6a78ca2a@20010db8:00000000:0000ff00:00428329"

What about the headlights? (1)

Dennis Flynn (307737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42599765)

Still nobody has answered whether your headlights will work.

No! and a thousand times no!, this is not correct (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42599767)

my god these people are stupid, and so is just about every replier.

this is NOT what it would look like at all, the whole idea of red/blue shift is also incorrect because...

it fails to take into account perspective, the universe is a HUGE place, there's this thing called "distance"

you MAY be traveling at just under c, or at c or above c (relatively speaking) however this is NOT what happens and NOT what it looks like.

it just means you're moving faster, the distance between the stars didn't change,

ok, if you're at 0.5 above c relatively speaking, and the distance between two stars is 10 lightyears, it still takes a LOT of time to travel that distance,
your motion relative to them will just be faster, not beyond your ability to see them. augh!

if a star is 10 light years away from where you are traveling and you dont go near it, it will only move in your view a tiny bit relative to you and the other objects around you.

they've totally forgotten about RELATIVITY, all objects, not just one in reference to your ship. but everything else around you.

I bet these same morons think that FTL means time travel, guess what, it doesn't!
idiots.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>