astroengine writes "Sonny White, of NASA's Johnson Space Center, presented his warp drive calculations at the 100 Year Starship symposium earlier this month. By White's reckoning, his design of starship — that is "adjusted into more of a rounded doughnut, as opposed to a flat ring" and oscillates the warp intensity — could be powered by the approximate mass-energy of the Voyager 1 space probe. Of course, this is a lot of energy, but how does it compare to previous estimates? In 1994, physicist Miguel Alcubierre — who is widely considered the first to formalize the physical theory behind the warp drive — found that his warp drive would need all the mass-energy in the Universe to function. But in 2009, Baylor University physicist Richard Obousy applied our current understanding of quantum dynamics, dark energy and string theory to the warp drive. His system could theoretically be powered by the rest-mass energy of Jupiter. Better, but still not great. Although White's warp drive would still need the entire annual energy usage of the United States, suddenly (assuming all the "exotic" assumptions are proven) warp speed doesn't seem so prohibitively power hungry."
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