Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Travel at a Speed Faster than Light

Two scientists, Gerald Cleaver and Richard Obousy, may have designed a way to create an engine that could travel at speeds faster than light, also called a warp engine. According to Discovery News, this concept that the co-authors built on was first developed in 1994 by Michael Alcubierre and is in accordance with Einstein’s theory on relativity. The warp drive would be created based on the two theories of general relativity and string theory which would bend but not break the laws of physics. As Cleaver says

"We're recreating the inflationary period of the universe behind the ship."

As the article further explains

“the ship wouldn't actually move; space itself would move underneath the stationary spacecraft. A beam of light next to the ship would still zoom away, same as it always does, but a beam of light far from the ship would be left behind.”

The estimated amount of energy required is 10^45 joules. Which as Cleaver made note, that’s the same amount of energy that would be produced if the entirety of Jupiter was changed into pure energy using E=MC2. With respect to the actual construction, Cleaver also released a statement saying that:

"Warp drive isn't doable now, and probably won't be for the next several millennia."

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